A Landscape Redone (via The Dirt)

This redesign of one-year old public landscape even before it was established leads to many questions, i.e. for who is the designer working: the client or the public?, to what extent did the client understand the design, and to what extent did the Landscape Architect respond to the clients needs – often it seems to me that our self appointed role as public culture arbiters is in conflict with the role we are employed in as designers.

A Landscape Redone Blair Kamin, architecture critic for The Chicago Tribune, said Chicago has greatly benefited from its recent high-profile landscape architecture commissions, including Lurie Garden in Millennium Park and the plaza at Trump International Hotel and Tower. While Lurie Garden created a "stylized prairie" in the midst of the city, the plaza evoked a "lush riverbank at the base of an enormous steel and glass skyscraper." Now, the Trump skyscraper's man … Read More

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The Long Road to Sustainable Cities (via The Dirt)

It seems that even with fragmented and partial approaches to sustainability it is possible for cities to achieve results that might contribute to long term resilience and it is encouraging to get published news of this, culture changes slowly and politicians who control the funds need proof that what is proposed will yield results as well as what not to do.

The Long Road to Sustainable Cities "Sustainability in America’s Cities: Creating the Green Metropolis," edited by Matthew Slavin, founder and Principal of Sustaingrϋp, is a collection of case studies that chart the progress of sustainable urban development in eight cities across the United States. The case studies explain how these cities have applied innovative strategies and invested in climate change mitigation and adaptation, clean energy, green buildings, sustainable transpor … Read More

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Designing a Built Environment Resilient to Climate Change (via The Dirt)

Resilience is rapidly taking over form sustainability as the currency of urban survival and should be the cornerstone of urban and landscape design, yet so much is about the environment and energy and not enough about average peoples contribution:

Designing a Built Environment Resilient to Climate Change Buildings, landscapes, infrastructure, and even entire cities can be designed to be more resilient to climate, environmental, and population changes, argued a high-profile panel at the American Institute of Architects (AIA) D.C.'s Design D.C. conference. Green technologies and practices have come a long way. Smart policymakers and designers are now applying these tools, figuring out ways to leverage existing systems to serve multiple purposes, le … Read More

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Landscape Architects Take the Lead in Remaking Cities (via The Dirt)

Positioning Landscape Architecture at eh forefront of the rebuilding of cities and recognizing the role of more than just parks is needed to actually make a difference to how our cities are constructed and used:

Landscape Architects Take the Lead in Remaking Cities Robert Campbell, architecture critic for The Boston Globe, argues that landscape architecture is no longer just about creating pretty gardens and preserving expanses of forests and rivers anymore, but about reclaiming abandoned urban spaces and transforming them into new public spaces. "Landscape architecture is changing fast. Landscape architects are invading the arenas once dominated by architects and city planners." More and more, landscape ar … Read More

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What Is an Intelligent City? (via The Dirt)

I’m not sure the question is correctly phrased because it would seem to me that only living beings can be intelligent – with all the digital tech in the world it still takes humans to design for humans as is here rightly stated

What Is an Intelligent City? A day-long forum at the National Building Museum sought to answer the question: What is an intelligent city? To guide the 350-plus attendees towards a working definition, leading policymakers, architects, landscape architects, planners, engineers and coders, and academics discussed the evolving relationships between information and communication technologies (ICTs), the built environment, and the people who make up cities. ICTs and Cities Ann Alt … Read More

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Interview with Nina-Marie Lister on Ecological Urbanism (via The Dirt)

More from a key academic contributor in the Landscape Urbanism – Landscape Urbanism debate

Interview with Nina-Marie Lister on Ecological Urbanism Nina-Marie Lister, MCIP, RPP, Affiliate ASLA, is Associate Professor of Urban & Regional Planning at Ryerson University, and Visiting Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design (GSD). She is a contributor to "Ecological Urbanism" and co-editor of "The Ecosystem Approach: Complexity, Uncertainty and Managing for Sustainability." Lister recently served as the Professional Advisor to the ARC I … Read More

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How to Design a Bicycle City (via The Dirt)

Can this be done successfully in South African cities – what challenges must we overcome to make this possible?

How to Design a Bicycle City Washington, D.C. has moved from the bottom of the rankings to being a top 10 bicycle-friendly city in just ten years. A group of experts, including Jim Sebastian, Washington, D.C. Department of Transportation, Jennifer Toole, ASLA, Toole Design Group, and Shane Farthing, Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) explained how the city did it at an event at the National Building Museum. The Benefits of Bicycling "Why invest in bicycle infrastru … Read More

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Using Nature to Reinvent Cities (via The Dirt)

Another take on the benefits of urban nature

Using Nature to Reinvent Cities Dan Kaplan, who runs the urban design practice for FXFOWLE, argued for integrating innovative green designs into buildings and streets at a session at the National Building Museum. To reinvent cities, planners, landscape architects, and architects can create "regenerative places" that provide multiple benefits. The two major U.S. development models – Orange County, California, and New York City – present two extremes. In terms of carbon dioxide e … Read More

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Corner, Hargreaves, and Van Valkenburgh at the Forum for Urban Design

This older post from asladirt i particularly relevant in the light of how urban landscape is equated with parks – so as this is the case we need to revue what a park actually is and what makes them worthwhile to cities:

forum
James Corner, ASLA, George Hargreaves, FASLA, and Michael Van Valkenburgh, FASLA, all leading landscape architects, spoke at a panel organized by the Forum for Urban Design and co-sponsored by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. Held at theMuseum of Modern Art’s education center in New York City, the session focused on the 21st century park. Despite concerns that park space will increasingly be viewed as an “extra frill” and be supplanted by ”a virtual cyberworld” as part of a “retreat from public life,” parks are viewed as making a comeback. Some questions that framed the discussion include: Why do new parks have a different tactile feeling? Are new parks as adaptable as parks created in the 20th century? How is the relationship between city and park changing? How do parks relate to democracy? What role will citizens have in the 21st century park? Also, what about park networks in city regions, the next scale up? Continue reading

Santa Monica Unveils Field Operations Designs for Civic Center Parks via The Dirt

A description of the progress on James Corner and  Field Operations designs for the parks in Santa Monica and the challenges facing them. Seems like it very similar to here – a lot of hype is put into the process, but similar to New York’s Governors Island compettion, ( See Interview with Adraain Geuse of West 8) this is a long and slow process: The link to the presentation on the Design Development is really worthwhile looking at:

AN AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS THE NEW AREAS TO BE DEVELOPED BY FIELD OPERATIONS IN DOWNTOWN SANTA MONICA AS WELL AS NEARBY LANDMARKS


Last year, James Corner Field Operations won the commission to design the newSanta Monica Civic Center parks, which includes a new town square and Palisades garden walk. Designs for the seven-acre, $25 million project were recently unveiled, showing an “ambitious, layered” proposal that will be broken up into a number of “systems,” writes The Architect’s Newspaper. These systems are a set of “colorful and diverse zones” that enable different experiences for park visitors.

According to The Architect’s Newspaper, the new landscape includes a set of zones: “view-centric hills, sheltered bays, and meandering pathways surrounded by plants, fountains, and small creeks.” There’s a Grand Bluff, which will provide views of the ocean and neighborhood. Garden Hill will offer the “widest variety of plant life on the site.” A new Gathering Hill is designed for ”congregation and relaxation.” The Discovery Bay is a new kids play area and will include ”an area shaded by large trees that will contain extra large steel slides, forts, and other activities.” The Town Square, which local respondents to a survey said had too much pavement, will get a new reflecting pool, reflecting the city hall.

Continue reading