Top 5 Iconic Spaces

Broad view with detail of canyon, horizon, and mountains above, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, from the series: Ansel Adams Photographs of National Parks and Monuments, compiled 1941-1942, documenting the period ca. 1933-1942 image: The U.S. National Archives via Flickr Commons

Broad view with detail of canyon, horizon, and mountains above, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, from the series: Ansel Adams Photographs of National Parks and Monuments, compiled 1941-1942, documenting the period ca. 1933-1942
image: The U.S. National Archives via Flickr Commons

At the start of 2013, a questionnaire was sent out to members of ASLA’s Professional Practice Networks (PPNs). The theme: favorite spaces. As you can imagine, responses were varied, and included many insightful comments and suggestions. Synopses of the survey results were originally shared in LAND over the course of 2013, and we are now re-posting this information here on The Field. For the latest updates on the results of the 2014 PPN Survey—focusing on members’ career paths in landscape architecture—see LAND‘s PPN News section.

One may not immediately associate landscapes, which are necessarily ever-changing places, with the kind of permanence iconicity implies, but there are nonetheless a few that have achieved the status of icons. These places are instantly recognizable, with deep historic and cultural connections, and they have left an indelible mark on both the history of landscape architecture and on countless individuals, who are impressed, awe-stricken, moved, surprised, and captivated by these places when visited in-person.

Of all the iconic spaces selected by our members, here are the top 5:

  1. Central Park, New York City
  2. Grand Canyon National Park
  3. The National Mall, Washington, D.C.
  4. Paley Park, New York City
  5. Yosemite National Park

But why are these spaces so great? Here are a few of the reasons why, according to our members.

Read the rest of this entry »

Public-Private Partnerships & Water

image: Alexandra Hay

image: Alexandra Hay

Given the urgent need to address aging water infrastructure across the United States, public-private partnerships, or PPPs, offer a possible solution. The ongoing discussion of PPPs’ potential includes an overview of 2013′s PPP-related developments by Michael Deane, Executive Director of the National Association of Water Companies, for The Huffington Post and an article by Giulio Boccaletti, Managing Director of Global Water for The Nature Conservancy, in The Guardian that takes a look at financing solutions for natural infrastructure.

Earlier this year, ASLA’s Government Affairs Manager, Mark Cason, observed a roundtable discussion of PPPs focused on water supply and treatments. The roundtable, hosted by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, addressed the challenges municipalities face in operating, maintaining, and financing their water and waste water systems. Panelists also outlined the substantial federal and state investments needed to address all of the demands, especially as the original infrastructure reaches the end of its life cycle.

Read the rest of this entry »

Getting Out of Your Own Head

Learning from and with others is the main ingredient of the conference experience. image: PLANET Green Industry Conference

Learning from and with others is the main ingredient of the conference experience.
image: PLANET Green Industry Conference

ASLA will periodically publish guest posts from partner organizations on The Field about upcoming programs, such as the PLANET Green Industry Conference. For more information on other national conferences for landscape architects, check the ASLA website.

Many business owners have a difficult time getting out of their own heads. Making sure their teams are meeting goals and enjoying their jobs, and customers are happy can fill more hours than there are in a day. Before they know it, the busy season is winding down and it’s time to work on next year’s goals and strategize on how to exceed the past year’s accomplishments. The cycle starts all over again, and so does the feeling that there just isn’t enough time to really tend to one’s own growth.

Annual meetings, like the PLANET Green Industry Conference (GIC), can provide owners and their employees alike with much needed respite and refueling. As David Snodgrass, president of Dennis’ 7 Dees in Portland, Oregon, and a former PLANET president, so aptly stated, “Stay at home, don’t go to GIC and your benchmark is only as big as your local competition. Go to GIC and your benchmark suddenly expands, and you naturally think bigger. It was a stretch for us to attend in the beginning. Our company was small. We were very busy and wearing several hats. Yet, even back then, the biggest event in the industry was a requisite for us. … We would not be nearly as successful as we are today if we had failed to put GIC on our agenda.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Logistics of International Work–Part 1

Nefta, Tunisia  image: Erik Mustonen

Nefta, Tunisia
image: Erik Mustonen

The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.”
–Saint Augustine (AD 354 – 430)

My previous post, Getting Started in International Work, covered how to prepare for international work generally. This two-part addition covers logistical considerations for working in a foreign country based on my own experiences in Canada, Germany, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and elsewhere. Conditions vary greatly between countries, within countries, and over time, but this should at least give you an idea of what to think about. I look forward to hearing other people’s experiences as well. Part 1 deals with the logistical issues before you go. Part 2 will cover issues relevant while there and after you return.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Results Are In for the 2013 PPN Survey

Bow Bridge in Central Park   image: David Joyce via Wikimedia Commons

Bow Bridge in Central Park
image: David Joyce via Wikimedia Commons

At the start of 2013, a questionnaire was sent out to all members of ASLA’s Professional Practice Networks (PPNs). The theme: favorite spaces. As you can imagine, responses were varied, and included many insightful comments and suggestions. Synopses of the survey results were originally shared in LAND over the course of 2013, and we are now re-posting this information on The Field. For the latest updates on the results of the 2014 PPN Survey—focusing on members’ career paths in landscape architecture—see LAND‘s PPN News section.

Among the questions posed were:

What is your favorite iconic space?

Name a designed space everyone should see before they die.

Every child should experience which space?

What space are you most worried about losing?

What’s a great space to move through?

And where do you love to linger?

What city has a strong network of open spaces?

Name a space that is small, but mighty.

Name a project that you believe is technically innovative.

What project changed the profession?

Read the rest of this entry »

Bike to Work Day / Bike to Fun Day!

image: KTU+A

image: KTU+A

Using digital technologies to promote our ideals can be fun and easy—this ranges from infographics to timelapse photography. Check out the following use as documented by San Diego firm KTU+A in their blog. Hopefully this will inspire you to use technology to promote your next professional message!

On May 30, 2014, KTU+A hosted its annual Bike to Work Day Pit Stop on the corner of Normal Street and University Avenue in the San Diego neighborhood of Hillcrest. Over 230 bike commuters stopped by for snacks and giveaways, the largest turnout in the past five years. In addition to the Pit Stop, KTU+A conducted a tactical urbanism display on Normal Street by taking over five parking spaces for a parklet with tables, chairs, bean bag toss games, and a yoga session. The large paved median on Normal Street was used to showcase the size of the underutilized space by laying out sports fields as examples of its sheer size.

For more on KTU+A’s involvement in Bike to Work Day, see the post published on the KTU+A blog, and check out the infographic and video re-posted below.

Read the rest of this entry »

Park and Recreation Month is Almost Here

July is Park and Recreation Month, and this year’s theme is: OUT is IN. Agencies can register as official participants to have their Park and Recreation Month events added to the main listing, which includes activities across the United States ranging from outdoor dance and exercise classes to kickball, white water rafting, volleyball tournaments, garden tours, and family hikes.

Park and Recreation Month this year also comes with a social media challenge: participants are asked to share their photos on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #JulyOUTisIN. Prizes will be awarded to the best photos of an indoor activity being done outside.

Read the rest of this entry »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 427 other followers