Opportunity: Media Queries

image:  istock.com
image: istock.com

Two opportunities– both with deadlines next week.

A freelance writer is writing a story on ground covers (both residential and commercial) and wants to do a phone interview this week with a landscape architect for the story.

A freelance writer is working on an article on landscape design, with a focus on parks; maybe include school (mostly college) campuses, and trail designs. The article is for Recreation Management magazine.  He is fine with either interviewing you on the phone or receiving your written responses to the following questions or topics:

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RAISING THE BAR IN URBAN REDEVELOPMENT

East Hills community in Pittsburgh
East Hills community in Pittsburgh
image: Jim Schafer

There is an enormous body of evidence to support the fact that exercise, fresh air, and contact with nature are important to one’s health and well-being. Those of us who have experienced the joys of playing in streams, hiking forest trails and collecting fireflies need no statistics to understand the benefits of spending time outdoors. Yet these experiences are foreign concepts for many people in urban neighborhoods, where green space is scarce and the world beyond their walls is riddled with real and perceived dangers.

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Opportunity: Media Query

image:  istock.com
image: istock.com

American Building Today is accepting articles by landscape architects. Throughout the year, American Building Today features fresh, in-depth, and relevant stories for their readers. All ideas will be reviewed by the American Building Today editorial team and a staff member will be in contact to discuss production expectations if they wish to move forward.

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New EPA Clean Water Resources Released

image:  The Partnership for Sustainable Communities
image: The Partnership for Sustainable Communities

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Water and Drinking Water Infrastructure Sustainability Policy was officially released on October 1, 2010 and was developed with input from a variety of federal, state, and local officials with the goal of promoting sustainable infrastructure within the water sector.  The policy focuses on promoting planning processes that support sustainability, promoting community sustainability, and promoting sustainable water and wastewater systems along with the targeting of Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund assistance.

Along with EPA’s Sustainability Policy, in 2009 the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), and the EPA formed the Interagency Partnership for Sustainable Communities (Partnership) to help improve access to affordable housing, expand transportation options, and lower transportation costs while protecting the environment in communities nationwide.  Through this partnership, the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) along with EPA’s Office of Sustainable Communities sponsored three pilot projects with New York, Maryland, and California to provide technical assistance and policy options to explore how their programs may be improved to encourage more sustainable development and communities.

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ASLA 2012 – Several events related to health and well-being

Desert Botanic Garden, Phoenix, AZ. Ottosen Entry Garden.
Desert Botanic Garden, Phoenix, AZ. Ottosen Entry Garden.
image: DBG

Time flies, and it seems to fly even faster in the summer. Fall is just around the corner, and seems to be a big conference season.

Over the past few years, we have seen an increase in the number of education sessions, tours, and even keynote speakers (e.g., Dick Jackson AND Esther Sternberg in 2010) at ASLA conferences (and Healthcare Design, and Environments for Aging, etc.). I think it’s an encouraging indication of the growing interest in landscapes for human health and well-being, and also a credit to leaders and members of ASLA’s Healthcare and Therapeutic Design Professional Practice Network.

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London Calling

image: Landscape Institute
image: Landscape Institute

NEW DESIGN COMPETITION ANNOUNCED: Ideas sought for a new London landscape in the spirit of New York’s High Line

Registration opens tomorrow (24 July 2012) to find new ‘green’ designs for the development of London’s public spaces.  The Landscape Institute, Garden Museum and Mayor of London have launched ‘A High Line for London: Green Infrastructure ideas competition for a new London landscape’. Inspired by New York’s High Line, and to be judged by a panel of experts including the founders of the High Line, entrants are being challenged to put forward innovative concepts that create imaginative new green space in the capital.  The organisers are not seeking a replica of the High Line, an urban design project which has transcended the commonly-accepted role of urban parks to become one of the world’s most popular landmarks. They are looking for proposals which similarly engage communities with green infrastructure. Green infrastructure is the network of open and green spaces, including features like green roofs, designed and managed to provide benefits such as flood management, urban cooling, green transport links and ecological connectivity – an approach which can have a huge and exciting impact on the way in which we live in the capital.  The winner will receive £2500 and the runner-up £500 as prize money.

Further information is available by visiting the competition website: www.landscapeinstitute.org/ideas

Advocacy Update

US Capitol Building
US Capitol Building
image: Architect of the Capitol

Recently, Congress passed, and, President Obama signed, MAP-21, a 27-month, $118 billion surface transportation bill.  The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) believes that Congressional efforts to pass a bi-partisan long-term transportation bill should be applauded. However, the final surface transportation reauthorization bill signed by the President significantly scales back three vital programs that are major contributors to communities’ economic growth: Transportation Enhancements (TE), Safe Routes To School, and Recreational Trails.

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What “Urbanism” is most appropriate for landscape architects?

Ladera Ranch in Orange County California
Ladera Ranch in Orange County California
image: Kristian Kelley

Hypotheses are plenty when the discussion turns to urban or suburban design, the segment of landscape architecture we find ourselves engaged in.  Every decade, it seems, is met with a new notion that promises to transform development patterns into utopia.

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Historic Landscape Preservation Extracurricular Activities

image:  Historic American Landscape Survey
Bourn Cottage & Garden
image: Historic American Landscape Survey

The members of the ASLA Historic Preservation Professional Practice Network (HP-PPN) not only promote historic landscape preservation in their regular jobs but also with their “extracurricular activities.” Many members are engaged as individual activists or contribute to landscape preservation organizations, such as serving on the board of The Cultural Landscape Foundation or as officers of the Alliance for Historic Landscape Preservation.

Many members also serve as Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) Liaisons. The HALS mission is to record historic landscapes in the United States and its territories through measured  and interpretive drawings, written histories, and large-format black and white and photographs for the HABS/HAER/HALS Collection at the Library of Congress. The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) established and maintains the HALS Liaison Network which ultimately will include representation from each ASLA chapter. The continued expansion and effectiveness of the HALS Liaison Network is critical to the recognition and documentation of inventories for our historic and cultural sites.

All of these volunteer efforts not only help protect or restore historic landscapes, but they also increase our professional opportunities.

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The Importance of Creative and Messy Play

image:  Chad Kennedy
image: Chad Kennedy

Muddy faces, dusty jeans, water soaked shoes and paint stained t-shirts were common occurrences during my childhood. As a father now myself, I better understand the innate internal struggle my mother must have felt as she lovingly allowed my siblings and I to engage in unstructured (messy) play, knowing full well that there would be unpleasant clean-up to follow! The roles are now reversed and it is now I that must make the effort not to interfere as I watch my young children investigate and explore the “messy” world around them. The importance of this unstructured play is very well researched and is considered crucial to children’s creativity and over-all development.

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Difficult Summer for Wisconsin Green Industry

My lawn has been a light golden-brown for over a month now
My lawn has been a light golden-brown for over a month now
image: Jay Gehler

In Wisconsin, like much of the US, the weather is making headlines – way too hot and way too dry. When was the last significant rainfall, maybe in late April?  Weatherman report the rainfall level is seven inches below average. That coupled with the extreme summer heat has significantly impacted the Green Industry in the Upper Midwest.

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Reconnect Urban Communities and Environmental Systems

Floodplain at Allegheny Riverfront Park
Floodplain at Allegheny Riverfront Park
image: Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc.

In recent years, authors and educators have identified a growing gap between urban culture and the natural processes that sustain it.  The internet and other technologies provide instantaneous access to once-elusive environmental processes, eliminating the need for natural exploration.

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The Indoor Children’s Garden at Longwood Gardens

Tres Fromme’s sketch
Tres Fromme’s sketch
image: Botanic Gardens Conservation International

It is importance to examine how a design performs over time and use, and how this may shape change, whether by the designer or the users themselves. We believe such reflection is essential, to learn what makes a place meaningful and how a designed landscape may continue to evolve to nurture those meanings and values for children

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Growing the Imagination

Hidden Hollow plan
Hidden Hollow plan
drawing: Anna Johansen

The growing interest in creating spaces for children to marvel at the taste of a perfectly ripe tomato and learn about the industrious attributes of honeybees is helping bring children back to nature. Equally important is the ability of children to experience, explore, and play in designed spaces that are imaginative, educational, and safe.

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It Takes a Village

Rosa Parks kids engage in "free play" outdoors
Rosa Parks kids engage in “free play” outdoors
image: Sharon Danks

A School Community in California Collaborates to Create a Vibrant Green Schoolyard at Rosa Parks Elementary School

Schools across the United States and around the world are using their grounds to enhance hands-on teaching and learning, enrich outdoor play, improve the ecology of their neighborhoods, and develop and celebrate their own sense of place. The green schoolyard movement is flourishing in many forms and can be seen in school gardens and wildlife habitats, rainwater systems, renewable energy projects, green building efforts, material reuse programs, nature playgrounds, outdoor classrooms, art installations, and many other creative endeavors on school property. While individual projects on each of these themes are now fairly common at both public and private schools in many parts of the country, it is still rare to see a comprehensive approach being taken on a single K-12 campus.

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SCUP: Landscape Design and Planning Award Winners

Buchanan Faculty of Arts public courtyard
Buchanan Faculty of Arts public courtyard
image: University of British Columbia Project Services

Campus Planning and Design PPN—welcome to our new blog site!!  Launching full bore later this summer, this is a preview of a new way that our members can communicate with each other.  As our inaugural post I would like to offer congratulations to those landscape architects, teams and campuses that are winners in the 2012 Society for College and University Planning (SCUP) Campus Awards Program in the Landscape Design and Planning categories.

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Book Review: The Nature Principle

Cover of new edition
Cover of new edition
image: Richard Louv

Seven years ago, Richard Louv coined the term “nature-deficit disorder” in his book Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder. He is now giving us possibilities to move beyond it in The Nature Principle: Human Restoration and the End of Nature-Deficit Disorder. While the first book looked at nature’s absence from children’s daily lives, the second recognizes that the need for nature extends to all of us. The Nature Principle, as articulated by Louv, provides that nature is crucial for humans to be healthy—physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

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