31 March 2008
30 March 2008
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29 March 2008
Naturally the Councill sees it otherwise.
Jeff Tittel, executive director of the Sierra Club, said the delays were largely the council's fault. He says the group erred in not hiring an outside consultant at the start. He noted the council was on its third executive director, and had experienced considerable turnover in personnel.
"It's been a soap opera," he said. "That's what the delay's all about."
But Swan noted that the average municipality takes two years to write a master plan, and the Highlands Council is dealing with 88 municipalities. Collecting all the necessary data took a great deal of time, and added the council opted to go through two rounds of public comment because they were committed to a "very public process."
"A lot of people have always said it's most important to get it right," she said.
28 March 2008
(By request, I am adding a list of locations, top to bottom: Laumeier Sculpture Garden, St Louis; Storm King Art Center; Joan Miro Center, Barcelona; Sol i Ombra, Parc del Nord, Barcelona; Spiral of Trees, Parc del Nord, Barcelona; Tanner Fountain, Cambridge, MA; Noguchi Center, Long Island City, NY; Subirachs' Adam and Eve, Sagrada Familia, Barcelona; Parc Diagonal Mar, Barcelona; Earth Spiral, Meadowlands, NJ; The Barcelona Pavillion, Barcelona)
27 March 2008
This year's Lewis Mumford Lecture on Urbanism will be given by the well known geography professor, David Harvey. The talk will be on Thursday April 3rd at at 6pm in the Great Hall an CCNY.
Professor Harvey’s lecture, titled “The Right to the City,” will examine who
gets to exercise this precious right and how. Under capitalism, there has been a
long-standing conflict between a view of cities as centers for profit making and
capital accumulation and another that sees them as utopian spaces of human
While the former has prevailed, Professor Harvey will ask
how the right to the city can be restored to the people. Such questions need to
be addressed by all who seek a more humane and ecologically sensitive urbanism
for the 21st Century, he contends.
The architects of Xanadu have been called into public meeting to defend the appearance of the newest eyesore on the Turnpike. It has changed some since the early concept drawings were presented. But seriously, how ugly can be? They haven't even started the ferris wheel yet...
To get permission to build this on an area where wetlands had to filled, the Meadowlands had to create or restore some other wetlands. It is part of an idea sometimes called mitigation banking. But to build something that ugly, should they have to create or restore something that looks good somewhere else?
With better marketing and public attention, the visibility of the spaces could improve. A downtown map highlighting the hideaways could be available on the Web and through brochures - an idea touted by the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association, a local public policy think tank.
26 March 2008
The Mid-Atlantic Chapter of URISA’s 14th Regional GIS Conference
Geography • Industry • Society
April 7-9, 2008
Burlington County College
Mount Laurel, NJ
Have you registered for the MAC URISA conference yet? Take advantage of top-quality education and professional development opportunities without having to travel across the country!
Five preconference workshops:
Introduction to GIS
Introduction to GPS
GIS Program Management (URISA Certified)
3D Geospatial Best Practices (URISA Certified)
Quality Management and Intro to Issue Tracking (URISA Certified)
Two keynote speakers:
Dr. David A. Robinson is chairman of the Department of Geography at Rutgers University, and also serves as New Jersey’s State Climatologist. (2007 Nobel Peace Prize Winner)
John Landis is the Crossways Professor of City and Regional Planning for the University of Pennsylvania.
Dozens of presenters in sessions ranging from “County GIS Applications” to “GIS Jeopardy”.
A Poster and Map Hall, an Interactive Expo and a Vendor Hall along with an Exhibit Hall Networking Event make MAC URISA’s 14th Regional GIS Conference a not-to-be-missed event.
View the complete conference program online: http://www.macurisa.org/
Don’t delay. Pre-register by this Friday, March 28 via the online registration form.
See you at MAC URISA 2008!
25 March 2008
The best part about Wansoo Im’s map is that it’s a community participatory map, allowing the community to add locations by just clicking on the “Add a Restroom” button on the site. Accessible by wireless technology, it’s a high tech way to meet a very basic human need!
Adding to the uncertainty surrounding Atlantic Yards is the ascension of a new governor. Gov. David A. Paterson, who took office on Monday, called for a statewide moratorium in 2005 on the use of eminent domain, which is needed to clear the site of about 20 property owners. Mr. Paterson was a state senator when he made the proposal; his office said it is reviewing the matter.Ratner got a lot of concessions and was given permission to pursue dramatic ideas based on his promises like neighborhood improvements and low income housing.
Given the current environment, some critics worry that Mr. Ratner will negotiate for deeper subsidies, reduce the amount of low- and moderate-income housing included or eventually sell off portions of the site to other developers who could use their own, less expensive designs.Other papers took this announcement of downsizing and saw this as a vindication of Ratner's long-time critics. But what is a bar owner or shopkeeper supposed to do while they wait to find out if their property will be condemned for this? Do they sit there with the sword of Damacles hanging over their head? Do they give in and sell the property at a bargain basement price? The Gothamist digs in to the situation a little more:
Let's forecast the future here. With construction targets - which underlie the use of eminent domain to acquire parts of the site - now being delayed, at the discretion of the developer, how long until other fundamental metrics, like, say, all those neighborhood benefits and all that affordable housing get tossed to the wayside under the weight of economic imperatives?
24 March 2008
The net result is that one in three national parks suffers from one or another form of air pollution, including immensely popular destinations like Yosemite in California, Great Smoky Mountain, straddling the Tennessee-North Carolina border, and Gettysburg.When the smog at the Grand Canyon is mentioned in the tourist guides, we've reached a pretty sad point in saving these common treasures for future generations. Next thing you know, they'll be killing off the wildlife.
23 March 2008
21 March 2008
The photograph is somewhere around DC from the Library of Congress, maybe on the George Washington Parkway or the BW.
View Larger Map
20 March 2008
Mark Lender, professor and chairman of the history department at Kean University will give a talk entitled "Crossroads of the American Revolution: New Jersey and the Struggle for Independence," on Tuesday, March 25 at 10:00 AM in Committee room 16 in the State House Annex in Trenton.
For almost half of America's Revolutionary War, from 1776 to 1778, George Washington and his Continental Army engaged the mightiest
military land force on the globe - the British Army and its allied Hessian troops - in battles and skirmishes that were fought across the
landscape of New Jersey, while much of the civilian population was ensnared in the bitter and bloody conflict. During the entire period
of the revolutionary struggle, from 1775 to 1783, New Jersey was home to a series of events - both political and military - that reflected
the importance of its historical contributions to our achieving independence from Great Britain. Today, there are over 50 sites in
the Garden State where one can retrace the steps of the Continental Army; and federal legislation was enacted in October 2006 to designate
the Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage Area in New Jersey (one of only 37 nationwide), which includes 213 cities and
towns stretching from Fort Lee in Bergen County to Red Bank Battlefield in Gloucester County.
Mark Edward Lender (Ph.D., Rutgers University), former Dean of the Nathan Weiss Graduate College at Kean University, has focused his
teaching and scholarship on early American military and social history and often writes on New Jersey subjects. Professor Lender has been
the recipient of several professional awards, including the Richard J. Hughes Award in 2005, which is the highest honor conferred by the New
Jersey Historical Commission. A member of the Board of Directors of the Crossroads of the American Revolution Association, he is the
author or co-author of many publications on the Revolution and is currently completing a book on the Battle of Monmouth in 1778.
19 March 2008
FILM: ENERGY WAR
Tuesday, March 25th 8PM
Rutgers Student Center, Multipurpose Room, CAC
Discussion with Professor Mazen Labban, University of Miami
His current research focuses on the geopolitical economy of petroleum.
In a world in which the U.S. and Europe are addicted to oil and gas, and those increasingly scarce resources are controlled by authoritarian regimes
in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Venezuela, Nigeria and Russia, the geopolitical ramifications have upset the traditional balance of power between nations.
ENERGY WAR reveals precisely how the economic importance of fossil fuels affects international politics and becomes a powerful tool of foreign policy.
For more information go to http://sasip.rutgers.edu/
or contact Janet Lorenzen at email@example.com
Cosponsored by the Center for African Studies and the College Avenue Campus Dean. This series is made possible by generous support from the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Office of the Vice President for Undergraduate Education and the Office of International Programs, SAS.
18 March 2008
The March issue of Atlantic Monthly has a feature called The Next Slum? that looks at these issues. They mention that some communities are mapping out foreclosures as a predictor of crime increases. And, as if they had been sitting in on my lectures last week, they offered up some demographic analysis to show that there are some real trends in play here:
Because the population is growing, families with children will still grow in absolute number—according to U.S. Census data, there will be about 4 million more households with children in 2025 than there were in 2000. But more than 10 million new single-family homes have already been built since 2000, most of them in the suburbs.
Since my students are visiting planning boards, I'll predict one change they might see. Last year the planning boards would have resisted a new neighborhood until it was clearly established that the lots would all be large enough and until the developer showed that the stormwater drainage was fully compliant with regs. Now these boards are going to be asking about something like whether there is a strong market for homes of this type and size. Or maybe they'll be looking at how the homes can be built as they are bought instead of building on spec. Anyway, I suspect that developers are going to hear some new questions from communities worried abut being left holding the bag on a half occupied subdivision when the septic tanks need to be replaced with municipal sewer.
The combination of this Atlantic piece and the Bear Stearns collapse help you see how quickly the situation could change in so many suburban communities.
Q: Is the Web-based model the future for GIS apps?
A: There's no question that the Web, Web services, and service-oriented architecture (SOA) provide a new pattern for implementing GIS systems -- just like desktop and multi-user server patterns. The central focus of the Web environment is a GIS server, such as ArcGIS Server. Increasingly this platform will be used to serve data, analytic models and maps for others to use on the Web. The server will also be the platform for supporting integration of GIS knowledge into enterprise systems.
My forecast is that as society becomes familiar with looking at things through geospatial visualization, they will be increasingly interested in services that go beyond simple maps and images. GIS servers managed by public and private GIS organizations will be used to provide these kinds of complementing services.
17 March 2008
Presumably this is connected somehow to the recent findings of Toru Ishikawa, Hiromichi Fujiwara, Osamu Imai, and Atsuyuki Okabe in the Journal of Environmental Behavior. They studied the effect of GPS on walking and found that GPS slowed people down but that they ended up walking farther and stopping more than people with maps or people exploring.
Spring Break at Rutgers coincides nicely with March Madness. The NCAA brackets are out and it is time to make your faulty picks. It is especially nice, with all of the flash apps and pdf brackets online, that I don't have to try to construct this on notebook paper like we use to in junior high school. But I'll be buying the USA Today and trying to learn a little more about minor leagues like the MAC and the PAC10.
I have formed a group at ESPN's Tournament Challenge site and all are welcome to join. Just sign up (free) and search for the FoD - Friends of Dave v.10. But before you try to beat Sagarin's computers or a 6 year old, you are going to need to learn a bit more about Gonzaga's tough path, figure out how the Big East got 8 teams, or puzzle over UNC's record 12 #1 seeds and only 5 national titles.
Fill out those brackets and get ready to regret them.
16 March 2008
15 March 2008
14 March 2008
The NY Times looks at the conflict between the development and some threatened and endangeder species currently hanging out on the site. And to make things even more fun, the Town is trying to keep state environmental regulators off the site. Maybe they'll them in more this summer, while the short-eared owls are vacationing in upstate.
Newsday focused on the incredibly thin argument for allowing them to violate the existing 75 height restriction:
Developers of a proposed $1.5-billion theme park in Calverton are considering an innovative way to get approval for the park's centerpiece - a 350-foot-tall indoor ski mountain.This logic implies that every single building erected on land where the elevation exceeds 75 feet is already in violation with the height restriction. So, we might as well let even the most frivolous of uses violate that apparently unenforced zoning regulation.
Mitch Pally, an attorney for Riverhead Resorts, told several Suffolk legislators yesterday that it may be possible to transfer air rights from one part of the 755-acre site to the manmade mountain, essentially giving up air rights in other parts of the park.
"It will still be lower than University Hospital at Stony Brook," he said. That 18-story building is on a hill and reaches 410 feet above sea level.
Still, much of our environmental and land use law treats societally valuable development - like a hospital or public park - nearly the same as a some fun and frivolous landuses like theme parks and coffee houses. If it is worth impinging a bit on anyone's property rights, then it is worth it for everyone's.
It'll be interesting to see how this one works out at the end. These first newspaper accounts will miss plenty of details, but the developer's attitude already seems like it promises a sizable confrontation over the coming months.
13 March 2008
"Affordable housing must be done in an environmentally sensitive manner," Jackson said. "I have heard a lot of people complain they can't build on flood plains. They tell me it is the only land left. Building affordable housing there would be morally wrong."The task force was put together by the Department of Community Affairs and seems to be trying to rewrite DEP regulations. The Star-Ledger reporter describes like this:
It calls for rewriting DEP rules to make them "flexible" and giving the state Planning Commission the power to override DEP rules and local laws. It would also prevent DEP from stopping construction within 300 feet of a waterway if the area was developed in the past, and allow sewer line construction in environmentally sensitive areas.Now, everytime any of the newspapers in our area mentions the word environment they also quote the Sierra Club's Jeff Tittel. But even his language seems more dramatic in his effort to describe this to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
"You basically have builders and people who work for builders . . . writing the environmental rules for the state of New Jersey," said Jeff Tittel, executive director of the state Sierra Club. "This proposal has really been the wish list for the builders over the past 20 years in New Jersey, many of the things that could not get passed or have been stopped because of public opinion and outrage."All of the articles have noted that Corzine stresses that this isn't final, meaning that they'll be removing some of the more sever recommendations. I would guess that the sections that Tittel described as "unconstitutional" will be removed pretty early.
While several projects in the last decade have altered the city's streetscape and skyline — among them the Heldrich Hotel, Rockoff Hall, the Liberty Plaza mixed-use development, the One Spring Street apartment tower, and the revamped Middlesex County administrative and courts complex, which is across Bayard Street from the project unveiled Tuesday — others are about to get under way.
Construction on the 18-story building that will house the Stem Cell Institute of New Jersey on Little Albany Street began last year and the $130 million Gateway multi-use project that will extend from Easton Avenue and Somerset Street is set for a fall groundbreaking.
12 March 2008
Jason's talk highlighted the path that our ecologically-minded students can pursue. As he said, this means more reading and writing than it does drawing and designing, but it is fulfilling and has a great impact.
11 March 2008
Julius Gy Fabos
Edgar B. Brannon
H. Russell Hanna
Thomas E. Wirth
Steven R. Krog
Paul T. Lettieri
Roy J. Dunn
E. Timothy Marshall
John (Jack) Paul Carman
10 March 2008
Wednesday, 4PM in Room 110 Cook Douglass Lecture Hall, Cook Campus
Jason Husveth is the Principal Ecologist and President of Critical Connections Ecological Services, Inc. The firm practices ecological planning and design with specialties in natural community restoration, botanical inventories and open space planning. Jason is also involved in the Minnesota Native Plant Society and has conducted botanical inventories in many endangered habitats.
Jason graduated from Cook 15 years ago. Since then, he has developed his interest in ecological processes and plant identification. He leads numerous botanical field trips in Minnesota each year, with the emphasis including: identification of spring ephemeral species, rare species
identification, sedges of Minnesota, and identifying plants in the winter. Mr. Husveth serves on Minnesota's Regional Greenways Collaborative steering committee, where he heads the Natural Resources Management committee. Mr. Husveth has received awards from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Metro Greenways Program and the National Park Service MNNRA River Steward Program.
09 March 2008
07 March 2008
If interested students should write Ken Sipos (firstname.lastname@example.org) and forward their:
Name, Email, Cell Phone, Address, City, State, Zip, School
Kenneth A. Sipos, R E Specialist II
Public Property R E Division
ph 215.686.4443 fax 215.686.4428
CalTrans officials point to a University of California survey's finding that nine out of 10 people prevented from jumping off the Golden Gate were still alive years later or had died of natural causes, despite the rationale that a barrier would prompt them only to "go somewhere else to end it."Eric Steel recently made a documentary about this phenomenon, filming the bridge day after day and capturing more than a dozen jumpers in action. Even the trailer for The Bridge is not for the faint of heart. This is an emotional thing.
When we talked in class about the complexity of social issues, this is exactly what it is about. A change that saves lives sounds like a no-brainer until you hold the public hearings. A change to treasured historic monument is suddenly a challenge. And the variety of public views on suicide becomes an additional layer.
06 March 2008
05 March 2008
Golden Gate Park
Great Park of OC (still under construction, but he is on the advisory council)
As part of his visit, he spoke about his work at the Central Park Conservancy and the challenges facing the organization and the park. One problem is funding for day-to-day policy: "When you run out of money with a building, it catches up with you in a feew years. In a landscape it catches up almost immediately." We also see many cities and counties separating the design and operations staff, which shows in the long-term outcomes in their parks. Restoration, a common part of maintaining the park, requires a different understanding and approach.
CPC went from an informal organization to the official caretaker for Central Park. Their strategies have also evolved from informal to highly structured. Of course, the park has also transformed from graffitied and boarded up to clean and pristine. They are both very professional and yet heavily reliant upon over 200 volunteers.
But you never know what other project will pop up on short notice. Blonsky said he spent a few years working with Christo and Jean Claude to help make sure that The Gates worked out.
(The top photo is a Legoland model of Bethesda Terrace and Fountain.)
Department of Geography, Rutgers University
Department of Ecology, Evolution & Environmental Biology, Columbia University.
Wednesday March 26th through Friday, March 28th.*
LAND-USE TRANSITION IN THE TROPICS
The conference begins on March 26th at Columbia University, New York, NY
On Thursday, March 27th, the conference will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. in the Cook Student Center at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
The event concludes, at the Rutgers location on Friday, March 28, 2008.
The objective of the conference is to discuss the theoretical and methodological challenges of studying human-environment relations driving different stages of land transformations in the tropics and the implications of such changes on ecosystem services and landscape management practices.
The key note speakers are Ruth DeFries (University of Maryland), Daniel Nepstad (Woods Hole Research Center) and Billie Turner (Clark University).
For information on the schedule please see the "sessions" tab on the conference website:
04 March 2008
If we watch enough TV, we'll assume that a CSI can conduct a DNA test at the crime scene in 30 seconds or that they can carry a small chromatograph to field test for obscure chemical compounds. They can't. But the raised expectations have become so common that the CSI effect even has its own Wikipedia entry.
So, it all gets me wondering about the GIS effect. I mean, anyone can make a decent map in MapQuest, find hidden away spots on GoogleEarth, or overlay data in i-Map, right? So surely the professionals can do much more, better, faster, etc. And when you watch that action movie, the FBI has a giant control center in all of the major cities with giant projection screens and dynamic maps tracking the bad guys and routing the gods. Right? So I imagine that people expect that their government can do all of that, and are disappointed by anything less. What do you think of the GIS effect?
03 March 2008
Managing an American Masterpiece of Landscape Architecture
Recipient of the 2008 Outstanding Alumni Award from the Department of
This week our seminar will be given by another of our alumni. Douglas Blonsky has served as President of the Central Park Conservancy since 2004. During his ten years as Administrator for the Central Park Conservancy, he has led a diverse range of projects within this icon of landscape
architecture. As his title indicates, he will talk about the competing responsibilities he faces in protecting this historic landscape in a public and densely populated setting.
Room 110 Cook Douglass Lecture Hall
Wednesday, March 5
So, you've just finished that tough mid-term exam and you want to kick back for a couple of hours and relax? Try the Architecture films list from DVD Ideas. Their top 40 include documentaries and dramas and even a suspenseful thriller.
I've talked up Ken McCown once or twice before. But this design with Kevin Hinders and Andy Wilcox for Elysian and Silver Lakes absolutely takes the cake. The plan looks at ways to build meaningful landscapes that also serve the critically important function of cleaning up these toxic lakes. It is a great example of landscape architects can do restoration work that is still visibly about design. (A big h/t to Pruned)
02 March 2008
From The Carnivorous Plant FAQ
From the USDA's Invasive.org
Called Kudzu-The Vine
"You keep the sediment within the coastal boundary current that keeps it running along the shoreline, whereas now it gets ejected into the Gulf," adds Robert Twilley, of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, who worked with Parker on the project.
01 March 2008
We are moving forward with plans for the Rutgers graduate program in Landscape Architecture.
On Saturday, March 15, we will have an open house at in the Department of Landscape Architecture for prospective graduate students. We will provide information about the plan for the program, application and admission process and answer questions.
Time: 10 - 2
Place: 152 Blake Hall, Cook Campus, Rutgers University
Food: Lunch will be served
Please let JeanMarie Hartman (JHartman(at)RCI.Rutgers.Edu) know if you plan to attend.
2. Ian McHarg and Design With Nature
3. Phil Lewis
4. USGS Topographic Quad Sheets
5. County Soils Survey
6. Magazines - Landscape Architecture, Planning, etc.
7. Geographic Exploration Systems (aka Virtual Globes)
8. Planning Weblogs, like PlaNetizen
9. TRI Data and TRK.Net
10. NRIs and ERIs