30 September 2008
The Ruth Ellen Steinman Bloustein and Edward J. Bloustein Memorial Lecture
Politics of the Environment in Israel and the Region
Arie Nesher, Tel Aviv University
October 6, 2008, 5:00 p.m.
Bloustein School, Public Events Forum
33 Livingston Avenue (Civic Square Building), New Brunswick
A reception will follow.
Please RSVP by October 2, firstname.lastname@example.org or 732-932-2033.
Sustainable Development in Israel
Arie Nesher, Tel Aviv University
Tuesday, October 7, 11:30 a.m.
Lunch will be provided.
Bloustein School, 33 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, Room 369
If you wish to attend the luncheon, please RSVP to Renee Douge at:
Prominent Israeli architect, Dr. Arie Nesher will deliver this year's Bloustein Memorial Lecture. An architect and city planner, Dr. Nesher is Professional Director of the Porter School of Environmental Studies at Tel Aviv University. He served as the Chief Architect for the National Project Renewal for the State of Israel and the Jewish Agency, as well as for the Israel Ministry of Housing and Construction. In his architectural practice in Israel and the United States, Dr. Nesher's projects have included design of public facilities, commercial and office space, residential development and rehabilitation, industrial parks and environmental initiatives.
Dr. Nesher has taught courses on environmental planning, urban renewal and the history of modern architecture.
29 September 2008
NJ State Mapping contest - with Rutgers students as winners
ASLA 2008 Student Awards - more than just good graphics
ESRI's Map Museum - maps on virtually every topic
Visual Tools for Planners from the Lincoln Institute - 2 links since I can't tell the difference
Now here is where I go astray:
Hipkiss' Scanned Old Maps - Could give us ideas for faux-antique
Strange Maps - clearly not such good design ideas, but plenty of fun
Data Visualization - a few great examples that have nothing to do with our project
Edward Tufte - a graphics and visualization blog from a real master
things to look at - a blog for graphic ideas
Wetlands (water quality) (28%)
Transportation (air quality) (40%)
Brownfields (soil contamination) (12%)
Open Space (20%)
We'll try to get a new poll up in the next few days.
28 September 2008
27 September 2008
Daily Dose looks at a French school of agriculture that has a glassy proposal for structures that fill this bill. What I don't see is a means for finding the funding.
26 September 2008
On an unrelated note, Felipe Calderon, the President of Mexico has just visited New Brunswick announcing his intention to open a consulate here. According to the Home News and Tribune:
Latinos, and Mexicans in particular, make up a sizable portion of Central Jersey's population. According to census figures released in May, the Latino population in the state grew by 1.25 percentage points, to 1,382,000 from 2006 and 2007. Latinos in New Jersey account for almost 16 percent of the state's population, a percentage near equal to country's overall Hispanic population.The NY Times Great homes page has the Yucatan Village and Resort. This is NOT where our students will be staying.
25 September 2008
It turns out that Princeton U's Library has posted a pretty significant collection of Sanborn Fire Insurance maps.
While the collection of New Jersey maps is fairly extensive, it isn't all scanned yet. The key to using this for much of New Jersey is that you have to first download their excel spreadsheet and click on the link for the appropriate set of Sanborn maps.
I've posted my photos of Sanborn maps from the Library of Congress map vault. The top photo shows some red brick buildings near the blue stone construction of Ebbets Field in Brooklyn. You can even see that the area behind home plate was brick construction, which shows in some of the photos. The maps are great because they are so detailed and help track change over time.
24 September 2008
23 September 2008
22 September 2008
Nicholas Tufaro, PP, CLA, RLA, ASLA
Principal Planner, Division of Environmental, Parks and Comprehensive Planning. Middlesex County Planning Department
Department of Landscape Architecture Lecture Series
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
4pm in the Cook-Douglass Lecture Halls Room 110
For places as far gone as this one, however, a new breed of landscape architect is recommending a radical solution: not so much to restore the environment as to redesign it.
“It is so ecologically out of balance that if it goes on this way, it will kill itself,” said Alan Berger, a landscape architecture professor at M.I.T. who was excitedly poking around the smelly canals on a recent day and talking to fishermen like Mr. Assunto.
“You can’t remove the economy and move the people away,” he added. “Ecologically speaking, you can’t restore it; you have to go forward, to set this place on a new path.”
The article makes it sound like his plans are contrary to traditional WWF or TNC approaches, but even they are more appreciative of compromise than this makes it sound. And, while some see this as controversial, it isn't any different that what we have seen Jean Marie Hartman doing in the Meadowlands. Sometimes going back isn't even an option.
21 September 2008
19 September 2008
*PRESIDENT OF SIERRA LEONE TO SPEAK AT RUTGERS UNIVERSITY*
His Excellency, Ernest Bai Koroma, to discuss progress, democracy and commerce
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. -- On the eve of his appearance before the United Nations, his Excellency, Ernest Bai Koroma, president of the Republic of Sierra Leone, will speak at Rutgers University on Sunday, Sept. 21.
The event is free and open to the public, and will take place at 4 p.m. at the Rutgers Student Center on College Avenue. The program is sponsored by the Rutgers' Center for African Studies, the School of Arts and Sciences' Office of International Programs, the Office of the President and the Office of the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs.
"The invitation to President Koroma sends a strong signal to African immigrants to New Jersey that Rutgers wants to engage with and welcome you to our community," said David McDermott Hughes, director of the Center for African Studies at Rutgers.
President Koroma was sworn in as president in September 2007 after a free election. Sierra Leone is located on the West Coast of Africa and has a population of approximately 6.2 million. Many immigrants from Sierra Leone reside in central New Jersey near the university's New Brunswick Campus. For example, the population of Franklin Township includes at least 7 percent Sierra Leoneans.
President Koroma will be accompanied by his ministers of foreign affairs, education and economics and will answer questions from the audience. He is scheduled to speak to the United Nations Assembly on Monday, Sept. 22.
18 September 2008
17 September 2008
16 September 2008
15 September 2008
NJ Transit is letting students ride free until September 21! So what are you going to do?
- Try out the Hudson Bergen Light Rail?
- Hop up to Newark for the big impressionist show? (starts Wednesday)
- Finally check out the waterfalls?
- Visit Public Farm 1 at PS1 in Queens (the most ethnically diverse county in the US)?
- Take a fall stroll through one of New York's 7 best gardens?
- Wander a new neighborhood in Montclair or Brooklyn?
- Ride the Dinky to the Prospect Garden and Princeton Art Museum?
- Get a cheap but incredible hamburger at the hidden burger bar in Le Parker Meridian?
- Head into Harlem for a free glance at the Goya and El Greco paintings at the Hispanic Society museum at Audubon Terrace?
- Or maybe try to see that giant green Lehman sign before it is gone?
14 September 2008
This is turning out to be a culturally rich watershed where many interesting and odd things have happened. I'll start my list with the hopes that the comments will fill up:
George Washington slept here
The creepy Skillman stories
Elsie the Cow
War of the Worlds
The Beautiful Mind mathematician
The Lindbergh baby kidnapping happened either in the watershed of very nearby.
13 September 2008
It’s been possible to do this sort of thing in ArcGIS for many years, though it took knowing the combination of steps and tools to use.This is true of some things in Illustrator or Photoshop too. Sophisticated treatments sometimes require multiple steps that aren't obvious, even when you know each of the individual actions.
These photos don't capture that very well, but since we were driving by, it seemed like I should at least snap a couple shots.
12 September 2008
11 September 2008
LSU (1-0) is holding steady as a top3 team (good enough for now) and Kentucky (2-0) saw a boost after beating Louisville but suffered for not pummeling App St even worse. UW's 2-0 start is treated as solid but Rutgers (0-1) needs that first win to get back into the top 50.
1. A 2nd or 3rd year intern specializing in Civil Engineering (College
of Engineering) and/or Landscape Architecture (Cook College) to assist
in design lay-out work using AutoCAD software. Instructions will be
provided through the Township Engineer.
2. A 2nd or 3rd year intern specializing in accounting to assist the
Planning Administrative Officer in escrow accounting/accounts
receivables/accounts payable. Instructions to be provided through the
Internships are unpaid and hours are negotiable but should fall within
M-F 9-5. Any interested students should submit resumes and hours of
availability to John Medina at email@example.com. For questions, call
The NY Times talks about the newest version of design plans for the World trade Center site.
Boston.com's The Big Picture has high-res 9/11 photos.
10 September 2008
Clint began with a summary of recent climate change issues including the most recent IPCC report. He began by describing the role of greenhouse gases in contributing to global climate change. (Natural sinks are an important solution that helps make work for landscape architects.) He quickly moved on to looking at "the next level of detail" to talk about different categories of solutions and the different levels of uncertainty associated with each.
The heart of the talk focused on linking land use and GHG emissions. Settlement patterns can contribute by creating more (or less) efficient landscapes, infrastructure and buildings. The implication is that informed design and planning can impact these outcomes. To compare places in NJ, he used the categories of density gradients from Duany and Talen's Transect Planning. For each of the study areas, he estimated the per capita carbon output by source and sequestration.
Do we rely on behavioural change or technological fixes? Walking is one element. Cogeneration is a potential source of CO2 reductions, too. Electic cars are interesting. But neighborhood design could make a big impact, too. Some of these he called "no-regrets" solutions. Some were still futuristic techno innovations. But our students clearly are going to be dealing with this throughout their careers.
09 September 2008
A-2146/S-1849 (Watson Coleman/Gordon) – Revises regulation of landscape architects
This law raises the status of landscpes architects as a profession by advancing them from certification to licensure.
A-2867/S-1919 (Greenwald, Malone, Cryan, Biondi, McHose/Sarlo, Van Drew) - The “Permit Extension Act of 2008”
The omnipresent Jeff Tittel called it "one of the worst environmental bills ever passed by the New Jersey legislators and one of the biggest giveaways to developers in the state's history."
08 September 2008
Clint Andrews, Bloustein School of Planning and Policy
Wednesday Sept. 10, 2008 4:00 PM
The lecture will be in Cook-Douglass Lecture Hall Room 110
This talk will show how land use relates to greenhouse gas emissions. It links settlement patterns to greenhouse gas emissions via landscape impacts (deforestation, carbon sequestration by soils and plants, urban heat island), infrastructure impacts (transportation-related emissions,
waste management-related emissions, electric transmission and distribution losses), and buildings (residential, commercial). Exploratory case studies of New Jersey municipalities lying along a gradient of increasing population density suggest that per-capita carbon dioxide emissions vary widely, following an inverted “U” shape, with post-war suburbs riding the pinnacle. Reflecting their central regional roles, municipalities with good jobs-to-housing ratios have higher per-capita emissions because they host both residential and commercial buildings. Buildings typically contribute more emissions than personal transportation. Vehicle-miles traveled per capita shrink most dramatically at very high population densities and where transit options exist. Changing land-use patterns is a political challenge because localism and outdated zoning ordinances subvert regional solutions. Technical fixes, especially green buildings, must be part of the solution.
As a first example I offer up a road in Central Kentucky's horse country that used to be called Paris Pike. It wound through and around and past elegant horse farms, beautiful rolling hills, and historic stone walls. But it was twisty and windy and, often enough, deadly. So, for almost as long as I could remember, there was talking of widening the road, but with great opposition since standard KY DOT safety improvements would have destroyed the character of one of America's great scenic drives. After decades of talk, a design team was finally assembled to create a more context sensitive solution. They found a variety of creative solutions - like splitting the road ribbons apart and around old trees and fences and building some new fences and walls that enhance the experience - that stand as a testament to how designers should contribute on a project like this. Led by Jones and Jones of Seattle, the final solution is subtle and elegant, and the drive along the Paris-Lexington Road is still one of the great scenic drives in the US.
What are your examples?
06 September 2008
Clint Andrews, Bloustein School of Planning and Policy
Wednesday Sept. 10, 2008 4:00 PM
The lecture will be in Cook-Douglass Lecture Hall Room 110
05 September 2008
(I don't know if the Pequest, pictured above, is on the list or is one of the remaining clean ones. But its reputation as a trout stream and great place for hotdogs is strong.)
04 September 2008
Now they can stop imaging what the city was like. The Chronicle reports on a Washington Post Magazine report on the UMBC Imaging Research Center's project Visualizing Early Washington. This includes some 3-d video that really captures the dynamic nature of the District, even if it isn't really within the United States.
03 September 2008
Dean Cardasis, FASLA
Graduate Program Director
Rutgers Department of Landscape Architecture
Against the Grain: Jersey Roots in the Art of Sustainable Landscape Design
He began with some background about James Rose, the well-known landscape architect who was an important leader in the modernist movement. Rose rose to prominence in the 1930s due, in part, to some of his writings that helped establish this design revolution. Cardasis is an expert on Rose and the director of the James Rose Center.
Rose's gardens included a lot of plant materials because he wanted them to be so alive. He "sought an essential quality" in each of his projects that belonged to that site. It wasn't something you could manufacture, but you could uncover. He sought a timelessness in his projects that could allow them to endure - but his materials might not have been so timeless.
Rose enjoyed using what was already on the site. Taking advantage of the biophysical properties was not only efficient, but respected the greater truth of the site. He didn't like to bring in rocks, but he did like to use the ones already there to create space and bring ou the most of what was already there. Cardasis speculates on the possibility that Rose was the first landscape architect to use railroad ties in a garden. But he also used old doors for benches, copper roofing was turned into sculpture.
He is sometimes recognized for shunning 90 degree angles. "Why 90? Why not 89 or 92?" It all seemed an artificial construct to him.
Other signature ideas included:
- Create shallow terraces and depressions
- Use native, durable plants - "plants require deeper knowledge and familiarity than any other materials".
- Interlock existing features with new ones
- Use permeable materials
02 September 2008
9/12 at 2 pm
B120 Lucy Stone Hall; Livingston Campus
This paper addresses the question of what hidden tensions shape environmental conflicts by investigating the responses of residents of villages near a mining project in New Caledonia to Rhéébù Nùù, an indigenous environmental protest group. An overlooked and yet crucial factor in local support for the protest group was a lack of faith in the government and, more fundamentally, in the democratic system through which representatives were elected; instead, villagers put their faith in a revitalization of customary authority. Thus, this environmental violence masked a crisis of political legitimacy, grounded in a history of opposition to the colonial power. However, not all community members felt that Rhéébù Nùù indeed had the support of customary authority, and many disagreed with the group’s violent tactics. Thus, an examination of specific histories and cultural forms is necessary in order to understand people’s choices about who best represents their interests and, thus, to whom they should give their support in instances of environmental conflict.
01 September 2008
- Revolutionary War-era blacksmith shop found in Franklin - THNT
- 'Sustainability Toobar' released for Sketch-Up - PLaNetizen
- LEED consultants for architects - NY Times
- A follow-up on the Edison neighborhood fighting against a commercial exit - THNT
- Stadiums Don't Pay - PlaNetizen
- The Nikon D90 SLR is a game changer - NY Times
- Built Landscape Photography of Mona Miri - Treehugger
- A Katrina follow-up graphic - NY Times
- Some great pictures of Rio - The Big Picture