30 November 2008
29 November 2008
28 November 2008
27 November 2008
26 November 2008
TTh 2:50pm-4:10pm Hardenbergh Hall- Room A4 (CAC)
This course will provide students with an understanding of the complex interrelationships between transportation and the environment. It will provide an overview of the various environmental impacts caused by the provision and use of transportation, give a background on some analysis techniques for estimating impacts, and discuss technology and policy solutions to environmental problems. The course will also focus on the economics of environmental, land use and transportation policy and how these affect environmental outcomes.
The class is being taught by Professor Robert Noland, Director of the Voorhees
25 November 2008
24 November 2008
22 November 2008
A new book provides a closer look at one of the new areas on campus: Moore Ruble Yudell: Arc of Interaction | Joseph A. Steger Student Life Center/University of Cincinnati, Edited by Oscar Riera Ojeda. The Joseph A. Steger Student Life Center is at the heart of a series of impressive projects including a Morphosis building and a series of Hargreaves landscapes that contribute to the campus' famous Main Street. not unlike the campus, I haven't had a fair chance to review the book, but the PDF ad they have posted has enough photos to seriously entice readers and demonstrate the uniqueness (if not the intrinsic value) of this campus design.
21 November 2008
Of course, the full sentence changes the context: "It's not our intention to use eminent domain or any sort of condemnation of land unless there was no other choice." It is a little like the scene from Blazing Saddles where Bart takes himself hostage and threatens to shoot if any one comes closer. Don't make us use eminent domain!
20 November 2008
The Sustainable Sites Guidelines and Performance Benchmarks Draft 2008 is available for download at www.sustainablesites.org and the PDF has features that make an electronic document easier to read and look through. It is a collaborative group effort funded and managed by three partners, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and the United States Botanic Garden along with the ASLA.Here is some of the summary that ASLA sent out on the project:
This new report is a result of countless hours of research by a diverse group and represents the potential to change the design, construction, and maintenance of the built landscape. But to be ultimately successful, we need you to agree to be an active participant of the public comment period review. We want to insure a broad based and wide group of respondents.
These guidelines will enable built landscapes to support natural ecological functions by protecting existing ecosystems and regenerating ecological capacity where it has been lost. The report includes more than 50 prerequisites and credit options that cover everything from initial site selection to construction and maintenance. The report represents thousands of hours with input from 37 technical advisors in hydrology, vegetation, soils, materials and human health and well being. These credits were tailored to apply to any landscape, with our without buildings.It is a very interesting project and has the potential to be a defining effort for ASLA and its partners.
19 November 2008
18 November 2008
With more an more homeowners upside down, could eminent domain be a new threat
The problems accompanying the Gardens' redevelopment have been especially acute for seniors, the report found. One resident, Carole Richardson, 71, said she received $54,000 for selling her house of more than a decade to the township in March. Now she lives in a trailer in Columbus. Another resident, Evans Jackson, 63, anticipated paying off his home loan in three years but had to enter into a new 30-year mortgage after receiving $116,000, including a loan, from selling his house to the township two years ago.
The Gannett report on the case offers a fact of limited usefulness in determining whether this is an abuse of ED or just an unfortunate but necessary situation:
The pictures make it seem like the housing is probably not comparable to the average in Mt Holly, so that number isn't really relevant except in reminding us that ED usually impacts people already living in housing that is well below the community average.
The township offered nothing to the displacedan unfortunate renters but well over the legal minimum to owners, from $27,000 to $49,000 per unit. That was far less than what residents said they needed to relocate in the region, where an average price for a home is $206,000.
The use of eminent domain is quickly approaching a status in New Jersey (and elsewhere) where its application is so unpopular that it no longer matters if it is being used appropriately and fairly. The very mention of its name creates such a public stir that it chills any further conversations. I suspect that we will be seeing some new legislation soon.
I enjoyed Miró's art, but didn't appreciate the full impact of his career until we visited his the La Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona. So, I was pretty excited to see that MoMA had an exhibition of his work from 1927 to 1937 through January 12. I was even more excited that Slate developed a Miró slideshow to try to save me the trip into the City. (although MoMA's online version of the exhbition is so thorough that the SLate piece is really just the Reader's Digest version of the exhibit)
17 November 2008
Not only did I find a link to the official-sounding description of the PLSS from the National Atlas, but I also found a few images that highlight the degree to which Jefferson's system really does continue to shape a significant portion of the American landscape today.
- Essex County College is hosting an event on Wednesday November 12th. Alison Hayes is the Event Contact - 973-877-3498
- Burlington County College is hosting an event on Wednesday November 19th. Merrilee Torres is the Event Contact - 609-702-7067
- Atlantic Cape Community College is hosting an event on Wednesday November 19th. Loretta Dicker is the Event Contact - 609-343-4985
In Buffalo he realized an even grander ambition, creating a vast network of parks and parkways that he hoped would have “a civilizing effect” on the “dangerous classes” populating the American city. Flanked by rows of elm trees, the parkways were broken up by a series of gorgeous landscaped roundabouts, slowing the city’s rhythms of movement into something more majestic yet distinctly democratic.The online version includes a slideshow that begins with an Olmsted parkway but leads on to include a great building by Burnham. It is almost as if the NY Times is endorsing my list.
Dr. Peter Smouse
Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources Rutgers University
Thursday November 20, 2008
Mixed Maternity Analysis of Natural Quercus lobata Recruits
The "Pericarp Problem"
4:00 p.m. Foran Hall, Room 138A Host: Dr. Rebecca Jordan
Refreshments at 3:30
16 November 2008
14 November 2008
The Gatehouse at CCNY.
Battery Park City.
Irish Famine Memorial entrance.
Public restrooms aren't just at Starbucks anymore.
George Washington slept here.
Either a school or a jail - a little hard to tell which.
We saw lots and lots of this stuff.
Nervi's George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal at the George Washington Bridge. They say it is one of his only buildings outside Europe.
You never know when I'll need a picture of people buying Subway tickets.
"The point of it is to ensure that there's sufficient land, water and sewer to meet the affordable housing obligations in the Highlands region," said Lucy Vandenberg, executive director of the Council on Affordable Housing, or COAH.As I read it (and I read it very quickly) this is part of a continuing expansion of the diverging sets of interest that multiple players have in the Highlands. The Highlands Council, the builders, environemtnal groups, and now the Council on Affordable Housing all have somewhat different interests, obligations and expectations for the region. In a basic sense, that is how democracy works and evolves. But, since the Highlands got left behind in so many policy discussions in the 80s and 90s, it has been a rush now to address the conflicts between the water supply demands, environmental quality issues, housing pressures, regional food supply, tax systems, etc. The Task Force, the Council, the Plan, and this COAH order have all been rapid responses that look (in the media) pretty different from policies that have emerged over decades.
But there remained many a forest to wander through, many a mountain and glacier to cross, before I was to see his Wachusett and Monadnock, Boston and Concord. It was seventeen years after our parting on the Wawona ridge that I stood beside his grave under a pine tree on the hill above Sleepy Hollow. He had gone to higher Sierras, and, as I fancied, was again waving his hand in friendly recognition.
13 November 2008
- Visual Culture And Technology
- Architecture, Design And Public Space
- Ethics And Decision Making
- My Space, Your Space: 21st Century Communication
12 November 2008
We also peeked MVVA's work at the New School (below) and raced along the Battery Park esplanade (too dark to show).
- Storm King - especially the Andy Goldsworthy Wall
- Opus 40
- Holocaust Memorial To The Community Of Vilna At The Valley Of The Communities
Leor Lovinger, Michael van Valkenburgh Associates
Theme: Using bluestone to explore and experiment with ways that it works while leveraging its geologic connotations
The project is part of larger efforts on campus, which struggle to deal with the fact that the campus has grown to 5 times the size of it historic boundaries. As the campus builds down to the "natural feature" of Lake Carnegie, they are using it as an opportunity to build the natural landscape back up into campus. Sustainability was a subtle theme in Beatirx Farrand's original design work and remains an inspiration for MVVA today.
Some of the Butler Campus work has been focused on specific projects at Holden, Wilson, Butler, and Whitman Halls but also around Scully and Bloomberg Halls (see the campus map). They refer to their work there as inventing within the traditional. For an amphitheater design, they began to use straight lines as their datum, with the shaping of the landscape as a contrast.
From an early point in the process they collaborate with the quarry to ensure that their uses of the stone are authentic and not contrived. The two kinds of blue stone are Portage and Hamilton, but the Hamilton is stronger and is what they work to get. But you still have to cut the rock carefully and with explicit expectations to get the right colors. And the cut impacts the different effects, like the horizontality and variety which is a key element in the design for their amphitheater wall. And, while the construction details determine how water travels down the wall, the rock cut also plays a role. Scale models are key for getting the seating and personal experience right.
New ideas were integrated. The sloped footing was an innovative solution for the site. Even the plants for the project had to be prepared for months/years so they could be planted in a mature state up against the rock walls. And after all of this planning and design, they'll still return to the site to work the stone and match the feel to their design intent.
Students interested in stonework won't have to look far for good and bad examples of how this technique can be successful or not. And in the Q & A it was inevitable that someone would ask about Opus 40.
I'd like my 61 trees to be Redwoods (the above photo is from Muir Woods and is taken by Tonya T) but it isn't clear that we get to pick, and it seems likely that the number is going down.
11 November 2008
Tony Hiss, well-known author, lecturer, and consultant, will present
The H2O Area and You: Finding Your "Two Addresses"
6:30 PM, Wednesday, November 19
Cook Campus Center, Multi-Purpose Room C, Rutgers University
"By drawing on the insights of planners, ecologists, psychologists, and environmentalists, he outlines a more experiential place-based way of looking at and dealing with our urban and rural environment. Hiss sensitively explores how people experience public places, and why different
places bring about different experiences." http://pps.org Project for Public Spaces
Some of his recent publications are:
- The View from Alger's Window: A Son's Memoir, Vintage Books, 2000.
- Building Images: 70 Years of Photography at Hedrich Blessing, Chronicle Books, 2000.
- Moments of Grace: Spirit in the American Landscape (Aperture Vol 150), with Bill McKibben and Lucy R. Lippard, Aperture, February 1998.
- All Aboard with E.M. Frimbo: World's Greatest Railroad Buff, with Rogers E.M. Whitaker, Kodansha International, 1997.
- A Region at Risk: The Third Regional Plan for the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut Metropolitan Area, with Robert D. Yaro, Island Press, 1996.
- The Experience of Place, Vintage Books, 1991.
"Things are going to get worse before they get better," said Hughes, dean of Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy.I think it is safe to assume that these guys would like to be proven wrong.
10 November 2008
*Wednesday, November 12, 2008*
Senior Associates, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc., Landscape Architects
*Lecture Topic: *"Design with stone - Butler College as a case study"
*Location:* Cook-Douglass Lecture Halls Room 110
Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA) has over twenty years experience designing building and restoring landscapes for a broad range of public, private, and corporate clients. Their approach to landscape architecture entails working closely with the site itself: the complex, existing, multi-layered place that has been shaped through an entire history of natural and cultural processes. MVVA embraces the dynamic nature of a living landscape whether designing for a small garden or a large urban park. In this lecture Mr. Lovinger will introduce the design processes of some of their major projects.
Now that it is nearing build-out, Bedminster is merging its Planning Board and its Zoning Board of Adjustment to create a Land Use Board.
09 November 2008
at the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania
Wednesday, November 19; 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Jason Lubar, Associate Director of Urban Forestry, Morris Arboretum
Robert Wells, Arborist Consultant, Morris Arboretum
Are your trees a beautiful hazard? Tree defects can be examined and risks assessed if you are trained to detect and rate them. Decay, cavities, cracks, root rots, and poor limb connections are but a few of the defects that plague trees. Learn how to examine and measure defects,
and determine when a tree should be removed. An indoor lecture and discussion will be followed by an outdoor practical examination of a defective tree. A calculator is helpful for some aspects of this class.
Fee: $110 (including lunch)
To register online: http://www.businessservices.upenn.edu/arboretum/eventsprofessional.html
Or call the Morris Arboretum at 215-247-5777, ext. 125 or 156
9414 Meadowbrook Avenue
Phila., PA 19118
phone: 215-247-5777 x189
08 November 2008
Career Night Open House
Thursday, November 20, 2008
5:00 - 8:00 pm
Elmwood Park, NJ headquarters
Presentations and demonstrations start promptly at 5:30 pm.
Open to students and faculty
RSVP at http://www.langan.com/CareerNightNov2008
or call (201) 398-4502 no later than 11/17/08.
Offices in: NJ, NY, PA, CT, VA, FL, NV and CA.
Langan is a land development engineering and environmental firm offering services in:
Geotechnical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Transportation Engineering, Environmental Science, Environmental Engineering, Landscape Architecture, Wetland Science, Geology, Surveying, Cultural Resources
DIRECTIONS TO LANGAN: http://www.langan.com/elmwood.asp
RIVER DRIVE CENTER 1 (619 RIVER DR.), ELMWOOD PARK, NJ 07407
07 November 2008
9:15-12:15 Thursdays. Blake 131.
The goal of the environmental communication clinic is to give students problem-solving skills and hands-on experience to help them in the job market. Working in groups, students in the Spring 2009 class will develop audio and video podcasts to promote environmentally responsible behavior on campus. To do so, students will first determine their communication goals (Increase recycling at RU football games? Reduce bottled water use in the student centers? Reduce carbon footprint of the dorms? Or? Or? Or?). Next, they will identify appropriate target audiences (dorm residents, SEBS faculty, football fans, etc.) After drafting a storyboard outline, they will conduct interviews as the basis of episodes of an audio podcast, a visually enhanced audio podcast, and a video podcast. Although students will have the opportunity work on projects during class, they will also need to spend time outside of class developing ideas, conducting interviews, and editing.
Enrollment is limited and permission of professor is required. SEBS students of any major are welcome. Good visual, oral, and/or verbal communication skills required. Juniors are preferred so their senior year they can serve as resources for faculty, agricultural extension agents, and other students .
For permission contact Professor Caron Chess firstname.lastname@example.org.
06 November 2008
Other environmentally friendly university efforts call for a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. The university also plans on expand the number of “green roofs,” which entail covering the roofs of structures with energy saving plants.Elsewhere in the watershed, Cranbury will make a cameo appearance on TV tonight.
“We were just strangers before, and this made us neighbors,” said Doug Harper, a sociology professor, still a bit surprised that something as simple as planting crab apple trees, hydrangea bushes and day lilies could have such a profound impact.
05 November 2008
Interesting architectural stops may (or may not) include Tschumi's new blue tower and/or 40 Bond.
As the Times reported, To Walk a Landscape is To Know It. After this hike, you'll know it better than you can imagine (and will probably want to get it know it much more).
If you think you want to make the hike this Sunday, you should email me in the next day or so.
Trees in parking lots from Windows XP-Vista: The same old seminar from
Windows 3.1-2000, but with some new data
Jason Grabosky, Ph.D.
Dept of Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Friday, November 7, 2008
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Foran Hall, Room 138A
59 Dudley Road, New Brunswick
A look at the Foran Hall parking lot illustrates the point; tree establishment in paved areas is hallmarked by reduced growth and management challenges. How we define success, and how we have approached designing soil volumes for urban trees in such situations has shifted in the past several years from mutually exclusive options, trees success versus pavement success or trees at the expense of parking stalls, to one of integrated design. This seminar will provide a brief overview, then discuss some recent work in designed soils for root growth under pavement. Studies tracking a working installation over ten years will suggest direction for ground penetrating radar work in progress. The results from three studies over the past 13 years will describe aspects of water relations in designed soils. Such data can provide context for stormwater management on parking lots. Vegetation stocking profiles to use captured and stored parking lot stormwater would compliment other canopy environmental services such as air quality. Finally, if the intention is to grow tree roots under pavement, then a method of modeling root growth for pavement section design is needed. A series of investigations defining the behavior and geometry of the system in relation to upward root growth will inform developing finite element models to design for tree roots without loss of pavement service life.
As the supply of coffee and time allows, video of simulated hurricanes on large oak trees, CT scan methods in tracking wood decay, and other strange images will provide humor and entertainment from other aspects of the urban forestry program.
In our region the CNU has encouraged tearing down Route 29 in Trenton and the Sheridan Expressway in the Bronx.
Forty years later, the lifespan of most freeways has come to an end. This leaves urban planners and local governments with a choice: Do they demolish the existing infrastructure to make way for surface roads and boulevards? Or do they invest in freeways yet again, when it makes even less sense to do so – given their crummy past and the ever-rising cost of gasoline?
04 November 2008
(The photo is fromNOLA's French Quarter, far from the campus. But I wasn't sure when I would get to use it if I didn't pull it out today.)
The Eagleton Institute of Politics is pleased to host "The Morning After: Election 2008 Edition" on Wednesday, November 5 at the Eagleton Institute of Politics, Douglass Campus. Refreshments will be available at 9 a.m. followed by the program at 9:30 a.m. Panelists will include Herb Jackson of The Record; Steve Kornacki of The Observer and CNN; Keith Wailoo of Rutgers' Center for Race and Ethnicity; and Ruth B. Mandel and John Weingart of the Eagleton Institute of Politics.
Cameron Sinclair's Architecture for Humanity is a favorite of mine. While socially-responsible design isn't the same in Princeton as in Kosovo, but it is still a relevant and important consideration.
Majora Carter talks about her community-based work in greening the South Bronx. The watershed lacks a comparable landscape, but the ideas are still transferable. What are the greening challenges that will face the watershed over the next few decades? Who is available to address them?
Ray Kurzweil spoke about his expectations for technology changes that will change us.
Jaime Lerner talks about cities.
Robin Chase wants to change the way we drive.
Sociologist Barry Schwartz explains why too much choice is a problem for humans.
Edward Burtynsky won the TED Award for his photographs of industrial landscapes.
Carl Honore offers a quick synopsis of the slow movement. Does a regional design reinforce this behavioral pattern? What are the implications for our watershed?
Amy Smith shows how design can change lives.
- The Washington Post's TimeSpace
- NPR has their Interactive Map
- USA Today has an election tracker
- It looks like the more partisan Talking Points Memo's Election Night 2008 Scorecard will allow some very specific results analysis
- And Google has an array of maps (including the one below) to keep you busy
03 November 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008 4:30 PM
Millstone River, Delaware & Raritan Canal Park
Rocky Hill, NJ
A re-enactment of the famous experiment by General George Washington and Thomas Pain. Their discovery of the nature of the fiery Will-O'-Wisp of marshes and rivers. All are invited at twilight to watch the re-enactment, which can be viewed from Rt. 518 where it crosses over the Millstone River. A reception will follow, from 5:30 to 6:30 at the Delaware and Raritan Canal Park Headquarters, 142 Mapleton Rd., Kingston, NJ.
02 November 2008
OK, so maybe it isn't truly art. But Wordle took the text of the last 2 months of Places and Spaces and turned it into this image. While it is completely automated, it is also pretty nice looking and most of the words make good sense. And, I really appreciate their use of the Creative Commons License as a basic tool for protecting their work while encouraging its use widely.