31 December 2009

Top 10 obscure Wikipedia posts on EP/LA/EG

When Wikipedia started people were mostly adding entries on more traditional encyclopedia entries like Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning. Then they started creating an entry for every single character in Star Wars and Star Trek and The Wire. And then someone started turning their lecture notes into entries - that was good for us. Based on that here are some of the more arcane, obscure, or otherwise interesting entries from Landscape Architecture, Landscape Industry, Environmental Planning, and Environmental Geomatics.

Top 10 obscure Wikipedia posts on EP/LA/EG

10. New Pedestrianism
9. Merton Rule
8. Augustus Woodward
7. Arcology
6. Turf and Twig
5. Conurbation
4. Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook Cty. v. Army Corps of Engineers
3. The Sprawl
2. Hawaii Housing Authority v. Midkiff
1. Cement Kiln (with the Snyder Estate Natural Cement Historic District)

On top of the 10 I'll add a couple local entries. Wikipedia allows local and global to compete as if they were of equal importance, which, to us they are.

Temporary policy change: No commenting

After almost 2000 posts, there are lots of places for spammers to hide comments that are really ads and Google-bombs. I generally try to keep up with deleting them, but I am going to take a deletion vacation for a week or two. To do that, I am try to turn off all commenting for a while. Sorry.

You can still write me, and we'll get the commenting turned back on for classes.

30 December 2009

SBMW warns about proposed bill

Earlier this month the Stony Brook Watershed Association was honored as recipient of a 2009 New Jersey Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award. So you'd think people in Trenton might listen closer when their E.D. says that there is a new threat to water supplies: the State Planning Commission.

Top posts of 2009 by traffic

Since my traffic includes the average Googler wandering through and only visiting once, this is driven by popular search terms more than by popularity with devoted readers. For instance, #1 turns out to be a popular post with Dan Brown fans.

10. Roberto Burley Marx
9. Cheap Mansions Available
8. James Corner's House
7. Summer Internship in Chicago
6. Louis Kahn's Drawing
5. Streetmap Goes Off the Road
4. Monday Morning Quotes (Picasso)
3. Free Museums in NYC
2. Parc del Auditoris or South East Coastal Park
1. Capitol lawn statue of George Washington as Zeus

29 December 2009

Anastasia Mann on tuition for immigrants

Is immigration status a technicality or a revenue source for college students? Rutgers' Stacey Mann has an op-ed piece in today's Star-Ledger that explores the issue:
Mary and Maria were best friends. They went through grade school, middle school and high school together. Both applied to Rutgers and got in. But while Mary’s yearly tuition bill came in at $11,886, Maria’s ran to about double that — $22,796.
Since New Brunswick is a long-standing center for immigration, does that change the role for Rutgers?

Top 10 Movies of 2009

Not many of these were released in 2009, but that is when I saw them and that'll have to do for this list.

10. Up
9. Wendy and Lucy
8. Gran Torino
7. Still Life
6. Frozen River
5. Up in the Air
4. The Wrestler
3. Elegy
2. Man on Wire
1. The Visitor

27 December 2009

9 Cities

Top 9 cities for studying landscape architecture on your feet

1. Washington
2. Philadelphia
3. Vancuover
4. Toronto
5. Portland
6. Chicago
7. Seattle
8. Boston
9. NYC

Sorry, no links on this one.

End of the year Top 10 lists

So, to celebrate the end of the year and the end of the decade, many in the media are publishing their lists of Top 10 movies, or news stories, or books. A simple example would be Stephen Holden's Top 10 films of the year. He doesn't expect you to completely agree, and he probably would change it slightly by February or June, but it is a nice place to begin. Roger Ebert had to resort to 2 different lists this year. Time Magazine has a list of the Top 10 of Everything.

In our field, Arch News Now published their list of the Best Architecture Books of 2009. Daily Dose of Architecture posted their favorite posts of the year.

I've already offered my Top 10 Shapers of the America Landscape, but over the next few days we'll celebrate the change of year with our own Top 10 or Top 5 lists. In this case you should remember that "Top" is a construct that doesn't necessarily mean best or most outstanding. It can mean most notable, most biggest. Or it can just mean top. Don't read too much into it. If all that isn't enough you could just check out the List of Lists.

20 December 2009

openHouse photos

I had written previously about openHouse: A collaboration between Francis A. Bitonti (FADarch) and Brian Osborn (BOTH) at the AIA DesCours exhibition in New Orleans.

These post-installation photos come from Rutgers' Brian Osborne:

The project was forced to work through challenging weather conditions. As you can see, it performed admirably.

18 December 2009

OIRT on Friday afternoon

While I never know quite what I'll be talking about, as part of preparing for the demo at OIRT today, I'm likely to use some of these shortcuts...

Revolutionary War in NJ
Vernal pools
Places and Spaces Map
NJ LA Sites
Common Census
GreenMap for GoogleEarth

I'll probably also make a shameless plug of my First Monday paper.

15 December 2009

Public student presentation

Public Presentation by Students of Intermediate Landscape Architecture I


Monday December 21st
12 Noon

At Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Cape May County
355 Court House/So Dennis Road Cape May Court House, NJ

RSVP: dtulloch@crssa.rutgers.edu

Course managment systems

Does Sakai own you?

14 December 2009

Cul-de-Sac Ban, The

This week's NY Times Sunday Magazine was the Annual Ideas issue. One of the ideas was "The Cul-de-Sac Ban" (link: scroll down), acknowledging the controversial decision in Virginia to limit the number of new dead ends in new development. It also features Copenhagen's "Bicycle Highway". It also describes the "Man-Made Greenery" (link: scroll down) or carbon filtering devices invented by Columbia's Klaus Lackner.

Suburbanization and amphibians: designed ecological solutions

Ecology & Evolution Graduate Program Ph.D. Defense Seminar

Alexander Felson

"Suburbanization and amphibians: designed ecological solutions"

1:00 p.m.
Thursday, Dec 17, 2009
Alampi Room, Marine and Coastal Sciences

Mr. Felson's committee consists of:
Dr. Steward T.A. Pickett, Advisor
Dr. Steven Handel
Dr. Peter Morin
Dr. Kristina Hill
University of Virginia


The Poinsettia greenhouse is getting some love.

11 December 2009

Weekend quote

“Politics and issues come and go, but in the end, we'll all be remembered for the way we treat other people.”

- Morris K. Udall

OIRT Technology Showcase

I'll be making an appearance at the OIRT Technology Showcase next Friday, December 18th. The event lasts from 11am to 5pm in room 101 of the ASB Annex I on Busch Campus, but my appearance will be in the later part of the day, something like 2:30-5. I gather there will be free cookies.

Small town photos

When I asked some students to collect photos of Cape May County that would help us understand the place at a depper level, we still got a fair number of pictures of the lighthouse and the destinations. It is just so hard to ignore the beaches and classic views, but we have fewer examples of how the gas stations and community centers look. What is the place really like? I often find my photosets suffer the limitations.

So I was pretty jazzed to find this collection of photos of Southwestern towns. Rather than highlighting the photogenic side of each town, "teofilo" (from Highland Park!) seems more interested in capturing the real sense of these places. For instance, I was in Aztec for just a few hours this summer, but these images of Aztec feel more like I remember it than tourist photos might. Some might just be the volume, but much of it is a willingness to focus on the little things that casual viewers otherwise consider mundane. I think our planning and design students would do well to figure out how to better capture the authenticity of places rather than only focusing on great composition and perfect sunlight.

10 December 2009

Hard work in the Big Easy

One of our instructors, Brian Osborn, is in NOLA this week participating in DesCours, a great week-long architecture and art event. His project, with partner Francis Bitonti, is one of the finalists in the competition.

You can check out all of the work through video tours available (theirs is below). Last night was the official opening, so pictures and awards information should continue to get posted for a few days.

09 December 2009

Ancient History

As a final tribute to past lecture series Kyle Beidler helped round up these old posters and reformat them for the blog. This is in addition to Monday's set. Which do you most regret missing? Which poster do you like best?

Fall 2009
Spring 2009

Fall 2008
Spring 2008
Fall 2007
Spring 2007

Stay healthy

As you prepare those final reports, it is smart to review some basic safety tips.

08 December 2009

07 December 2009

Ghosts of Speakers Series Past and Future

Having completed yet another semester of the RU LA Speaker Series (also known as the Common Lecture), it is a nice time to look back and reflect on past years' speakers as well as this year's:

Spring 2005 (A special semester)

So, after a few minutes of living in the past, let's look ahead to the future. Who would you like to see in one of the Memorial Lectures? Who would make a great local lecturer? Is there a scholar or designer that you wish your classmates could discover?
We'll consider this the last Common Lecture commenting session of the Fall...

Pearl Harbor Day

Remember the Arizona

Big news: Greenhouses gas regulation

Today's announcement that the EPA is going to start regulating greenhouses gas emissions is going to start some very interesting debates. Like it or hate it, this will be big news. The timing is interesting - both in reference to Copenhagen and the dust-up over emails. But this will be the first big test for New Jerseyan Lisa Jackson as EPA administrator (even though it will probably be a far less sweeping implementation that most first assume when they hear the news today).

The EPA website reports that it will be a major announcement today at around 1:15:
"The media briefing will be streamed live via the EPA homepage: http://www.epa.gov"

This will be a big story in the US for a long time to come, I suspect. But it will be interesting to see how ho-hum (or not) the rest of the world treats it.

Street View of Netherlands water handling

How do those Dutch deal with the sea level issues? Thanks to Google you can explore the UNESCO World Heritage Center that is Mill Network at Kinderdijk-Elshout in the Netherlands.

View Larger Map

The landscape of test performance

The NY Times Economix blog explored the spatial distribution of SAT scores and tried to explain why it doesn't really mean that Midwesterners are actually smarter than the rest of the US. (h/t The Map Room) The analysis digs in to show why your first read of these maps might not mean what you think it does. Among other points, she says that only 3% of graduating seniors in South Dakota take the test while 85% take it in NY.

(Sigh) First the Times goes after the valedictorians from Iowa and Illinois, and now the Iraqi detainees are harassing Packers fans. Its a good thing the Plains states have lots to cheer for.

03 December 2009

50 years of no jetport

50 years ago today plans were unveiled for a proposed jetport in the Great Swamp. It launched a movement that continues today even though the threat of the jetport no longer remains.

Contemporary blog turns to old-fashioned printed form

The carto-crazy blog Strange Maps has long been a Places and Spaces favorite, so we were quite happy to see it become not only a book, not only a well received book, but a Top 10 PlaNetizen book.

But don't expect a Places and Spaces book anytime soon.

02 December 2009

01 December 2009

Should they conform or not?

Bernardsville is faced with a decision about whether to conform to the Highlands plan. The Home News and Tribune reports that if they conform their zoning to the plan, their affordable housing obligation drops around 125 units to 25 but they are also obligated to zone the rural lots for 20-25 acre minimums because of environmental concerns. While this seems to place affordable housing and environmental quality in direct conflict, that seems less the issue for the community. Instead, the town is puzzling over the spatial nature of the decision, so they are mapping out the impacts of their response to see where the decision will be felt the most.

Climate victims

Britain's Times Online reports on recent international news in sea level rise. They mention Tuvalu, which is getting more attention these days, as well as the 2005 abandonment of Papau New Guinea's Carteret Atoll. If that gets you down, maybe the Climategate news may refocus you.

29 November 2009

Obesity data

Richard Florida has taken a closer look at the state-by-state CDC data on obesity. State-by-state data isn't too helpful, but he still highlights some potential relationships.

27 November 2009

Friday Photos: Dog tags

These photos are from the Dog Tag Memorial in the garden at the Old North Church. It is a memorial for fallen soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

25 November 2009

Giant dune

The Cape May Herald had this great photo of the storm damage at North Wildwood in their set of photos from T.S. Ida. I posted it because it reminded me of a few of today's proposals for engineered interventions in our design jury. Check out their other photos.

24 November 2009

Free webinar "Youth Participation and Migrant Voice"

From London, Manchester, New York: Webinar on Youth Participation and Migrant Voice December 1, 2009

When (by timezone): 10:00 (Toronto, New York, EST) Register Now for Free Webinar

How do migrant youth deal with living inside and between two cultures?

http://citiesofmigration.ca/integration-learning-exchange/calendar/lang/en/ Use this webpage link, if you would like to listen to this webinar. No cost to participate, but you must register.

Obesity Maps

These are from the CDC and look at the US, county-by-county comparing diabetes and obesity. Clearly there are some regional factors that have to be considered. You can also see how closely obesity and diabetes track one another: "Both methods highlight geographic patterns of high prevalence of diabetes or obesity in specific areas of the South, Appalachia, Mississippi Delta, and western tribal lands."

The key thing is our next step. Different groups are focusing their efforts in different places. But what seems to matter is that they focus:
"The growing obesity and diabetes burden in the United States has generated interest in population-targeted prevention measures, ranging from health-system support for preventive lifestyle interventions to increased legislation of the food environment, to enhanced social marketing to reduce risk factors for obesity and diabetes (7,8). Improved surveillance systems will be crucial to target interventions toward areas with populations at high risk and track the impact of those interventions at the local level."

This is just the sort of news that you need to have come out right before Thanksgiving. You suddenly might want to change from a regional dish to something healthier. Or you might just be thankful you live in a healthy state like Colorado.

23 November 2009

Paying for free services

It just slowly sneaks in. That's why maybe having government agencies build their systems on GoogleMaps or their competitors suddenly seems questionable.

Rutgers research on foreclosure

The front page for Rutgers, www.rutgers.edu, has been featuring an article from RU Focus looking at the foreclosure studies being conducted by Rutgers faculty Kathe Newman and Julia Sass Rubin. The studies look to have a real impact on the ground but have also required some real leg work and sifting through information. Good stuff.

20 November 2009

Friday Fotos: Will the real New Jersey please stand up?

When someone recently asked me for some typical New Jersey sprawl photos, my first thought was that there is nothing typical about NJ sprawl. We have 10 acre lot sprawl, 1/4 acre lot sprawl, commercial sprawl and even industrial sprawl. But then nothing else in NJ is particularly typical either. So, I asked myself, which photos do I have that really represent the typical New Jersey? The answer turned out to be that I was still missing some key pieces that I should be more conscience to capture. But here are a few and I've created a photo strip online to show you more. I'll probably expand it in the coming months as I discover better photos in my archives or take shots in the field, but here is a start.

Reflecting on Jean-Claude

This week's passing of Jean-Claude due to a brain aneurysm has brought forward some nice reflections on the importance of her collaborations with Christo. Her eis one that stands out.

The New York Daily News says that Mayor Bloomberg called Christo with his condolences and remembered The Gates this way:
"It gave New Yorkers a whole different view of the city, of themselves. It helped tourism, but more than anything else, it expanded our minds and gave all of us for a number of days a chance to think about how big the world is, and Jean-Claude and Christo have really always thought bigger than the rest of us," Bloomberg said.

Christo reports that their next projects are still on track. She always said that her favorite project was "the next one."

19 November 2009

Bristlecone pines and climate change

After David Robinson's visit to our studio the other day, some might still be curious about other ways to get glimpses at climate histories. Real Climate just posted a great discussion about using very old trees as a source of data.

18 November 2009

LiveBlog: Jim Consolloy

Today's notes may be abbreviated...

Jim Consolloy, Grounds Manager, Princeton University
Beatrix Farrand and Landscape Gardening at Princeton University

Jim Consolloy got his BS in Biology at Upsala College with an emphasis on environmental sciences and continued in Horticulture, mostly as it relates to woody plants. He worked on his masters in Horticulture at Rutgers in 1969 and 1970 before he was drafted. He worked for the State Forest Nursery, Howe Nurseries and Herman Panaceck Landscape Nurseries from 1964 to
1989 when he started as Manager of Grounds for Princeton University. He is also an ISA certified arborist and NJ Tree Expert. Having worked with many Landscape Architects over the years, he has come to appreciate the fact that they are all artists and extremely creative when it comes to painting the landscape with woody plants. What he learned from Beatrix Farrand was that she used many trades in order to design the complex landscape at Princeton University (Civil engineers, Masons, Carpenters, Iron workers and Plumbers). Her details involved the talents of all of these resources.

Originally the College of New Jersey, the Princeton campus was first being planted with specimen from Europe. Eventually the trustees moved deliberately towards American trees, particularly the Elms but also other like the White Ash.

Eventually PU grew past its 10 acre campus and needed more deign attention.

An 1895 plan (one of the first documented landscape plans of campus) shows all native plants, few of which survived. Farrand first arrived on the scene for her 1897 campus plan. By 1906 they built Lake Carnegie, the first lake built for crew.

Even though Farrand was part of the original ASLA founding group, she demanded that she be called a Landscape Gardener. Her guiding principles included: establishing nurseries for plants, working with the architect to show the buildings, creating pathways, use native plants, pick plants that flower during the academic year.

Lots of details today. While she understood the campus as a large site, Farrand designed even small details like individual copper downspouts and gutters. The campus has a 50-60' high yew.

Signature plants:
Prunus allée
3 kinds of cedars

Consolloy encourages reading many of her works. Even the plant book at Dumbarton Oaks is a great treatise on planting and design.

Celebrate GIS Day with maps from CRSSA

Dig into the galleries and project files at CRSSA for cartographic cornucopia of GIS Day goodies.

Making the Buffalo Commons official

not only does the Poppers' idea not seem to go away, but now there is a major newspaper endorsing the idea and seeking to make a Buffalo Commons national park.

Happy GIS Day!

Happy GIS Day 2009!

17 November 2009

The Volunteers behind Google Maps

The NY Times takes a closer look at the teeming volunteers that are updating the GoogleMaps data now that Google has left TeleAtlas behind. The article includes an interview with Über-expert Mike Goodchild who led the VGI meeting in Santa Barbara back in 2007, but they didn't slip in the term VGI. (h/t Puk)

2009 Top 10 Shapers of the American Landscape

Here is the list of Top 10 Shapers that I am presenting in EDA listed in alphabetic order. For comparison purposes I have linked each one to its entry in Wikipedia, but these are not definitive descriptions. And the Top 10 Shapers tag at the end will find you a few other interesting links...

Daniel Burnham

Andrew Jackson Downing

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Herbert Hoover

Thomas Jefferson

William J. Levitt

Robert Moses

John Muir

Frederick Law Olmsted

Gifford Pinchot

Home Rule video

The Star-Ledger has posted a video looking into the vote against consolidation of Sussex and Wantage up in Northernmost Jersey. In New Jersey we'll consistently vote for the candidate who promises lower property taxes, rail against the pol who fails to lower them, and fight to prevent one change that can really help.

16 November 2009

Home rule lives on

The recent election provided a little more evidence about the insidious, unshakable nature of home rule.


Was this storm the worst since 1992? Check out the cover of today's Star-Ledger! The reader photos from the Press of Atlantic City are pretty convincing too.

Meanwhile, public response to both the environment and climate change is cooling, if these polls can be trusted.

Still more New London

The NY Times included a picture of Suzette Kelo's house post-condemnation. (h/t PlaNetizen) If you aren't up on this, the Times summed up the SCOTUS decision in one paragraph:

In a 5-to-4 decision, the high court ruled that it was permissible to take private property and turn it over to developers as part of a plan to bolster the local economy. Conservative justices, including Clarence Thomas, dissented. Justice Thomas called New London’s plan “a costly urban-renewal project whose stated purpose is a vague promise of new jobs and increased tax revenue, but which is also suspiciously agreeable to the Pfizer Corporation.”

Property right activists will note this a free market repudiation of the court's decision. While the Supreme Court probably hasn't had the last word on this yet, I think the current state of New London may reveal more about the local decision making processes than about long-term constitutional issues.

15 November 2009

New London redux

New London became in/famous in planning circles after the Supreme Court ruled that they had legitimately used eminent domain to spur new development by private interests. Now, not only has the city failed to build on the properties in the Fort Trumball neighborhood that they condemned, but they are losing the primary source of revenue and support for that project. The Hartford Courant's Jeff Benedict describes the wake that Pfizer is leaving behind as they abandon their $300 million R&D headquarters.

View Larger Map

13 November 2009

Cool Class: Land Change Science

This looks like a great grad seminar...

Land Change Science (16:450:511). Spring 2010. Geography.
Meetings: Thursday 10:20 am -1:20 pm- Lucy Stone Hall B-120, Livingston Campus
Instructor: Laura C. Schneider, B-228, Lucy Stone Hall, laschnei@rci.rutgers.edu
Land change science seeks to understand land dynamics and their various consequences through an examination of coupled human-environment systems. Changes in land-use (human use) and land-cover (biophysical condition) are persistent, and when aggregated at a global scale affect key aspects of the earth system functioning. Such changes also affect economies and human welfare and the vulnerability of places and people to climatic, economic and socio-political perturbations. This seminar examines the development of land change science and the theoretical and methodological challenges to linking biophysical, socio-economic, and remote sensing/GIS analysis.

The course readings draw on recent peer reviewed articles and edited books dealing exclusively with land change science as well as other fields of expertise, mainly ecology, remote sensing, geography and economics. The course begins with a critical examination of key concepts in land change science and the development of its current research plan. Then we examine the following themes : 1) current trajectories of land change (e.g. deforestation, urbanization, increase in agricultural land), taking examples from different regions of the world at different spatial scales; 2) consequences of land use/cover change, specifically those linked to ecosystem services (climate change and biodiversity); and 3) socio-economic drivers of land change. For the last topic, we will discuss an array of explanations ranging from broad generalizations (e.g.: IPAT) to explanations that look closer at complex sets of social relations (political and cultural ecology).

Discussion of methodological challenges facing land change science is central to this seminar. Methodological issues to be discussed will be divided in four topics: 1) The use of remote sensing analysis for monitoring change; 2) the linkage of socio-economic data to ecological data in a spatially explicit form; 3) characterization and discussion of the importance of spatially explicit models to understanding processes and patterns of land change; and 4) the use of landscape metrics (landscape ecology) to understand patterns of land change.

Sea Isle City is flooding too

Thank goodness for YouTube, huh?

Visioning Workshop for Bergen County Master Plan

Bergen County is embarking on a public response period to update their vision for the County. The RPA has a colorful handout to tell you more. The first Visioning workshop is on November 14th. And there is another as late as January 23rd. It would be a great chance to see planning and democracy in action.

State of Emergency in Cape May County!

Seriously, Cape May County declared a state of emergency yesterday due to coastal flooding and storms. Sea level rise isn't just going to suddenly happen. Each storm will just get slightly more costly than the last. Today lots of schools are closed and evacuation maps are posted online. They even closed the zoo. Avalon canceled their Borough council meeting.

This can't be good.

Why don't they do something? The Philadelphia Inquirer had one answer:

Although Wildwood's flooding was its deepest in years, Sgt. Jim Nanos was taking it in stride.

"It's a way of life when you live down here," he said. "When you get high winds and high water, you adjust your life accordingly."

Sure, it is just a storm. Just another one. Another expensive one:

Today the Cape May-Lewes ferry is closed. The Coast Guard had to suspend their search for the lost boat. But we'll still have class.

(The Star-Ledger Photo from Lavalette is a real keeper)

12 November 2009

West 8's Adriaan Geuze

West 8's Adriaan Geuze will be speaking at Princeton at 6pm on Monday November 16th. This is part of their fall speaker series called. Down the Garden Path.

Quote of the Day

As heard in JoAnn Carmin's talk yesterday

Designing a dream city is easy,
rebuilding a living one takes imagination.

- Jane Jacobs

Cool Class: Immigrant Policy, Infrastructure and Organizing in New Jersey

Graduate research seminar
Mondays from 12:30 to 3:10pm
790:559 Metropolitan Politics: Immigrant Policy, Infrastructure and Organizing in New Jersey

Professor Ulla Berg, Dept. of Anthropology and Hispanic Caribbean and Latino Studies
Professor Christine Brenner, Public Policy and Admin. (Camden)
Professor James DeFilippis, Bloustein School
Professor Janice Fine, School of Management and Labor Relations and Eagleton Institute
Professor Kathe Newman, Bloustein School
Professor Robyn Rodriguez, Dept. of Sociology
Professor Mara Sidney, Dept. of Politics (Newark)
Professor David Tulloch, Center for Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis
Instructor: Dr. Anastasia Mann, Eagleton Institute

More than ever, community-based organizations across New Jersey play critical roles in the economic, social and political incorporation of immigrants. In this course, faculty from across the social sciences will lead students on an exploration of the role of community-based organizations in the lives of New Jersey’s 21st century immigrants.

Students will examine how diverse networks of immigrants have established and adapted a host of community-based organizations as a means to build lives and gain power. From soccer leagues and daycare centers to small business associations and worker centers, immigrants create and rely on CBOs to meet all kinds of needs. On the streets of Newark, on farms across Atlantic County, and in the many mid-sized cities in between, immigrants connect to the state, to native-born residents and to each other through the mechanism of CBOs.

Students will explore:
  • Who are today’s low-wage immigrants and why do they come?
  • How have larger scale changes such as globalization and the domestic devolution of the welfare state from the federal level impacted immigration patterns and immigrant experiences at the local level?
  • What are the empirical trends and theoretical frameworks through which we can understand patterns of immigration over time?
  • What critical employment and labor rights affecting immigrant workers?
  • What impact is the recession having in communities and on the infrastructure?

Students will conduct independent research with Rutgers Immigrant Infrastructure Map, a new multi-faculty research initiative out of the Eagleton Institute, testing original hypotheses about the (still largely unexplored) statewide immigrant infrastructure.

The map above shows 2000 US Census responses of non-native born residents as a percent of the population (Dark is high and light colored is low).

NOTE: Readers will want to note that my in-class presence will be moderated by a double class conflict. If you are looking to maximize contact time you should talk to me directly.

11 November 2009

3 Landscapes: Kate John-Alder

From our newest alumni of the year:
Vaux le Vicomte (Although Seaux is great)
Oakland Museum
Cabin on a lake in Maine (typ.)

LiveBlog: Kate John-Alder on Kevin Roche

Kate John-Alder, Landscape Architect
2009 Rutgers Outstanding Landscape Architecture Alumni of the Year
The Garden and The Greenhouse: The Landscapes of Kevin Roche

Born in Ireland, but practiced and taught in the US.
Came out of a modernist tradition with Saarinen. Saarinen's sudden death lead to the formation of Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates.

Decent credentials: 1982 Pritzker Prize in 1982, 1993 AIA Gold Medal. (It proves that the AIA is a bit slow)

Great Roche buildings include the Ford Foundation Building (finished in 1968), developed with Dan Kiley. Kiley deliberately overplanted the atrium allowing some plants to die, helping identify those plants fittest for the environment. The building was like Hepburn and the interior was like Bardot. (Mapped)

A decade later he completed the design for John Deere's Headquarters. (Mapped) Roche saw his atrium here as a tribute to the anonymous corporate worker. He isn't tearing down old models or replacing them with new.

His theories worked to integrate theories and ideas about natural and spiritual processes. His presentation on this worked to integrate nature and architecture. His efforts to connect with firmness, commodity and delight work within this and can be seen in the IBM Pavilion. Returning to the simple pleasures of nature, like lounging in the shade of a tree, he was able to embrace timeless values and experiences while utilizing new forms and materials.

As the Oakland Museum (mapped) showed, his ideas about green roofs and blurring the indoors/outdoors lines were way ahead of his time. The rooftop is an open environmental capsule. Although the space has changed over time, it sparks imagination and lends to happiness. This worked because he wasn't seeking picturesque facsimiles of nature, but sough a dialogue betwen man and nature. Not that you would know it from this link.

Great reference: Robert Smithson's Frederick Law Olmsted and the Dialectical Landscape

This style of design requires that you take a stance. He took his stance on nature and human action. It goes back to the tree which he saw as an archetype. It was a specific one. In Columbus, IN he related to the landscape of the Miller Garden but forced you to turn your back on the alley of trees in order to experience his special space of enclosed trees.

As a personal note, I have to say that his thinking seems much more consistent with the serious intellectual modernism that I learned from a student of Mies. Contrary to what you've heard, it isn't about harshness or dehumanizing qualities. It was both new and old - but truly modern.

When will NOLA go under again?

This past summer the Christian Science Monitor had an Environment feature on sea level rise in New Orleans and other areas along the lower Mississippi. Louisiana has long struggled in its ongiong battle with the Gulf of Mexico, but this could get really ugly. The researchers they interview project that by 2100 Louisiana could lose more than 5,000 square miles (note: 1 sq mi = 640 acres). Of course, since it is already below sea level, their projections don't look good for New Orleans either.

10 November 2009

Lecture: The Garden and The Greenhouse: The Landscapes of Kevin Roche

Fall 2009 Lecture Series
Department of Landscape Architecture
Wednesday, November 11 @ 3:55 in 110 Cook Douglass Lecture Hall
Kate John-Alder, Landscape Architect
The Garden and The Greenhouse: The Landscapes of Kevin Roche


Landscape, defined as the portion of the land that the eye can comprehend in a glance, is an integral component of Kevin Roche's architecture. Throughout his career, but particularly in projects completed between 1960 and 1975, Roche systematically combined site-specific observations with conceptual investigations of program, sequence, scale, and material to create buildings that are simultaneously landscape and architecture. Roche integrated these studies with an interest in the way built form shapes social behavior. In other words, he manipulated the interaction of landscape and architecture to provide what is generally considered to be a good view in order to promote civilized and socially inclusive activity.

In such a synthesis, the walls framing the landscape function as a structural and a narrative device - a monumental picture frame that imaginatively links the interior with the exterior and constructed space with nature. The result is an oeuvre of built work in which an Arcadian
ideal grounds a series of architectural explorations within a localized and particularized reality. And like the reflective surfaces that adorn many of his buildings, what one perceives in glancing moments is a living kaleidoscopic vision - a kinesthetic experience that mirrors the complexity
of the physical and cultural landscape. This lecture will explore the imaginative ways Roche manipulates the walls of his buildings to frame this synthesis.

Kathleen John-Alder is a licensed landscape architect whose practice is based in the state of New Jersey. During the course of her career, she received numerous design and planning awards, and reached the level of Associate Partner at Olin Partnership. In that position, she designed and directed the competition submission for Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California and prepared a stream corridor restoration plan, in conjunction with the Army Corp of Engineers, for the Mill River in Stamford, Connecticut. In 2006 she left Olin Partnership and returned to school and academia. In 2008, she received a Masters of Environmental Design from the Yale School of Architecture. Since completing her degree at Yale, she has continued to study, write, and teach. She also established a theoretical practice that focuses on the integration of landscape architecture and architecture through projects that address the physical and social ecology of the urban environment. Currently, Kathleen is a Landscape Architecture Critic and Lecturer at the Yale School of Architecture and Rutgers University.

Cool Class: Blogging and Podcasting for the Environment

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 2010 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? 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. 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 chess_c@aesop.rutgers.edu.
Make sure you check out last year's blog and videos too.

Open House for the new MLA Program

Open House for New Landscape Architecture Program

New for Fall 2010, Rutgers is offering a Master's in Landscape Architecture (MLA) program. If you or any of your students are interested in making a difference in the environment through graduate study, visit the MLA Open House on Saturday, November 14 from 10 a.m. to noon in Blake Hall, George H. Cook Campus. Email Pam Stewart or call 732-932-9317 to attend. Individuals with undergraduate degrees in all fields are welcome. For details about this new degree program, visit the website.