30 June 2009

Bellevue Park

The latest issue of View included a story on Warren Manning's 1909 design for Harrisburg's Bellevue Park as well as a plethora of other projects in this often overlooked city. Aside from the article in View, http://www.bellevuepark.org/, has an image of the plan and old photos (below) that are useful in understanding the place. (mapped)


Be as simple as possible,
But not more so.

- Albert Einstein
as quoted by Carl Steinitz at UCGIS 2009

Everyone loves a good map

It turns out that Ken McCown isn't the only one using Flickr...

Now the White House Official Photostream is on flickr too.

29 June 2009

Handel in the news

When we reported on Steven Handel's ASLA awards weeks and weeks ago, it turns out that we had the scoop on the Home News and Tribune which finally reported it this month: Bridgewater ecologist's work honored and Bridgewater Ecologist wins award for work in California. Clearly the new media wins again ;)

Portland Parks job

Since a couple of our alums had recently mentioned an interest in West Coast work, I thought this was worth sharing:
Metro Sustainability Center, Portland, Oregon
Closes: July 16, 2009 at 5:00 pm
Recruitment number: SC-0356/0357-June09

We are seeking an exceptional professional to join our team of landscape architects and planners. Within our division, we work on a variety of projects, from site-specific nature park master planning and development, to regional trail planning and implementation, to strategic planning for the agency. Our park planning work revolves around the relationship of people to nature, and how that relationship informs regional planning for population growth, and the associated development of transportation systems and town centers. In addition to collaborating with land use planning, we are leaders in the development of an outstanding, interconnected regional system of trails, parks and natural areas.

Salary range:
Senior level $61,293.85 - $82,002.89 annually
Principal level $64,313.92 - $86,086.13 annually

The Parks Project Manager performs complex regional planning and intergovernmental relations activities including research and analysis. The person in this position will develop, organize and coordinate design, planning and construction projects and will frequently serve as project leader.

This position requires a seasoned project manager with a great deal of independent thought, creativity, and good judgment. Some experience in working with natural resource systems and scientists is a distinct advantage.

The ideal candidate will:
• Be comfortable working on a variety of project types, working collaboratively with other staff, elected officials both within and outside this agency, and the general public.
• Have professional training and experience in planning and landscape architecture.
• Have relevant work experience in parks, trails, and natural areas.

Minimum Requirements:

Senior level:
A Bachelor's degree in urban planning, landscape architecture, or related field and three years experience in land use planning, landscape architecture, project management or public policy development; or any combination of experience and education which provides the applicant with the desired knowledge, skills and ability required to perform the job.

Principal level:
A Bachelor's degree in urban planning, landscape architecture, or related field and five years experience in land use planning, landscape architecture, project management or public policy development; or any combination of experience and education which provides the applicant with the desired knowledge, skills and ability required to perform the job.

For a complete job description and application instructions, go to:
Portland has some great planning and some great parks. I bet they get a lot of applicants for this.

4 Corners

I hope that this doesn't screw up your summer vacation too much, but it turns out that the Four Corners is in the wrong spot.

26 June 2009

StreetView Virtual Tour - Places I haven't been

On our trips to Spain, we never managed to get down to Seville. So today's virtual tour starts there but then wanders off unpredictably. This is the last (planned) entry in our virtual StreetView tours.

Giralda Tower - a great landmark

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Plaza Nueva
- Seville has some notable public spaces

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Torre del Oro

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Plaza de Espana

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Puente de la Barqueta Bridge

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Calatrava's El Alamillo Bridge Bridge

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And in Valencia you could see Calatrava's City of Arts and Science

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And I still long to visit these linear parks

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And as long as we are looking at Calatrava bridges I haven't see, how about his Trinity Bridge in Mancester

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And once we get to Mancester I would walk over to see Exchange Square

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24 June 2009

Sketch. Now.

Teaching in Europe gave me the chance to take students great spaces and say, "Sketch. Now." Since I've been virtually taking our readers to European places this week I feel obligated to do the same, "Sketch. Now." Your brain will thank you.

StreetView City Tours - Paris

Ah, Paris, the city of lights. well, not many lights in StreetView since they make their drives during daylight hours.

The Lourve

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Place de la Concorde

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The amazingly elegant base of the Eiffel Tower

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Notre Dame

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Place des Vogues

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Palais de Versailles

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You can even drive into the garden and see The Grand Trianon

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Parque de la Vilette

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Euro Disney

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Par Andre Citroen

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Finally, some lights in the infamous tunnels along the Seine right underneath the torch

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Moving Quote

Americans are always moving on.
- Stephen Vincent Benet

23 June 2009

StreetView City Tours - London

So now StreetView becomes more useful for me since I have never managed to make it to London. Sure I have seen pictures, but now I can around and explore a little more. I can't visit the Lady Diana Fountain, since it is not close to a road, but I can get a feel for a few different famous neighborhoods.

The Tower Bridge and some sort of gherkin on the skyline

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Royal Albert Hall

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King's College at Cambridge

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Millennium Bridge and the Tate Modern

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Covent Garden

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Northala Fields Park

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22 June 2009

StreetView city tours - Barcelona

Google's StreetView has expanded to include many European cities, including London, Rome and Barcelona. It isn't quite good enough to let us teach our study abroad classes in our computer labs in New Jersey, but it is a nice way to get a first peek at these great cities. This week we'll take some virtual tours of cities. Wherever possible we have embedded the StreetView right into the blog post, so you can click on it move it around or "drive" up the street.

We'll start with Places and Spaces' favorite European city, Barcelona.

The famous pedestrian way, Las Ramblas, before the crowds descend upon it

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Casa MilĂ  or La Pedrera

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Here is the Parc Diagonal

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Gehry's Fish

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Sagrada Familia

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Looking up at Montjuic

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Some of the spots you can see would be hard for real tourists to visit accidentally, like the Calatrava bridge at Bac de Roda

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Gaudi's chapel at Colonia Guell (which is nowhere near Parc Guell)

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Camp Nou

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La Segrera

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And no trip to Barcelona is complete without a stop at the beach

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21 June 2009

Kennedy Quote

The American. . . is devoured with a passion for locomotion. He must come and go.

- John F. Kennedy

20 June 2009

Driving in circles

If we all just drove the same speed in circles, would there still be traffic jams?

Really I just posted this because of their great photo. Follow the link to see it.

19 June 2009

Ken McCown on Flickr

Arizona State University Associate Professor Ken McCown, and friend of Places and Spaces, keeps a pretty awesome flickr photostream. He has over 2,200 photos online, but the collection includes sketches and studio illustrations, too. He has images from deYoung, Cornerstone, OK City Memorial, the Getty, and works by Turrell. This is very open source, since he has it all posted under a creative commons license, so educators and designers and alums can all take advantage of this great resource. Picking just a few photos to share was pretty hard, so you should dig through the collection.

As far as I can tell, this serves not only as a resource for us, but probably for him. Posting them forces a deeper awareness of the images and organizes some of it in his mind. It also lets him access the images from Flickr seems to be standing the test of time so I think it is time I got serious about posting more of my images on there too.

His photos have me inspired to set up a Flickr stream this summer, too. It can't come close to his, but it might help me organize my photos a little better.

The Places and Spaces citation index

Many ages ago (in Internet years) I posted a list of highly cited papers in Landscape Architecture Magazine and the Landscape Journal. This seemed like a good time to update those lists. I am relying on the semi-reliable Google Scholar (LJ isn't included in the major indexes because it isn't quarterly) and came up with these as the most cited Landscape Journal papers of all time:
  • Messy Ecosystems, Orderly Frames by Joan Nassauer, 1995 - 113 citations
  • Perceptual Landscape Simulations: History and Prospect by Zube, Simcox and Law, 1987 - 72 citations
  • A Framework for Theory Applicable to the Education of Landscape Architects (and Other Environmental Design Professionals by Carl Steinitz, 1990 - 59 citations
  • Prospects and refuges revisited by Jay Appleton, 1984 - 57 citations
  • An ecological aesthetic for forest landscape management by Paul Gobster, 1999 - 52 citations
The only change in order of the LJ list is that Appleton and Gobster switched places. The order for Landscape Architecture Magazine hasn't changed much either except for the insertion of the rural landscape paper by the late Erv Zube.
  • The beholding eye: Ten versions of the same scene by DW Meinig, 1976 - 78 citations
  • Hand drawn overlays: their history and prospective uses by C Steinitz, P Parker, L Jordan, 1976 - 62 citations
  • Quality corridors for Wisconsin by Phil Lewis, 1964 - 44 citations
  • Rating everyday rural landscapes of the Northeastern US, E Zube, 1973 - 30 citations
  • Cellular worlds-models for dynamic conceptions of landscape by RM Itami, 1988 - 21
The dates on these reflect that LAM used to be a more serious outlet for academics, while in the last few decades Landscape Journal has taken on that role. If you didn't see it, th emost recent issue of the Journal includes a paper by Matt Powers and Jason Walker analyzing authorship and content of the last 25 years of the Journal.

18 June 2009

Remaking Paris

As part of a special issue on Infrastructure, The New York Times Sunday Magazine had Nicholai Ouroussoff take a closer look at Sakozy's plans for Remaking Paris. But, while article does a great job of imagining different futures of the City of Light, the highlight might have been a series of Naoki Honjo tilt-shift photos that you can see featured in this audio slide show.

Michael Rockland on writing

In Snowshoeing through Sewers, Michael Rockland describes a series of urban explorations including canoeing all the way around Manhattan and a ridiculously dangerous bike trip across New Jersey on Route 22. I wish more of our students read some of this, since it really highlights the value in taking different approached to seeing otherwise familiar places. He teaches a class called On The Road: Mobility in America that sounds great too.

His visit to our speaker series wit a reading several years ago was so popular that I feel compelled to mention your chance to see him this summer:
Rockland to Speak About "A Writer's Life"

Michael Rockland, Rutgers Professor of American Studies, will discuss the challenges and rewards of "A Writer's Life" on Wednesday, June 24 from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the Alexander Library Scholarly Communication Center, College Avenue Campus. Rockland has successfully traversed scholarship, journalism, and fiction writing and will discuss the challenges of each. A light reception will follow the talk. The program is cosponsored by the Rutgers University Libraries and Rutgers-New Brunswick Summer Session. RSVP by Tuesday, June 23 to Harry Glazer by email (hglazer [AT] rci.rutgers.edu) or phone at 732-932-7505. For more information, visit the website.

Margaret Mead Quote

Man's role is uncertain, undefined, and perhaps unnecessary.

- Margaret Mead

17 June 2009

Soaking up the publicity

The Summer 2009 issue of View: The Magazine of the Library of American Landscape History (pdf) is online with a really nice article by Rutgers Landscape Architecture Professor Dean Cardasis. The piece is a Guest Commentary called "Modernism Unplugged: Notes from the Home of James Rose" and talks in particular about Rose's experiments in blurring of the line between indoors and outdoors at his home. Cardasis says that Rose wanted to blend things such that his own "intervention would be so thoroughly integrated with its physical site as to create a new, singular, living and changing organism further distinguishes his conception."

Decide for yourself! You can visit his home today in Ridgewood, NJ which is preserved as the James Rose Center for Landscape Architecture Research and Design. (Mapped)

Walkability = waste

DCStreetsBlog highlights the new effort to prevent walkability. More specifically, opponents of the poposed health care plan are labeling programs that promote more paved sidewalks and jungle gyms as "new wasteful programs" as a means for fighting the bill's passage. They are also opposing the support of farmers markets. Meanwhile, the literature has shown the relevance of the built environment to fitness and ultimately reducing healthcare costs.

16 June 2009

James Corner's House

The NY Times Sunday Magazine visited landscape architect James Corner at home.

This is a feature where the Q&A is printed as popcorn conversation (No telling if that is how it happens in person). When asked about professional misconceptions, he complained about the assumption that we only deal with plants. While he gave some very serious answers, he was surprisingly open in giving a few that weren't so serious or guarded:

FAVORITE MOVIE: “The Bourne Ultimatum.” It’s just so fast. It really is a movie that doesn’t have a wasted minute. It is so compelling to watch.I watch it again and again.

PET PEEVE ABOUT PUBLIC SPACES: Sameness. What makes cities great is their difference and variety. For me the best public spaces are eccentric, unique and of their time, and they don’t tend toward bland populism.

Mapping NJ Landscapes

I get a fair number of questions about where students, potential students, practitioners and just plain old fans of landscape architecture can go to see special landscapes nearby. As an initial list, I came up with a short, varied list of examples of landscapes that our students might see in the Garden State as a way of getting to know some places and spaces. But that list sparked an interest in something that dug a little deeper and, with the support of Rutgers' Department of Landscape Architecture, the Center for Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis, and the NJ ASLA, we created a couple different online resources for exploring these.

First we created a database of landscapes that is available in multiple formats at the NJ Landscape Architectural Sites page. With just under 300 sites, the database can be explored as a GoogleEarth KML or as a pre-composed map in ZoomIt. If you grab the KML data, make sure you check out the different attributes.

More recently we created an interactive map interface at http://njlasites.rutgers.edu/ that allows users to use their browser as a way of exploring New Jersey's landscapes.

It is valuable to note that users can select a category to look more closely at. In the graphic below I selected out just campus designs.
We still hope to add a richer set of attributes available through a tab for each site as well as photos of the site, thousands of which were already taken by Jenna Pauloski. And, there have been some notable recent projects in New Jersey that we want to add (like the work by MVV on the Princeton Campus).

15 June 2009

Putting starchitects in their place?

It turns out that names like Gehry and Pei aren't quite as universal as you might think.

The High Line at Night

Curbed has some great night photos from the High Line at night.

Wicked Plants

A new book is out by Amy Stewart called “Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln’s Mother & Other Botanical Atrocities.” Much has the title suggests, it focuses on plants that are sometimes viewed less positively just because they could kill you or maybe they eat things. The NY Times recently visited her poison garden and saw a few samples of deadly plants.

To celebrate the book, Brooklyn Botanic Garden has an exhibition including a Wicked Plants walk and a recent visit from the author. It sounds like a good trip sometime this summer, if you are in the tri-state area.

14 June 2009

Vancouver sports conference

Any excuse to go to the beautiful city of Vancouver is a good one. But talking about sports just sweetens the pot.
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, Canada
8-10 March 2010

We are excited to be holding the inaugural Conference in Vancouver - scheduled between the Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games, at the University of British Columbia. The Conference hopes to engage university and international academics to consider broad questions about the connections between sport and society in the exciting context of the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The International Conference on Sport and Society and its companion International Journal of Sport and Society provide a forum for wide-ranging and interdisciplinary examination of sport, including: the history, sociology and psychology of sport; sports medicine and health; physical and health education; and sports administration and management. The discussions at the conference and in the journal range from broad conceptualisations of the fundamental logics of sport, to highly specific readings of sporting practices in particular times and places. The conference and journal focus on four logics of sport: Game Logic; Body Logic; Aesthetic Logic; and Organisational Logic.

As well as impressive line-up of international plenary speakers, the Conference will also include numerous paper, workshop and colloquium presentations by practitioners, teachers and researchers. We would particularly like to invite you to respond to the Conference Call-for-Papers. Presenters may choose to submit written papers for publication in the International Journal of Sport and Society. If you are unable to attend the Conference in person, virtual registrations are also available which allow you to submit a paper for refereeing and possible publication in this fully refereed academic Journal.

Whether you are a virtual or in-person presenter at this Conference, we also encourage you to present on the Conference YouTube Channel. Please select the Online Sessions link on the Conference website for further details.

The deadline for the next round in the call for papers (a title and short abstract) is 9 July 2009. Future deadlines will be announced on the Conference website after this date. Proposals are reviewed within three weeks of submission. Full details of the Conference, including an online proposal submission form, are to be found at the Conference website - http://www.SportConference.com/.

Train quote

There isn’t a train I wouldn’t take, no matter where it’s going.

- Edna St. Vincent Millet

13 June 2009

E. O. Smith quote

Humans live in a bizarre combination of Stone Age emotions, medieval beliefs, and god-like technology.
- E. O. Wilson

12 June 2009

Reasons for a Ph.D.

Here's something to ponder late on a Friday afternoon. Why do people take the time to get PhDs?

Flying maple seeds

Winged maple seeds (everyone one knows their technical name, whirlybirds) can be blown as much as a mile. Now, a scientist has studied the aerodynamics of the form to discover just how they work so well. No word on whether we all be flying in aluminum samaras anytime soon.

A growing New Brunswick

Ground is being broken on the new Gateway Transit Village (link includes drawing) in downtown New Brunswick. The 16 story DevCo project will be multipurpose and includes parking, condos, the Rutgers University Press and the new Rutgers Bookstore by Barnes and Noble. It is being described by Devco President Chris Paladino as "a 650,000 sq ft project that is being built on only an acre and half of land." NJN has video (at the 1:00 mark).

Does New Brunswick need more commuter parking like that near the train station? Or does it need to become a denser population center that sends its workers out on foot (or bike or segway) into the city to work at J&J, RU, the courthouse, etc.?

Earth from Way Above

After watching the beautiful imagery in Home, I couldn't help but think how going aerial helps separate us from the familiar in a way that helps see things in a different perspective. Another great example of this is satellite imagery. While many remotely sensed images are more data than aesthetics, Jay Hart has sifted through countless available images and created some striking posters that he sells at EarthPattern.com.

For many of our readers, the should be relatively easy to identify, but his colors and cropping do a great job of keeping that from being the primary way we look at these. For instance, in that last one, stripping out the state lines and roads help emphasize the sweep of the Appalachian Mountains into the upper South and changes the way we see the draw of the Alabama and Mobile Rivers down into Mobile Bay. We often think we know the landscapes in which have lived for years, but images like these give us the opportunity to see something new through a something of a macroscope.

11 June 2009

Wright quote

"Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you."
- Frank Lloyd Wright

Northala Fields and why I want LatLongs on projects

The May 2009 issue of Landscape Architecture magazine had an intriguing cover photo of a park that really drew me into the issue. But since it is in West London, a landscape with which I am unfamiliar, I wanted to see the larger context on Google Maps or Live.com. But since it is a foreign landscape for me that was really tricky. Harder still was the fact that the online images are all currently taken before the project was completed, so I wasn't looking for large round hills, but a site under construction by a highway.

Most major features in LAM include a through citation of the designers and planners for the project, right down to the lighting engineer. But I think that an equally helpful reference citation would be a simple Lat Long for the project that would allow any reader to check out the site in Google Earth. It would also facilitate visiting publicly accessible sites when nearby.

All that would be required is one extra line in the credits or a parenthetical note after first mentioning Northala Fields Park (LatLong: 51.539936, -0.373653).

Marc Treib's feature 10/2007 on the Australian Red Sand Garden (LL: -38.129569, 145.269701) definitely left me wanted to see more.

Or maybe you wanted to follow-up a little on the April 2008 LAM feature called, How Not to Revitalize an Icon, which looked at Seattle's occidental Park (47.600477, -122.333311).

It might be tempting to rely primarily on a digital resources (like the Places and Spaces Map or the new Land8Lounge map) but by printing the coordinates, they become a permanent, open identifier of the park location that can be used widely. A reader could readily compare the construction photos from Yahoo with those from Google with Live.com's. Or they could enter the coordinates directly into their own private database.

View Places and Spaces Map in a larger map

Here you can see a different look for the site...
Live Search Maps

Than you see here:
Live Search Maps

Home by Yann Arthus-Bertrand

On World Environment Day (last Friday) I was fortunate enough to be invited to the world premiere of Yann Arthus-Bertrand's film Home hosted by the French Ambassador to the UN. I mention that as a sign of how seriously this movie is being taken. Narrated by Glenn Close, the film takes YAB's famous Earth From Above perspective and sets it into motion with gorgeously shot imagery from around the world. The main point of the movie is to help motivate viewers to reconsider their commitment to the Earth and take action.

So what will it cost for you to see it? Nothing. Thanks to the generous support of the PPR Group the film is being distributed for free. You can even watch a reasonably high-def version on YouTube.

Here are a few highlights:
  • at 7:40 he flies up the middle of Iguazu Falls
  • at 15:50 there is a two-walled village letting out its cattle
  • at 17:54 is a village from Mali that almost looks like a model
  • at 36:57 there is a sequence of a humpback whale showing off
  • at 1:09:25 they take peek at the Maldives, which are pretty much built out
  • at 1:10:10 YAM pulls off an amazingly smooth zoom into a busy intersection

It is a beautiful movie with a point.

UPDATED: The ability to embed the movie here is gone, but the ability to watch it directly on YouTube in HD is still available.

10 June 2009

Learning amongst the wetlands

The always reliable Pruned looks at the politically connected Sidwell Friends School's constructed wetlands courtyard.

LAM on Blogging

The latest issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine features Places and Spaces in a Dan Jost article on blogging (Preview). And, LAM was nice enough to ask me to contribute a sidebar piece as well. Jost looked into a variety of issues including who benefits, who reads them, how to connect with blogging, and whether you can make any money from advertising. As a basis for this he looked closely at several major and minor blogs out here including:
This was a real honor for me because I've been reading LAM since I had a high school internship (many years ago) with Mark Arnold and started flipping through his office copies. Since then I have gone back and collected most of the issues from the mid-1970s to today. I had hoped to get published in LAM for my design work or my revolutionary ideas on integrating geospatial information into landscape interventions, but since those aren't ready yet I'll happily settle for this. And a special thanks goes to Jimmy Brosius who helped with the photograph.

The Treehouses are making a return

Last summer, the Tyler Arbortetum in Media, PA hosted a fun summer-long exhibition of treehouses. This summer they are back, with Totally Terrific Treehouses, Nature's Play. Last summer's show included a few that were serious constructions by professional designers, and some that were more artistic or whimsical, but all set in the beautiful arboretum landscapes.
One was so large you would have thought it required a building permit.

Another large one didn't go so high into the trees, but required exploration.

Not so much of a treehouse, one was a recreation of Thoreau's cabin from Walden Pond.
Others went in vastly different directions.

Although none went as far as the Tree Cube in this month's LAM, even of them were stimulating to warrant the trip from NJ. It was an especially nice treat for those with kids, but the sort of place that many landscape architects could really enjoy on a nice afternoon near Philly. (h/t puk)

09 June 2009

Wave of the future

Google is starting to talk about its next major innovation in communication, something called Google Wave. It is an open system that allows messages to be developed for communication, in a collaborative, multimedia environment - maybe somewhere between email, texting and blogging. It even has gaming potential and mobile tech applications. Like other technologies (think about blogging), the initial description sounds a little empty. Like other innovations, it will still need both the tech push and the social pull, if it is going to succeed. Will this click or flop?

Did I mention that this is from the brothers that developed Google Maps? Their video shows clearly (at around the 53 minute mark) how you can collaboratively manipulate Google Maps in this environment. What is left for the GIScientist?

Rutgers alum Bob Snieckus

This morning's LAND Online from ASLA has a great interview with Rutgers' alum Bob Snieckus. He mentions his Rutgers roots and talks about both large and small projects he has undertaken as national landscape architect with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

New urbanist literacy

Whether you love it or despise it, new urbanism has infiltrated the vocabulary and toolbox for community planning and design. When I give our undergraduate students a lecture on the movement, I primarily use Seaside, Celebration, The Kentlands (photo below), and Washington Town Center as examples of what is and isn't part of new urbanism. Orenco Station is tempting since I have some photos already. Civano achieved enough different accomplishments to get a solid place in Fritz Steiner's The Living Landscape.
Even if you dislike the movement, being literate in these matters is key to advancing the discussion. And I am a little less interested in favorites than useful icons. So, what are the new iconic new urban (or TND or TOD or whatever) developments that students should learn about as they develop their own personal opinions about this movement? Given a very limited time to add to their list, what 2 or 3 developments would be good ones for them to watch over the next few years?

New Town at St Charles
Mashpee Commons
Bay Meadows
Middleton Hills
Orenco Station
Tualatin Commons
Fairview Village

I'll be monitoring the comments on this post, so you can offer suggestions of other communities to look at. But take a minute or two to vote in the poll ( --> ) that I have just added in the column on the right. I'll post the results early next week.

The High Line is open

Although there may still be more to do, New York has opened the first section of its elevated rails-to-trails project, the High Line, in the meatpacking district. Designed by James Corner Field Operations and Piet Oudolf, this project creates some stylish linear open space well above the streets of lower Manhattan.

Everyone is talking. Here is what they are saying:
The celebrities are out in full support of this project. Sundance Channel made videos with Ethan Hawke and Kevin Bacon.

Metro quotes Rutgers alum Mario Batali:

“As soon as they started working on it, it became a place for very expensive real estate,” said chef Mario Batali, whose Del Posto restaurant nearby hosted several fundraisers for the High Line. He called the park “stunning,” adding, “The problem is going to be crowd control.”

NYC.gov has detailed spontaneous quotes:
"Rather than destroying this valuable piece of our history, we have recycled it into an innovative and exciting park that will provide more outdoor space for our citizens and create jobs and economic benefits for our City," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Ten years ago, detractors thought the High Line was an eyesore. Thankfully, there were a handful of people who looked at the High Line and saw also an extraordinary gift to our city's future. Today, we will unwrap that gift."

08 June 2009

11:550:403 Japanese Gardens Within Cultural Context

New course in Environmental Planning & Design
11:550:403 Japanese Gardens Within Cultural Context (3)
Seiko Goto
Fall 2009 - MTh 10:55-12:15 PM

Course description: Since Japan was considered to be the end of the silk road, many aspects of its culture were originally introduced from China, Korea, and other Asian countries. This course will investigate not only the history of Japanese gardens but also the characteristics of other Japanese art through gardens.

There are two aspects to this course: The first is a series of lectures in which different style of Japanese architecture and gardens are introduced. Topics include public and private space; religion; as well as ideology and Modern Landscape Architecture designs in the United States. The second part of this course will study the historical, cultural and political background that influenced the garden designs examining various other art disciplines, such as painting, crafts, and literature. The final objective of this course is not only to introduce Japanese gardens, but also to bring about an understanding of the similarity and differences between other Asian cultures and the role of Japanese gardens in North America. Each lecture will be followed up with assigned readings.

Climate Positive strategies for growth

The Clinton Climate Initiative announced a new effort, recently, that would strive to promote strategies for cities that would help new growth be "Climate Positive". The video below uses beautifully shot imagery of cities around the world while touting new development that creates more energy than it uses.

Since this was announced last month it has been covered by several online outlets drawing interesting comments. For instance, the NY Times Green Inc. Blog didn't take long to get comments linking this to the new LEED ND standard and contrasting it with new urbanist efforts.

Orenco Station

Orenco Station is a new neighborhood on the outskirts of Portland, OR. Built at a light rail station connecting it with much of Portland Metro, it was been widely studied and written about as a New Urbanist Case Study. A quick glance at a map shows the central density, public open space, alleys and lack of cul-de-sacs. But based on my visits, it has also become a Main Street that is visited by folks from other parts of the region for dinners or shopping, which makes it work even more like a real downtown.

Some of these photos are from a time when it was still unfinished, so they may look a little underoccupied. Have you been? Did it feel right to you?