31 March 2009
30 March 2009
So it is interesting to see that despite evidence from our colleagues at SEBS, NJ is cutting it support from the profitable Jersey Fresh program.
29 March 2009
28 March 2009
27 March 2009
26 March 2009
I am working on a very short magazine inset on my use of Places and Spaces as an educational tool. But I would like to include a quote or two from students about how blogs do or don't contribute to their educational experience. What planning or design or environmental blogs do you read other than Places and Spaces? Are you spending a lot of time on them? Do you see the blogs as an integrated part of your learning experience, or an entirely separate optional experience? What have you learned from these blogs that you didn't in class? Is this one interesting just because it is one of the only school-related ones you have?
So, here's the thing. In order for me use the quote, or simply acknowledge your participation, I need your name. But even anonymous comments that help me understand what isn't working may be helpful.
25 March 2009
Robert F. Melvin, AICP/PP
Looked at the dynamics that are changing the way we think about what makes a community sustainable and the way the field of landscape architecture, planning and urban design are adding to the discussion.
The last 50 years were an experiment in an old way of doing things. The results were sprawl and bad design, road widening and increased congestion, homogenous landuse and cookie-cutter neighborhoods. Bob Melvin says that experiment is over.
As an example he looked at retail space. In 1990, communities in the US had about 19 sq ft of retail space per person. In 2005 it was up to 38. THat is a 100% increase in 15 years. IN EUrope it is less than 10 sq. ft. and some studies say that communities cannot support more than 25 sq. ft. per person.
Other issues like quality of life and carbon footprints and public health issues are also in play. In NJ, 59% of adults are either overweight or obese.
New communities will be different. So many buildings were built for single uses, when mixed use contributes more to the community and is a more flexible feature. Eating locally is a key - but it requires a substantive change in the food supply chain and on the agricultural landscape. We need to ensure that out public spaces are well designed and vibrant, if they are going to be sustainable. It will take a full complement of tools from rain gardens to solar power to make these urban places successful.
As a case study he presented his form's recent work in a newsworthy project in Woolwich, NJ (mapped) and showed examples of TDR and sustainable design can be implemented in a neotraditional design environment. Another example, in Newark applied similar principles to the urban landscape.
Integration is the future of planning and design.
When one of the questions asked how we can make our least pleasant urban landscapes more livable, he suggested that Society Hill in Philly was just as bad in 1964. (He suggested that we watch the YouTube videos, but I can't din them. Anyone?) But what does it mean for Bucks County?
Jeff Speck, who first introduced himself to Oklahoma City by announcing "your codes are bad,” is back with a new message: the sidewalks and streets aren’t great, either.Speck, who is a notable new urbanist, could be seen as pushing that agenda, but he makes a clear case for why pedestrian friendly landscape are valuable to a city:
Speck cites three reasons the city should be more concerned about being pedestrian friendly: less traffic translates into cleaner air, and more walking promotes health and reduces health care costs, and a pedestrian-friendly community is high on the list of amenities sought by 20- and 30-year-olds as they look at where they want to live and work.The new troubled economy may also make a free walk seem like a nice alternative to paying to park so you can pay to drive.
"To be walkable, a street needs to be safe, comfortable and interesting,” Speck said. "You guys lose it at safe.”
24 March 2009
The date of the Annual NJDEP Mapping Contest is April 30, 2009. Students are welcome to attend and participate in the contest, and in past years have frequently produced winning maps. The event is always fun, snacks are provided and students have the opportunity to meet GIS professionals.
"The quality of a map is also in part an aesthetic matter. Maps should have harmony within themselves. An ugly map, with crude colors, careless line work, and disagreeable, poorly arranged lettering may be intrinsically as accurate as a beautiful map, but it is less likely to inspire confidence." John K. Wright
The connections between access to water and gender, security, environment, and human rights will be the subject of a talk by Dr. Peter H. Gleick on Thursday, March 26 at 5:30 p.m. in the Alexander Library Scholarly Communication Center, 4th floor, College Avenue Campus. A
poster presentation and reception will precede the talk at 4:30 p.m. Dr. Gleick is the president and cofounder of the Pacific Institute in Oakland, CA. The institute monitors the quality of the world's water supply and its effect on health, climate change, industrialization, and
international relations. The talk is sponsored by the Rutgers University Libraries and the School of Arts and Sciences Office of International Programs. This event is free, although an RSVP is requested. To attend, send an email
Visit the website <http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul/news/09/03_water_quality.shtml>
for additional information.
23 March 2009
22 March 2009
20 March 2009
A little data can go a long way to making an interesting map. Note that on the right side he has provided four different ways to view the data. But none of them may make you feel good about not winning millions.
19 March 2009
17 March 2009
Best Teen Vampire Movie: Lost Boys
Best Toast: Rye with butter
Best Desert: Sonoran
Best Name of Vice President You've Probably Never Heard Of: Hannibal Hamlin
Best Early Modern Artist: Wassily Kandinsky
Best State Capitol: Honolulu
Best TV Show Set in Portland OR or ME: Hello, Larry
Best Ice Sport Without Skates: Curling
Best Chili: Skyline
Best Palm Tree: Phoenix dactylifera
Best Hotdogs in NJ: Rutt's Hut
Best Chris Elliot Movie: Groundhog Day
16 March 2009
15 March 2009
14 March 2009
13 March 2009
If you aren't leaving New Jersey, then try out some nearby sites. You could try this short list of notable NJ landscapes which includes Pier A, Grounds for Sculpture, Van Vorst Park and the Appalachian Trail. Or you could try out our new Rutgers/NJASLA NJ LA Sites Database to explore some landscape sites - it includes NJASLA design award winners like the Smithville Floating Walkway and the Turtleback Zoo.
You could head into Philly and explore Fairmount Park and the Patrick Dougherty sculptures at Morris Arboretum or you could take a train to New York and see his masterpiece at Prospect Park.
If you are heading to Florida for some fun and sun, you might want to stop in at the classic New Urban comimunity of Seaside or Disney's newer Celebration. Or maybe you should look for McHarg's hidden touch on Sanibel Island.
Then again, you could just pick up a book.
12 March 2009
11 March 2009
Q: If AB-255 (the censorship bill) does pass, why do you believe it would stand up to a court challenge?I don't think he understands how integrated this resource has become in day-today government operations around the country. It would be like taking away the GPS sugnal after we have all adjusted our business models and flight plans based on a heavy reliance on it.
Anderson: That's their option. They can take it to court. But since when do you have a First Amendment right to yell fire? This falls under the same category.
Just imagine what our enemies could do if they could locate this top secret government facility that is otherwise so well hidden:
View Larger Map
Nature Conversation in Germany – Problems and Perspectives
Today's talk explored questions about the meaning of nature in a place like Germany, where there remains an active dialogue about whether conservation should be favoring natural or cultural landscapes, especially since 19th century agricultural landscapes are treasured by much of the public. This process is pursued to preserve the Germany of the past:
- Heimatschutz = Homeland conservation
As an example she described the wilderness development area at Koenigsbrucker Heide in Saxony. Her dissertation abstract is available to help you digest some of these concepts.
(I know little about these ideas, but it looks like this might be an interesting read, too)
Here at SEBS (formerly known as the College of Agriculture and Environment) his goals may seem particularly fitting. In a recent speech at the Agricultural Outlook Forum 2009, he said that one of the three goals that Obama wants from the USDA is to "make sure that we worked hard at doing the research necessary to allow, over time, agriculture to transition away from its rather significant dependence today on fossil fuels." Interesting times in Washington.
It is worth pointing out that NJ has new Secretary of Agriculture as well, Doug Fisher.
(h/t Bob Goodman)
10 March 2009
09 March 2009
08 March 2009
The Making of a Room, that continues until March 29th. I'm not sure what the exhibit is like, but Rybczynski does a ince job of emphasizing the way that Kahn uses his sketching as real tools of modernist exploration and communication.
What's interesting is that Kahn's drawing doesn't look anything like a conventional architectural rendering; it's more like a sketch of an actual place.Since Spring Break is coming soon, it might be a nice time to slip down to Philly, see some design art, and then get some good food in University City.
07 March 2009
Trains are fun if you have the time.
At least for now, train travel remains in what the former flight attendant I met called an “age of innocence,” by which she meant that you can keep your shoes on to board. It is a relapse into a simpler time.
With some cash, Amtrak could add modern amenities like Wi-Fi and still preserve that slower pace that makes train travel a salve for our modern psyche, the perpetual motion lulling the rider to stillness, like a rocking cradle, and that hushing sound: choo-k-choo-k-choo-k-choo-k-choo-k.
06 March 2009
I'll even try to add a widget for tracking this.
Congressman Mike McCaul (TX) has re-introduced legislation aimed at preparing the next wave of design and construction professionals to improve the energy efficiency and productivity of our nation's buildings.
H.R. 957, The Green Energy Education Act, would require the Department of Energy (DOE) to partner with the National Science Foundation to award grants to university programs related to the design and construction of high performance buildings. The legislation specifically states that in awarding grants, DOE should give priority to university programs in design, architecture, landscape architecture, and city, regional, or urban planning. The legislation would improve the ability of engineers, architects, landscape architects, and planners to cooperate on the incorporation of advanced energy technologies during the design and construction of buildings.
During the last Congress, ASLA worked with Congressman McCaul to include "landscape architecture" in a similar bill that unanimously passed the House of Representatives. After learning how landscape architectural techniques, including sustainable site planning and development, contribute to the high performance of buildings, Congressman McCaul offered an amendment to include landscape architecture in the bill. Fortunately, the version recently introduced by Congressman McCaul does include language regarding landscape architects.
The legislation has been referred to the House Committee on Science and Technology.
05 March 2009
04 March 2009
The apartment vacancy rate is 16 percent, while for homes it is 4.7 percent, according to a recent Forbes report. Schwer thinks the Forbes’ apartment data is overstated, but still, with population flat or declining, it’s clear the construction industry will lie dormant for years.
But there’s a hopeful upside, as noted by Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, the Las Vegas Democrat: Without the constant banging of hammer on nail, Southern Nevada can use the silence to think about what it wants to be. “Because of the downturn, the foreclosures, yes it’s a crisis, but it’s created an opportunity for us to rethink what our city is and what it can be for everyone.”
03 March 2009
Richard Garber, Department of Architecture NJIT & GRO Architects NYC
Simulate, then Make
The lecture Simulate, Then Make will examine the trajectory and impact of digital tools on the architectural design process and suggest a paradigm shift from conventional design practices has occurred. Four recent projects by GRO Architects, including the re:Construction installation project and a prototype for high-performance urban infill housing will be presented to support this hypothesis.
Richard Garber is an Assistant Professor at the New Jersey School of Architecture, where he teaches design studios and directs the school's FABLAB. His work involves the use of computer simulation and computer numerically controlled (CNC) hardware in the generation of innovative design, construction and assembly solutions. In 2007 his practice, GRO Architects, won the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's re:Construction competition. The resulting work, Best Pedestrian Route, was fabricated at NJSOA's FABLAB and stood as a temporary structure at the corner of Broadway and John Street in Lower Manhattan through 2008. In February 2008, he won an AIA Merit Award for these efforts; and in May 2008 he received a NY Designs Award from the Architectural League of New York. He was also the Emerging Architect Visiting Assistant Professor at Barnard College in 2007 with Nicole Robertson. May 2009 will see the US the release of his book (Architectural Design) "Closing the Gap: Information Models in Contemporary Design Practice" published by John Wiley & Sons. Prior to coming to NJIT he was a project manager at SHoP Architects in New York, where he worked on the firm's 2000 winning PS1 entry, Dunescape; and Han Gil Sa Publishing Headquarters in Seoul, South Korea. He was also a project designer at Greg Lynn FORM in Venice, CA, where he worked on the Presbyterian Church of New York. His writing and design work has been published in the New York Times, the Star Ledger, The Architect's Newspaper, Azure, Art News, Metropolis, and Architectural Record. He holds architecture degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Columbia University.
Time: 4:00-5:15 PM
Location: <http://maps.rutgers.edu/building.aspx?1079> Cook Douglass Lecture Hall 110.
To celebrate, the NY Times' A. O. Scott made a video review of Hoosiers, the greatest basketball movie ever. And that led me to read Janet Maslin's original review when it came out. It is a pretty fun way to mark the changes of the seasons, and Places and Spaces will also help host a NCAA bracket tourney, so keep your eyes open.
02 March 2009
The conference will bring together design practitioners and theorists, economists, engineers, environmental scientists, politicians and public health specialists, with the goal of reaching a more robust understanding of ecological urbanism and what it might be in the future.Like so much of the new sustainability and green design, the science has to be sound. Presumably that means finding a way to increase the scientific dialogue without losing the richness of the design solutions.
01 March 2009
Please note: I will NOT cancel Monday's class unless Rutgers officially closes. Check here for official campus status. We will go ahead with Lecture 4/Chapter 4, which will be on the Second Exam.
Here is what the NWS says to expect:
"Machinic ecologies: rethinking urban nature."
Department of Geography
Institute for Global Studies
University of Minnesota
Friday March 6
B267 Lucy Stone Hall
Refreshments will be served and reception will follow.