31 March 2010

Suitability analysis

Over his career, Steve Strom was a graduate of Rutgers as well as a professor and ultimately chair of Landscape Architecture.  One of legacies he left us were his hand-lettered class notes.  For the EnvPlan students I offer up this beautiful (and practical) example of his notes of Suitability.

Better spatial arrangements?

Alison Arieff writes in the NY Times Opinionator about how spatial tools (like GIS) can lead to better uses of space.

30 March 2010

Portland's tourists are in the gutter

Previously I posted some ideas about visiting Portland.  But, according to USA Today, I failed to emphasize how central their gutters and storm sewers are for tourism.

29 March 2010

Rain Rain

The USGS WaterWatch site gives you lots of gage data including live tracking of flooding. The graph below is a representation of the last 50 days. As I post this it looks like it is easing up, but the forecast looks like there is still a second stage to watch.

The second one is a live 5 day graph.  Of course, since it is live, if you see this post in August it might make less sense.  But, trust me, the Raritan has been rising.

Internship in the City

GIS Jobs Clearinghouse has posted a NYC Parks job that  looked perfect for some of our readers...

NYC Department of Parks and Recreation
GPS Park Tree Inventory
Application Deadline: 4/16/10

This is an internship position to work with the Central Forestry & Horticulture GIS unit, and is an excellent opportunity for students interested in careers in social and biological fieldwork. Interns will assist Parks by creating a thorough and accurate inventory of the number, species, and condition of trees in selected parks. This internship will be field-based, and interns will be spending the vast majority of their time in city parks collecting data with handheld GPS devices. While opportunities may exist to perform office GIS tasks such as basic analytics and mapping, this internship is primarily focused on fieldwork and applicants should expect to be working outdoors for the duration of their employment. Minimum college sophomore standing with an interest in fieldwork, urban forestry, GIS, and/or GPS. Preference will be given to students in environmental science, forestry, or biology. Familiarity with spreadsheets/tabular data formats such as Excel or Access is required; familiarity with ArcGIS or other GIS software is very helpful. Familiarity with data collection and post-processing using Pathfinder/ArcPad GPS is useful. Familiarity with tree identification is useful. Interns will be required to work outdoors in a variety of weather conditions and to utilize public transportation. A strong preference will be given to applicants who can demonstrate an ability to work independently and consistently in the field. Please email cover letter and resume to peter.tiso@parks.nyc.gov

h/t Puk

27 March 2010

Ramapough Mountain Indians

In class we recently talked about learning the deeper stories of social conflict embedded in environmental conflicts, but we didn't really get to explore the classic issues of environmental justice.  In the Highlands, specifically in Ringwood, there has been an ongoing fight over the impacts of Ford's dumping.  The Superintendent of Ringwood's schools writes about how Ford recently agreed to pay out $3 million dollars to children of the Ramapough Mountain Indians.

25 March 2010

Frank Gehry's Eisenhower Memorial design is chosen

One of Frank Gehry's four designs for the Eisenhower Memorial has been chosen as the plan for the newest DC design attraction.  He had some tough competition (himself) but managed to design the winner.  To get ready they looked back at other memorials. (PDF)

Brooklyn Bridge Park video

There is a nicely produced video on YouTube that highlights some of the key details of Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates' work on the new Brooklyn Bridge Park. It has been in the works for quite a wile, but is now emerging as (what they say is) the first major park in Brooklyn in 135 years.  In any case, it already seems destined to be one of the iconic designs of the decade.

24 March 2010

Mapping the urban food environment

For the last couple of years we've been at CRSSA with the Center for State Health Policy (CSHP) to map out and compare a variety of elements in the food environment of 5 New Jersey cities: Trenton, New Brunswick, Newark, Vineland and Camden. As one of the first outcomes of the project, these maps have been assembled as chart books along with BMI data from schools in those same cities and are now available online. A special thanks goes to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for their generous support of this project.

23 March 2010

In the built out city

City Parks Blog offers 6 steps to making new parks space in built out cities.  Speaking of which, Rutgers' Center for Urban Environmental Sustainability (CUES) is hosting a daylong conference on April 16th called Shaping the City of NJ which asks about appropriate interventions and solutions in this nearly built-out state.  In particular, the conference will highlight the opportunities for the urban change 

Not as urgent as it seems

Some students seem anxious about things that need to be done before they schedule their fall classes.  Please remember that registration for seniors doesn't begin until April 4.

22 March 2010

Ray LaHood wants to change transportation

US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood has openly embraced the Complete Streets approach to integrating pedestrians cyclists and cars into a coherent street network. He has very modestly added it to his blog with only 2 photos and 2 videos of his tabeltop speech. LaHood declares" “This is the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of non-motorized."

COAH's back

The governor rescinded his stop-order against COAH, so they can get back to work for now.  But for how long?

17 March 2010

Sea Level Rise Redux

For the folks at Temple-Ambler I offer this incomplete reading list on SLR and Coastal Development.
  • Living by the Rules of the Sea. David Bush, Orrin Pilkey, and William Neal. Duke University Press, 1996
  • The Rising Sea by Orrin Pilkey and Rob Young, 2009
  • "How High Will Seas Rise? Get Ready for Seven Feet" in E360 (e360.yale.edu) (14 Jan 2010) Rob Young and Orrin Pilkey, 2010
  • J.G. Titus and J. Wang. 2008. EPA 430R07004. USEPA Washington DC. http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/effects/coastal/background.html
  • Grinsted, Moore and Jevrejeva, 2009, Reconstructing sea level from paleo and projected temperatures 200 to 2100 AD. Climate Dynamics.
  • Reconstructing sea level from paleo and projected temperatures 200 to 2100 AD Grinsted, Moore and Jevrejeva, Climate Dynamics, 2009
  • Scarfo, R. A. 1986. "Stewardship in the 20th century," Landscape Architectural Review, 7: 2, 13-15.
  • Scarfo, R. A. 1988. "Stewardship and the Profession of Landscape Architecture," Landscape Journal, 7 (1988): 1, 60-68.

Barcelona in 3D

GoogleEarth has added Barcelona in 3D.  I'd rather see it in person, but this is still pretty nice.

16 March 2010

DEIS Comments

As part of the process for considering the proposed powerline across the Kittitiny Ridge, the NPS is developing a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).  The Federal process requires a comment period after which the EIS has to address each comment made at public hearings or submitted in writing. The period just ended and the Star-Ledger reports that the NPS has 1,700 comments to respond to.  It doesn't mean that each individual comment gets a separate appendix, but it does mean that they (or their consulting firm) will be busy for a bit.

Keep an eye on this.  We'll talk about the EIS process in class in a few weeks.

14 March 2010

NCAA picks

Even though Rutgers didn't quite make the field of 65, Places and Spaces readers are invited to join in the 12th annual FoD (or Friends of Dave) NCAA picks group on ESPN's Tournament Challenge.

11 March 2010

Spring Break Idea: NY/NJ

So the other ideas were too far away?

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.

Then again, you could just pick up a book.

NJ History list

As a follow-up to today's class discussion, if you want to follow NJ history issues H-Net New Jersey is a good resource to watch.

Spring Break Idea: Boston or DC

Can't take off for the week for a trip out West?  how about a long weekend in DC or Boston? 

I have posted enough on both that you can just follow my threads for fun things to do in DC or Boston.

On our last visit to MIT someone had mysteriously cleaned out Olin's rain garden. What would it look like now?

In DC you could go someplace familiar, like Dumbarton Oaks, to see it in a less familiar season. 

Or you could visit the new Capitol Visitor's Center.

There is so much to see there that you'll find something new even on your 10th or 20th visit as long as you are looking around.

Well traveled tacos

No wonder your taco seems tired.  California landscape architect David Fletcher and Rebar have mapped its journey to show that even just the spice pack has traveled a combined 15,000 miles.

10 March 2010

Spring Break Idea: Portland

I know that the West Coast is a ways to go for Spring Break, but if you want to see something new you may need to travel.

I've been taking pictures of Portland since before the digital camera age.  It is a great city for public space and photography. 

While the light rail might first catch your eye, they also have award winning gutters and water treatment sites.

I've already posted some photos of Portland's famous Tanner Springs Park.

Jamison Square Park is already a popular and well known stop for design fans.

Halprin's parks are outstanding.

For those who like larger landscapes, Portland has several new urbanist or TOD communities including Orenco Station
Mt St Helens is just a couple hours away (and Mt Hood is closer).

And the trip to the beach is different than at Daytona.

Redevelopment Plan

Woodbury sounds pretty excited by their new redevelopment plan by Group Melvin Design. Their goals seem pretty clear: "Bowe said he hopes the plan will help restore Woodbury to the busy town it was just 30 years ago."  This may not go unopposed; one commenter is targeting the courthouse.

09 March 2010

Spring Break Idea: Seattle

Can you get a cheap ticket to Seattle? It would be a great place to learn, but what would you see? Pike Place. Gas Works Park. Bloedel Reserve.

What did I miss?

UPDATE: This got posted prematurely. I also meant to mention the new Olympic Sculpture Park which opened about week after my last visit (it was featured at MoMA before it opened). And I also had hoped to add a link to the Monorail song.

Spring Break Ideas: Florida

Are you going to Florida for Spring Break this year? Why not do something useful while you are there?

Hargreaves has added to Miami's special spots to visit with his new South Pointe Park.

Elsewhere in the Miami area are a monorail, art deco, a Noguchi, Vizcaya, and a myriad of expensive fountains and plazas.

Up in the panhandle you could visit Seaside.

Or Disney's fantastical world of Celebration.

It even looks like chap tickets might still be available.

Film Screening: A Convenient Truth: Urban Solutions from Curitiba, Brazil

Center for Latino Arts and Culture presents:

A Convenient Truth: Urban Solutions from Curitiba, Brazil

Thursday, March 11
8:00-10:00 pm
Graduate Student Lounge, CAC
126 College Avenue, New Brunswick

Cities should be a solution not a problem for human beings. The city of Curitiba, Brazil has demonstrated for the past 40 years how to transform problems into environment-friendly, cost-effective solutions that can be applied in most cities around the world. Ecology and Conservation, 2007 Worldfest-Houston International Film Festival.

Join us for a post screening conversation with film director Maria Terezinha Vaz and Rutgers Department of Landscape Architecture professor David Tulloch.

Last in a four-part series entitled Ecologies in the Balance in Latin American and the Caribbean: A Documentary Film Series.

Sponsored by the Committee to Advance Our Common Purposes, the Center for Latin American Studies, The Department of Human Ecology, The Department of Latino and Hispanic Caribbean Studies, The Office of International Programs at the School of Arts and Sciences, Central and
South American Association, Rutgers Union of Cuban American Students, Latin American Student Organization, Rutgers Capoeira Club, [em]POWER Rutgers Chapter, and the Graduate Student Association.

06 March 2010

Mark your calendars

Get ready.

The Fall 2010 Schedule of Classes will be available on line starting
March 24.

Registration begins April 4.

05 March 2010

Friday Photo

We only take our students to the best places...

Census radio

On Wednesday the Diane Rehm show spent an hour looking into the 2010 Census as well as talking about its history.  While the debate over sampling may not be active, the conversation about the appropriate limits of the Census is likely to make many newspapers and blogs over the next several weeks.

"Representation and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers ... . The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct." -- Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution of the United States

04 March 2010

3 Landscapes: Laura Lawson

Sea Ranch
White Sands
Central Park

Video spotlight on planning

You think that it is only the elected officials that get caught in the spotlights of political accusations?  In Jersey City the corruption arrests included someone labeled as a city planning aide.

Recently in Elizabeth, NJ someone posted videos highlighting accusations about the planning director, Oscar Ocasio Juarbe.  One accuses him of making more than the Mayor of Manhattan and another claims that where there's smoke there's fire.  I am in no position to confirm any of this (and you should be wary of any facts in videos like these), but offer these instead as simple proof that the public cares about planners.  They certainly aren't fancy (or spellchecked) but they are hard to take down or remove.

Did they work?  Well, he resigned and the paper cites the videos as part of the situation.  But the numbers of views on the videos is somewhat low compared to viral videos of Internet fame.  Still, it clearly shows that someone other than just a few of our students is watching what is happening at the Planning Boards around NJ.

03 March 2010

Another useful GIS application

The reach of GI Science continues to amaze me.  You probably heard reports this weekend of the Tsunami alert in Hawaii as a result of the absolutely terrible earthquake in Chile.  But you might not have thought about how that wave energy is transmitted across the Pacific and how complex the spatial patterns are that NOAA was modeling.  The map, above, really captures the potential reach of this thing and you can see why Hawaii was wary.  With all of the other stories and photos of damage you may not realize it, but there were severe Tsunami impacts in Chile - see photos 33, 34, 35, 39, 40, 41 from The Big Picture.

02 March 2010

Garden Design Online's Top 10 Blogs

Jane Berger of Garden Design Online has named the Top 10 Garden Design Blogs for Blogs.com.  She lists some of the usual great sources like Landscape + Urbanism and Land8Lounge.  But then she puts her reputation on the line by including Places and Spaces.  We appreciate the compliment but hope it doesn't undermine her credibility for months to come.

01 March 2010