29 April 2011

The Meadowlands

MeFi noticed the ecological restoration at the Meadowlands.

Happy Arbor Day!

If you can't plan a tree to celebrate Arbor Day, you can at least admire the photos of celebrity trees in Slate's slideshow.  While I was glad they didn't include Disney's Tree of Life, I was hoping that they would include "the most photographed tree in the world" or at least they could have included the other "most photographed tree in the world."

Writing requires some faith

"Writing is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights,but you can make the whole trip that way"
- E.L. Doctorow

26 April 2011

Rutgers Day is coming

 Here are some remembrances of Rutgers Days past.

We will have open houses at both CRSSA (10-12) and Blake Hall (10-4).  Feel free to stop by.

The Madrid Rio Project

If you are close to campus, think about how Rouute 18 has cut off New Brunswick from the Raritan River.  Those connections are hard to repair.  Here is Madrid's solution to a vaguely similar situation.

19 April 2011

Urban Farm at Battery Park

NY1 reports on an Urban Farm being grown at Battery Park in Southern Manhattan. Unfortunately I didn't know to look for the turkey that lives there, Curbed shows you a plan of the turkey shaped gardens.
I did get a picture of the bamboo fencing being built out of bamboo from the Big Bambu roof exhibition at the Met.

18 April 2011

The 2011 Margaret O. Cekada Memorial Lecture

This year we have the great pleasure to welcome Kristina Hill as speaker of the2011 Cekada lecture. Please join us.

The 2011 Margaret O. Cekada Memorial Lecture
Kristina Hill; Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture, University of Virginia
Title: “Urban Water”
Cook Campus Center - Multi-Purpose Rm. B, 59 Biel Rd. New Brunswick, NJ 08901
This Thursday, April 21, 2011 at 6:00 PM

Kristina Hill’s work recently has been “focused on how coastal cities around the world are starting to come up with ways of adapting to climate change… In New Orleans, the proposals are about how to create more room to store water in the city in major rain events, as well as how to build super levees when the soil is mostly mud. In VA, the proposals are about trying the Dutch idea of using artificial sand islands, built from dredged sands that are already generated in large amounts by shipping channels, that erode and thicken shorelines in the process.”

She co-edited the book "Ecology and Design: Frameworks for Learning" and has written "Water, Ecology and the Design of Cities: Landscape Urbanism in the Pacific Northwest".

See links @ http://landarch.rutgers.edu/

Mundane Manhattan

While not exactly mundane, part of the fun of the Manhattan hike is seeing the places that are part of the daily life of Manhattanites.

17 April 2011


The Manhattan hike started at Marble Hill (above) and finished at Battery Park at the Southern tip of Manhattan.  Some of what we saw was pretty unexpected or world famous.  Museums and giant roses and buildings by Wright, Gehry, Morphosis, CArlos Zapata Studio and SANAA.

15 April 2011

Save GPS

Do you really want you next flight to be based on sight instead of GPS?  If not, you might want to check out the Coalition to Save Our GPS.  The good news is that this appears to primarily be a problem in the US (it is a problem being created by the FCC), so wars overseas and international flights should be unaffected.
Project for Public Spaces is redesigning Zion and Breen's design for Triangle Park in Lexington, KY.  The park was a notable icon for the city and for Zion and Breen over the last few decades, but the owners have decided it is due for an update.  The NJ firm, Zion and Breen, was well known for modernist landscape architecture and a pretty extensive knowledge of fountains.  The wall of fountains at Triangle Park required a massive pumping system and looked great when lit at night, which is part of why this park has been an Lexington Landmark and photographic icon for 30 years.  But Zion and Breen also designed the famous waterwall that we saw this weekend at Paley Park (see below).

13 April 2011

LiveBlog: Jim Welsh

Jim Welsh
Thomas Balsley Associates

...We're Halfway There.  Livin' on a Prayer

Starts with a personal history inspired by The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

He encourages us to go back and check out their old award-winning projects too.  And then visit, since many of them are in New York City. 

The first project is the Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park in Tampa next to the Kiley Gardens.  Some elements are not for the reasons they seem, like a dog run which is about ensuring that there is a steady presence of eye on the park from sunrise on.  Custom designed site furnishings are a standard tool in their efforts to make a design experience unique.

Main Street Garden Park was one of the first new parks in downtown Dallas in several years. 

They also recently completed the Zen Garden at the Intercontinental Hotel in NYC.

Balsley partnered with Stantec to work on the Heritage Park at Yankee Stadium.  Partnerships like this are pretty important for making special projects work.

Hunter's Point South will be an extension of the Gantry Park project.

The Master Plan for Binghamton University builds on an existing campus that resembles an upsidedown brain in plan view.  Balsley offered design ideas for turning some of the underutilized spaces on campus into more student-friendly and greener spaces.

Ferry Point Park in the West Bronx is being redesigned to include a Jack Nicklaus golf course and turn a contaminated site into a meaningful green space for local residents.  Turning the waterfront into a quality space and integrating environmental features and native grasses.

And then we got into life lessons, but I'll spare Jim from having them on the Internet.

11 April 2011

Common Lecture: Jim Welsh...We're Halfway There. Livin' on a Prayer

LA Spring Lecture Series presents Jim Welsh

Wednesday, April 13 at 4:00 pm,
110 Cook/Douglas Lecture Hall;

...We're Halfway There.  Livin' on a Prayer

Jim Welsh is a local guy turned senior associate at the internationally recognized and award winning firm of Thomas Balsley Associates.  He will present selected recent works of the firm and share some lessons about getting a job, advancement and life in general that he learned during the first 20 years of his career as a landscape architect.

Jim grew up in the shadows of Rutgers, playing as a kid in the display gardens and leading cross country practice runs for Saint Peters High School through the College Avenue, Busch and Cook campuses.  He graduated from Rutgers in 1991 but started his career in the landscape industry years prior by working at Bocchieri's Nursery and Landscape.
This helped to pay for his education at Middlesex County College and Rutgers.  After graduation, he his primary employment was at CUH2A in Princeton as a junior landscape architect.  While at CUH2A, he also did freelance work with Garden Associates Landscape Architecture and maintained his own residential design practice.  He was certified in NJ as a landscape architect in 1994. 

Jim moved on to become a senior landscape architect at El Taller Colaborativo in 1996 and became a partner in charge of landscape architects, civil and traffic engineers 2001.  He also taught in Rutgers Landscape Architecture Department during this time.  After 15 years of working in architecture/engineering firms, he decided to see first-hand how a landscape architecture firm operated.  He joined Thomas Balsley Associates as a senior associate in 1996.

Getting around Guangzhou

Stop thinking about Manhattan and start thinking about the new emerging cities of the planet.  These are the places where new planning and design ideas will really get put to the test.  While they are often a magnet for notable designs, they are also creating a massive set of problems for planners.  China's Guangzhou is one of the fastest growing cities in the world and is trying to deal with a level of congestion and a need for transit on a scale that most cities can't even imagine.  One of their solutions has been to develop a comprehensive transportation system centered on a Bus Rapid Transit system that is featured in a new video from StreetFilms.

07 April 2011

Climate Change talk


Associate Professor

University of Vermont
VT State Climatologist

Identifying and addressing the challenges to promoting climate literacy among K-grey populations

Friday, April 8, 2011 - 3:00 PM
Lucy Stone Hall, B115 - Livingston Campus

A Stake in the Sand

How big is the debate over property rights?  Read A Stake in the Sand for a story of a tough fight from Florida last year.

Watch the grid of Manhattan appear

As the Manhattan grid turns 200 years old, The NY Times has created a cool online map that shows old maps overlaid on the current grid.  Check out the northern end to see how the river got moved.  That is also where we'll be starting our hike down Manhattan island on April 9th.

06 April 2011

Witold Rybczynski

The AIANY is hosting Witold Rybczynski to talk about his latest book, Makeshift Metropolis, on Monday.

Maps for International Cartographic Association (ICA)

Seeking Map Submissions for International Map Exhibit, 25th International Cartographic

The U.S. National Committee of the International Cartographic Association (ICA) invites you to submit your current publications of maps, atlases, and other cartographic products to the Cartographic Exhibition at the 2011 International Cartographic Conference in France. The 25th International Cartographic Conference will convene in Paris the week of 3-8 July 2011.

The ICC Cartographic Exhibition is the premier international forum for displaying maps, atlases, and other cartographic products. It provides an excellent opportunity to feature the superior quality and diverse range of American cartography. Awards will be given by an international panel of judges to products exemplifying excellence in cartography. We encourage you to contribute to this exhibit.

Entry Forms (https://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?formkey=dGJCT2U5Vm1Ob1EyanRfdG01ckkzcmc6MA)must be submitted no later than March 31 to reserve space for your entry. A separate entry form should be submitted for each item. The information on these forms will be included in a printed catalog of exhibit items for conference participants.

What to enter:

U.S. Map Exhibit items must be received by April 15th, 2011.

Please provide:
two copies of any maps or panel displays
one copy of any table display (atlases, globes, etc.) or digital products

After completing the online Entry Form (https://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?formkey=dGJCT2U5Vm1Ob1EyanRfdG01ckkzcmc6MA), send exhibit items to the U.S. Map Exhibit coordinator at this address by April 15, 2011:

05 April 2011

Stretching their legs

On Saturday the Landscape Architecture Club is taking a hike from the northern tip of Manhattan (Marble Hill) to the southern tip (Battery Park).   If you are strong enough and motivated you should contact Hany Hanafy.  It is a great chance to see a different side of the City.  Here are some samples from last year's hike: