21 June 2011

Three Way Street

Here is a great video from ronconcocacola illustrating what happens when we start adding bike lanes in a city where not everyone is ready. Make sure you watch through to the Sysco truck.

3-Way Street from ronconcocacola on Vimeo.


The added graphics are part Terminator, part Frogger.

Great idea and execution.

15 June 2011

Aging Baby Boomers may not have good access to transit

Maybe the higher cost of real estate is part of the problem, but a report shows that the aging Baby Boomers (some of whom are now retirement age) may have limited access to mass transit in 2015.  The Star-Ledger includes some town-specific reporting.

NJ train hubs are valuable

Train hubs in New Jersey help real estate.

New blog to watch

You can add another landscape architecture blog to your watch list: Praxis Landscape Architecture from Margeret Bryant at SUNY-ESF.  Since it is new, it is hard to describe an overriding theme, yet, but her posts on the economic recovery and jobs show how she is tapping her personal experiences as a faculty member while another bemoans the fact that she had the only paper on climate at CELA this year

My only complaint at this point is that you can't hear her gentle Southern drawl when you read it.  Maybe she could post mp3 files of each post being read.  In any case, watch it as it takes off.

14 June 2011

van der Goot

This past weekend included Rose Day at the Rudolf W. van der Goot Gardens in Somerset County's Colonial Park and the Home News and Tribune has a photo gallery.  If the name seems familiar, you should check our scholarship list: we are fortunate to give a van der Goot scholarship every year.  I wonder if the student-recipients make that connection?

Paisajismo

With Barack Obama in Puerto Rico, we should hear more in the news about the conflicted nature of PR.  It is American (there are no Puerto Rican immigrants, but lots of displaced Puerto Ricans) but doesn't get a vote and is independent minded.  The United Nations has looked upon PR as one of the last colonies in the world.
 




I got the chance recently to meet some landscape architects from  Puerto Rico who are working to get the profession there up and running.  Until recently, most landscape architectural work on the island (and in the Caribbean) has been performed by firms on the mainland. There are something like 36 licensed landscape architects on the island but there will soon be more since a new MLA program has started at the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. But soon, most of the landscape architects on the island could be recent grads of PUPR, freshly licensed, with minimal experience.  How do you develop a new profession with so little experience?  This will make it easier for them to break from mainland traditions and develop their own professional culture of practice.


They use the Spanish term Paisajismo (or Arquitectura Paisajista) which is more about landscape painting than design. It comes from the French for Paysagisme which is a landscape painter. It is a beautiful metaphor for what we do, and a cultural .  There is even a landscape magazine called Paisajismo.

I didn't get many photos of landscape architecture in PR, but this fence at the Botanic Garden was supposed to be designed by Field Operations. 

Not that you can tell from these tiny photos, but the student work was great.




13 June 2011

150th Anniversary of the Sanitary Commission

This is the 150th Anniversary of the Sanitary Commission, one of the important innovations developed to help cope with the unique problems of the Civil War.  On June 25, 1861 the NY Times offered this explanation of why it was important:
Whether or no we are going to have any great battles during the Summer in Virginia or elsewhere, with their immense rolls of killed, wounded and missing, is still in the hands of fate and Gen. SCOTT; but certain it is that the grand volunteer army we have in camp and in the field is now subject to the most imminent peril from the ravages of an enemy far more to be feared than the fiercest of mortal fees.
Why is this on Places and Spaces?  Before becoming a full-blown landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted served as the General Secretary of the Commission. It was an important moment in his life in which we was able to begin thinking about larger spatial issues in a public realm (as opposed to his scientific farming efforts).  Minnesota's Architecture Dean Thomas Fisher wrote a great piece explaining the significance of this last year for Places.

I posted this without waiting to see their offerings, but I assume that the NY Times will have something around now in their incredible Civil War blog, Disunion.

10 June 2011

Mapping Ancient Egypt

The BBC has a new show following Alabama's Dr. Sarah Parcak as she uses NASA near infrared imagery to discover potential buried ruins from ancient Egypt. Discovery reports that the research team found 17 possible buried pyramids.

But if you want to see how easy or hard it is, look at the images from Ogle Earth.

High Line Part 2

New York has unveiled High Line Part 2.  The NY Daily News writes about the lawn panel and Fox News gives an overview of the High Line's "secrets".    National Geographic just ran a feature on Part 1.

There are already photo galleries of Part 2 online from:
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Garden Design Magazine


And the New York Times has given the High Line its own Topic Page.  Presumably their big splash on Part 2 will appear there when it is ready.

09 June 2011

Tornado mapping

I know it is a bit late, but the tornadoes of this spring are getting mapped in different ways.

Here is a basic overview map that shows the locations of 670 different tornadoes from a single day.  But close up photos are what you need to see the real deal.  Here is an interactive map that maps out countless air photos from right after the tornadoes.  Just click on a box to download the individual high-res photos.  The shape formed by the boxes clearly illustrate the paths of the killer tornadoes while the closeups (like this one below) make it very easy to see the path wile zoomed out and the damage when zoomed in.



And one site has a frightening set of before and after photos.

07 June 2011

They're back

An old environmental issue in New Jersey is coming back in a way that threatens to be the biggest fight of the new decade: sewer service areas. Here is a quote from the Star-Ledger:
Jeff Tittel, the executive director of the state’s chapter of the Sierra Club, said the plans carry the furthest-reaching environmental impact in years.
"It’s probably the biggest battle since the Highlands Act," he said.

03 June 2011

iPhone plants app

"Sorry, I can't tell if that is a cherry or crabapple because my phone is low on batteries."  Yes, that's what you could soon be hearing from your local nurserymen if they start relying too heavily on the  free Leafsnap app for the iPhone from Columbia University, the University of Maryland, and the Smithsonian Institution.

(h/t Peter M)