31 December 2011

Cape May

In our Cape May project, the student thought it seemed curious how the government kept replenishing the same beaches over and over in the name of aesthetics.  Now the COE and Cape May are justifying it is as a safety issue.  But the next Nor'Easter may test that like the last ones

19 December 2011

Study Abroad 2012

The big trip of 2012: Rutgers in Brazil with Kate John-Alder!

Rybczynski interview

ThinkProgress recently interviewed Witold Rybczynski about the future of suburbs and cities.  As you can see from this quote, he doesn't accept unproven conventional wisdom as fact:
Q. What do you make of polls that say that large numbers of Baby Boomers and Millennials are interested in, if not moving back to the city, then at least living more “urban” lifestyles?
A. I suspect that if you took a poll of Americans you would find that most people would like to be thin. We are an obese nation. The question is, is this something people will act on?
I’m simply not sure what those polls really mean — whether they’re wishful thinking or whether they’re a significant change that people will act on.

16 December 2011

NRDC Climate Change Map

Climate Change is a hard thing to visualize. It is complex and happens over time in a way that complicates acknowledging it. But the localized weather events have started to get so much attention that the NRDC has made an interactive temporal map showing the different weather records set this year in the US.

(h/t Infrascape)

15 December 2011

Reading Days

At Rutgers, today is considered a Reading Day, with Final Exams starting tomorrow.  What better way to celebrate Reading Days than with book reviews, like the PlaNetizen Top 10 Books of 2011?  Of the ones I haven't seen yet, I think I might be most intrigued by Matt Dellinger's Interstate 69: The Unfinished History of the Last Great American Highway.  ASLA's the DIRT has a list of top books that includes Maps.

13 December 2011

Tsunami resource

Google has created an unbelievable resource for exploring and understanding the full scope of the Japanese tsunami: Memories for the Future.  They have already generated a massive update of StreetView images and created this interface which allows you to flip between Before and After photos.  Exploring the devastation is painful but helps you realize the full extent of the damage.

12 December 2011

Corey Booker

Mayor Booker will be speaking about breaking through cultural barriers,
"Cultural Barriers, Communication, Cory Booker." Tonight at the College Ave Student Center MPR at 6:30 p.m.

This event is sponsored by Rutgers Shalom/Salaam (Student Jewish/Muslim Organization), Project Civility, Our Committee to Advance Our Common Purposes, and the Rutgers Bias Prevention Education and Awareness Campaign.

Food is provided and participants are asked to make a donation to RAH (Rutgers Against Hunger) at the door.

Drive more carefully

As our students prepare for finals and the long road trip home, ITO World's map of "road casualties" may make them think less about the finals and more about the trip.

09 December 2011

Interesting quote

"The human eye is an incredibly powerful instrument, capable of discerning pattern and nuance with startling speed and efficiency.  GIS capitalizes on this most powerful of the senses to provide police personnel with a visual gateway to the databases they collect in the course of their business.  The ability of GIS to not only visualize, but to analyze immense datasets provides insights that would otherwise remain undetected." 
-Tom Casady, Chief of Police, Lincoln Police Department (NE)

From the NAPSG website

08 December 2011

Community Gardens at Duke Farms

As the Community Gardens on Duke Farms get extra attention, our own Laura Lawson discusses the importance of these as part of the larger movement.

07 December 2011

Live Blog: West 8's America Work

West 8's American Work

Jamie Maslyn Larson, RLA, ASLA
Principal and Partner, West 8 New York

West 8 is based in Rotterdam but has an office in New York.

They do artful interventions.  Have industrial designers on staff so they can create unusual fixtures and features with ornamentation and tactile qualities, in house.  Many projects use artificiality to draw attention to the hand of man in the landscape. 

The opening overture was an overview of the Eropean work that helped establish West 8 as a notable firm.  European examples included a the cow horizon project, storm surge barrier, Schouwburgeplein, Kröller-Müller Museum Sculpture Garden, and the Expo.02 Yverdon-les-Bains.

The interlude was a discussion of the differences between the English picturesque and the Dutch tradition.  What is our landscape DNA?

Some of the work is translating (scalegirl=mermaid)Some of the work is forcing interaction across the Atlantic

Wave Decks in Toronto Central Waterfont

Longwood Gardens
Respite and retreat
Elevated wooden bridge through the woods

Miami Beach Soundscape
Lincon Park next to Frank Gehry's New World Symphony

View Larger Map

The big American project is
Governors Island in New York Harbor
Trust for Governors Island

No permanent private residential is ever allowed on the island - mostly off the map, but very democratic
As a former military facility, it was difficult to access and was not on Google Map for a while
The ferry ride is part of the experience
ADA accessibility is a goal
Taking away lots of the parking
Instead of wooden shoes, they've designed wooden bikes for exploring the site
Smaller spaces within the parks are key, like Liggett Terrace
2400 trees will be planted in Phase I, including Hammock Grove
Even though it is flat, they wanted it to have its own form like a skyline giving it identity
The island is being givenn added topography in anticipation of sea level rise - don't want to plant ANY trees that won't make it 100 years

Phase I opens in the Fall of 2013!

View Larger Map

Here are 2 others to look at since they were not in the lecture:
Swamp Garden in Charleston SC
Tulsa Riverfront in Oklahoma

06 December 2011

yet another 9/11 memorial in the crossfire

9/11 memorials seem to still be a regular source of controversy, so maybe it isn't a surprise that the new Mercer County 9/11 Memorial is getting some unusual attention.  It is interesting that former Rutgers basketball coach Kevin Bannon gets mentioned.