Drones aren’t all bad, and in an interview with Yale Environment 360, Thomas Lennon, director of this two-minute video of awe-inspiring nature shots of the Delaware River watershed, explains the limitless possibilities drones provide over traditional aerial photography from helicopters. But the potential stretches further than nature videos and becomes a useful tool for environmentalists and artists alike, setting it apart as an aid rather than the controversial weapon the term “drone” is most often associated with. For the two-minute video and interview, click here or the picture above.
Posted in ART, ENVIRONMENT, LAM BLOG, MINDS, PHOTOGRAPHY, PRACTICE, VIEWS | Tagged aerial, Delaware River, drones, environmentalist, experience, LAMcast, nature, Thomas Lennon, watershed, Yale Environment 360 | Leave a Comment »
BY TIM WATERMAN
A city like Milan reflects the strivings of generations. It has a rich quality of everyday life that includes a sophisticated food culture, which, as in so many Italian cities, is both distinctly local and, because of its history of trade, cosmopolitan. The evolution of the city’s form has intertwined with the tastes and appetites of the Milanese. The convivial quality of many of its spaces comes from enclosures such as its ubiquitous courtyard gardens, its cool semiprivate zones where neighbors come into contact, or its sidewalk cafés. Milan was once Mediolanum (meaning “in the midst of the plain”), the capital of the Western Roman Empire. It was enclosed by walls, but open to its countryside in the Po River Valley, where alluvial soils raised abundant grain and grapes, and roads brought influence from all over Europe.
Milan’s economy has suffered, as has all of Italy’s, from the crash in 2008, and recession and unemployment are tenaciously rooted. While its economy continues to be underpinned by industry and agriculture, notably by small, family-owned farms, government policy has looked to urban and infrastructural development for solutions to the crisis. Italy’s new, post-Berlusconi government is trying to show evidence of its ability to deliver, and Milan, the financial center of Italy, has become a showcase of contemporary neoliberal development. In particular, two developments have shown great international visibility: the Milan Expo 2015 and the business district at Porta Nuova, best known for the Bosco Verticale (vertical forest), the heavily vegetated and much-published twin luxury apartment towers by the architect Stefano Boeri.
Boeri has courted controversy at both sites, attracting antigentrification protests both from the working-class neighborhood the towers protrude from, as well as accusations of deploying expensive greenwash that would never be possible in a lower-cost development. Much the same objections have been raised against the plans for this year’s expo in Milan, which he master planned with Jacques Herzog, William McDonough, and Ricky Burdett. “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life” is the expo’s motto, meant, as it was, to embody a sustainable ethic, but it clashed with the presence of food giants such as McDonald’s and Coca-Cola among the nations represented. Lavish spending on the project further excited anger, as many people questioned the concentration of municipal spending on one site instead of many, and the inevitable siphoning away of funds that such concentration engenders. On May Day in Milan, cars blazed in the streets, windows were smashed, and ‘No Expo’ graffiti proliferated.
Posted in CITIES, FOOD, GREEN ROOFS, IDEAS, LAM MAGAZINE, PRACTICE | Tagged advertisement, Austria, BDP, Bradford Williams Medal, Coca-cola, countries, economy, Energy for Life, exploitation, Expo, Feeding the Planet, Ferrero Rocher, Fiera Milano, gentrification, global cucumber, horticulture, Infrastructure, Israel, Italy, Jacques Herzog, LANDSCAPE, Lindt, Marco Balich, McDonald, Milan, Milan Expo 2015, nature, pavilion, politics, recession, regeneration, Ricky Burdett, riot, Russia, Singapore, Stefano Boeri, technocontraptions, technophilia, unemployment, United Kingdom, United States of America, wild flowers, William McDonough, Wolfgang Buttress | Leave a Comment »
If you missed DredgeFestNYC and DredgeFest Louisiana (see “The Dredge Underground,” LAM, August 2014) then you haven’t experienced one of the most interesting landscape-focused gatherings around. Fortunately, another chance is just ahead at DredgeFest Great Lakes (DFGL) this August. DredgeFest draws a friendly and curious crowd across a wide spectrum of expertise to look critically at dredging and the land it winds up making—and there are many overlaps with contemporary landscape architecture practice.
This event (conference doesn’t really describe it) will focus on the Great Lakes region (aka the Third Coast in dredgespeak). It will include two days of talks and presentations from a range of designers and others who work in this industrial practice; a day of touring dredge sites around Duluth; and a weeklong workshop at the University of Minnesota’s Department of Landscape Architecture that brings in a very intriguing international cohort of designers.
This third iteration of DredgeFest should be the best yet, with the now-signature mix of intense investigations and industrial monumentality with the speculative edge that has marked previous DredgeFests.
Landscape Architecture Magazine is a cosponsor of DFGL this year. We’re looking forward to inhaling the fascinating new research and meeting folks in Minnesota this August. Registration for one or all parts of DFGL is open now.
Posted in BROWNFIELDS, CLOSE-UP, ECOLOGY, ECONOMICS, ENERGY, IDEAS, LAM BLOG, MINDS, OCEANS, POLLUTION, REGION, RESILIENCE, REUSE, RIVER RESTORATION, SHORELINE, SOIL, TRANSPORTATION, WATER, WILDLIFE | Tagged Bay West, Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper, Catherine de Almeida, Chris Bennett, dredge landscapes, Dredge Research Collaborative, dredging, Duluth, Eli Sands, Great Lakes, Great Lakes Commission, Great Lakes Dredge and Dock, Great Lakes Water Wars, industrial landscape, landscape architect, Landscape Architecture, MAde Studio, Margaux Valenti, Marine Tech, Matthew Tucker, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Open Workshop, Peter Annin, Vandergoot Ezban Studio | Leave a Comment »
The things our art director, Chris McGee, hated to leave out of the current issue of LAM.
From “Big Trash Art” by Katarina Katsma, ASLA, in the July 2015 issue, featuring Lisbon-based artist Bordalo II and his recycled murals that call attention to the detrimental effects of humanity’s waste.
“I love the texture in the artwork and the texture created by the artwork in its surroundings.”
—Chris McGee, LAM Art Director
You can read the full table of contents for July 2015 or pick up a free digital issue of the July LAM here and share it with your clients, colleagues, and friends. As always, you can buy this issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine at more than 200 bookstores, including many university stores and independents, as well as at Barnes & Noble. You can also buy single digital issues for only $5.25 at Zinio or order single copies of the print issue from ASLA. Annual subscriptions for LAM are a thrifty $59 for print and $44.25 for digital. Our subscription page has more information on subscription options.
Posted in ART, CITIES, LAM BLOG, PHOTOGRAPHY, POLLUTION, REUSE | Tagged art, Art Director's Cut, Artur Bordalo, Bordalo II, Bordalo Segundo, Collage, fish, Lisbon, materials, mural, paint, Portugal, recycled, repurpose, revitalize | Leave a Comment »
BY TIMOTHY A. SCHULER
By August, the faded yellow house at 3930 North 35th Street in Milwaukee will be gone. In its place, invisible to all but the team that designed it, will be a new tool for stormwater management: the “BaseTern.” Conceived by Erick Shambarger, the deputy director of Milwaukee’s Office of Environmental Sustainability, a BaseTern is a basement that’s been converted into a rainwater or stormwater cistern. Milwaukee is completing what is said to be the world’s first such system this month.
The BaseTern concept, which Shambarger trademarked, is simple. Stormwater will be directed to an abandoned or foreclosed property’s basement, which, after the aboveground structure is demolished, is waterproofed and filled with gravel and stormwater-harvesting cells. According to a feasibility study by engineers at HNTB, the system can hold anywhere from 13,000 to 40,000 gallons of water during storms, reducing flooding in adjacent homes.
It’s a clever riff on adaptive reuse, taking advantage of one urban issue—a surplus of city-owned foreclosures—to solve another: the flooding that is increasingly common in dense, impervious neighborhoods like Milwaukee’s Sherman Park, where the pilot project is located.
Posted in WATER, NOW, CITIES, LAM MAGAZINE, REUSE | Tagged Landscape Architecture, flood, Sustainability, Small Business Administration, Wisconsin, stormwater, community, Milwaukee, BaseTern, Erick Shambarger, basement, flooding, water retention, harvesting, bioswales, initiative, Sherman Park, impervious, Freelens, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Illinois Institute of Technology, Jennifer Current, students, School of Freshwater Sciences, Regional Innovation, tool, Office of Environmental Sustainability, converted | Leave a Comment »
BY TIMOTHY A. SCHULER
People often equate energy efficiency with environmental sensitivity, but a recent trend in LED lighting, namely, the uptick in what’s known as blue-rich white light, has the potential to divorce these goals and put the lighting industry on a collision course with those aiming to design healthful public spaces.
Over the past several years, an increasing number of LED manufacturers are turning to blue-emitting diodes, which are coated with phosphor to produce a clean, white light. Blue LEDs can handle higher-than-average power densities, which greatly increase efficiency. The technology is so revolutionary that the physicists who developed it received the Nobel Prize. But blue LEDs also pose a threat to the welfare of wildlife and human beings.
Light in the blue spectrum (between 460 and 480 nanometers) isn’t bad during the day; in fact, it helps our bodies produce the hormone serotonin. At night, however, it prevents our bodies from producing another hormone, melatonin, which regulates sleep. According to the National Cancer Institute, a lack of melatonin may contribute to breast cancer in women. Blue light also has been shown to disrupt animals’ circadian rhythms, which mimic our own, and cause adverse effects in animal behavior. Continue Reading »
Posted in LAM MAGAZINE, MATERIALS, NOW, STREETS | Tagged blue, Calgary, Canada, cancer, Civitas, Clanton & Associates Lighting Design, Denver, design, LED, light, lighting, Linnaea Tillett, luminaires, Mark Johnson, melatonin, Nancy Clandon, National Cancer Institute, red, serotonin, St. Patrick's Island, Tillett Lighting Design, Timothy A. Schuler, W Architecture & Landscape Architecture | Leave a Comment »