A monthly roundup of the news, dispatches, and marginalia that caught our eye.
In the December Queue, the LAM staff spends way too much time playing with a drought data visualization, reads about rivers reappearing everywhere, and keeps tabs on Chicago’s bid to be an architectural capital.
CATCHING UP WITH…
• Though researchers continue to analyze the sustained ecological benefits of Minute 319, a pulse flow released in March on the Colorado River (“Fluid Boundaries,” LAM, November 2014), the social benefits to local communities were obvious.
• The river restoration and daylighting projects landscape architect Keith Underwood has worked on in the D.C. area have brought life back to what was once buried for fear of disease (“A Filmmaker Who Follows Buried Rivers,” July 22, 2014).
• Despite some criticism over the sustainability of the daylighted Cheonggyecheon River in Seoul (“A View From Below,” LAM, June 2010), the project remains an ecological and social success story.
•Salon reports that a new study published by the Journal for Nature Conservation reveals a drastic decline in reindeer across the world due to tourism and inbreeding, among other factors.
• Dalia Zein at Landscape Architects Network visits Parc André Citroën, considered by some as one of Paris’s worst parks.
• The UN-Habitat website recently launched a new search platform to access the UN’s publications and reports on a variety of urban topics, from sanitation to gender to housing.
OUR WOBBLY WORLD
• New user-friendly interactive maps created with open data by the USGS visualizes the drought intensity over time in California and the Southwest.
• If you’re an American who doesn’t believe in climate change, you are now in the minority. A new survey conducted for Munich Re America finds that 83 percent of American respondents believe the earth’s climate is in fact changing, though only 14 percent identified it as a top concern.
• Tiny Bubbles department: According to scientists at Leeds University, if you can reduce the bubble size in the wake of oceangoing vessels, you can “counteract the impact of climate change.”
• A recent segment on 60 Minutes reports that the world population is tapping into groundwater at a quickening pace, and looks at ramifications for overdrawing from these vast, but finite, groundwater reserves.
OUT AND ABOUT
• In a bid to cement Chicago as an architectural mecca, the city recently announced calls for entry to the Chicago Architecture Biennial Lakefront Kiosk Competition as part of the premiere of the Chicago Architecture Biennial. Submissions run until March 23, 2015.
• Rick Darke, whose firm is known for “landscape ethics, photography, and contextual design,” will be the keynote speaker for the 2015 Ecological Landscape Alliance Conference & Eco-Marketplace, which takes place February 25–26 in Springfield, Massachusetts.
DISTRACT ME FROM MY DEADLINE DEPT.
• If this doesn’t stop you from jaywalking, we don’t know what will.
• Why plant a real tree when you can get an urban wind turbine that looks like one instead?
• Show that you’re landscape cognoscenti with these aerial photos for your phone’s wallpaper.
• Even oil barons can get into the spirit of the holidays.