Posted in FOOD, GREEN ROOFS, IDEAS, INTERVIEW, LAM MAGAZINE, tagged ACTION, ASLA, Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper, business, Cambodia, Chicago, climate change, ecosystem, entrepreneurial, field, finance, grasses, Hawaii, Illinois, Lauren Mandel, Molly Meyer, Obama, Omni Ecosystems, Roof Crop, Rooftop Green Works, science, sedum, soil on August 6, 2015 |
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BY LAUREN MANDEL, ASLA
Molly Meyer is capitalizing on a surge in demand.
Molly Meyer, a Stanford University-trained biogeochemist and the CEO of Omni Ecosystems and Rooftop Green Works in Chicago, is part of the green roof industry’s emerging generation of innovators. Meyer’s approach to green roof design emphasizes affordability and simplicity, with the goal of maximizing biodiversity. Through her sister companies, Meyer sells and installs a specially designed green roof tray system that supports unusually diverse plant species in shallow growing medium, most notably in veneer meadows. Meyer recently cofounded a third company, the Roof Crop, which began cultivating its first rooftop farm in April.
You’re from Indianapolis, which is a fairly large city. What drew you into soil science?
I loved playing outdoors as a kid. By the time I got to college I was looking for opportunities to do schoolwork outdoors. There were a lot of classes and research opportunities [for which] I could work outside and travel for by doing (more…)
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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 on July 29, 2015 |
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BY TIM WATERMAN
The Milan Expo 2015 raises unsought emotions about food, cities, the world.
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.
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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 on July 28, 2015 |
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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 School of Architecture and 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.
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Posted in CITIES, HEALTHY COMMUNITIES, IDEAS, LAM BLOG, NEW YORK CITY, PEOPLE, RESEARCH, STREETS, tagged Boogie Down Booth, boroughs, bridges, Bronx, Design Trust for Public Space, dlandstudio, DOT, elevated subway lines, FASLA, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Highway Outfall Landscape Detention system, highways, industrial, LED, Manhattan, Manhattan Waterfront Greenway, Miller Highway viaduct, Morrisania, New York City Department of Transportation, NYC Plaza Program, Polly Trottenberg, pop up, Queens, Riverside Park South, South Bronx, Susan Chin, Susannah Drake, Underneath the Elevated, Underneath the Elevated: Reclaiming Space Connecting Communities, underserved, waterfront, WHEDco on June 26, 2015 |
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Under the Elevated launch event at the Pier i Café.
Aside from the surviving section of the hulking Miller Highway viaduct looming overhead, Thomas Balsley’s masterfully designed Riverside Park South is a serene place with tall, wavy grasses and meandering pathways. The viaduct, however, bisects the park, casting shadows and blocking views. The din from the traffic overhead can make it difficult to hear people talking on parts on the park’s distinctive curved pier that juts out into the Hudson River.
Such was the case last week, when officials from the nonprofit Design Trust for Public Space and the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) had to shout to make themselves heard as they announced the publication of a new 128-page book called Under the Elevated: Reclaiming Space, Connecting Communities. The product of a two-year study, the book looks at ways to transform the often dark and dirty spaces beneath the 700 miles of bridges, elevated subway lines, and highways that run throughout the five boroughs of the city. According to the book’s introduction, the amount of space available for redesigning is nearly four times the size of Central Park.
With the publication of Under the Elevated, the Design Trust is seeking to inspire civic efforts throughout the city similar to the one it helped catalyze with its pivotal 2001 study for the High Line. “Not every neighborhood needs a High Line,” Design Trust Executive Director Susan Chin said. “However, the need to alleviate the negative impact from the presence of elevated lines is even greater in the outer boroughs.” (more…)
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Posted in CITIES, HEALTHY COMMUNITIES, IDEAS, LAM MAGAZINE, NEW YORK CITY, NOW, PEOPLE, tagged aging, cityd, data, design, elderly, emergency response, Global Cities Institute, governance, green space, health care, housing, indicators, Infrastructure, mortality, Patricia McCarney, population, public transportation, quality-of-life, recreation, safety, seniors, statistics, University of Toronto, urban planning, walking on June 9, 2015 |
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BY TIMOTHY A. SCHULER
Our cities’ aging populations require new approaches to urban planning.
In December 2013, a massive ice storm crippled Toronto, killing 27 people and knocking out power for 600,000 Ontario residents. Without electricity, elevators in Toronto’s residential high-rises stopped working, and many elderly people were trapped. “I know that there were elderly women up on the 18th floor in a tower near our office who were trying to make tea on a little gas burner,” recalls Patricia McCarney, the director of the Global Cities Institute (GCI) at the University of Toronto. “The elderly were going between two floors to help each other for four days while they didn’t have power. They were actually having small tea parties up on these high floors! So there is a social capital out there, but if that went on any longer, who’s going to take groceries up to them? Who knows they even live there?”
McCarney’s story illustrates both the vulnerability and resiliency of our cities’ older people, a population that planners and designers of all types must increasingly account for. As the world becomes more urbanized, those urban centers are rapidly aging. In the next 25 years, the number of New Yorkers older than 65—currently 12 percent of the population—is expected to increase by 50 percent. According to a recent GCI report, the number of people in the world over 65 years of age will increase 183 percent by 2050, and according to the AARP, most of those elderly want to age in place rather than move to a traditional retirement community.
But building more “age-friendly” cities will be difficult without reliable city-level data about health care, housing, infrastructure, and other quality-of-life indicators. “City data is often either nonexistent or it’s very weakly constructed,” says McCarney, explaining that global statistics for things like mortality rates are often presented at the country, not city, level. McCarney and her team worked with 20 different cities, including London, Shanghai, Helsinki, Dubai, Boston, and Johannesburg to develop a standardized set of 100 indicators organized around themes like safety, recreation, governance, and urban planning. The result, published in May 2014, was ISO 37120, Sustainable Development of Communities—Indicators for City Services and Quality of Life, the first international standard for city-level data. (more…)
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