Tier Drops

Water out West is disappearing. Seven states, 30 tribes, and millions of people will need to adjust.

By Lisa Owens Viani

The Central Arizona Project carries Colorado River water across a stretch of desert north of Bouse, Arizona. Photo © Ted Wood/The Water Desk.

In early August 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation declared the first ever Tier 1 shortage for the Colorado River, based on the agency’s projection that Lake Mead would drop below a threshold of 1,075 feet above sea level in January. Water levels in the river’s two main reservoirs—Lake Powell (behind Glen Canyon Dam in Arizona) and Lake Mead (behind Hoover Dam on the Arizona–Nevada border)—are now at their lowest since they were filled and flows in the river have declined. Continue reading Tier Drops

How to Grow a Greenway

For New Orleans’s popular Lafitte Greenway, the plan was just the beginning.

By Jane Margolies

Man planting trees near "Greenway GROW!" sign
Volunteers help plant cypress trees on the Lafitte Greenway in April during an event that sprang from the park’s new Greenway GROW! management strategy. Photo courtesy Spackman Mossop Michaels.

On a recent morning in New Orleans, church parishioners, employees on loan from local businesses, and sailors in town for Navy Week were among the 130 volunteers who showed up to plant 100 cypress trees in a bioswale on the Lafitte Greenway. The city’s Department of Parks and Parkways had already cleared the site bordering the Tremé neighborhood, and staff from the New Orleans office of the landscape architecture firm Spackman Mossop Michaels (SMM) and a tree-planting nonprofit group had marked off where the 15-gallon, one-inch-caliper pond and bald cypress were to go. So the volunteers dug holes, dropped in the trees, backfilled them with soil, staked, and mulched. With everyone pitching in, the job was done in three hours. Continue reading How to Grow a Greenway

Mind the Gaps (and Curves) with Precast Concrete

Getting the best from precast concrete requires a little flexibility. 

By John Payne, ASLA, and James Dudley

The first prototype of the precast piece is what will determine the mold form. Photo courtesy SiteWorks.

Precast concrete, which is concrete that is cast into its final form before it is installed, has long been used in architecture and engineering for myriad forms and applications. These include bridge trusses, ornamental cladding, and prestressed beams. The casting process takes place within the regulated confines of a facility, with tightly controlled concrete mixes and material ingredients resulting in greater control and consistency, making it a real attraction to both designers and builders. Continue reading Mind the Gaps (and Curves) with Precast Concrete

Support by Design Aids Ukrainian Landscape Architects

The flexibility of remote work takes on a new dimension when American landscape architecture firms can bring on Ukrainian designers fleeing war.

By Laurie A. Shuster

The Ukrainian landscape architect Anna Kulvanovska works as a contractor for SWA from a shared workspace in Malmö, Sweden. Photo by Kim Öhrström.

 Anna Kulvanovska had been waiting a long time at an immigration office in Sweden when she decided to check her LinkedIn account. “I don’t use LinkedIn often, but I was waiting my turn and it was a long time,” says Kulvanovska, who is a Ukrainian landscape architect. Having left her home in Kyiv during the first 24 hours of the Russian invasion, Kulvanovska traveled to Romania and then to Malmö, Sweden, where a friend had agreed to help her. “I was very lucky,” she says. Continue reading Support by Design Aids Ukrainian Landscape Architects

Park Diplomacy Across the U.S.–Mexico Border

This article is also available in Spanish

At Laredo, Texas, and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, “two countries, two cities, one culture, one river, one park.”

By Jane Margolies

Zacate Creek, which feeds into the Rio Grande, creates an arroyo with a natural waterfall. Photo by Overland Partners.

Laredo, Texas, and Nuevo Laredo in Tamaulipas, Mexico—known colloquially as Los Dos Laredos—were a single city divided by the Rio Grande River until 1848, when a treaty established the international border in the river, leaving one half in the United States and the other in Mexico. Continue reading Park Diplomacy Across the U.S.–Mexico Border

The Magazine of the American Society of Landscape Architects