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BY KARL KRAUSE

Designers and advocates reckon with the uneasy history of safety in environmental design.

FROM THE MAY 2021 ISSUE OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE.

 

In 1285, King Edward of England issued the Statute of Winchester—a sweeping reform of law enforcement to curb rising crime across the country. To address highway robbery, the statute required a change to the environment: All landowners had to remove “bushes where one could hide with evil intent” within 200 feet of country roads—an early attempt to codify environmental design to improve safety that became the standard practice in English law enforcement for centuries.

The use of environmental design to address safety continues today with Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, more commonly known as CPTED (pronounced “sep-ted”). Along with calls for police reform and defunding, amplified in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, design activists such as the New Orleans-based Colloqate Design have demanded abolition of CPTED tactics that “criminalize Blackness under the guise of safety” and fail to address the underlying causes of crime. So how has CPTED, meant to replace traditional policing with community policing, come to be seen as oppressive? Continue Reading »

The things our art director, Chris McGee, hated to leave out of the current issue of LAM.

Photo by Jacob Fischer/LYTT.

From “Global Security” by Lisa Abend in the May 2021 issue, about how security barriers by LYTT Architecture at the Danish parliament building provide protection from vehicular attacks without quashing the public’s ability to assemble and enjoy this vital civic space.

“Sentinel spheres.”

–CHRIS MCGEE, LAM ART DIRECTOR

As always, you can buy this issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine at more than 250 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.

ROOM TO LEAD

BY NINON SCOTTO DI UCCIO

Minority landscape architects organize to press for more visibility.

FROM THE MAY 2021 ISSUE OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE.

 

Last winter, Dana Tinio, Student ASLA, a graduate student in landscape architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, responded to a prompt the National Association of Minority Landscape Architects (NAMLA) posted to its Instagram account: “What do you think is the biggest challenge for minorities in obtaining leadership roles in landscape architecture? And what would you propose to remedy this challenge?”

The prompt was part of NAMLA’s first mini-scholarship campaign for students, and it carried a tempting prize of $500.

“Landscape architecture in the U.S. is a historically white profession guided by Western pedagogy, thought, practice, and bias,” wrote Tinio in her winning submission. “This fact underlies the biggest barrier for minorities to achieve leadership roles in the field. Though the discipline is growing more diverse, changing dominant structures and perspectives is a challenge.” Continue Reading »

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FOREGROUND

Print to Scale (Tech)
A low-budget student project meets new 3-D printing technology, and an award-winning garden
is the result.

        Room to Lead (Advocacy)
The National Association of Minority Landscape Architects formed in a moment of recognition. Now it is using its platform to reach out to students.

FEATURES

    Alternate Ending
Silver Lake Reservoir in Los Angeles was once a gathering place, but when it was decommissioned, the future went hazy. Navigating a vocal public process, Hargreaves Jones and the local firm Chee Salette honed a jumble of ideas into a plan for people and wildlife.

Whose Eyes on the Street?
Design strategies meant to prioritize safety in public housing often increase surveillance and overpolicing instead. A new program for New York City Housing Authority communities returns the keys to the people who live there.

The full table of contents for May can be found here.

As always, you can buy this issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine at more than 250 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.

Keep an eye out here on the blog, on the LAM Facebook page, and on our Twitter feed (@landarchmag), as we’ll be posting May articles as the month rolls out.

Credits: “Alternate Ending,” Hargreaves Jones; “Whose Eyes on the Street?” Geoff Manaugh; “Room to Lead,” NAMLA; “Print to Scale,” Mississippi State University.

BY TIMOTHY A. SCHULER

A projector and some creative programming make a way for landscape architecture students to connect safely.

FROM THE MAY 2021 ISSUE OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE.

 

More than a year into remote learning, Zoom has proven itself to be an adequate stopgap for basic instruction in university classrooms. Many design students even have benefited from the platform’s ability to collapse distance, making it possible to engage with students, guest lecturers, and critics from anywhere. Where Zoom is woefully insufficient, says Roberto Rovira, ASLA, the chair of the landscape architecture department at the Florida International University (FIU) School of Architecture (SOA), is in enabling the kinds of side conversations and ambient observations that are so much a part of the studio experience. “Those incidental conversations, the peripheral awareness of how someone is solving something, [are] why we have studio environments in the first place,” he says. Continue Reading »

SHOP SHAPE

BY ELIZABETH KENNEDY LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT, PLLC; MANTLE LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE; MNLA; RDG PLANNING & DESIGN; AND SWA HOUSTON

Some say the retail street is down for the count—five landscape architecture firms say not so fast.

FROM THE APRIL 2021 ISSUE OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE.

 

Retail is the heart of American life. Dating back to the earliest U.S. towns and cities, commercial storefronts have been more than a place to purchase goods. At their best, they have been a central hub for exchanging news, a way to make a living for recent immigrants and women, and a source of new ideas and tastes. At their worst, commercial streets have been separate spheres with hard boundaries. In many neighborhoods, as new waves of residents have arrived, commercial streets have created and sustained communities.

Before the pandemic, there were many worrying reports of street retail’s demise, a consequence of the dominance of the digital economy. Many retail companies were shifting from emphasizing products to selling experiences, but that evolution vaporized overnight in March 2020. Today, the retail street is struggling. Online commerce has accelerated under the pandemic, and many small businesses have not survived the year without a steady flow of customers. Recent economic research forecasts up to 10,000 stores could close in 2021, and though it also predicts 4,000 openings, most of those will be concentrated in discount (think dollar-store chains) and grocery. In addition, surveys suggest that many who migrated to online-only shopping during the pandemic aren’t rushing back to in-store shopping after it ends. Sociable, vibrant street life will need an injection of energy and vision to meet the next moment.

At the end of 2020, we asked five landscape architecture firms to reimagine, in the biggest way, the next world for retail. We asked each firm to choose a street they knew well and to quickly sketch out a few ideas of what that retail street might become and write a short statement. No constraints were placed except that the street should appeal to the same constituency that it currently serves—no displacement, and no big-box retail. The results, on the pages that follow, chart a way forward. Continue Reading »

KEEP THE COMMONS

As part of an ongoing effort to make content more accessible, LAM will be making select stories available to readers in Spanish.

BY ANJULIE RAO

FROM THE APRIL 2021 ISSUE OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE.

 

On college campuses across the country, late summer yields the air of transformation; students and their families arrive on campus and embark on rituals and rites that change those students into members of a new community. Many universities take advantage of their campuses—their histories, landscapes, and buildings—to embed celebratory traditions and rites of passage for their students. For Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), those traditions are a source of community identity, centered around significant campus landscapes. At Spelman College in Atlanta, a women’s HBCU, students partake in a “Parting” ceremony, held at the college’s campus Oval. Surrounded by campus buildings, students, dressed all in white per college tradition, prepare to say goodbye to their families to join the Spelman College community.

Yet as campuses grow and evolve to accommodate new technology and facilities, those landscapes are at risk. The National Trust for Historic Preservation has recently launched the HBCU Cultural Heritage Stewardship Initiative—a $1 million pilot program to help guide HBCU campus leaders to preserve their landscapes and, by extension, their traditions of community strength and scholarly excellence. Continue Reading »