The Topography of Wellness: How Health and Disease Shaped the American Landscape
By Sara Jensen Carr; Charlottesville, Virginia: University of Virginia Press, 2021; 288 pages, $34.50.
Reviewed by Pollyanna Rhee
In 2016, Karen DeSalvo, the acting assistant secretary for health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, noted that public health was in a new era where “one’s zip code is a better indicator of health than genetic code.” DeSalvo’s link between health and place underscored a pervasive and uncomfortable fact about living in the United States today: Racial and class-based segregation is both common and harmful for people’s physical and mental health.Continue reading Book Review: No Green Pill→
Preserving the private gardens of a pioneering landscape architect should have been a breeze.
By Timothy A. Schuler
When Joseph Yamada and his wife, Elizabeth, died within nine days of each other in May 2020, obituaries and appreciations appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the San Diego Union-Tribune, and NPR. Most focused on the couple’s incredible story: Born two days apart in 1930, the two met at age 11 at a Japanese internment camp.
They later attended the same high school, studied together at the University of California, Berkeley, then moved back to San Diego, where Joe Yamada became one of the most celebrated landscape architects of his generation and Liz Yamada was the first Asian faculty member at San Diego High School, later joining her husband’s firm, Wimmer Yamada & Associates, as a partner.Continue reading Honor Roll→
Indigenous landscape designer Tim Lehman helps move a master plan and a mission forward.
By Lisa Owens Viani
After Native Americans occupied Fort Lawton—today part of Seattle’s Discovery Park—in a peaceful protest in the early 1970s, the city negotiated a long-term leaseback of 20 acres of the 534-acre site with the United Indians of All Tribes Foundation. “The land was supposed to be given back to the local tribe from which it was taken, but that didn’t really happen,” says Meghan Jernigan, a traditional medicine program director with United Indians, which led the protest. “There wasn’t a lot of political support, but a growing, cross-cultural coalition made this space thrive and allowed for development of the Daybreak Star Cultural Center.”Continue reading A Star on the Horizon→
ON THE COVER: New York City Housing Authority buildings in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. Image by Google Earth (base); Chris McGee/Landscape Architecture Magazine.
Featured Story: “Bet the House,” by Zach Mortice. New York City’s public housing was once a visionary project that combined architecture and landscape in humane and practical ways, but years of systemic disinvestment scuttled that dream. A new landscape master plan for the New York City Housing Authority by Grain Collective and Nancy Owens Studio looks to kick-start a transformation long overdue.
Also in the issue:
NOW: Urban canopies in Cambridge, Massachusetts, will need strong roots; an Olmsted vision for a healthier childhood gets a restart in Rochester, New York; promising tech for reducing urban heat needs more work, and an Indigenous landscape designer helps move a mission forward (online here).
PRESERVATION: “Honor Roll,” by Timothy A. Schuler. When the influential landscape architect Joseph Yamada’s house in San Diego went up for historic listing, everything was there but the landscape (online here).
GOODS: “Parting Ways,” by Laurie A. Shuster. Walls and fences that add charm and texture while defining space.
THE BACK: “Designing Upward,” by Jennifer Reut. The key to a flourishing public space in Amsterdam is found below, according to BiodiverCITY: A Matter of Vital Soil!
BOOK REVIEW: “No Green Pill,” by Pollyanna Rhee. A review of The Topography of Wellness: How Health and Disease Shaped the American Landscape, by Sara Jensen Carr, ASLA (online March 16).
BACKSTORY: Without 3D-printed models, Public City might never have figured out how to build Thunderhead, a memorial to those affected by the LGBT Purge in Canada (online March 23).
As hurricanes increase in frequency and intensity, Puerto Rico’s landscape architects have solutions for managing rivers, stormwater, erosion, and coastal development—if only the government would ask.
By Laurie A. Shuster
In 2017, back-to-back hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated Puerto Rico, causing hundreds of billions of dollars in damage and taking roughly 3,000 lives. The territory was still recovering when Hurricane Fiona struck in September 2022, bringing up to 30 inches of rain in some areas, killing 25 people, knocking out power to the entire island, and causing some $10 billion in additional damage.Continue reading Storm Warnings→
Refugia converts homeowners into native plant advocates, one lawn at a time.
By Jared Brey
Jeff Lorenz stood under the mid-June sun at FDR Park, monitoring the final touches on his company’s exhibit for the Philadelphia Flower Show. The exhibit space, ordinarily an asphalt parking lot, had been covered in mulch and lined with displays, all in the final moments of construction. Continue reading Home Grown→
A pair of landscape designers come up with a winning idea for the land-starved Louisiana coast.
By Timothy A. Schuler
Like many residents of southern Louisiana, the Indigenous residents of Grand Bayou Village, located among the southernmost reaches of Plaquemines Parish in the Mississippi River Delta and accessible only by boat, live with the varied effects of coastal land loss.Continue reading Made for the Marsh→
The Magazine of the American Society of Landscape Architects