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New digital tools help overtaxed early childhood educators envision nature-based play spaces. 

By Timothy A. Schuler

Screenshot of a virtual walkthrough by Muntazar Monsur designed
Muntazar Monsur designed virtual walk-throughs to allow educators to access high-performing outdoor environments. Courtesy Muntazar Monsur.

When Muntazar Monsur and his wife emigrated to the United States from Bangladesh in 2011, they enrolled their then 18-month-old daughter in childcare for the first time. They were both starting PhD programs at North Carolina State University, and the childcare center their daughter attended was an early demonstration site of the Natural Learning Initiative, established in 2000 at NC State to demonstrate the importance of nature in children’s development and play. “She went to that childcare center for three years, and I was one of the parents who saw how the daily life of my daughter changed,” says Monsur, now an assistant professor of landscape architecture at Texas Tech University. Continue reading Log In to Log Off

February 2023: Her Crown

On the cover: A mural of Shirley Chisholm by Danielle Mastrion, at Shirley Chisholm State Park in New York. Photo by Lexi Van Valkenburgh.

Stacked magazine covers from Landscape Architecture Magazine

Featured Story: “Trash to Treasure,” by Jonathan Lerner. Residents of East New York have been promised a new park over a pair of landfills for years. With a hard push from the governor and an award-winning design by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, a new state park to honor the civil rights legend Shirley Chisholm has arrived. Continue reading February 2023: Her Crown

Family Gathering

A Chicago garden calls a Black community pushed to the margins back together again.

By Zach Mortice

MKSK Community Garden Design
MKSK’s design for the community garden extends a Mauricio Ramirez mural onto the ground plane. Image courtesy MKSK.

Since 2009, a vacant lot turned community garden on the 4600 block of Winthrop Avenue in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood has commemorated the Winthrop Avenue Family, the descendants of a group of Black families who for much of the 20th century were confined to this one block of the predominantly white neighborhood. “Everybody who lived on the block [was] not necessarily blood-related, but we were so close we felt like we were, and still do,” says Emilie Lockridge, whose mother was born there in 1925.

Continue reading Family Gathering

Book Review: The Mass-Produced Forest

A review of Plant Life: The Entangled Politics of Afforestation by Rosetta S. Elkin.

By Jennifer Wolch

Plant Life Book Cover

Tree planting campaigns are widely seen as a nature-based solution to a variety of environmental challenges. Trees can absorb carbon emissions, halt desertification, protect biodiversity, cool urban heat islands, and redress environmental injustice.

Continue reading Book Review: The Mass-Produced Forest

Game Changer

Shorter, wilder courses and ample room for habitat are just some of the transformations coming to golf.

By Lisa Owens Viani

San Geronimo Golf Course
Ephemeral drainages will be restored in Larsen Meadow, the former back nine of San Geronimo Golf Course. Photo by Erica Williams, courtesy Trust for Public Land.

One outcome of the last housing boom was a glut of golf courses built to market new suburban developments. As courses have closed or sat vacant, planners and communities have debated their next best use.

Continue reading Game Changer

A Deep Dive Into the Archive

Albert Kahn Associates mines original drawings for the restoration of the historic Ford House.

By Jeff Link

1929 plan the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House
The design team consulted Jens Jensen’s original drawings for the restoration, including this 1929 plan for the pool and lagoon. FOE31 Jens Jensen Drawings and Papers, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan.

The restoration of the 87-acre grounds of the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan, may be among the most historically faithful re-creations of the work of Jens Jensen and Albert Kahn to date. Pieced together from Jensen’s original drawings, detailed construction logs, archival photographs, and digitized film reels, the restored landscape just outside Detroit features a 185,000-gallon clamshell-shaped pool, a lagoon, a meadow, and a wagon-wheel-shaped rose garden. 

Continue reading A Deep Dive Into the Archive

January 2023: Al Fay Park

ON THE COVER: Al Fay Park in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, by SLA. Photo by SLA/Phillip Handforth.

"Play It Cool" Magazine Spread

Featured Story: “Play It Cool,” by Jessica Bridger. A desert forest is a surprising sight in the booming heart of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. For the popular Al Fay Park, Copenhagen-based SLA used local materials and resilient native plants in unexpected ways, creating engaging settings for play and rest.

Continue reading January 2023: Al Fay Park

The Magazine of the American Society of Landscape Architects