Category Archives: Environment

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

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

Sharing the City One Step at a Time

Activists, wanderers, and tourists find a common language through walking.

By Tim Waterman

As lockdowns eased in 2021, Hôtel du Nord led a walk in L’Estaque, in North Marseille, to the Miramar site, with the encouragement of music along the way. Photo by Dominique Poulain, Archives Hôtel Du Nord.

Matthew Beaumont’s beautiful book about London, Nightwalking: A Nocturnal History of London, begins with a quotation from Ford Madox Ford’s The Soul of London (1905): “…little by little, the Londoner comes to forget that his London is built upon real earth: he forgets that under the pavements there are hills, forgotten water courses, springs, and marshlands.” Beaumont shows wayfaring as an immersive and connective practice and proposes that cities can only truly be known through the practice of walking. Continue reading Sharing the City One Step at a Time

Hawaii Coastline Report Links Resilience with Access

A landscape architect-led study from the University of Hawaii combines climate adaptation and waterfront access.

By Timothy A. Schuler

A vision for 20 miles of Honolulu’s waterfront is based on a network of amphibious green spaces that buffers the city from sea-level rise. Image courtesy of the University of Hawai’i Community Design Center.

United States-controlled islands such as Hawaii, Guam, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa are rarely mentioned in U.S. climate coverage, but the projected impacts of sea-level rise to island communities are severe and far-reaching. Continue reading Hawaii Coastline Report Links Resilience with Access

A Canopy Where it Counts

Cedar Rapids, Iowa, grabs the opportunity for more equity and biodiversity after a Derecho flattens more than half the urban trees.

By Kevan Klosterwill

On August 10, 2020, a massive storm ripped through Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and the surrounding area. The storm, called a derecho for the straightness of its 140-mile-per-hour winds (as compared with a twisting tornado), spent less than an hour over the city, but in the process devastated the city’s tree canopy. Continue reading A Canopy Where it Counts

Awards Focus: The Death and Life of Great American Barges

LAM is highlighting student and professional winners from the 2021 ASLA Awards by asking designers to share an outtake that tells an important part of their project’s narrative.

Student Analysis and Planning Honor Award

Weicong Huang

“The rendering shows local wetland restoration, in process and after. In the gray frame, the ship is ejecting stored sediment into the wetland and people are planting native weeds. Continue reading Awards Focus: The Death and Life of Great American Barges