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Archive for the ‘ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE’ Category

BY ZACH MORTICE

Nantucket Island, where impending sea-level rise hasn’t done much to slow the real estate market. Photo by Maggie Janik.

In the face of likely climate retreat, student design studios explore ways to improve Nantucket’s coastal resilience.

 

On Nantucket Island off the coast of Massachusetts, half of the 10 highest-ever tides arrived in 2018 alone, and flooding is a constant worry that imperils the tourist economy and historic buildings. “But that has not slowed down the real estate market,” says Cecil Barron Jensen, the executive director of the local nonprofit ReMain Nantucket. It’s been a “banner, record year” for buying and selling houses, she says. The average home price in Nantucket is nearly $1.8 million, according to Zillow, up almost 10 percent over the past year.

Real estate brokers on the island, Jensen says, talk about the flooding in terms of timelines. “How long do you want to enjoy this house? You can enjoy this house for this long,” she says. Even for the rich, the good life on Nantucket is becoming a finite commodity, as the dissonance between the hearty trade in beachfront views and climate cataclysm becomes harder to ignore.

Finding ways for Nantucket to coexist with rising floodwaters is the purpose of the Envision Resilience Nantucket Challenge, an initiative by Jensen’s ReMain Nantucket to bring aboard teams of design students in a collaborative design studio to propose solutions. Overall, these propositions, on exhibition at the Nantucket Historical Association’s Thomas Macy Warehouse through December, are focused on soft edges, careful retreats, and ways to get habitats, native ecologies, and people to mix and mingle with water productively. Students from five design programs (Yale, Harvard, the University of Miami, the University of Florida, and Northeastern University) presented their work—all produced remotely—to the Nantucket community in early June. (more…)

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

BY LESLIE WREN, ASLA

FROM THE JULY 2021 ISSUE OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE.

 

Annette Wilkus, FASLA, remembers a meeting of the Teardrop Park construction management team in the early 2000s. The clients, Battery Park City Authority and Battery Park City Parks Conservancy, had inquired how their maintenance staff would safely tend the plantings of Rocky Slope, a tall and steep boulder embankment south of the Ice-Water Wall, a weeping rock formation representing the natural geology of the New York area. Wilkus, a landscape architect then with Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects (MNLA), was serving as the landscape architecture inspector, a subconsultant to the construction manager, and immediately recognized that maintenance of this feature would not be safe without a design intervention. She and Laura Solano, FASLA, a partner at Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, the project’s landscape architect, collaborated with a structural engineer to deliver an inventive solution: a series of hurricane ties in subsurface concrete anchors, invisible to recreational park users but accessible to park staff, for safely rappelling up and down the slope using a harness.

That experience was eye-opening for Wilkus: “Designs now are so incredibly complicated, much more than they ever used to be. And owners fall in love with the design because there are always very pretty pictures, but they never think about how something is going to be maintained.” Teardrop Park’s clients demonstrated both foresight and concern for the maintenance staff and showed Wilkus why landscape architects needed to be more informed in that approach to practice. In 2005, she launched her own firm, SiteWorks, to specialize in life-cycle consulting for the planning, design, construction, and management of high-performance landscapes. And from the beginning, Wilkus established the firm’s fundamental approach with the motto “safety first.” (more…)

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

Photo by Gerhard Kassner.

 

From “Mine, Ours” by Michael Dumiak in the July 2021 issue, about how a region of eastern Germany is crafting a chain of lakes and recreation landscapes from the scars of surface coal mining.

“Night mine.”

–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.

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BY LYDIA LEE

A new design for San Francisco’s Harvey Milk Plaza may succeed where others have fallen short.

FROM THE JULY 2021 ISSUE OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE.

 

In the 1970s, Harvey Milk turned San Francisco into a symbol of hope for LGBTQ+ people everywhere. One of the first openly gay politicians in the United States, Milk was assassinated in 1978. Since then, the city has been without a substantive memorial to one of its most iconic figures. After a four-year effort to redesign a tiny memorial plaza next to a transit stop failed to gain traction, the San Francisco office of SWA has restarted the process by surveying the community about the kind of memorial it wants. “We had to back up and ask these fundamental questions about how to memorialize Harvey,” says SWA’s Daniel Cunningham, the project manager and design lead. (more…)

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Foreground

Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, 1921–2021 (In Memoriam)
Remembering the life and career of the celebrated landscape architect.

On the Safe Side (Maintenance)
A landscape laborer is far more likely to get hurt on the job than a landscape architect. Some firms are starting to take a harder look at their role in reducing worker risk.

Features

Small Firm, Big Leap
BIM training and software costs are a significant debit for small design firms. As principals weigh the pros and cons of adoption, the competitive cost of not being “in the model” is part of the equation.

Mine, Ours
As Western nations look to a postcoal future, the Lausitz region of Germany eyes turning its defunct mining pits into lakes and its industrial scrapes into tourist attractions. For now,
the contradictions are delightfully instructive.

The full table of contents for July 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 July articles as the month rolls out.

Credits: “Mine, Ours,” Michael Dumiak; “Small Firm, Big Leap,” http://www.shutterstock.com/Italy3d; “Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, 1921–2021,” Kiku Hawkes Photography; “On the Safe Side,” SiteWorks.

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 Designing for Just and Multifunctional Energy Landscapes

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

BY NICHOLAS PEVZNER, YEKANG KO, AND KIRK DIMOND, ASLA

FROM THE JUNE 2021 ISSUE OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE.

 

Renewable energy is a central element in the Biden administration’s climate plans, a response to President Joe Biden’s campaign goal of a 100 percent clean grid by 2035 and the promise of 10 million well-paying green infrastructure jobs. Renewable energy and the power sector must play a central part in this plan if the United States is to meet Biden’s ambitious new national climate target. The goal, released on Earth Day as part of a virtual international climate gathering ahead of the COP26 Climate Change Conference, is to achieve a 50 percent reduction in climate emissions by 2030 measured against 2005 levels. And clean energy transmission, generation, and storage have a major presence in the American Jobs Plan, the Biden administration’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure proposal now making its way through Congress. All of this renewable energy would represent a major transformation of the landscape. What would it mean for landscape design, and what would the designer’s role be in such a major overhaul of the energy sector? (more…)

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BY JENNIFER REUT

 

FROM THE JUNE 2021 ISSUE OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE.

 

This spring, the Atlantic published an essay by David Treuer, the Ojibwe author of the highly lauded cultural history The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present. In “Return the National Parks to the Tribes,” Treuer puts his argument out front, and for the next 8,000 words, he doesn’t mince.

Treuer takes readers through an excoriating and sure-footed record of the national parks as sites of violence and dispossession, stopping only briefly to let readers take in Katy Grannan’s exquisite portraits of contemporary Native American people and their landscapes. The essay frontloads the murderous history of how tribes had been removed from their ancestral homelands in places that became Yellowstone and Glacier national parks and then starved out when they could no longer return to hunt or fish.

The narrative serves as a bracing jolt to set up the case that the national parks should be returned to Native Americans, who are owed these lands, and best suited to manage them in a responsible way. In the hands of tribes, the parks would be protected from the political badminton that sites like Bears Ears National Monument, and their people, have endured. With the maintenance backlog and reduction in park staff even as attendance has increased multifold, the National Park Service appears increasingly ill-equipped to steward the parks through climate change and into the next century. (more…)

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