A review of Natura Urbana: Ecological Constellations in Urban Space by Matthew Gandy.
By Anjulie Rao
There are more than 30,000 vacant lots in the city of Chicago—remnants of urban renewal’s disastrous execution and disinvestment. Where buildings once stood, acres of new life have emerged. Many of those empty lots have become overgrown—small prairies where remnants of building foundations peek out from plots of seeding grasses; thick, tender lamb’s-quarter; and purple flowering chicory. The lots are home to rats, skunks, raccoons, and the occasional possum. Chicago, like many postindustrial cities, grapples with how to develop these spaces, calling them wastelands. Continue reading Book Review: Gone Feral→
An unexpected amount of rain fell on the Presidio Tunnel Tops construction site this past October. The rain was a mixed blessing; though welcomed by parched San Francisco Bay Area residents, it had damaged parts of the job site. Kerry Huang, ASLA, a senior associate at James Corner Field Operations (JCFO), the project’s design partner and landscape architect, said that layers of soil and plants were torn out of one of the embankments, despite the recent installation of erosion control blankets. Huang is a construction manager for Tunnel Tops, one of an unusual number of women who are project managers on this high-profile project. Continue reading The Team on Tops→
For New Orleans’s popular Lafitte Greenway, the plan was just the beginning.
By Jane Margolies
On a recent morning in New Orleans, church parishioners, employees on loan from local businesses, and sailors in town for Navy Week were among the 130 volunteers who showed up to plant 100 cypress trees in a bioswale on the Lafitte Greenway. The city’s Department of Parks and Parkways had already cleared the site bordering the Tremé neighborhood, and staff from the New Orleans office of the landscape architecture firm Spackman Mossop Michaels (SMM) and a tree-planting nonprofit group had marked off where the 15-gallon, one-inch-caliper pond and bald cypress were to go. So the volunteers dug holes, dropped in the trees, backfilled them with soil, staked, and mulched. With everyone pitching in, the job was done in three hours. Continue reading How to Grow a Greenway→
In 2018, after discovering that city arborists planned to plant Australian and South African plant species in response to a future of sustained droughts, the Los Angeles landscape architecture studio Terremoto launched Test Plot, a small-scale scheme designed to engage community groups in growing native plants in city parks and ultimately show that residents can play a role in maintaining the city’s landscape. “There’s a fear of maintenance,” Jenny Jones, ASLA, a partner at Terremoto, says. “We want to celebrate the maintenance.” Continue reading The Lab in the Backyard→
The Magazine of the American Society of Landscape Architects