Category Archives: Planning

(Re)making the Grade

At the University of Pittsburgh, a Complete Street caps a series of student-centered outdoor spaces.

By Timothy A. Schuler

North of the student union, a new, permeable plaza provides space for events as well as informal gatherings. Photo by Denmarsh Studios/LBA.

In the mid-1950s, the fast-growing University of Pittsburgh acquired two historic properties: the Hotel Schenley, built in 1898, and the Schenley Apartments, built between 1922 and 1924. The buildings were renovated for use as dormitories—and later, in the case of the hotel, a student union—but the spaces around them were left largely untouched, updated over the years to meet local codes but otherwise given little thought. Continue reading (Re)making the Grade

Get Ready to Respond

$1 billion in funding to reconnect divided communities is coming.

By Zach Mortice

Landscape architects are ingrained systems thinkers and experts on how to balance infrastructure and the ecological imperatives of climate change, all while improving transit networks that bind people together. Significant portions of the more than $1 trillion infrastructure bill that became law late last year will be filtering down to communities, and landscape architects bring experience and expertise to these types of projects, including the removal of highways, streetscape design, greenway planning, and especially those projects that seek to address incidences of transit infrastructure exacerbating existing economic and demographic inequalities. Continue reading Get Ready to Respond

Placemaking Pitfall

Creative crosswalks are increasingly popular—except among the disabled.

By Timothy A. Schuler

A group of disability rights organizations raised concerns about a mural crosswalk in London’s Bankside neighborhood. Photo courtesy Better Bankside.

Viewed by both designers and departments of transportation as an inexpensive way to improve the public realm, street murals that embellish or sometimes even replace traditional crosswalks have become staples in the placemaking playbook. Continue reading Placemaking Pitfall

Northern Star

Stoss Landscape Urbanism’s design for the University of Michigan’s Gerstacker Grove melds ecological performance with technological proficiency.

By Zach Mortice

Gerstacker Grove is the only major piece of landscape connective tissue on the University of Michigan’s North Campus. Photo by Millicent Harvey.

The Eda U. Gerstacker Grove on the University of Michigan’s North Campus is the modern anti-quad. The North Campus is cloistered and suburban, separated from the main Central Campus by a mile-plus and the Huron River. Continue reading Northern Star

Roll, Tide

Gulf State Park in Alabama is one of the largest public projects to be funded through the Deepwater Horizon settlement. Many more are coming.

By Jared Brey

The Lodge at Gulf State Park was rebuilt as a sustainable tourism destination after a previous lodge, a popular vacation spot, was destroyed by Hurricane Ivan in 2004. Photo by Volkert, Inc., and Forrest Funk Drone Photography.

The Lodge at Gulf State Park is built directly into the dunes, so when you walk from the parking lot into the spacious lobby, you’re looking straight through the glass back wall of the hotel, across a stretch of white-sand beach, and out into the seemingly endless Gulf of Mexico. Continue reading Roll, Tide