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Archive for the ‘REGULATIONS’ Category

BY LISA OWENS VIANI

A cool map for a warming watershed arrives at the right moment.

FROM THE SEPTEMBER 2021 ISSUE OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE.

 

As the western United States continues to wither in an extended drought, the Colorado River’s two largest reservoirs, Lake Mead and Lake Powell, have fallen to their lowest levels since they were first filled—Lake Mead in 1935 and Lake Powell in 1963—according to John Fleck, a professor of practice in water policy and governance in the Department of Economics and director of the Water Resources Program at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. Against this parched backdrop, the Babbitt Center for Land and Water Policy has published a timely new map of the Colorado River watershed that illuminates the complicated issues facing basin managers now and in the future as water becomes an ever more scarce and precious commodity in the West.

Produced in partnership with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy’s newly launched Center for Geospatial Solutions, the peer-reviewed map, which includes photographs and extensive narrative, tells the story of the river’s complicated legal and political history and challenges. (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 STEPHEN ZACKS

FROM THE SEPTEMBER 2021 ISSUE OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE.

 

The state of Virginia has regulated landscape architecture as a profession since 1980, certifying practitioners through its professional occupational agency. In 2010, landscape architecture became a licensed profession in the state.

A few bills attempted to deregulate or lower the level of regulation back to certification, but none of them made it out of legislative committee. Around 2011, Republican then-Governor Robert McDonnell set up a commission to eliminate regulations in general, including of professions such as landscape architecture and interior design. Members of the Virginia chapter of ASLA persuaded the governor to remove landscape architects from the list.

Robert McGinnis, FASLA, an associate principal at Kennon Williams Landscape Studio and a member of the Virginia ASLA chapter’s government affairs committee, says that interior designers and landscape architects get targeted because people don’t know what they do. “They see the word landscape and think we put trees in the ground.” (more…)

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BY ZACH MORTICE

A collaboration between Jennifer Bonner and Martin Rickles Studio, Bonner’s “Lean-to-ADU” develops a new landscape type for accessory dwelling units. Renderings courtesy Jennifer Bonner / MALL.

Carley Rickles came to a realization that’s unfamiliar to most landscape architects when she was beginning the landscape plan for an accessory dwelling unit (ADU). There was, strictly speaking, no site. As part of Los Angeles’s ambitious program to alleviate its housing crisis by dropping ADUs across the city’s legendary single-family-home horizon, each structure would sit in a backyard that could contain different dimensions, constraints, and contexts.

Rickles’s landscape design would be paired with a crisp and angular garden shed-like unit designed by Jennifer Bonner’s MALL, a creative practice that stands for Mass Architectural Loopty Loops, Miniature Angles & Little Lines, or Maximum Arches with Limited Liability. “It felt like all we had to draw from was the architecture,” Rickles says.

(more…)

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BY ZACH MORTICE

The Morton Salt site will feature a riparian ecosystem grown in a synthetic medium. Image courtesy Lamar Johnson Collaborative.

In Chicago, a synthetic growing medium will provide a healthy buffer between contaminated soils and riparian plant life.

 

For nearly 100 years, the Morton Salt facility on the North Side of Chicago, with its massive rain slicker and umbrella sign, has been an iconic presence along the industrial corridor that traced the North Branch of the Chicago River. The warehousing and packaging facility closed in 2015, and within a few years, the company announced an ambitious adaptive reuse plan for the site, turning it into a mixed-use campus featuring a concert venue and office spaces. (The sign will stay.) It will also be home to Morton’s R&D facility, relocating from Chicago’s suburbs, where the company will research water softener salt, pool salt, deicing salt, and salt solutions for other industrial applications.

The project’s innovation will extend to the outdoors: The landscape of the campus will include a synthetic growing medium developed by Omni Ecosystems. According to the company, it’s the first site in Chicago that’s been approved for the use of special stormwater soils designed to mitigate runoff and stormwater from combined sewer overflows. Working with the Chicago Plan Commission and the Department of Buildings, Omni Ecosystems will use 60,000 cubic feet of Omni Infinity Media, largely composed of an ultra-light, kiln-dried mineral similar to volcanic rock. This medium will allow a rich wetland and riparian ecosystem to thrive on top of a degraded and polluted site that’s been capped with concrete and asphalt.

The Omni Infinity Media is mostly air—it has 78 percent void space, compared to standard topsoil, which has 25 percent. “It’s quite literally and physically a sponge,” says Michael Skowlund, ASLA, the director of landscape architecture at Omni Ecosystems. (more…)

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

Image by Florence Low for California Department of Water Resources.

From “Toward Reclamation” in the March 2021 issue by Timothy A. Schuler, about how federal recognition of a critical ecosystem in California where five waterways collide can maintain the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta’s cultural heritage and ecological integrity.

“Flooded fields on the delta.”

–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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INTERVIEW BY TIMOTHY A. SCHULER

Greg Kochanowski documented the loss of his own home in the 2018 Woolsey Fire, which destroyed 110 of 217 houses in Seminole Springs, California. Photo by GK.

 

The Los Angeles-based designer Greg Kochanowski researches wildfire mitigation close to home.

 

Earth is a water planet. It is also, as Stephen J. Pyne has written, a fire planet. The Earth “has held fires as long as plants have lived on land,” Pyne recently wrote in Yale Environment 360. To remove fire from landscapes that have coevolved with it “can be as ruinous as putting fire into landscapes that have no history of it. The fires we don’t see—the fires that should be there and aren’t—are an index of ecological loss, like imposing a drought on a normally lush landscape.”

Greg Kochanowski knows well the losses that fires and their absence bring. As the studio director of the multidisciplinary design firm RIOS, Kochanowski had been investigating the effects of urbanization on the fire-adapted landscapes of Southern California for more than three years when the 2018 Woolsey Fire destroyed his home in Seminole Springs, California.

Now, Kochanowski has collected his research, as well as his experience of the Woolsey Fire, in The Wild, published last fall as part of the Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design’s pamphlet series. The book explores the urban periphery of Los Angeles and the economic, cultural, and political pressures that have resulted in the city’s persistent peri-urban expansion and, consequently, the inevitability of ever larger, ever more deadly wildfires. Landscape Architecture Magazine spoke to Kochanowski shortly after the book’s release. His reVISION ASLA 2020 panel, “Fire Across the Pacific: Australia, California, and the Climate Crisis,” is available online.

LAM: What gave birth to the line of inquiry you’re tracing in the book?

Kochanowski: It was really the Rising Currents book that came out of the MoMA exhibition [Rising Currents: Projects for New York’s Waterfront, 2011]. That was the first time that I had seen the global design community using their expertise to solve much broader problems. I was really inspired by it, but I was living in Los Angeles. Los Angeles has issues with sea-level rise, of course, but there was a lack of theorizing about the West. It was a very East Coast discussion. In the West, I was experiencing fires, and then it would rain and you would have floods, and then landslides, and it happened every single year. It was just this cycle. After a few years, I thought, no one’s talking about this. So, I began to look at the fire cycle, and had a session at the ASLA conference in 2018 on some of that initial research. And then my house burned down. Then I got really interested in fire. (more…)

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