BY TIMOTHY A. SCHULER
Where has all the sediment gone? Image courtesy of Landscape Metrics and the Dredge Research Collaborative.
Thanks to a severe shortage of sediment, the tidal marshes of the San Francisco Bay are disappearing, taking with them a vital ecosystem and an important defense against sea-level rise. In response, in June 2016, voters approved a parcel tax that will generate $500 million over the next 20 years for wetland restoration. And yet the sediment hasn’t vanished; it’s a prisoner of the state’s highly altered hydrologic system. “There’s this incredible resource that’s just sitting behind this constellation of dams,” says Landscape Metrics principal Matthew Seibert.
This summer, as a part of DredgeFest California, Seibert worked with the Dredge Research Collaborative and workshop participants to visualize this “hidden sediment reserve.” Based on data published in the journal Water Resources Research in 2009, the team created an interactive map showing where—and when—California’s sediment was diverted, as well as the cost of removing that sediment, which far exceeds the expected $500 million in tax revenue. Seibert is optimistic, however, especially as the economics of climate change become increasingly apparent: “The Baylands have an amazing capacity for flood mitigation that I don’t feel is quantified economically yet, or valued as it should be.”
For an interactive version of this map, visit landscapemetrics.com/dredge.
Posted in CITIES, LAM MAGAZINE, NOW, REGION, SAN FRANCISCO, SOIL, WATER | Tagged California, Dredge Research Collaborative, Dredgefest, Landscape Metrics, Parcel Tax, San Francisco Bay, sea-level rise, Sediment, Wetland Restoration | Leave a Comment »
BY ZACH MORTICE
Yew Maze, Hever Castle & Gardens, Kent, UK, 1904. Courtesy Hever Castle & Gardens
Labyrinths and mazes are meandering ways to get from one place to another. As such, they’ve mostly been placed in the arena of baronial garden follies like topiary: trimmed hedges, a gazebo at its center, some ducks in a pond, and a high five once you’ve successfully traversed from point A to B. But author Francesca Tatarella has found that labyrinths’ persistence over time and their geographic pervasiveness are clues to a much deeper truth. In her book Labyrinths and Mazes: A Journey Through Art, Architecture, and Landscape (Princeton Architectural Press, 2016), she sees them as a set of existential questions we ask ourselves. “Labyrinths help us draw closer to mystery, and stave off the fear that the unknown creates in us,” she writes. “They deal with questions such as: Should I even start a journey if I don’t know where it will take me? Will I get lost if I head down an unknown path? And if I do get lost, will I be able to find my way back?”
By navigating a labyrinth’s contours and completing its choreographed rituals of movement, she believes we can master a small bit of our inner world, Continue Reading »
Posted in BOOKS, GARDENS, LAM ONLINE, RECREATION | Tagged art, book, Christianity, Europe, Follies, Francesca Tatarella, LABYRINTH, Maze, nature, Prayer | 3 Comments »
This presentation of the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) Realities and Realms colloquium examines how landscape architecture is ingesting computation, robotics, and the reams of data that designed environments now produce second by second. In two lecture videos titled Realities and Realms: Responsive Technologies in Ecological Systems, the GSD invites practitioners, researchers, and academics to envision how “anthropogenic perception and technological mediation” will meet in landscape design. Continue Reading »
Posted in ECOLOGY, ENVIRONMENT, IDEAS, LAM ONLINE, PEOPLE | Tagged Computation, data, Harvard Graduate School of Design, lecture, Realities and Realms colloquium, Realities and Realms: Responsive Technologies in Ecological Systems, Robotics | Leave a Comment »
BY BRADFORD McKEE
Credit: Pax Ahimsa Gethen [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons.
You may safely expect that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ halt on the Dakota Access pipeline will end after the close of the Obama administration. It shouldn’t. The halt should instead force a rethinking of the pipeline’s route through unceded Sioux lands near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation and under the Missouri River, “to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing,” as Jo-Ellen Darcy, the army’s assistant secretary for civil works, said in announcing the cease order in early December after months of protests.
The stop on the project should also compel a total reconsideration of certain perversities that pass as common practice by government and industry in the construction of oil and gas pipelines, which have been helpfully highlighted by the rising tension over Dakota Access in the past year. If the pipeline were halted and rerouted, it would mark a rare Continue Reading »
Posted in LAM MAGAZINE, LAND MATTERS, POLLUTION, REGULATIONS | Tagged Dakota Access pipeline, eminent domain, fossil fuel industry, gas, Obama administration, oil, pipeline, Sioux lands, Standing Rock Indian Reservation | 1 Comment »
The things our art director, Chris McGee, hated to leave out of the current issue of LAM.
Photo by Frederick Charles/fcharles.com.
From “A Foodshed Moment” by Anne Raver in the December 2016 issue, the story of the Hudson Valley’s struggle to balance real estate hunger for farmland estates with the need for cropable acres to feed New York City (pictured are Katie and Chris Cashen on their farm).
“Farming is in the family…”
–CHRIS MCGEE, LAM ART DIRECTOR
You can read the full table of contents for December 2016 or pick up a free digital issue of the December LAM here and share it with your clients, colleagues, and friends. As always, you can buy this issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine at more than 700 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.
Posted in CITIES, FARMS, FOOD, LAM ONLINE, NEW YORK CITY, PLANTS, REAL ESTATE, REGION, WATER | Tagged Crops, farming, Foodshed, Fruits, Hudson Valley, New York State, Vegetables | Leave a Comment »
BY ANNE RAVER, PHOTOGRAPHY BY FREDERICK CHARLES
Preserving farmland is not enough if it doesn’t stay in the hands of farmers.
A gorgeous October morning in the Hudson Valley and people are out leaf peeping, but not Chris Cashen, a farmer.
Every week, on the outskirts of Hudson, 120 miles north of New York City, Cashen and his crew load about 1,300 pounds of organic vegetables—baby bok choy, salad greens, Japanese turnips, sweet potatoes, Tuscan kale—onto a truck headed for a food pantry hub in Long Island City.
The hot, dry summer meant they had to irrigate from the nearby creek, but the vegetables are beautiful and tasty.
A few miles south, Ken Migliorelli zigzags over the potholed roads between his hilly orchard in Tivoli and the flat sandy fields of his cropland in Red Hook. A Valentine’s Day freeze took out all his stone fruit this year—no peaches, nectarines, or cherries—and a hard frost in May reduced his apple crop by 30 percent. Continue Reading »
Posted in FARMS, HEALTHY COMMUNITIES, LAM MAGAZINE, NEW YORK CITY, PLANTS, PRESERVATION, REAL ESTATE, REGION, SOIL, WATER | Tagged American Farmland Trust, Endowment, Foodshed, GrowNYC, How Great Cities are Fed, NYC Food & Climate Summit, Scenic Hudson, Small Planet Institute, W. P. Hedden | Leave a Comment »