BY ZACH MORTICE
Susan Chin of the Design Trust for Public Space pushes to open new layers of cities.
In 2002, the Design Trust for Public Space published Reclaiming the High Line, a critical voice of support that helped jump-start the growing momentum to preserve that rusting hulk of a rail bed in Lower Manhattan. Now a city- and pedestrian-scaled outdoor art walk and landscape, the High Line is likely the most influential urban infrastructure renovation of the past 30 years. In another 30 years, it will probably still be.
But what if the High Line weren’t a spectacular one-off that left cities from coast to coast scrambling to replicate it? What if what the High Line is, and how it came about, could be codified and planned as easily as train track rails or the concrete columns hoisting up miles of elevated freeway?
The Design Trust thinks it could be. For the past several years, the organization has been researching ways to improve the public space in, around, and especially beneath actively used elevated transit infrastructure. Its report, Continue Reading »
Posted in CITIES, INTERVIEW, LAM MAGAZINE, NEW YORK CITY, PEOPLE, REGULATIONS, STREETS | Tagged Design Trust for Public Space, Elevated Infrastructure, Gowanus Expressway, High Line, Multifunctional Infrastructure, Policy, Queensboro Bridge, Susan Chin, transit | 1 Comment »
BY BRAULIO AGNESE
After four decades, a prominent reminder of the effects of urban renewal in the nation’s capital is set to vanish.
All cities bear scars, evidence of past planning decisions, made with the best of intentions, that affect urban space in negative ways over the following decades. For more than 40 years, Washington, D.C.’s northwest quadrant has suffered a particularly prominent one where the District’s downtown meets the Capitol Hill neighborhood to the east: A three-block-long, 200-foot-wide opening above the depressed Center Leg Freeway (I-395), which runs beneath the nation’s capital from New York Avenue down to the Southeast Freeway (I-695).
The opening—bounded by Massachusetts Avenue to the north, E Street to the south, 2nd Street on the east, and a handful of buildings along 3rd Street—is a remnant of the nationwide mid-20th-century effort to revitalize cities by bringing high-speed, multilane highways around and through urban cores. Extensive plans for the District included an interstate loop within the city that would stretch from the west end of the National Mall to the Anacostia River on the east. The eight-lane Center Leg Freeway, which skirts along the U.S. Capitol’s west side, was the second segment built.
North of Constitution Avenue, the section of D.C. the freeway would pass through was a largely black and mixed-European working-class neighborhood that had been in long decline as the city suffered from white flight and economic woes. (Partly in response to the District’s difficulties, a complete reorganization of local government in 1967 gave D.C. semiautonomous rule with its first mayor and City Council.) The area was considered blighted, and there was little effort to resist the project. But seven years after construction on the Center Leg Freeway began, Continue Reading »
Posted in CITIES, CONSTRUCTION, ENERGY, LAM MAGAZINE, PLANNING, REAL ESTATE, STREETS | Tagged Capitol Crossing, Center Leg Freeway, Cogeneration Plant, Ecochimneys, Freeway, I-395, Lee and Associates, master plan, Property Group Partners, SOM, Terrapin Bright Green, transit, Urban Scar, Washington DC, Water Harvesting | Leave a Comment »
The things our art director, Chris McGee, hated to leave out of the current issue of LAM.
Image courtesy of Marion Brenner, Affiliate ASLA.
From “The Lid Comes On,” by Jonathan Lerner from the February 2017 issue, on Dallas’s freeway-capping Klyde Warren Park.
–CHRIS MCGEE, LAM ART DIRECTOR
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, FEATURES, LAM ONLINE, PHOTOGRAPHY, STREETS | Tagged Cap, Dallas, Freeway, Klyde Warren Park, OJB Landscape Architects | Leave a Comment »
BY TIMOTHY A. SCHULER
In Owens Lake, a land art installation draws on 100-year-old history while providing critical habitat.
When NUVIS Landscape Architecture was hired to assist the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) with its dust mitigation effort at Owens Lake (see “Dust to Bust,” LAM, October 2012), Perry Cardoza, ASLA, was given a list of objectives. Foremost, any design needed to tamp down the dust that had become a public health hazard, but it also would have to meet very specific habitat goals and help the department meet its water-use reduction targets. (LADWP has used up to 95,000 acre-feet of water annually for dust mitigation.) What was not on the list was any mention of land art.
“In everyone’s mind, this was going to be a hiking trail with a parking lot,” says Cardoza, an executive vice president at NUVIS. “We would have gravel and wetlands and some salt grass, and [we] would call it a day.” The project evolved, however, and the completed landscape, which opened to the public in April 2016 and won an Award of Excellence from the ASLA Southern California Chapter the same year, falls right into the land art tradition, even as it fulfills its mandate as an ecological booster.
Located on a tiny parcel—at 700 acres, the parcel is still just 1 percent of the lake’s total area—near the lake’s northeast boundary, the design includes a monument-like shade structure and a series of plazas and interpretive kiosks that are connected by four miles of walking paths. For Cardoza, what pushes the work into the realm of land art are its 14 Continue Reading »
Posted in ART, AWARDS, LAM MAGAZINE, NOW, WATER, WILDLIFE | Tagged ASLA Southern California, Dust, Dust Mitigation, Land Art, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, NUVIS Landscape Architecture, Owens Lake, Perry Cardoza, Southern California, Whitecaps | Leave a Comment »
BY BRADFORD MCKEE
Image courtesy of iLoveMountains.org [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.
Among the very early priorities of the new Republican-controlled Congress was to give the greenest of lights to any corporation—corporations being people—that wants to blow off the top of a gorgeous Appalachian mountain for coal, throw the spoils into the nearest headwaters, ruin the stream, ruin much downstream, and destroy a spectrum of wildlife, not to mention human life, in the process.
The instrument was a joint resolution of the House and Senate that pulled back the Stream Protection Rule, a long-sought goal of the Obama administration to prevent mountaintop removal for mining, which took effect on January 19, Obama’s last day as president. Its reversal by Congress was presented to President Trump on February 6. The resolution kills the Obama rule, which Continue Reading »
Posted in BROWNFIELDS, ECOLOGY, ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, HABITAT, LAM MAGAZINE, LAND MATTERS, POLLUTION, REGION, REGULATIONS | Tagged Alpha Natural Resources, Appalachian Mountains, biodiversity, coal, Donald Trump, Hydrologic Balance, Massey Energy, mining, Mountaintop Removal, Obama, regulations, Stream Protection Rule, Streams | 2 Comments »
By Zach Mortice
The Rockwell Gardens public housing project in Chicago, demolished in 2006. Photo by Paul Goyette.
The founders of the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) started off with a bang. The small but influential cadre of advocates for walkable and traditional-looking urbanism began meeting in 1993—the first big gathering was held at the historic Lyceum in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, with its “enormous entablature,” as the historian Vincent Scully noted in his opening remarks. The CNU’s beginnings dovetailed with the passage of a piece of legislation that enshrined the group’s approach to city building as federal policy: the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s HOPE VI program. After decades of crumbling, dysfunctional government-built-and-managed public housing projects, housing would instead be at least partially constructed and controlled by private developers and management companies. They would build lower-density, “mixed-income” communities of row houses and garden apartments. By the numbers, the lower density was made easier because Congress, in 1995, ended what had long been the “one-for-one” replacement rule for any public housing to be demolished. Housing vouchers, to be used to pay private landlords (who are not required to accept them), were considered sufficient for tenants not accepted into newly built units. At any rate, the policy change posed no obstacle to architects and planners.
But the 2016 election of Donald Trump was a tidal wave that washes over every corner of government—public housing design guidelines and funding policy included. HUD and the New Urbanists’ HOPE VI legacy is, pending a likely confirmation, in the hands of Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon and GOP presidential primary candidate, who is neither an expert nor even a novice Continue Reading »
Posted in LAM ONLINE, PEOPLE, REAL ESTATE, REGULATIONS, RESIDENTIAL | Tagged Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing, affordable housing, Ben Carson, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Congress for New Urbanism, Demolition, deregulation, Donald Trump, Enterprise, HOPE VI, Housing Density, HUD, HUD Secretary, Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, Mixed-Income, National Low-Income Housing Coalition, New Urbanism, Privatization, Urban Institute | 1 Comment »