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Hurricane Harvey flooding and damage. Image by Jill Carlson (jillcarlson.org) from Roman Forest, Texas, USA [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

BY BRADFORD MCKEE

FROM THE OCTOBER 2017 ISSUE OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE.

Michael D. Talbott wasn’t shy in showing his hand about climate change. For 18 years, Talbott, an engineer, served as the head of the Harris County Flood Control District in Texas until his retirement in 2016. He flatly dismissed any links between climate change and the frequent extreme storms—four of them now since 2015—to hit Harris County, the nation’s third most populated county, and its seat, Houston, the nation’s fourth-largest city. The month he retired, Talbott told a team of reporters with ProPublica and the Texas Tribune that the flood control district did not plan to look at ways climate may be driving the extreme weather that affected Harris County. “I don’t think it’s the new normal,” he said of these weather extremes. (The person to follow him in the job of executive director, Russell A. Poppe, “shares his views,” according to the report.) People who are saying it’s the new normal, Talbott said, have “an agenda” to fight development.

Just as remarkable as Talbott’s denial of climate breakdown was his acquittal of the role that urban development patterns play in worsening or relieving floods. When Hurricane Harvey sat on the region for days in late August, many indignant arguments arose online that Houston’s development habits either most certainly or in absolutely no way helped create the hazards that flooded Texas Gulf Coast neighborhoods from Katy in the west (31 inches of rain) to Beaumont and Port Arthur in the east (47 inches), with Cedar Bayou (more…)

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Credit: David Wilson [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

It’s that time of year again, and the Landscape Architecture Magazine team is off to sweet home Chicago [Many LAM staff hail from Chicago.—Ed.] for the 2015 ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO. Here are just a few places to find us during the meeting:

Editor Brad McKee will be a panelist on From the Editor’s Desk: Navigating the Modern Media (SUN-A08), at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, 11/8. He will also be moderating Hybrid Practices (FRI-B02), at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, 11/6, and Inside the LA Studio with Hollander Design (SAT-A02), at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday 11/7.

The staff will also be attending the Landscape Architecture Magazine Advertising Awards (aka the”LAMMYs”) on Friday, 11/6, the ASLA Student and Professional Awards Ceremony on Monday, 11/9, and the second annual Edible Landscape Celebration on Saturday, 11/7. Tickets are still available for this event, but it will sell out.

LAM editors will be on hand for Meet the Editors in the EXPO hall on Saturday and Sunday to hear about those new projects and story ideas, so sign up if you’d like to pitch your project.  New to Meet the Editors this year is LAM Art Director Chris McGee, who will be available for photography reviews. There are still a few spots left, so be sure to snag yours before they’re all gone!

In between sessions you can find us at the LAM table in ASLA Central on Saturday and Sunday. Drop by and introduce yourself and be sure follow us on Twitter @landarchmag throughout the meeting—remember to use #ASLA2015 on Instagram and Twitter! If you see us in a session or event, be sure to say hello—we love to meet readers and hear what they think about the magazine and the blog.

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