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BY BRIAN BARTH

Cities are getting “smarter.” But are they getting wiser?

FROM THE JULY 2017 ISSUE OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE.

“Oh, no. My phone is dead. Better head to the park.”

Walk past the basketball court down at Anita Stroud Park, toward the little creek below, and you might find a gaggle of teens clustered around a very modern-looking bench that would seem more at home outside a coffee shop in Soho than in a tiny neighborhood park next to I-77 on the north end of Charlotte, North Carolina.

A pair of USB ports on a console on the front of the bench provides juice from the solar panel mounted at lap level between the seats. Who wouldn’t want to hang out at a bench like this? It certainly catches the eye of passersby. What these kids might not realize, however, is that this bench is watching them back. Underneath that solar panel is a small Wi-Fi enabled sensor that sends data back to an office building in East Cambridge, Massachusetts. Anyone who passes within 150 feet of the bench with a Wi-Fi enabled mobile device in their pocket is picked up by the sensor and (more…)

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Credit: Andy Stephenson [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

Credit: Andy Stephenson [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

Find the LAM staff out and about in May and June:

May 6–7

Dumbarton Oaks Garden and Landscape Studies Symposium, Washington, D.C.

June 1–4

2016 Vernacular Architecture Forum, Durham, North Carolina

June 10–11

2016 Summit on Landscape Architecture and the Future, Philadelphia

June 13–19

Dredgefest California, Berkeley, California

June 21–23

A Century of Design in the Parks, Santa Fe, New Mexico

You can also find Landscape Architecture Magazine this spring at the following shows:

May 19–21

AIA Convention 2016, Philadelphia

And, as always, at more than 200 Barnes & Noble stores nationwide.

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LAMJan16NPS1

From January’s issue: LAM goes to the extremes in celebration of the National Park Service’s centennial.

From the January 2016 issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine.

On August 26, Americans will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. Members and friends of ASLA can feel especially proud, as the society, along with the American Civic Association, was instrumental in the passage of the National Park Service Organic Act, which established the agency, in 1916. Today there are 59 national parks, sublime wedges of paradise where time seems to stand still. To begin the centenary year at LAM, we’ve gone to extremes to find parks with superlative qualities as a reminder of the awe the parks inspire. (more…)

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July’s LAM looks at the long-needed rehabilitation of Babi Yar Park, a memorial ground in Denver dedicated to the lives lost in Kiev, Ukraine, during the Holocaust, by Tina Bishop of Mundus Bishop; a rethinking of Chavis Park in Raleigh, North Carolina, by Skeo Solutions, which embraces the park’s African American heritage through public engagement; and the ground-to-crown planting of the One Central Park high-rise in Sydney, designed by Ateliers Jean Nouvel, with Aspect | Oculus and Jeppe Aagaard Andersen, where sprawling green balconies make what is said to be the tallest vertical garden in the world.

In this month’s departments, the Milan Expo 2015 centered on food sustainability seems to draw controversy from every angle; Molly Meyer is leading the charge for affordable, simpler, and greater biodiversity in green roofs; and nature reclaims lands once lost from the demolition of two dams on the Elwha River in Washington State. In The Back, an exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History immerses visitors in the beauty of Iceland through sight and sound. All this plus our regular Now, Species, Goods, and Books columns.

You can read the full table of contents for July 2015 or pick up a free digital issue of the July 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 200 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.

Keep an eye out here on the blog, on the LAM Facebook page, and on our Twitter feed (@landarchmag), as we’ll be ungating July articles as the month rolls out.

Credits: “The Global Cucumber,” Tim Waterman; “Green Roof Gold,” Michael Skiba; “A River Returns,” National Park Service; “Star Witness,” © Scott Dressel-Martin; “The Chavis Conversion,” Skeo Solutions; “Live It Up,” Simon Wood Photography; “Songs of Ice and Fire,” Feo Pitcairn Fine Art.

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