Posts Tagged ‘Places Journal’

A monthly roundup of the news, dispatches, and marginalia that caught our eye.

In the November Queue, the LAM staff sees the real Keystone XL story go viral, learns about the most-wanted environmental fugitives, laments that the Arctic may truly be “ice-free” by 2020, and daydreams about an enchanting bike ride inspired by a starry, starry night.

OUR WOBBLY WORLD

KCRW’s “To the Point” aired an extensive report on the Keystone XL and the various strategies Canadian companies are using to move tar sands oil to the Gulf of Mexico (see “Below the Surface,” LAM, November 2014).

 The EPA has recently released the latest iteration of its report on 30 indicators of climate change in the United States. The third edition of the report compiles new data that links human activities and a warming planet, including wildfire occurrences and the rising levels and temperatures in the Great Lakes, among others.

•  A swoon-worthy four-minute film on global fossil fuel consumption and carbon emissions has won a 2014 Kantar Information Is Beautiful award.

Interpol launched Operation Infra-Terra, a list of the most-wanted environmental fugitives in the world. Among the top offenses are animal poaching, illegal mining, and illegal waste disposal.

• The Arctic could be “ice-free” as soon as 2020, according to Cambridge professor Peter Wadhams.

• As part of a $2.4 billion project to protect waterways, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens will add thousands of streetside plots to help soak up excess stormwater, while communities in Maryland seek to add similar measures to avoid large fees under a controversial “rain tax.”

FIELD STUDIES

 A four-and-a-half-minute video recently released by PBS highlights the haunting beauty of the historic McMillan Sand Filtration site in Washington, D.C., echoing the local residents’ advocacy for the site’s untapped potential.

 Seattle no longer has to worry about needing to choose between funding the police or the local park. Voters recently approved a measure that separates park funding from the general fund, though some worry that this money will not make it to the parks that need it the most.

In a recent essay in Places Journal, Brian Davis (see “The Dredge Underground,” LAM, August 2014) and Thomas Oles challenge the term “landscape architecture,” suggesting that  “landscape science” more accurately captures the core values of modern practice.

Berlin’s 33,000 resident artists have taken advantage of the slow regeneration of the city, giving more leeway for the creative improvisation of space and property.

Medium looks at contemporary cartography and the increasing complexity of modern maps. 

OUT AND ABOUT

United Divide: A Linear Portrait of the USA/Canada Border opened at the Center for Land Use Interpretation in Los Angeles on November 14.

• The Cultural Landscape Foundation and the Presidio Trust will host Saving Nature in a Humanized World January 22–24 at the Presidio in San Francisco.

DISTRACT ME FROM MY DEADLINE DEPT.

 Ever wonder what your city would look like if we all just turned off the lights?

 If Van Gogh was alive today, he’d want you to use this bike path.

• This memorial in Arizona aligns with the sun perfectly only on Veterans Day at 11:11 a.m.

 These pictures highlight works of art only nature could create.

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HOMEPLACE

“We were ready to fly on our own,” Nancy Levinson said in August as she described the next phase of life for the beloved Places Journal, based in San Francisco, where she is the editor and executive director. In late June, Levinson and Josh Wallaert, the journal’s senior editor, posted the last piece in Places as part of the Design Observer Group’s platform of online design writing. In late September they relaunched Places as an independent site dedicated, as its tagline says, to “public scholarship in architecture, landscape, and urbanism.” The main support for Places comes from a group of 24 universities, each of which has a member on the journal’s board of directors. The site also receives foundation grants and individual donations.

Places was started in 1983 by faculty members of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of California, Berkeley (Donlyn Lyndon and William Porter were founding editors). It appeared as a print publication until it went online-only in 2009 as part of Design Observer. The decision earlier this year to end the partnership with Design Observer was a friendly one, Levinson said. “It was great to be partners, and it was a great way to move from being a print publication to being a web publication.” The new site, she said, clarifies the stand-alone status of Places as a nonprofit, dot-org rather than dot-com, that offers long-form public-interest journalism. The Design Observer site provides a link to the new home for Places.

SEXPLACE

Hammering out the new site’s design began in May. Levinson and Wallaert hired Kyle Larkin of Extra Small Design, in Phoenix, to create the site; Larkin had been the first web editor of Places in 2009. The new design gives the journal a cleaner look, bigger images, slide shows, and easy sharing on social media. Levinson’s goal was to create a more “immersive” format for Places’s roomy inquiries into design topics that range among media, politics, geography, economics, industry, energy, and sex. There are links from current pieces to those in the journal’s archive of about 1,800 articles published since 1983. At the bottom of a recently posted essay, “From Architecture to Landscape,” by Brian Davis and Thomas Oles, you reach links to other pieces relating to landscape. And you can find the entire Places print archive available in PDF. There is plenty to explore.

“People don’t necessarily go online to read journals,” Levinson said. “They go online to read articles, and as they read articles, they discover journals. Our big focus is our commitment to articles that are serious and substantial. The web has become a very fraught place, and we’re trying to maintain a strong signal amid the ever-increasing noise.”

For more information, visit https://placesjournal.org.

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