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Posts Tagged ‘refugees’

BY TIMOTHY A. SCHULER

Researchers explore the role of design in aiding a global refugee crisis.

FROM THE SEPTEMBER 2018 ISSUE OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE.

As a young girl, Elizabeth Brabec,  ASLA, knew her mother’s garden was different. Where the neighbors grew lettuce and carrots and cucumbers in neat rows, her family’s garden featured mounded beds of currants, gooseberries, and celeriac interspersed with fruit and nut-bearing trees. Everything was mixed together. Brabec didn’t understand the reason for the difference until she visited the Czech Republic decades later. Every garden looked like her mother’s.

That was the first time that Brabec, now a professor of landscape architecture at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, realized that gardens could function as an expression of a person’s heritage, a way for immigrants to create continuity between the old world and the new. Brabec’s parents fled Czechoslovakia in the 1940s to escape the ethnic cleansing that took place after World War II. When they arrived in Montreal, one of the first things her mother did was plant a garden, Brabec says, a garden modeled on the one her own mother had grown back in Prague.

For the past five years, Brabec has been studying this phenomenon, visiting refugee gardens around the world to document (more…)

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BY TIMOTHY A. SCHULER

Louisville’s Liberty Field is an urban destination for everyone—especially refugees.

FROM THE FEBRUARY 2018 ISSUE OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE.

Louisville, Kentucky, has long been linked with sports. Some know it as the home of the Kentucky Derby, others as the birthplace of the Louisville Slugger. But in recent years it’s become a city of soccer. In part, Louisville’s embrace of soccer follows national trends—soccer’s popularity has grown steadily since the 1990s—but it is also the result of decades of refugee resettlement. According to the Pew Research Center, in 2016, Kentucky had twice as many refugees (individuals who have experienced or have reason to fear persecution based on their race, religion, or nationality) resettled per capita as the national average.

This demographic shift inspired the creation of Liberty Field, a pop-up soccer pitch converted from an unused parking lot in the city’s Phoenix Hill neighborhood. The project, led by City Collaborative, a nonprofit urban research and design laboratory, is an attempt to better serve a population that is often overlooked. Patrick Piuma, a cofounder of City Collaborative, says he’s been troubled by the xenophobia that has become increasingly visible in many American communities. “The fastest-growing segment of our population is refugees and immigrants,” he says. “How do we humanize each other? (more…)

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