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Urban Planning

Looking for Utopia

August 25, 2016 by Laura Tozer

Picture: Hans TakThis blog was originally posted on What's Next, a web magazine accompanying the International Architecture Biennial Rotterdam 2016.CAN WE GET BETTER AT FLEXING UTOPIAN THINKING AS WE TRY TO TELL STORIES ABOUT LOW CARBON FUTURES?We were looking for utopia. Our time in the IABR exhibit was almost up, but I had found my way...[read more]

How Can Louisiana Build Back Smarter?

August 24, 2016 by The Dirt ASLA

Louisiana flooding / Los Angeles TimesThe flooding that hit Louisiana last week affected hundreds of thousands of people over 1,000 square miles. The intense storm claimed 13 lives, and some 30,000 needed to be rescued. Over 60,000 homes have been destroyed, and 100,000 have registered for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)...[read more]

How the National Park Service Should Evolve

August 23, 2016 by The Dirt ASLA

San Gabriel Mountains National Monument / Conservation AllianceAs the National Park Service (NPS) celebrates its centennial, it’s time to look ahead and think about how America’s national parks should evolve over the next 100 years. A new report from the Center for American Progress (CAP) argues that the NPS will need to become far...[read more]

Do Green Streets Actually Work for Stormwater Management?

August 22, 2016 by Leda Marritz

Green Streets have become a more common feature of the urban landscape in cities and towns across the United States and abroad. And for good reason: they provide substantial value in community aesthetics, redevelopment, livability and environmental compliance. You may know from personal experience or previous blog posts that water...[read more]

The Mesmerizing “Liquid Shard” Brings Pershing Square Back to Life

August 18, 2016 by The Dirt ASLA

The moribund Pershing Square Park in downtown Los Angeles briefly came back to life over the past few weeks, thanks to artist Patrick Hearn’s monumental and mesmerizing Liquid Shard, which is made of holographic mylar and monofilament and spans some 15,000 square feet. Riding invisible wind currents, the piece undulates along a span 15...[read more]

Architecture of Place: Buildings that Work for People

August 17, 2016 by Project for Public Spaces

Some may be surprised to hear PPS echoing a version of the modernist mantra “form ever follows function,” but it’s important for us to remember what that phrase is really all about. When it was first coined by Louis Sullivan, it was a humanist idea: that the form of a building should serve first and foremost the human uses that occupy it...[read more]

Research Shows Trees in Bioswales Provide Significant Stormwater Benefits

August 16, 2016 by Leda Marritz

When we talk about the value of urban trees and soils as a stormwater management tool, the contribution of the trees is often considered secondary. Soil will, of course, store significant amounts of runoff all on its own. However, new research at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IL, has found that trees actually provided the largest...[read more]

Why We Need Nature Based Playgrounds Equipment and Design

August 16, 2016 by Sarah Smith

With urban green design including natural playgrounds, people will be able to see the environmental movement for what it is. There is no purer symbol of the concern environmentalists feel for the next generation than an eco-friendly playground. This extra care shows a consciousness towards helping everyone go green, no matter their age.[read more]

Placemaking on Main Street: Revitalizing Rural Communities

August 15, 2016 by Project for Public Spaces

 In the small Saskatchewan town of Maple Creek (pop. 2,500), residents gather on Jasper Street in the downtown’s Historic District |Photo by Town of Maple CreekMany residents of small towns and rural communities care deeply about the future of their towns and they value their uniqueness and a strong sense of community. At the same...[read more]

ReGen Village Design Pushes for Self-Sustenance

August 14, 2016 by Tyler Caine

The rate and degree of evolution for building types and development patterns around the world may be one of the most critical decisions facing the fate of the biosphere over the next century. One developer/architecture team has recently rolled out a vision that does more than toggle the mainstream model, but proposes the framework for a cultural shift built around goals of balance.[read more]

Green Infrastructure: Back to Basics

August 12, 2016 by GBIG Insight

“Imagine this design assignment: Design something that makes oxygen, sequesters carbon, fixes nitrogen, distills water, makes complex sugars and foods, changes colors with the seasons, and self-replicates.” —William McDonough, Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make ThingsAny technology that satisfied this design assignment would...[read more]

No Site Too Small

August 11, 2016 by Leda Marritz

Imagine you own a small vacant plot, less than a quarter acre, in a quiet residential neighborhood. Its slope and wedge shape makes it less than ideal for development, but it is not serving any purpose sitting vacant behind a fence. It gets plenty of sun exposure, has a nutrient-rich clay soil and is located next to a reservoir and...[read more]