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Gardens & Landscapes

Count Me In: Urban Greening and the Return of Primates in Kampala

June 29, 2015 by The Nature of Cities
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Monkeying about in the city

In this article, I present a case of a municipally initiated effort to ‘green’ the city of Kampala with the motive of addressing climate change mitigation. This initiative has its good aspects, enhancing green patches and biodiversity, but also comes with problems depending on the choice of species planted for greening the city.[read more]

Reshaping Growth Centers with Open Space = Smart Growth

June 26, 2015 by Klaus Philipsen

Germany does it well

It is time to look more carefully at what happens inside the development envelopes about open space. In retrofitting suburban centers open space is the ace card. Requirements and fees are not there to repel or sink development but to make it more valuable in the long run. Only shortsighted developers would fight that.[read more]

How Can Local Design Impact Large Infrastructure Plans and Projects?

June 25, 2015 by The Nature of Cities

Theater in the Eco-Park

After decades of “progress” and aggressive, mostly unplanned, growth, the modern city in the “developed world” collapses under the weight of its heavy infrastructure. Instead, the city needs all of its layers to be considered simultaneously: its natural substrate, infrastructure, buildings, and cultural values.[read more]

Publicizing the Benefits of Landscape Architecture

June 25, 2015 by The Dirt ASLA

Mia Lehrer, FASLA, wants the world to know

Mia Lehrer wants the world to know that great design + ecological principals + environmental justice = beauty + function in our cities = Landscape Architecture. Let's value it more.[read more]

Can Ornamental Plants Remain in the Gardens of California Under Drought?

June 24, 2015 by The Nature of Cities

Drought-tolerant plants

With California's current drought, is there a place for ornamental gardens in the state? We’ve been studying this question for a number of years in Los Angeles and its surrounding municipalities, and here is our advice.[read more]

Los Angeles Has a Hugely Ambitious Sustainability pLAn - Will it Succeed?

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti

“We hope to get rid of ornamental lawns and put in more native plants.” Los Angeles, known for its extensive car culture, lawn-filled suburbs and smog, is getting serious about sustainability—and the effort includes local and sustainable food and agriculture and aiming for zero waste.[read more]

How Landscape Architects Can Help Create a More Resilient City

June 23, 2015 by The Dirt ASLA

Evergreen landscape design

Best practice landscape design arising from The Cultural Landscape Foundation’s (TCLF) Leading with Landscape symposium. Landscape architects offer perspectives on their efforts to create a more resilient city.[read more]

People Habitat: 25 Ways to think about Greener, Healthier Cities

June 23, 2015 by The Nature of Cities

Nature, including us, in cities

A review of People Habitat: 25 Ways to think about Greener, Healthier Cities, a collection of essays by our very own writer F. Kaid Benfield: "Solidly grounded in what he sees is actually happening; he considers context, and especially how things fit together".[read more]

How Responsive Urban Design Should Take a “Landscape First” Approach

June 23, 2015 by The Dirt ASLA

Underestimated – landscape architecture.

A conference on landscape architecture has called for responsive urban design based in a “landscape first” approach, of balancing growth with social and environmental responsibilities, and championing the integral role landscape architects play in creating a sustainable city.[read more]

Adorable Tiny House Village Solves Cohousing and Affordability Challenges

June 18, 2015 by Shareable .

Want to live in Lilliput?

In Portland, Oregon, there's a tiny house village that combines the best of tiny living and cohousing. The Simply Home Community is four tiny houses tucked behind a larger house of 1450 square feet, which gives the tiny house villagers a place to gather for social events, community meetings, and meals.[read more]

Are the EU's Birds and Habitats Directives Fit For Purpose?

June 16, 2015 by Ceri Margerison

Unpeeling the truth

The Birds and Habitats Directives, the cornerstones of European conservation legislation, are now subject to a “Fitness Check” review. At last week's annual EU Green Week, governments, NGOs, businesses and academia argued about whether the directives are fit for purpose. What does the evidence say?[read more]

The Drain Gain: Art and An End to Forgettable Stormwater Management

June 16, 2015 by The Dirt ASLA

Floodwater management can be beautiful

A well-organized how-to guide for designers, Artful Rainwater Design (ARD), describes rainwater collection systems that are not only functional, but also attractive and engaging. These systems are usually designed to handle small rain events and the initial — and dirtiest — events, rather than major flooding from large storms.[read more]