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Gardens & Landscapes

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]

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]

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]

Equity and Inclusion: Getting Down to the Heart of Placemaking

August 5, 2016 by Project for Public Spaces

Placemaking, a collaborative process by which we (residents, architects, activists, community leaders and planners alike) shape our public realm together, is fundamentally about inclusion and shared community ownership.[read more]

The Quest for Terrific Courtyards in Creating High-Class Density

July 30, 2016 by Timo Hamalainen

Kallio, my neighborhood in central Helsinki is a fantastic and lively place to live in. Most services are within a couple of blocks, there are plenty of bars and restaurants to choose from, you can hang out in a number of characteristic parks, and the connections to elsewhere in Helsinki are superb. There’s little to complain about....[read more]

Parks Can Do Double-Duty as Green Infrastructure

July 29, 2016 by The Dirt ASLA

Historic 4th Ward Park / Beltlandia.comCity Parks, Clean Water: Making Great Places Using Green Infrastructure, a new report from The Trust for Public Land (TPL), makes a strong case for leveraging public parks to manage stormwater. The report offers several useful case studies that explain the challenges and opportunities involved in...[read more]

Can Parks Do Double Duty? Philadelphia Shows How

July 26, 2016 by City Parks Blog

Can a park be both a stormwater management unit and a recreation area? With proper negotiation, conversation, and careful planning, yes! However, it’s not common that goals easily jibe and that multiple benefits are received enthusiastically by every constituent. A rain garden can be beautiful, but if it replaces a soccer field, it might...[read more]

Are Garden Cities Sustainable?

July 1, 2016 by Dean Saitta

The answer to my title’s question depends, of course, on where they’re located, how they develop, and what we mean by “sustainable.” Certainly, Ebenezer Howard’s concept of the Garden City is one of the most influential planning models produced by 20th century urbanists. It remains so today, invigorated by Peter Hall’s updating of...[read more]

A New Kind of Urban Farm in Detroit

June 17, 2016 by The Dirt ASLA

Penrose market garden / Jared GreenIn the Penrose neighborhood of Detroit, two landscape architects, partners in business and life, are testing out a new model: the market farm. While Detroit has acres of non-profit-run farms growing fresh fruit and vegetables that are then donated to communities, Ken Weikal, ASLA, and Beth Hagenbuch,...[read more]

Field Trip - Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea at the National Zoo

June 10, 2016 by Georgia Silvera Seamans

A couple of weeks ago we excitedly visited the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington DC. Then the terribly sad and terrifying incident occurred at the Cincinnati Zoo and that has dampened my recollection of the National Zoo, but has also rekindled previous misgivings about zoos. I won't share photos of live animals in this post instead...[read more]

Biophilic Cities Lead the Way to Urban Sustainability

June 9, 2016 by The Dirt ASLA
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A number of cities are forging deeper connections to urban wildlife, too. In Bangalore, there’s the Slender Loris project that engages citizen scientists in nighttime journeys through the city to meet these shy creatures. Austin, Texas has gone completely batty, in a good way. Underneath Congress Bridge, millions of bat fly out at dusk during the warmer months to feed. Above and below the bridge, people gather to watch the amazing exodus and sometime-murmurations. “There are now bat-watching dinner cruises.”[read more]

Your Biochar Questions, Answered

June 8, 2016 by Leda Marritz

The following post is a collection of questions and answers from the webinar with Peter MacDonaugh, FASLA, Kestrel Design Group and Kelby Fite, PhD, Bartlett Tree Laboratory.Since the quality of biochar can be so variable, how should people go about buying it and assessing its quality?KF: The International Biochar Initiative has set...[read more]