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CONTENTS

V O~U

M

"""y 200.

E

,t

.

PlU M .IO R

5

113

LAND

MATTERS

LETTERS

115

118

RIPRAP

Detroit welcomes a happy trail

an art installation bnngs winter cheer

in Arkansas, one landscape that

needs more bamboo, and news

on upcoming mmpdifionx

Edited by Linda Mcintyre

RESIDENTIAL DESIGN

124

Pacific Heig hts

A Cali/ornia couple surrounded their house in Maltbu with a landscape that

shows offtheirspectacular vantage point on the ocean.

By De

re Ptln:r.i

lao Shoehorn Pm ks

URBAN

PARKS

Squeezing innovative green spaces into crowdedcities requires looking/or

land in unexpected places.

B)' Peter H

k

WORK

SPACES

142

Wa lkin a th e Talk

\'f>'hat 'iOme landscape'"

doing to make theiro/fices more sustainahf<'.

architects arc

By Dal

_I Jost,

Ii

FIRM

FOCUS

154

Designjng Disney

For the landscape architect., at \\'I'aft Dimey lmaginecrillg, the mdgic is ill the detdils.

By Dal

I Jo.t,

u.

ON !HE COVER

Non""'" Fid,n is. nl1~fi<l,k in W'm umtiun

1""1 lnrorpu"'U, ""rlb ju."". ~I,m" 0/i4

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,\\~~,~~\\ l'\\~,-~" \~, If you or your broker haven't contacted Leatzow Insurance, you are missing

,\\~~,~~\\

l'\\~,-~"

\~,

,\\~~,~~\\ l'\\~,-~" \~, If you or your broker haven't contacted Leatzow Insurance, you are missing a

If you or your broker haven't contacted Leatzow Insurance, you are missing a significant piece of your professional liability

puzzle . For nearly 20 years , we have been providing landscape architects with a highly cost-effective way to protect against

the damage lawsuits can cause to a firm 's finances and reputation. Now, backed by the strength and experience of the AIG

Companies, we have an even stronger team with more efficient services to make life easier for clients and brokers . Our

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I

eatzON

10

uraoce

PU8L1SHING 166 Publish and Be Seen Landscapearchitecls are using books as marketing tools. By L

PU8L1SHING

166

Publish and Be Seen

Landscapearchitecls are using books

as marketing tools.

By L ke Ooutla

TECHNOLOGY

174

ACeospali,J Approach

To PDFs

New types ofPDFrare alu)wing GIS data and mapx to be shared more easily

6y Jal

L. Sipe •• A

SHARED

WISDOM

1102

Drawn to D esign

Ace Tom', FASIA, sketches as a catalyst

for ideas. By Jame. Ric

rd

",11

Mitigating Past Inequities

In Los Angeles, a new park 011 a

former oilfield brings nalure into

apark-starved neighborhood.

By Daniel Jost, ASLA

82

Northala Fields Forever

Northala FieMs, the largesl park 10 be bUilt in London/or a century, is an exemplar 0/sustainable amstruction and deJlgn.

By Tim Coulthard

94

0/ sustainable amstruction and deJlgn. By Tim Coulthard 94 PRODUCT PROFILES 1118 DISPLAY AD INDEX 1120

PRODUCT

PROFILES

1118

DISPLAY

AD

INDEX

1120

8UYER ' S

GUIDE

INDEX

1121

OPINION

r;-34

In a Tough Job l'vla rkel,

Reason s to Persevere

[fyour dream job isn't available, comider som e alternatives.

By Mid

I Van V

e

lurgh. FAil"'"

ENVIRONMENTAL SPECIES oj NORTH AMERICA Di<cO'·c~. 'HOI" gcny, of p" '''', ideal
ENVIRONMENTAL SPECIES oj NORTH AMERICA

ENVIRONMENTAL SPECIES oj NORTH AMERICA

ENVIRONMENTAL SPECIES oj NORTH AMERICA
ENVIRONMENTAL SPECIES oj NORTH AMERICA
ENVIRONMENTAL SPECIES oj NORTH AMERICA Di<cO'·c~. 'HOI" gcny, of p" '''', ideal

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J, Wi lliam Tho mp s o lI , FASLA

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Se ou O. Bet:s t:, ./\ 51

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EDITORIAL :

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OU CAN'T GO HOME AGA IN," wrote novelist Thomas

"Y \'Volfe. Those words have cercainly rung crue for me. My homerown is Arlanta, and ' haven't voluntarily gone back

fora single day anytime in the past quarter century.

Why did I turn my back on my homewwn? JUSt this: I hate the £'\cr that it has earned the moniker "Sprawl City." I re- member the Atlanta of the 1950s (yes, that far back) when urban

developmemdidn't extend much beyond rhecity lim its. A fleer of electric buses plied the st~ts. AI! roads led downtown, and there

was just one downtown. l 11en,sometime in

the last decades of the

century, Adanta went cancerous. Developers cut down the vase

ookIhickory forem around rhe city to build subdivisions, shopping

malls, even "edge cit ies," Adanta's defining fearurecame [Q be 10- lane freeways packed with floods of single-occupancy vehicles. Sprawl is endemic to U.S.ciries,of course, wirh rhewonderful ex-

ceprion of Pordand,Oregon. Bur rhoseorherciriesaren't

town. Adanra is. So when I gOt an opportunity to visit Adama in March, my first impulse was to demur. I' m g lad I changed my mind. Not that Atlanta isn't the spraw ling monstrosity I thought it was, but near Atlanta 's old hean is a despised and forgO£ten land- scape that is in the process ofbeing reborn. The BeltLine, a contin- uous greenslXlCe and light-rail conidor to be built on an o ld railroad bed circling downtown (see "Ring ofGreen," umdiCdpeA rrhiraJllre, March), changed the way I envision Atlanta's future. My first glimpse of the BeltLine corridor came via Fred Yalouris, t he Bel d. ine's director ofdesign, who took our small cadre ofland-

my home-

scape architects fo r a hike along the vening the 22-mile defunc t railroad

transit greenway could take decades and is JUSt in the early Stages, so it was no surprise that the segment we hiked still had the fet'! of inner"City abandonmen t. For me, it was strange to walk down that corridor in view of Atlanta's glittering skyline and Sl~aban- doned buildings like the old Sears store, above, where my fami ly shopped decades ago. Now, thanks to its adjacency to the Bel tLine, it wi ll be rehabbed as condos. One day, this nearly deserted rail bed will be a parklike landscape lined with apartment buildings and animated with light-rail cars, joggers, bikers, and Rollerbladers.

places in our c ities, I sometimes think, are those

derelict right-of-way. Con- bc-d into a vibrant trail and

The dearest

most in need ofhealing-afrer all, rhey are the places that offer the grearest possibilities for design, Students, rake note: EDAW is spon- soring an "Urban 50S" competition for ideas about turning around

degraded urban environments (see UJ/(J/il.edaw.amPllnxlIIsru).

J wonder if landscape architects' most viral role in rhis centu!)' will be to help our cities turn inward and build in a "Iivabledensi- ty" that will reverse the flight to the suburbs. Reader, what oppor- tunities for rebirth lie at rhe heart of your hometown?

~ ,V\ ~

~b1JY'--

J. William " Bill" T hompson , FASLA

Editor / bthompJOrJ@aila.()f"g

ADA Drinking Fountains Fountains Showers Misting Stations
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ShouldChristo's Propose<! Canopy Overthe Arkansas River Go Forward?

HANK YOU FOR DRAWING ATIEl\'T10N

T

(b.nd Maners, April) to these ridiculous

projects of Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Do you remember their pink skins around is-

lands in Biscay ne Bay? They were hideous

decorations on nature. I say enough! Their

day has passed.

CAROL WARFIELD

jerome, Michigan

OMPLETE WASTE of resources to make

C

an art statement.

CHRIS MI LLER, AS LA

A/cf/eI7l}'. IlIhwi!

"

ISMI SSING THIS as JUSt another

D

stunt would be co Stop thousands

of pt:'ople from experiencing some

public arr. For me, Christo and

J eanne-Claude's work allows more curting-edge landscape projects co beaccepred by [he mainstream pub- lic. For landscape architects, [his is critical so [hat our work can concin- ue co evolve and visionary work can be

more accepted.

I\.LA,RT!N BARRY, ASSOC I ATE AS t A

Brooklyn, New York

L ET TI IE ART LIVE. It's only in place for two weeks. In geological and evolution-

ary time it's nothing. For the landscape architecture commu- nity to promote the position that tempo- rary installations of public art are environ- mentally insensitive damages the entire creative community. Christo's works do not get installed without review. They are subject to much scrutiny, ooth by his cre- ative team and the pertinent jurisdictions. Sadly, in the United States, art is not considered a vital component ofour nation- al culture. An is often re.garded as unnec- essary, an extrava,gance, much like goOO de- sign in past decades. I, by no means, intend to imply thar irresponsible installations should be lauded, but thoughtful , careful- ly executed works need the support of rhe creative community. To rally environ men-

LETTERS

tal extremists to derail this project is an ir- responsible use of your editorial position. Personally, I do believe that Christo's proj- ect is long overdue and that resistance ro the project is generally uninformed. Lmdscape architects are in a unique IX>- sition to inform publicopinions regarding public art. To promote a negative position seems counterintuitive and not in the best interest of the profession.

ERIC CROrfY, ASLA

Englewood, Colorado

Christo and Jeanne- Claude's work allows more cutting-edge landscape projects to be accepted by the mainstreampublic. "

HIS PROJECT IS A POSITIVE.

T

I understand where Rags Over the

Arkansas River (ROAR) is coming from with respea to the environment, but per- haps they don't understand the real benefits of highlighting that experience through art. If you're from that part of the country (I am), you haw this innate defense aoom the landscape because you think nobody e lse understands its beauty. Part of ROAR 's apprehension is probably due to the ir thinking that Christo sees the geography as a wasteland- a place where he would likely be allowed to "do" the art- as op- posed to his having chosen that geography because it's so beautiful.

ZAKERY

D. STEELE, ASSOC IATE ASLA

Rrxht!lter, Nrw York

I WAS IN AN EXPERIMENTAL film class

in the mid-1970s where I saw the film

Chr;SIO'S Valley CUrtam. That was cool and

'"fresh." Although I did not visit TheGateJ in Central Park , it seemed to "work'" and create a positive reaction. This river deal

does neither. Stop the madness.

GARY SCOTT, FASLA

Del Moinru". Iowa

M YCONCERNS WITI-I the Christo propos-

al: The wrap material is basically made

from oil, so its production is nor benign. Aren't there better uses for oil, like medical technology? There will beon-sireenvironmemal im-

pactS, such as creating holes in beautiful rocks for rhe anchors. \'{lho Ix:nefits other than a segment of the public who likes this type ofan? The Arkansas River is already af- feered way roo much by humans- it's overused by rafting, bUildings in the ripari an zone, agriculture, and so on. A mu<:h Ix:ner projeer would Ix:

one that restores the riparian zone. If Christo would do that, I'd be OUt there helping him. There is !"l()(hing, IKIIMlIg more beau- tiful than a free-flowing river. Other than by environmental restoration , it cannot be made more beautiful.

jURGEN A. HESS

Hood Ril'et; Oregon

W HILE I ENJOY the vastness of Christo's

work, through his use of artificial me-

to have less of an innate

connection with the land {han other artists

such as Andy Goldsworthy. ADAM E. ANDERSON Newport Beach. California

dia he would seem

A AN ARTIST, a landscape designer, and

lover of all things natural, the only val-

s

a

ue that I see in this project is the need for

more discussions on the marriage between art and nature. My sense is that Christo and Jeanne-Claude need ro find a way ro focus on creative sustainability and not these massive projects thar end up costing them millions to implement. If they are such great artists could they not reinvent themselves as creators of something more beautiful and meaningful?

DW IGIIT NYSEWANDER

/IIinneapolis

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16 l landsup, Archltectllre

IUV 200$

LETTERS

Rehab the National Mall? Pony Up the Bucks, Congress

"S J-IJITING GROUND" (Land Matters,

March) should perhaps be titled

"Shifting Priorities." The National Mall

belongs to the people of the nation, as do the monuments and federal buildings that line the mall. I can understand how the

the

stimulus package, given the other current national priorities, bur why doesn't Con-

gress appropriate sufficient annual funds to maintain and rehabilitate the mall infra- stmcture through the National Park Serv-

ICe? Afrer all, it is rhe Congn:"SS's front yard

too, isn't it?

Perhaps the DistrictofColumbiashould be authorized to charge user fees Of collen taxes from [he local hotels and restaurants

that cater to the many om-of-towners who use the mall. Surely we as a nation can fig- ure Out some way of maintaining our col- lective from yard. Otherwise, JUSt plow it and grow victory gardens; at least in that way the local folks could derive some ben- efit from a farmer's market on the mall.

mall n~-ds may not be funded through

R. Gus DR U M, AFFIUATE ASI. A Hllntingfon. \I"t'.ft Virginia

More Rhetoricfrom "Joethe Landscape Architect " ? No Thanks

I Nl iER LE1TER (February),]enni 111Omp- son talks about drilling for oil in [he Arc-

tic National Wildlife Refuge and says that landscape architects are more concerned about saving "another acre of pristine park- land" than they are about people who work in the energy, auto, and housing industries. For far tOO long we've been given the false choice between creating jobs and sav- ing the environment. People are rejecting the propaganda of the last failed adminis- tration in Washington that denied g lobal warming, leased public lands to mining companies, lessened air and warerqualiry, and favored corporate profits over the envi- ronment. Although it is still early, the Obarna adm inistrarion seems to (,1.vor poli- cies that will value the environment and create jobs that encourage sustainability. 111ese policies can only be a positive devel- opmem for landscape architects.

L1nd untouched by man is rapidly dwin- dling. Even dlOUgh r may never physically go to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, r am gratified thar it is there. r would like it to be there for future generations too. If we lose this piece of "pristi ne parkland," how long will it be before we justifY the denigration of Yosemite, Yellowstone, and the Grand C'll1yon? T he rhetoric of a ·'joe the Pl umber·· has

no place in our profession. \'{fe do not need a "Joe the Landscape An:l1itect. " Let us cel- ebrate the new environmental awareness sw~ping the country and lead the way

into a sustainable fmure.

THOM A S BIRO, ASLA

Hillsborough, N ewJ ersey

Settingthe Record Straight

I N ··PRAIRIE CROSSING" (February) no

mention is made of the role of the unique

pavement surfacing in tying Forr Vancou -

ver to che Columbia R iver (up and over che

Land Bridge). T he surfacing irselfis inac- curately desc ribed as a "locally sou rced, can-colored decomposed granice chac is permeable and narurallooking." While we agree wich tan-colored and narural look-

ing , che surfacing thac is shown in five pic- rures in chearcicle is NaruralPAVE XL Resin Pavement. 'I11e surface is not decom(X>Sed

gran ice nor is it permeable. NaruralPAVE

XL Resin Pavement is an upgrade to hQ( -

mix

asphalt in terms of pavement strength,

and

ic offers a nontoxic and solar-reflective

sustainable alternative that is placed by as-

phalt paving mac h inery in cont inuous joint-free paving applications for roads and streets and parking lots as well as accessi- ble pedestrian surfaces such as you S~ on the land Bridge. T he designers at Jones & Jones color keyed the other elements on the Land Bridge to be complementary with the Nat- uralPAvEsurfacing. NaturalPAVE surfacing no t only covers the Land B ridge itself but carries the theme from the Columbia Riv- er up and over the Lll1d Bridge all the way

over to Fort Vancouver and throughout the inside of the fort. Both the Vancouver Lll1d Bridge and Fort Vancouver IXmions of the overall project are covered on aUf web site at wwu!.JsjKo.wm.

BOB RANOOLPll

Soil Siabilizafion ProdllCfJ COIIIPany fnc. Me rced. California

Siabilizafion ProdllCfJ COIIIPany fnc. Me rced. California Cl F1CI E 95 00 FlEAOER s.EIMCE CAOO OR

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ls l landsup, Archltectllre

ContHI

IUV not

ilY L I \' D A ~·lc li\'TrHI:.

CHOICECUI

Blazing a New Trail In the Motor City

Detroit P"ts its (iWI1 stamp 011 greenway design.

T HIS MONTH BRINGS some good, green

news to a population-

Detroiters-

that can really use some. It comes in

the form of the official opening of the De- quindre Cut, a pedestrian and bike trail connecting the riverfront with the historic

and lX)pular Eastern Market. The trail nms along acity-owned aban- doned railway line 25 feet below grade. Unused for a quarter century, the space

had grown wild both figuratively- walls

with

Aamboyant graffit i-and literally, as foxes,

pheasants, and other urban wildlife sought

refuge in the weedy subterranean Aora. N ow the spiffed-up pathway boasts a wide paved trail with separate lanes for walk- ers and cyclists as well as benches, lighting, and security cameras and phones. 11lt' graf-

fiti,

ement of the space and a reminder of its re-

along the tren ch were decorated

however, remains. It 's bodl an icon ice l-

cent past, when spray-am impresarios were some of the only people brave enough [Q venture into what looked like a set for The

World \VttlXilif Vi meets Blade Rllllller.

T he Dctjuindre Cur is short, only a lit- tle over a mile long, but it brings a crucial connection between two much-visited

llndil

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ways ini t iative and working to secure funding and access for the second phase of the cut. The Motor City government also recently approved a nonmOforizro trans- portation plan that envis.'\ges400 miles of bike lanes. Might all of th is poli tically correct muJ- timoclalism be seen asa fri ll when so many here have fallen on hard times? No, says

CFSEi\!"s Tom Woiwode. "It"s a defining opportunity for chese hard-hit communi- ties, fostering a sense of pride and a way to see the future," he told LAM. The tmil has already generated so much attention and support that people gathered to watch the pavement being laid. \'\foiwode hopes oth- er cities, looking for ways to invest and re- vitalize, are taking note.

RlPRAP

attractions. It's also part of an ambitious

plan fora new, less car-centric Detroit. T he

Community Foundation for Southeastern

in the g reen -

Michig an (CFSm.I), a key player project, is spearheadin g a broader

PODCASI

Winter

Ephemerals

A landscape architectllre prof

The Star Seeds installation brightened up the University of Arkansas campus aU winter, evolving as
The Star Seeds installation brightened up
the University of Arkansas campus aU
winter, evolving as the elements took
their toll on the natural materials,

iously imerpreted as a set of gargantuan seed p.xIs , stylized birds' nests, or wic ker holiday ornaments. ·nlree large pods meas- ured six feet high and 16 feet in length;

large pods meas- ured six feet high and 16 feet in length; two smaller ones were

two smaller ones were constructed of long scrips ofoak and poplar salvaged from local lumber yards. Inside each large pod were five or six smaller orbs made from river cane harvested by the three artists. The pods were lit from wichin at night. last wimer was a particularly wet one

in Fayetteville. Smith couldn 't have been happier. "We knew that because of the surface area of the wood slats the pods would be quite v isually interes t ing cov- ered with frost , snow, and even ice," he says. And chey were. The ice scorm that

South in February

turned the pods into glistening crystals. \"Xfidl all that seasonal abuse, the sculp- tures actually changed shape. "They have started to sag and bulge ," Sm ith told us in February. "\'\fe like that chey are evolving '

and set tl ing into place In March, Stdr SeedJ was dismantled to make way for spring .

- ADAM R EGN ARVIDSON , ASI A

crippled the midd le

finds illSpiratioll ill the

Ozark winter.

I atche University ofArkansas can be a little bleak l3urassismnt pro- fessor oflandscape architecture Carl

Smith saw a lost opportunity. H is

soft, British -timed voice betrays him as a veteran of wet , g loomy seasons. "I was JUSt daydreaming," he says, "about what the campus could look like in winter, particu- larly at Christmas:' Last December,Smith , working with former student Stuart Ful - bright and math department head Chaim GcxxIman-Stmuss, installed Star Sf£lir, agroupof five woven wood p.xIs adjacent to the principal walkway through the lawn. The tempomry installation could be v::lr-

N WINTER, the Old Main Lawn

-

The 21 st CentUlY Park

& dle Contempo~'aryCity

HE FORUM FOR URBAN DESIGN in New York City will host

T two panels composed of leading figures from North

America to discuss different visions for the 21st centu·

ry urban park. On May 13 in the Museum of Modern Art, a panel on landscape architedure will feature George Har·

greaves, fASLA, James Corner, ASLA, and Michael Van Valken·

bu rg h, FASLA. On

from Waterfront Toronto, David Karem from Louisville, Ken· tucky, and Ale. Garvin of Alex Garvin & Associates in New York City-will address questions about development strategy, implementation, finanein g, and why parks are so fundamental to their visions for the future city at the Century Association, 7 West 43rd Street, The events are free but RSVP is required; see _w.forumforurbandesign.org.

May 14 three eivic leaders-John Campbell

20 1 landsup, Archltectllre

IOUV

not

Philip di Giacomo on Demanding. "I'b,f. ;t !yea'. Or d~'t ~. ;t at all. -n.at's

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"We wanllo know if lhey' re inleres led in having a long- term relalionship. We want it to basically be meyer.

f

"

BEARNECESSITY

Bamboozled Zoo Seeks New Suppliers

When invasiveness just isn't mONgh.

B

AMBCX) AND SHORTAGE are (wo words

chac rarely go together. First inrro-

duced to the United Scates in 1882 as

a windbreak for Alabama woocco farmers,

[he Asian supergrass has been spreading ever since. For many home owners, gar-

deners, and farmers, ie's a barely contained nuisance, threatening to overtake open

space at a mee that thwarts mechanical and chemical eradication.

So when rhe Nat ional Zoo in Washing - ron, D.C., discovered chat it was having difficulty harvesting sufficienc fodder for its adorable and popular gianr pandas, it made sense to make an appeal to local

property owners. To fulfill rhe pandas'- and other zoo animals'- need for 75,000

pounds of bamboo each year, zoo officials

pur OUt a press release requesting dona-

{ions from local property owners, A story followed on Nacional Public Radio, and

che results, like ehe spread of ehecrop, were

overwhelming- more chan 250 respons-

es, according to the zoo's senior nutrition- isc, Mike Maslanka. 111e zoo's requirements were quite specific

- Maslanka's charges have a refined palate,

wi th a preference for the genus

Phyl/ostachys. T he bamboo also

had (0 be free from contami- nants, Maslanka's task was to weed through the o ffe rs and winnow a list of pros(X"Ctive sites, "It was heartbreaking in a lot of cases to say we couldn't take it," Maslankacontinues, "but for the safety of the animals there really wasn't much choice," H e has made numerous site assess- ments, and the zoo isclose (0 a permanent arrangement with a handful of landown- ers. Maslanka wants to be certain that the effort is a t rue collaboration and that the providers are prepared to feed ehe zoo's v(}- racious appeeiee in perpecuity, "\'V'e wane to know if they're interested in having a long-term relaeionship," he concludes. "\'V'e wane it co basically be forever," With bamboo, forever is rarely a problem.

- JOSH UA GRAY

DIG-INfRA

Competition Aims to Investigate lnlraslruclw'e, Remake Tianarnnen Square

Designers encouraged to think big.

I F THE RECENT TSUNAMI OF BAO NEWS has you thinking that we in this country need to do some things differently, here's an option for putting your ideas and design skills to work. This year's Pamphlet Architecture

competition, Illrestigations i" I"frastructure, invites design students and professionals to propose new directions for transportation, energy, and agriculture on a continental scale. The deadline for submissions is July 1. For more information, visit

the announcement mentions only archileds, engineers, and artists,

the group told unduape Architectute that they enthusiastically wel- come submissions from landscape architects as well. Landsupe architects seeking a different

PAMPH LE T

AR C HIT EC T U RE

sort of challenge can check out a new kind

of competition sponsoteel by Gardenvisit.com.

The site is lH'omoting a web 2.0 landscape design competition to explore new design solutions for China's historic and infamous TIanalWllen Square in Beijing. The competition is open to all. Submissions, in the form of two· or three-dimensioNI models, mono tages, or plans, hand or comlHlier drawn lor photographed in the case of modelsl, can be uplo.1ded to the competition's Flickr page at _, flic/cr.com/groups/tianalltne''-squafe_t.ndscape_arelrHe«ufe_

competitio,,_20JOI. See additional details at www.gardenrisitcom/ histfHY_theory/Chil/ese_t.nduape_architectufe_co",petitiOll.

Winners will be announced in June 2010.

www.papress.com/otherlpa

phietarchitedure/competitiOll.tpl.

While

22 l landsup, Archltectllre

IU V n ot

Whether it's a trellis, seating, planters or arbors, we've got aU the elements of style
Whether it's a trellis, seating, planters or arbors, we've got aU the elements of style

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A California couple sW'J'Ounded their house in Malibu with a landscape that

sh o ws off ul eir s p ec taCLci a r va n tag e po in t o n u le OCe 311. By Debra Prinzing

Photography by Jack Coyier

VEN WIT H AN

INCO MPARA BLE

E ISO-dc.gree view of rhe Pacific, (here

arc times when Frank and Helene

T hese mo-

ments usua llyoccurar (\vi lighr when

Pierson prefer ro look up.

the Spiral Garde n, whic h sirs in a secl ud -

ed come r

of t heir lI.fa libu h illside, beck-

ons. Seated on a bench plneed (here just for

t he purpose , rhe couple gazes at rhe niSlu 's

a moonlit

ce les t ia l d isp lay and observes

laby rinth formed by bl uesrone pa\'e~em-

bedded in rhe law n. T hey inhale the sweet fra,graocc ofdouble-white angel's trumpets

(Brugmumia x cal/dida) and perhaps even

hear wi ld quails cooi ng in rhe hills.

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") like to sit here with a gCKXl., strong drink," Frank con fides. "Espec ially on a

moonlit nig ht-

it's just mag ic."

T he Piersons' relationship with their

mooes t, triangula r slice of parad ise wasn 'r

always this charmed . T he mupJe p ur-

chased rhe midcemury ranch house, with

26 l landsup, Archltectllre

IUV 200$

its floor- to-ceiling windows and uninter-

ru pted sea vis tas, in 2004. At t ha t point,

according to Frank , a film di recw r and

O scar- w inning screen w riter ( D og D ay AI-

t em oo!l ),

it was hard to enjoy the view from

the neg lected

brick patio and a crumbling hillside.

g rounds with an unstable

PLANT LIST

Pittosporum unduldlum ~ustralian cheesewood
Pittosporum unduldlum ~ustralian cheesewood
Pittosporum unduldlum ~ustralian cheesewood
Pittosporum unduldlum ~ustralian cheesewood
Pittosporum unduldlum ~ustralian cheesewood
Pittosporum unduldlum ~ustralian cheesewood
Pittosporum unduldlum ~ustralian cheesewood
Pittosporum unduldlum ~ustralian cheesewood
Pittosporum unduldlum ~ustralian cheesewood
Pittosporum unduldlum
Pittosporum unduldlum

Pittosporum unduldlum

Pittosporum unduldlum ~ustralian cheesewood
Pittosporum unduldlum ~ustralian cheesewood
Pittosporum unduldlum ~ustralian cheesewood
Pittosporum unduldlum ~ustralian cheesewood
Pittosporum unduldlum ~ustralian cheesewood
Pittosporum unduldlum ~ustralian cheesewood
~ustralian cheesewood

~ustraliancheesewood

PLANT LIST Pittosporum unduldlum ~ustralian cheesewood RIIsmarinus'Tuscan PERENNIALS buckthorn milweed sage

RIIsmarinus'Tuscan

PERENNIALS

buckthorn

milweed

RIIsmarinus'Tuscan PERENNIALS buckthorn milweed sage GROUND COVERS 'A",tos,taph1fos 'Emerald

sage

GROUND

COVERS

'A",tos,taph1fos 'Emerald Carpet' IManlanita

.ArctosuphJ/os 'Pacific Mist' IManzanita .Batcharis piluldris'Pigeon Point'1Coyotebrush

.Ceanotbus 'Centennial'1Ceanothus

Rosmarinus 'Huntington Carpet' I Rosemary

ear rocks £~heferia'Afterglow' Echemia
ear
rocks
£~heferia'Afterglow' Echemia
To help them rework t he space, rhecou- pie hired Pamela Palmer, ASLA, a land-
To help them rework t he space, rhecou-
pie hired Pamela Palmer, ASLA, a land-
scape
arc h irec t wi th ARTECl IO, a firm
based in Venice, California. In place of rhe
brick pat io, Pal me r insta ll ed a grand,
semicircular Pennsylvania blucstone ter-
race oriented toward t he sea. nl e design
encompasses {he full leng th of the house
and is leve l wi t h its interior floors, nearly
doubling dining and entertaining areas.
Paved in a runni ng bond pa ttern, rhe gray-
blue hues and wavy surmces of each 12-by-
20-inch rile emu late the ocean 's color and
rhythm . At t he t errace's edge , a custom
dmin catches water that once eroded the
surrounding slopes. A marure coml tree
(Er),lhril1d sp.) original (0 t he sire was care-
ful ly p r uned to p rovide a leafy cano py
above the seat ing areas and fire bowl.
Below the terrace edge, a vibmnt rib-
bon of colorful
succulents was planted .
Helene se lened many of rhe silvery-blue,
FERNS
.PofIStidJ,." tmlniblm 1Wtsterw swotdftrl
.W"d"ardia finbri.Jta1Ciut ,bi"!n
' Dtnolts nalirt I, California
Slope. Ire pllnted with nltiYei, left, which
pro,id e ha bitat for wildlife. liYl ble I rell Ire
adjaeent to the hou se as see n in th e plan, belo" .
'
,
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¥lew 101 dring
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2011

Lulls"'pe Artliitechre 127

wine, apricot-pink, and lime specimens dlat fill the crescent-shaped border, in- cluding agaves, aloes, kal- ancl-.oes, ech(-verias, crnssu- las, sedU01S, and aeoniums. "1 call this my jewel-box garden," she says. At th e weSt end of the

ocean terrace, a bluestone gravel pathway wraps around an infinity lawn. Fmnk may have an office indoors, but some of his most inspiring narratives are cooce ived w hi le he sirs here. A curved, Cor- Ten steel wall, which developed a ruSted finish when exposed to the elements, en- closes the lawn. A raised edge serves as an imprompru bench---{l. favored ocean van- tage point-from which t he eye is "led to

the curve of rhe hor izo n ," Frank

Coastal conditions of marine ai r, wind, sun called fo r durable plants , includ-

and

ing native California and Mediterranean varieties that tolerate drought. Diseased trees have been removed, replac(-d by native

Coastal conditions of marine air, wind, andsuncalledfor durableplants.

Pacific wax myrtle (/\IJr;ca cdlijomica) and California

buckthorn (RlwnlllllJ cali-

Iomica) to form a privacy screen. T he hillside has been re- stored with a carpet of wild lilac (CamO/hlls 'Centenni-

al" and C. thyrsif/orlls var.

Poine') and

griJeIlJ 'Y

1nkee

coymebrush (BacchdriJ pillllari1 'Pigeon

Point,), native ground coveTS thac help con- trol erosion. Existing lemonade berry shrubs (RhIlJ illtegrifolia) have been joined by several hybrid varieties of ruby-hued conebush (ulfwdmdrofl 'Safari Sunset' and

L 'Red Gem ') and silvery C1lifornia sage-

brush (A rfCIllUiawlijomiw 'Montara), beau-

tiful folillb't' planlS requiring little water. Helene tucked favorite edible planrs, in- cluding tomatoes,e5JXdiertd mngtri nes, and culinary herbs, into proteered pockets near rhe house. Fig, avocado, grapefruit, and wal- nut ttees thrive near the moon garden, where theyareshdtered from marine winds.

obse rves.

2s 1Lud.up. Arehll.ctur. MAY 1001

"The design was inspired by this amazing site, especiallythe horizonandthelight."

This landscape also feeds songbird s,

and hum mi ngbi rds,

bees, butterflies,

t hanks to rhe addi tion of plants

that pro-

vide berries, seeds, and nectar s uch as

bright orange-red flowering milkweed

(Asdepias Iflberosa )

and woolly grevillea

(G revil/ea lanigera 'Coas tal Gem'). "We

worked rocreate as much wildlife habitat

as Ix>ssible," Palmer says.

\X'hen the couple sits on the terrace,

their garden and its vistas give them a

sense of calm. "Frank and Helene wanted an unbroken view of the ocean," Palmer explains. "T he design was inspired by this amazing site,

eSJX-cially the horiwn and the light."

Debra PmlZillg isa SOllthem Calijrmua-Msed gardell anddesign writer (/JlddlltlxirojSrylish

The sculpture Or! the terrace, opposite top, is by family frierMI Krista Zinner. The Lower Triangle Garden, with a Charles Swanson fountain, oppI)site bottqm, leads to the Spiral Garden beyond. Landscape architect Pamela Palmer, ASLA, joins frank and Helene Pierson at the Cor- Ten steel seat waH, feft. Scented brugmansia hangs ower the Slice Bench and Earth WaH, be/ow. An edible border with artichoke s is

Sheds and Elegant H ideaways (ClarkJon

PotterlPlIblishm, 2008). She publisher a de-

sign blog at www.shedsryle.com .

Reprinted wi t h permission from Metropol- itan Home, March 2009.

PROJECT CREDITS Clients: Frank and He-

lene Pierson. Landscape architects: ARTECHO

Archi tectu re and L-mdscape Architecture, Ven ice, California (Pam el a Palmer, ASLA, Tavi Pemula, Associate ASLA, and Marisol

Metcalfe, Affiliate ASLA). landscape cootrac· tors: CRW Landscape, Malibu, California

Hardscape: Sunset Construc-

tion, T housand O aks, Ca!ifornia(Jim Pur-

cell). Custom CGncrete wall: Ron Odell Cus-

tom Concrete, Woociland H ills, California. Ugtrting: Gannon Electric l ight, San Pedro, California (john G annon). Steel fabncation:

(Chris Wilson ).

Art Metal, Gardena, C'llifornia(Jim Grze- sek). Woodwork: Frank Varnuska, North-

ridge, California. Landscape maintenance:

G olden Scate Landscapes, Somis, Califor- nia (Robert O lsen).

Landscape maintenance: G olden Scate Landscapes, Somis, Califor- nia (Robert O lsen). MAY :001 Llndscape Artllihthre

MAY :001

Llndscape Artllihthre 129

A

E YOU REG ULARLY TOLD thar your

city is "all built our" and has no room

for new parks, even though there

see m to be p lency of new h ig h-r ises,

parking lots, and shoppin g malls?

Is it perhaps time w smrf looking for new

urban park land in untraditional places?

T hat is exactly what's beginning ro hap- pen in densely packed cities. Here are a few of the innoYou ions.

Cemete,I••

Before parks came into bei ng. cemeteries

were the principal manicured greenspaces

for cities-most fumously lI.-foum Auburn CemNcry in Cambridge, Massachusetts,

and Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York As parks arose, rhe open areas of

cemercries d im in ishcd in im portance. Bur

nx:lay, some ci ties have hundreds of acres of

Squeezing innovative green spaces into crowded cities requjres looking for land in unexpected pla ces. By Peter Harnik

public cemetery lands, both with and with-

could t heoretica ll y

help with the JXlfkland shomge. T1le most enthusiastic conservationistS tend to regard cemfteries as parkland , but rhar is nO{ nec- essarily the view of the general public. Is a ceme t ery a pa rk ? A ce m etery certai n ly

qualifies as pervi ous ground

ou t graves[Ones, r h.1t

and "breath ing

space," bur whether it does any more than (hat depends on the rules and regulations goveming (he fuciliry. l 11emoreonecan do

rhere--walk a dog? cycle? picnic? throw a

a tree?- t he more it's like a

park. T he more restrictive, the less justifi-

able it seems to pretend it's a park. The ''Vas hin gro n , D.C. , area has ex- rremes on ei ther end of this spectrum. At Arlington National Cemetery, which is a vast spice al most as large as the emire park system of Arlington , vi rtual ly not hi ng is permi tted OI:her than walking from grave to grave-togging and eat ing are prohibit- ed, and there are almost no benches. Across town, at venerable (bur li ttle-known) Con- gressional Cemftery, not o nl y are p icnic k- ing and child play allowed but rhe mc iliry is also a formal off-leash dog park. (Dog membership is limi ted to a sustainable

ba ll ? s it u nder

The final restin g pla Cl! for 70 ,000 Atlantans , Historic

Oakland Cemetery is also a n offi c ial park-th e city ' s old est, dating back to 1850.

30 I l.ndlupaArchlhctura

lin

n

ot

~

"Incorporating the di5p/ay paffern5 pre5ented an effective and efficient way of improving water quality while at the mme time introducing a new, ottractive landmark feature to Abbey Pork. N

Councillor John Mugglestone lei<esler, U.K.

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number and COStS nearly $200 a year, with the funds used rosupporr the nonprofit organization whose mission is to operate , develop , maintain , preserve, and enhance the cemete,), grounds; use by hu- mans is free and unrestricted.) Another famous cemere')', Oak- wood , in H artford , Connecr icU[,

nor only allows residents to run, walk dogs, and ride bicycles, but also programs the

concerts and orher evems

space wi rh jazz

and even allows residents ro bring food and

wine. Atlanta's hisroric Oakland Cemere,)" owned by rhe city 's parks departmen r and

run

by a foundarion , is designed as a pleas-

ure ground. It has benches, gardens, and a central building for events and pmgmms, and ir al lows visitors to jog and stroll wirh rheir dogs. In Portland, Maine, 240-acre Evergreen Cemerery is much larger than rhe city's largesr "regular" park. Owned and

maintained by rhe ci ry's

parks division, and

com aining gardens, ponds , woods, and open lawns, Evergrr-en is used for hiking, walking, run ning, biking, birding, picnick- ing, cross-colUmy skii ng, and snowshoeing .

Schoolyards

Schoolyards are large, flat, ce m rally locat- ed open spaces with a mandate to serve the

32 l landsup, Architecture

IUV 200$

Chicago's Campus Pa ri!. program puts school play area s to double use, allowing the community in after school honrs. eraeme Stewart Elementary School, below, was comp leted, here, in the summer of 2008.

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

In Chicago, Mayor Daley announced an ambitious goal of converting 100 asphalt schoolyardsintosmall parks.

recreational needs ofschoolchildren . Great

schoolyards- t he rare ones t ha t have

healthy gmss, big trees, a p layground, and

srem a lot like parks .

But t hey aren·t. For one t hing they have

fences and locks. For another, they are closed to t he general public, no t only from 8 :00 AM to 3:00 PM b ut even at times

morn-

ing, late afternoon, evening , an d week- ends. Schoolyards are part -t ime open spaces with a limited constituency. But they have terrific potential to be more than

when school is out of session--ea rly

sport s equipmem -

thar. Even less-than-great school- yards, t hose that a re vi rtual wastelands of asphalt with few amenities, often represent sizable places in key locations {sre 'T oo Cool aUSt) for School," Ldl/dsCdpt

Architectllre, August 2(08).

Creating an urban schoolyard park is not impossible- it's been done in N ew York, Chicago, and a fewoth- er places- but it's not as easy as it sounds. It requires real attention to derail , clarity of authority, and on g oing acceptance of re- sponsibility. Mos t ofall it requires commi t - ment to success, which is why it tends to come to fruit ion when b:>th rhe school sys- tem and the park system are under the con- trol of the mayor. In Chicago, Mayor Richard M. Daley, Honorary ASLA, following a successful pi- lor program in 1996, announced an ambi- tious goal ofconverting 100 asphalt school- yards into small parks. C'lHed the Campus Park Program, it involved playgrounds, baseba!l fields, basketba!l courts, tennis courts, and run ning tracks on a total of 150 acres. Phase r was completed in fOllr years at a cost of$43 million- $20 million each from t he school system and the city, plus $ 3 million from the park district. (By 2008 the goal had been surpassed, and more

schools have been added .) Design was han- dled by the park district and construction by t he P ub lic Buildings Commission, and the process was guided by way of meetings

among park and school officials, principals, local school councils, and community or-

ganizations.

dled largely by t he sc hool dis trict wi t h needed assis tance from the park district for larger properties and more park-deficient

neighborhoods. In New York City, the Trust for Public Lmd (TPL), a nonprofit, has forged a four- way partnership wi th corporate donors, the Board of Education, and the Dqmnmentof Parks and Recreation not only to open up schoolyards bur also to work with the chil- d ren to thorough ly redesign their play ar- eas, adding natural elements and artwork. Ata minimum price tag of$4OO,OOOeach, the schoolyard parks are nor cheap, bur TPL projectS thar rhe program will increase the city's usable park space by nearly 300 acres.

O ngo ing maintenance is han-

as-

Rooftops

Are rooftop parks feasible ? If so, for what activities? H ow much weight can they sup-

port? H ow much do they cost? T hese are complex questions that require a good deal

of research, I:xxh into the issue of"rooftops"

and of "'parks .,. Some of t he inves tiga t ion is

generic, but much of it needs to be highly

specific, on a city-by-city basis. In, say,

O k lalloma Ciry, how ma ny flat rooftops are

there? \Vhat is the to tal combined acreage? How many are on public buildings, and wha t is that combined acreage? How many of them are large (i.e., an acre or more)?

H

ow many of those large ones are relative-

ly

uncl uttered with

air-<:onditioning units

and other paraphernalia? H ow many are accessible by the public? How much rooftop area is available in park-poor areas? And that doesn't even get to the issues of

What parkfacilities are appropriate on rooftops? Flowergardens, lawns, benches, andpathways?

struc tural strength, drainage, noise, ligh t- ing, and more. (Nme that lightweight "green roofs" are rarely usable as parks be- cause most can't be walked on .) \Vhat park facilities are appropriate on rooftops? Flower gardens, lawns, benches, and pathways? Courts for basketball, ten- nis, and volleyball, surrounded by cages? Community h'lmlens? Playgrounds? Minia- ture golP None of this is impossible-there is a roofTop park at Riverbank State Park in New York City so large that it contains a IXXll, a skating rink, a theater, four tennis co u rts, four baske t ball cour t S, a wading

pool, a softball fi eld, a football field, four handball courts, a running track, two play- grounds, a weight room, a boat dock, and a

restaurant. R iverbank is a 28-acre roof on new sewage treatment plant alongside the Hudson River. At present the most successful rooftop parks are ones at ground level built over subsurface parking garages- p laces like Millennium Park in Chicago, H udlin Park in St. Louis, and Verba Buena G arden in San Francisco. N ew rooftop parks increas- ingly incorporate more ecological features.

a

The Gary Comer Youth Center in Chicago's South Shore neighborhood, by Hoell" $chaudt Landscape Architects, has a work- ing flower and vegetable garden on the

roof.

Urba,,";:~:,fto~:p::.,.~:::~r,~a huge un-

II

park use.

tapped a,

MAY :001

Llndscape Artllihthre 133

UIlAN PAUS

For instance, Nashville, Ten-

nessee's Public Square collects all its ra in (or later use as pumped ir- rigation water.

Using rooftops higher than

street level is, thus far, much rarer. For one thing, keeping the plants alive is harder because of the ex - tremecoooitions ofwind, sunlight, soil thinness, and lack of trees. For another, there acc concerns aOOm stnlCtural strength and pocenrial

water leakage. Finally, there are is-

sues ofhuman access and semriry. Neverthek-ss, fo r extremely dense communities dmt are very short of

parkland- places like Brooklyn,

Chicago's near west side, and South

Los Angeles-

roofcop parks could

near west side, and South Los Angeles- roofcop parks could make a big difference. Moreover, by

make a big difference.

Moreover, by their vcry nature, communi -

ty g ardens aTe fairly lightly used, with only

in sight

a handful of people---or fewe r-

at any g iven moment. (A parcel that per- haps could use more eyes often has fewer than many others.)

On the ocher hand, with their planting , watering, weed pulling, and harvesting, gardeners are the ewryday visitors who can help make a space more invitin g . Pl us, community gardens are excremely efficient users ofspace. An area chat could barely fit a single tennis murt might hold 90 garden plots; a soccer field might be replaced with 37 5 or more gardens.

Reservoir Lands

Many cities have drinking water reservoirs that are used for parks. At Griggs Reservoir Park in Columbus, Ohio, or White Rock Lake Park in Dallas visitors can go

right to the water·s edge and dip their toes in , if they wish, or even go Intting. (The water is clean but not yet ··finished·· for human con- sumption.) On the other hand, some reservoi rs that are surrounded by extremely attractive landscapes are nevertheless entirely off-limits to the public. To look at \Xfashing- ton, D.C.·s McMillan Reservoir, now devoid ofpeople and encircled

fence,

by an unsig htly chain-link

one would never guess that it had been designed by the Olmsted firm as a pleasure ground, com - plete with handsome carriageways.

Community Gardens

Community g ardens are another vascly underappreciaced and underprovided re-

source for cities. Americans traveling in Europe are often scruck by the fact that small patches alongside rail- road tracks and roads, and even odd ploes between buildings- spaces that are almost invariably wasced in the Uniced Srates-a re intensiwly cultivated for flowers,

vegetables, and spices. In theory, community gardens could be a "growth sector" for the urban park movement in this country. They come in many different forms and types, but the two major classes are stand-alone gardens (often lo- cated in spaces where rowhouses have oc"en tom down)and gardens that are located in a corner of a larger city park. But it must also be admitted that community gardens, as semi- privatized space, are not a perfect fit as p ublic parks. T he vegetables, fruits, and Rowers requi re some protection from theft and from in- advertent damage, and this entails fences and locks, which are often unsi g htly and unneighborly.

•

34 l landsup, Archltectllre

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GREEN

UIlAN PAUS

Obviously the protection ofdrinking wa~

rer for hundreds of dlOUsands of residents

raises sensitive issues. In fact, for reservoirs

that contain finished water, dw Environ~ mental P rotection Agency (EPA) in 2006

established new rules calling for the instal-

lation ofa physical COveT to prevent contam-

ination by airborne Of ground-borne sub-

stances and particles. Some people like the view of the opeo wu teraoo are dismayed by

rhe requirement, but the very fact ofa cov- eropens up the possibiliryfor gaining more parkland. Seanle, in particular, is moving

aggressively co cover its reservoirs-it got

Started more than adccade ahead of EPA. As

Honorary ASLA, has opportunity to rum

public works into public parks. Under- ground reservoirs will nor only Improve (he

quality and security of our water supply,

quality of life in our

neighborhoods." All in all, the city is set w

the y will add co the

Mayor G reg Nickels, pur it, "T his is a rare

add 76 acresof new parkland using reservoir decks-four ac res in densely populated

C'Ipiwl Hi ll, 20 acres in Jefferson Park (in- cluding a running track, SfXlrts fields, pic- nic grounds, and a large, unprogrammed lawn), and a com pletely new park on wI' of Myrtle Reservoir. Covering it all will cost

$161 million. Of course, dl(' EPA

·' unfunded manda te·' since there is no fed-

eral money w pay for compliance; in Seat-

tle, th e cost of decking IS funded via a rise in

the water-use fees that all residents pay. Under EPA·s rule, cities have the op tion of covering their reservoir water with a va-

riety ofmaterials, from air-supported fabric w floa ting fXllypropylene, from a flat sur- (,1.Ce of wood, steel, or concrete to a dome of aluminum. ObViously rhe soft materials are

much cheaper-

polypropylene mat costS about $500,000, while a concrete slab in Seattle COStS more

"Weturnedwhat could've beenahugeliability into an incredible asset for thecommunity."

rule is an

a to-acre rubberlike

than $13 million. But the Seattle mayor·s office has done a smdy showing that the cost ofacquiring a similar amount ofodl('r parkland would cost about 85 percent of the concrete deck, and, as the city's deputy director of planning says, ·'There's no way we·d be able to buy propert ies like this , sit- uated as they are on scenic overlc~)ks in densely buil t-out locations throughout the city." The concrete decks are coveR--ci with eigh t inches to two feet ofdirt and planted

with g rass. T hey are principally

open lawn areas, active sports fields, and game courts, interwoven wi th pathways. Trees are not planted because of the risk of penet rat ion of the deck by roots . In another approach, Sf. Louis long ago figured out how to protea its wate r yet re- rain rhe beauty ofa shimmering park fXlnd:

For more than 1. 00 years Compton HI II Reservoir has been covered, but the top of the cover is shaped likea shallow bowl and IS filled with water- nondrinking water-

to make fora beautiful park experience.

used as

Stormwater Channels

Forenvironmenral, financial, and legal rea- sons, urban swnnwater management is get-

Forenvironmenral, financial, and legal rea- sons, urban swnnwater management is get- 36 l landsup, Archltectllre IUV

36 l landsup, Archltectllre

IUV 200$

ting much more attention. Gone are the days when flood-control engineers would prescribe the construction ofstmight, deep concrete channels, and stream after stream would be converted into sterile spillways. Cities dlat still have extensive natural wet- land areas are carefully protecting them to contain and filter stormwater; many are now also creating new artificial swales and other storage areas to slow down and cap- ture the sheets ofwater running offstreets and asphalt surt.1.Ces. New Yotk City boasts a "blue-belt" system under the jurisdiction ofthe city's DqmrtmentofEnvironmental Protection

mther than being funneled destructively into a nearby salmon-bearing stream. But the authority balked at the aesthetics of the standard, unadorned, chain-link- surrounded pit. Instead , it created an ex- tensive 130-acre drainage system culmi- nating in Pond Park with benches, a boulder-filled stream, a pond, a trail, stairs, a playground, and gardens. "\'{Ie turned what could've been a huge liability into an incredible asset for the community- in a place with a direct view ofdowntown Seattle," says Tom Phillips, project man- ager. Constructed by the Housing Au - thority, the park has been curned over to the Parks and Recreation Department for manage- ment and maintenance.

Closing Streets

And Roads

In every city there are hun- dredsof ac res of roadway po- tentially available as park and recreational facilities. \'{Ihile parks make up about 20 percent of New York City's total area, streets make up about 30 percent. In Chi- cago, 26 percent of the land is devoted to streets com - pared toonly 8 percent g iven to parks. Converting some street capac ity for recreation- al activity is an underreali7.ed opporrunity. \'{Iresting space away from automobiles is never easy, but if any op- portunities constitUte "lower-hanging fruit" they are the hundreds of miles of roads within city parks. Naturally, all large parks need some roadways, both for access to facilities and to allow motOrists to get from one side of the park to the other, but most city parks have a surfei t ofauto cor- ridors. '1l1e National Mal l in Washington , D.C., formerly had four parallel drives running for about a mile between the U.S. Clpitol and the Washington Monument. Not only was the green mall thoroughly intersected every few yards by asphalt, but the drives themselves were permanently clogged with tourists (and government workers) l(X)king for parking spaces. In 1976 , JUSt in time for the national bicen - tennial celebrat ion, Assistant Interior

national bicen - tennial celebrat ion, Assistant Interior (DEP). The blue belt, located largely but not

(DEP). The blue belt, located largely but not entirely in less built-upStaten Island , consists of mapped wetlands that DEP ac- quires for stormwate r management. T he blue bel ts are wned as open space and are protected from development, although the protection is not as stringent as for mapped parkland. Although the blue- belr lands are partially fenced (to help fo- cus the points of ing ress and eg ress for both people and wildlife), they are fully open to the public. When the Seattle Housing Authority planned the transformation of the dis- tressed H ig h Point public housing site into a new mixed-income community, it was required to include a system to con- tain stormwater running off the property. The water was to be released g radually

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Secretary N athaniel Reed decided to

ish the two central roods and replace them

wi th pebble-covered walkways rem iniscent

of those in Paris parks. T he aggregate

amount of space-about four acres- was relatively small, but the impact on park us-

ability, ambience, s.-uery, and air quality was

monumental. Similarly,

in Atlanta, follow -

ing a raft of crime and nuisance issues that

were negatively affecting Piedmont Park,

the parks commissioner announced test

aool-

weekend rood closures. Despite protests, rhe

results led to dramatic increases in other uses of the park such as running, walking,

and cycling, and in 1983 the closures were made total and permanem. (P iedmom Park

is today the most car-free major city park in the United States.) Other exam ples abound. San Francisco's

long~time Sund ay

closure of two m iles of

John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park was extended in 2007 to SatUrdays as wel l. T h is program, which, according to

the San Francisco BikeCoalition, results in one of dle only hard, flat , safe areas for chil- dren in the entire city, effectively adds

abou t 12

quisition or construuion COSts. Park usage during car~free hours is about double tha t

of when cars are around. It's not JUSt large parks-many small parks have been decimated by roads, and

acres of parkland withou t any ac~

3s l landsup, Archltectllre

IUV 200$

they can be regreened, too. I n \'qashington, D.C. , T homas Circle was sliced down al-

with traffic consuming the entire area. In

Mayor (later Governor) Tom McCall , the old roadway was dug up and replaced by

most to the diameter of the statue of Gen-

\'{faterfrom Park (l ate r

named after Mc~

eral George H enry TIlOmas and his horse,

Call). McCall Park has become the focal poim offestivals and many other activities

olina,

2007, rhe National Park Service and rhe District ofColumbia reinstitUted dle orig~ inal circle, including rx-"C!estrian walkways. Earlier, a similar project reunified two-and~ a-half~acreLogan Circle and helped igni te a renewal of its entire neighborhood. More difficult is closing and beamify~ ing sneets tha[ are not in parks. Many cities, including 8 0s[On; Santa Monica,

in the city. Cities can a lso convert streets into what the Dutch call "woonerfs:' where pedes- nians, bicyclists, and children are given priority over cars. \Xfhi le the concept has yet [0 fu ll y establish itself in the United Sta tes, variants have surfaced. On \Xi"all St reet in downtown Asheville, North Car-

California;and New Orleans, have mmed

lards,

the ci ty installed bric k pavers, bol- benches, and lig h ts so intertwined

one of their key downtown sneets into a car~free zone, although in nearly al l cases the motivation is less for casual rec reation

tha t they become an obstacl e course that greatly reduces automobile speeds. Seattle is doing similar traffic calming in certain neighborhoods and is also adding numerous pervious ar~ eas and water-capturing fea~

Thomas Circle in Washington, D.C. , one of the original circles laid out by Pierre L'Enfant in 1800, was gradually whittled away by traffic

eng ineers. In 2007

it was restored to beauty

(and pedestrian usel by the D.C. Department of

Transportation and the National Park Se"ice.

and environmental purity than forexpen- sive shopping and dining . H owever, Port~ land, Oregon, is the site of a famous and extraordinarily successful "'road-to-park" conversion. It involved the 1974 elimina- tion of six-lane Harbor Drive, an express-

way along the \'{fillamerre R iver that had been rendered redundant by a new inter- s ta te highway. M ost ci t ies would have

happi ly kept of their ri ver,

highways along both sides bu t under t he leadership of

tures to add ecological benefits to these ';street parks."

Removing Parking

If it weren't fo r parked cars, there would be plenty of space fo r urban parkland. It's not pe0- ple who take up all rhat much space-New York's small Bry- am Park regularly hosts 1,000 persons at lunchtime on a nice day. It's rile cars thar either take up significant chunks of park- land (50 acres of parking lots in Chicago's Lincoln Park) or over- whelm the streets and curbs of tile surrounding neighborhood. In virrually every midwestern and southern downtown, there are few ifany downtown parks, yet there are hundreds of acres of sur- face parking lots. Ir turns out that there is a re la tionship between gOCKi mass tmnsi t and good parks, and it appears that park advocates need to pay attention to transportation issues. For instance, eight of the 10 most heavily used parks in American ci t ies have subway or light-mil access within a quarter mile, and all of them have bus service that comes even closer. T he best way to add parkland in the city is to reduce t he size of, or close, parking ar- eas within parks . After all, the land is free and is already idea lly located. Naturally, tllere wi!! be a p ublic outcry, so t his action

must be undertaken with great care and subsmmial analytical backup. Is rhe park- ing lot (or roadside parking) heavily used, or does it rt'aCh full capacity only a couple of days a year? Is the problem more day of week or time of day? \'V'ould auto usership be brought down simply by inst ituting paid mete rs in certain locations or at ce rtain times? \'V'ould a shuttle bus system com- pensate for less parking? Could arrange- mems be made with exis ti ng parking lots around the edge of the park- whether office buildings, shopping ccmers, or churches? Many of these ques t ions were debated In 2003 In Pittsburgh when rhe Pitts- burgh Parks Conservancy launched an ef- forr to bring back Schenley Park Plaza as the grand entrance to the city's flagship park- the role it had played from 1915

until it was paved

in g lor in 194 9. A study by rhe planning department identified a large number of available nearby parking spaces, and the

city was also able to install 110 new meters in the vicinity. Ultimately only 80 spaces were lost and the city gained a beautiful

gathering place complete

with wireless Jncernet, a one-acre lawn, food kiosks, a carousel, a flowe r garden, and regular programming. Another way to reduce parking is to ex- pand mass transit to and through the park. \'V'hen Houston decided to construct a new trolley system, park advocates lobbied hard for a station in H ermann Park. (lr ended up getting two stations, one on either side; the Hermann Park Conservancy is now re- designing the park's internal miniature railroad so that it will serve not only as a fun ride for children but also as meaning- ful transportation through the park.) The next step is to redesign and shrink dle size of the massive parking lots within the park. 111e situat ion in Porrland ·s Washing- ton Park is the reverse- the park is 11(11 overwhelmed with parking areas, and the city wants to keep it that way. From May to September, rhe Portland Parks and Recreation Department collaborates with Porrland·s Tri-Met transit agency to run a shuttle from a nearby light-rail line to var- ious stops within \'V'ashington Park. 'n le park, which con tains thecity·s famed Rose Garden, has only 85 parking spaces, and Portlanders reached consensus that no more spaces would be added.

new five -acre

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A t hird strategy is to dig an under~

ground parking garage within the park and elim ina te an equivalent number of

surfuce spaces, as was done in San Francis-

co's Golden Ga te Park in 2007. In addi- tion to yielding more parkland, this ex- pensive solution

tion to yielding more parkland, this ex- pensive solution has a second advantage. \'\fith the high

has a second advantage. \'\fith the high

cost of construcrion, a parking charge be- comes inevitable, encouraging people to drive less by carpooling, walking, biking,

or taking transit. Minneapolis took a dif-

ferent page om of the same book; there,

without building any th ing underground, the park and recreation board installed

me ters a t rhe most heavily used lo ts (some

on old landfills (see "From Dumps to Des-

t inations," Landscdpe Architectllre, Decem-

ber 2006). Even with these, [here are sure- ly other possibili t ies. What land is going begging in your community?

Peter Hamik is dirat()/" of the Cel/ter for City Park Excel/meta! the Trfljt for Pllblic Land ill New York. He is the dflfhor of T he Excelle nt

City Park System: What Makes It Great and H ow to Get T here.

111is article is adap ted from a forthcoming

book, The Complete City Park System: How /Jlg It Sholdd /J e dlld How to Gel There,

scheduled for publication by Island Press in Spring 2010.

of

er automobile attractors, such as the Uni-

versity of Minnesota). Ideally, parking rc'V-

{'nue should be used to subsidize the costs of improved park transi t service.

which happened to be loca t ed near o t h-

other Opportunities

T hese examples aren't the only ways of finding new lancl. Two other approaches I've written about

in Landscape Architecfllre in-

clude decking over freeways

(see "Nature O ver T raffic,"

Landscape Architecture, Febru-

ary 2(08) and building parks

Architecture, Febru- ary 2(08) and building parks ScIte_Ie, Plaza, left, the historical entryway to

ScIte_Ie, Plaza, left, the

historical entryway to Pittsburgh's Schenley Park, was a parking lot, right, for 60 years until it was restored as a horticuhural ;ewel, he re.

right, for 60 years until it was restored as a horticuhural ;ewel, he re. 40 I

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L

AST FAll , JOANNE ADAIR , agradu -

ate student at the University of

Guelph in O ntario , Canada, called 50

firms employing landscape architects

in [he Greater Toronto area to see

whol[ they were doing [Q "gret'll" their own

operations. "Only seven people would mlk to me," remembers Adair. "The rest of them said: '\Y./e're not green. l l lere's no use inter-

vlewmg us.

H owever, many firms throughout

North America are striving to make their workplaces more sustainable, and some are

even using their office's "greenness" to mar- ket themselves. Recently, Ld lldsCdjX Archi-

To draw aHention to the amount of paper con·

sumed by a landscape architecture office, Ah'be

landcape Architeds deweloped an al1 installa·

tion, above, using three months' worth of waste paper. A film chronicling this installation won an ASLA award. Calvin R. Abe, FAstA, right, founder of Ah'be Landscape Architects, feeds shredded paper to the worms in the office's worm bin.

42 l landsup, Archltectllre

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"

"

What some land scape architects are doing to make their offices more sustainabl e. By Daniel Jost, AS LA

their offices more sustainabl e. By Daniel Jost, AS LA teetllre talked [Q nearly 20 firms-

teetllre talked [Q nearly 20 firms- from big multidisciplinary firms with many offices [Q small landscape architecture firms with only a few people. Collectively, they have enaned a variety of strategies to decrease the amount of resources they consume, re- duce the amount of trash they generate, and move toward cleaner and more efficient energy consumption . \Y/e asked if any of the changes they 've made have saved them money and what they would suggest as a

simp le

become more sustainable.

first step fo r other firms looking to

Reducing the Pile. of Paper

Paper waste provides the most v isible re - minderofan office·s environmental impact.

IOU SPACES

In their ASLA award-winning doc-

umentary, So \Vhat ?

rhe staff of

Ah ' be Landscape Architects of

Culver City, C"llifomia, created a series of art installa t ions using

waste paper their office generated. At the end of six weeks, they had

enoug h shredded paper (0 (reace a

lOO-root-[ong line, 12 feet wide

and 18 inches deep; after three

months, they were able rocreace a

fO!'estlike massing ofshredded pa-

per columns.

" You see so much paper going

out (he dour, it makes you sit back and gulp," says Diana Rae1 ofNar- ris Design, a landscape architecture

plannin g firm based in Den -

and

ver. Over che years, many land-

scape architects have pondered the

irony chat a profession rooted in plaming destroys so many crees. Addressing chis issue is ofte n the

first seep chac firms rake in rheir quest ro be more sustainable.

\'Vhi !e none of [he finns contacced for chis srory have gocten anywhere close ro che much-prophesied paperless office, many are implementing scracegies to reduce cheir pa- per use, One of the easiesc places ro scan: is digitally archiving e-mails racher chan printing them out, unless there is some strong reason to do so. Most people under a certain age w ill consider chis preccy obvi - ous advice, but there are still people out there who print all their e-mail out of habit. To combat this sort of ingrained thinking, some firms have adopted e-mai l signatures that read: "Please consider the environment before priming this e-mail."

number of drawing sets printed for

30,60 , and 90 percent reviews could also be cut back, according to Connie Roy- Fisher, ASLA, rounder of Roy-Fisher Assoc iates in Tequesta, Florida. Architects often send her an entire drawing set on large format paper,

and t russ de-

including p lumbing fi xtures

tails that her firm doesn't need to review. " \'{Ie need to target those architects who do all that printing, So'\ve them money, and le t them know that we would be happy to look at a set electronically," she says. "'f l have

The

44 l landsup, Archltectllre

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.~

"It doesn't smell and they don't make any noi se. [The worms1 are pretty qmet.

the drawings digi tally from subs or primes, I only print what I need to mark up."' P rinting on smaller sheets ofpaper is an- (){her option. At Norris Design, employees are encouraged ro print review sets at half size, a paper-saving strategy that also saves money. "You can still read and review [the drawings} and do the quali ty assurance needed," So'\ys Rael. "And it's a much hand- ier size. It can be folded and put in an ex- pandable folder rather than a box." T here are also digi tal redlining options . Amodesk Design R eview is a program chat allows you to mark up drawings created in AutoCAD and other Aurodesk programs. 11le program is free on the company's web site, so it can be used by cliems and local governments that don't have their own CAD software. 11le makers ofMicruStation have a similar program called Bemley Redline,

.

~,

Inside Ah'be's worm bin, the wonns

J convert paper, food scraps, and other biodegradable waste into a potent " tea" Utat can be used to fertili2e gar· dens, left. A spout on Ute side of the bin, belolr, is used to erlract Ute tea.

which subscribers can discribuce ro (he en - tire design team at no excra cost. \'{fhile

Vecror\'{forks does not currently offer Stand-

alone red lining sofcware, ic has a

wichin che program icself chac allows you {Dcreace and crack markups for intemal re- views. For working with dients, they en- courage exporting che drawing as a PDF, which can be marked up in Adobe Acro- bat, a fuirly ubiquitous program. "nla{ PDF can {hen be imported back into Vector- works so you can make the necessary changes. Taking advancage of these exist-

ing programs and features could potential- ly So'\ve a loe of paper and cut priming costs. But redlining digitally has been slow to takeoff. ·'It's one thing to see it on a screen,"' says Linda Daley, ASLA, a managing princi- pal at Ah'be. "You catch more when you see

in from of you." She So'\ys that her

it printed

office will often make comments on consul- tants' drawin,gs digitally, but they prefer pa- per drawings for internal reviews. \'«hen landscapearchitecrs r{'(Hine, they often need to refer back and forth berween sheets to

make sure the entire drawing set works to- gether. 11l is is often faster to do on paper than it is on the compmer when you are working with large files and limited screen

redline tool

-

space . Also,sketching out ideas is an important part of the redlining process, and many people are more comfortable sketching with a pen,

a computer

penci l, or marker than mouse or tablet.

Tips for Reducing Paper Use

- Only print e-mails when you really need to,

- Encourage consuHants and fellow collaooraton not to send paper copies for ewery review,

- Redline drawing sets at half size,

out the latest in digital redlining technology,

cling paper and cardboard is actu- ally easier than throwing it away. ''The big trash dumpster is a 200- foot walk from the office, whereas the rffyclers come on site to collect it. "' Rieck says the service is fairly cheap, approximately $11.50 per month, and her firm now diverts about 90 percent of its garbage to recycling. 111e Philadelph ia office of Wal- lace Roberts & Todd (WRT) actual- ly quantified its office waste more precisely. 111e office used a series of trash and l"Cl)'clable weigh-ins rode- termine its impact and encourage rti)'d ing, says Ruth Stafford, Asso- ciate ASLA. T hese efforts led roa 78 percent decrease in the amount of waste sent to landfills. Paper is nor rhe only material that design firms are rti)'Cling; they also recycle glass, plastic, and alu- minum contall1ers. H igh-tech waste is also being recycled. Many companies that manufacture prim cartridges include

-

T

,.

Recycling and Composting Programs

It is likely that paper will continue [0 be a part of the design process in one form or another; however, recy- cling programs can lower the num- ber of trees needed to procluce new paper. To make these programs work, people need ro both rC<.),c1e and buy products made from rtX.)'- cled materials. In some regions, curbside rel),cling IS standard prac-

tice, but many local governments and office parks do not provide the service, leaving some landscape ar- chitects to their own devices. "Billings [Montana} does not have a re- cycling program, so our office pays ro have a private recycling company come every

Tips for Reducing Waste and Resource Consumption

- Use recycling programs where awailable.

- If your community or office part does not offer

recycling serYices, see if there are other cheap or

relatively ine.pensive options available to you.

- Consider replacing trash cans at people's desks with paper recycling receptacles and centralizing trash

collection in a few areas .

- Recycle empty print cartridges.

- Take advantage of programs that will refurbish or recycle old computers,

-

-

Consider composting coffee grounds and food scraps.

Buy recycled products whenever possible,

twO weeks," says Jolene Rieck, ASLA, the p rincipal landscape architect fo r Peaks ro Plains Design. At their small firm, recy-

SilhooeI1e Rec)'de Trash r~. Ske 30"". 3/l"high SIlhouette Recycle Tras/1 Re;;eptacIe Modifleoj
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Per!<nll!oj stainless 5l8eI or
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1011 SPACES

pouches that allow you to send your old

caruidge back [Q them for recycling, and a few companies buy them back (though the

returns are uSlJ

'Illy

only cems on the dollar).

Charities such as Goodwill and the Salvk

cion Army will accept old computers as

long as they are in working condition, bur

you may wane to wipe the hard drive clean

before donating them. Dell and a number

ofother companies have programs to refur-

bish old computers and resell chern, and if

they arc too old to be of use (0 anybody,

some partS can be recycled. Whenever you

purchase a new computer through Dell, you can dick a box [0 indicate you want [0

participate in its free recycling prugrnm.

Some firms have actually made money through their recycling effortS. Last fall,

LPA, a multidisciplinary firm in Southern

California, partnered with its reprograph- ics company, Pro Repro, to recycle its pa- per waste. Over a chree-monch period che companies raised $ 1,800 by recycling pa- per, whic h chey donaced to che Laguna Beach Boys and Girls Club. Bue most of the businesses we heard from were nO( earning anything through cheir programs. TI3G Parrners, a landscape

Demonstrating green

technologies at your

own office can

al so

help to educate clients about these options and convince them the se technologies can be used successfully.

architecture and planning firm with four offices in Texas, had hoped its recycling program might make enough money to expand its library; however, the firm did not produce enough recyc1ables to gener- ace any revenue. Firms that expect their recycling pro- grams to make money (or even pay for themselves) need to look closely at a num- ber of variables. Will you be able to save money on crash pickup? How much wasce do you generace? How much will loca l re- cycling companies reimburse you for dif- ferenc cypes of recyclables? And how much will ic COSt to cranSIXlrr chose recyclables

ASLA's-

Office

H ERE AT THE American Society 01 landsca pe Archit ects ]UtA), our offic e h as also attempted to be more sustainable. Most notabq, our green roof has dropped our e ne rgy use." 10 per·

c e nt in the winter and a liHIe in th e summ er, too. Wh ile