Valerie Blaine at the Daily Herald has written a great article about letting lawns become natural pockets of grasslands across the suburbs. This can be an issue in gated communities and upmarket suburbs where the lawn and sometimes planting are regulated by species, heights and period of maintenance. The article is a great column about how we become slaves to the perfect American green lawn. read more of Blaine’s article at the Daily Herald
From my personal view, I think that green lawns ares not only an issue in America as talked about by Blaine but across the world were green lawns are seen as a must have for the perfect garden and park. The high costs of maintaining a green lawn are not only in monetary terms but also environmentally and ecologically. Planting a lawn that is a mono-culture or a few species creates an ecological wasteland. Grasslands are some of the most biodiverse landscapes that are often wiped out by residential developments to be replaced by green lawn, rows of hedging and roses. Even moreso in parks where residents demand pristine park lawns and playing ovals.
To change attitudes will take a long time unless environmental factors accelerate social change such as extended droughts which have occurred across the world including USA, Spain, Australia, India, parts of Africa. Brown lawns are now the norm in these countries as water is a scarce commodity for drinking not watering gardens. ‘Natural’ lawns or vegetable gardens can easily take the place of green lawns to provide a sustainable landscape.
Damian Holmes – 8 September 2009
Newark kids drop in at new skatepark [Nj.com]
Ollies, grinds, and feebles were among moves on display at the opening of Newark’s only skateboard park — the first part of a three-phase program to revamp Jesse Allen park and provide some uncommon diversions for Newark kids.
Making nature centre stage: world renowned landscape architect to give free lecture [University Melbourne]
Highlighting the uniqueness of the environment will be Vladimir Djurovic’s priority when he gives the latest Melbourne School of Design Dean’s Lecture on September 8.
In “Landscapes of Living”, the Principal of Vladimir Djurovic Landscape Architecture (Lebanon) discusses his commitment to drawing out the uniqueness of an environment with simplicity of gesture that gives nature the stage, “guided by a philosophy of the esoteric but pragmatic, luxurious but minimal.”
“Landscapes of Living”
Tuesday 8 September, 7pm
Carrillo Gantner Theatre
Ground Floor, Sidney Myer Asia Building
University of Melbourne, Australia
Neal Peirce of the Seattle Times has written an op-ed piece about the reawakening of America’s urban parks stating that
if there were ever a bonanza decade for America’s parks, this is surely it. Add stunning new parks in Boston, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Denver and Santa Fe, plus the success of conservancies in revamping great old parks in such cities as Pittsburgh, Brooklyn and San Francisco.
Peirce reviews various new urban parks in America including the Citygarden in St.Louis, Highline in New York and he also cites Harnik(parks expert for the Trust for Public Land) as saying
the 2004 opening of the Millennium Park in Chicago had the biggest impact on the American parkland scene since New York’s great Central Park opened in 1873.
A great piece that gives some insight into America’s urban park renewal – read the opinion piece at the
SOURCE: Seattle Times – The human-scale reawakening of America’s urban parks
Highline in New York
Citygarden in St.Louis - Flickr Image: Stannate
If your a Torontonian or passing through Toronto next Wednesday September 9 you might want to stop by the Concord Cityplace at noon to get a Sneak Preview of the new $8 million 8-acre park that has been designed by Canadian artist/author Douglas Coupland and landscape architects Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg and inspired by Canadian hero Terry Fox, the park will contain not only public art, a water feature, a bluff, tree-shaded pathways and quiet areas but also the Terry Fox Miracle Mile, a jogging/running track dedicated to the courageous one-legged teenager who ran across Canada to raise money for cancer research in the early 80s.
The park runs north from Fort York Boulevard and extends from just west of Spadina Avenue almost to Bathurst Street. Among those helping celebrate the event will be Mayor David Miller, Councillor Adam Vaughan, Darrell Fox, brother of Terry Fox and Douglas Coupland, Vancouver author and artist whose vision inspired the overall look and feel of the park.
WHERE: Concord CityPlace, on the north side of Fort York Boulevard, halfway
between Spadina Avenue and Bathurst Streets, Toronto
WHEN: Wednesday, September 9, 2009, from noon to 2 p.m.
West 8 are one of the finalists in the Dutch Design Awards with the Bridge Vlaardingse Vaart, designed for the city of Vlaardingen, is one of the finalists in the Dutch Design Awards. The winners will be chosen by an international jury and introduced to the design world during the festive Award Show on 17 October 17, 2009. The designs of all finalists and winners will subsequently be exhibited for one week in the Brainport Greenhouse on the Stadhuisplein in Eindhoven during Dutch Design Week.
SOURCE: WEST 8
IMAGE SOURCE: WEST 8