The University of Massachusetts at Amherst will open an urban design center downtown early next year, marking the school’s first step to locate programs in Springfield.
Plans call for the design center to open on Feb. 1 and to provide a variety of programs in architecture, landscape architecture, conservation and regional planning, officials said.
SOURCE: MassLive.com – UMass plans to open urban design center in downtown Springfield
Lawrence Halprin, 93 passed away earlier this week. A great landscape architect who designed hundreds of projects throughout his 60 year career and was famous for such designs as the Roosevelt Memorial, Ghirardelli Square, a 1.5-mile walkway overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem; a new pedestrian approach to Yosemite Falls.
The New York Times quoted Charles Birnbaum, founder and president of the Cultural Landscape Foundation as saying in relation to Halprin:
“He almost single-handedly reclaimed the city as the purview of the landscape architect,”
Read more about Lawrence Halrpins career at
NYTimes.com – Lawrence Halprin, Landscape Architect, Dies at 93
Washington Post – Urban projects won wide acclaim for American landscape architect
San Francisco Chronicle – Lawrence Halprin – landscape architect
Streetsblog San Francisco recently had an interview with Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance to see what they could learn about Times Square public spaces.
Tim Tompkins have a few interesting thoughts such as
What I see is that what’s been happening is part of a larger movement in terms of the revitalization of cities. It’s kind of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, where you need to take care of the basics of comfort and security first before you can even think about anything else………
I think the biggest change is that now, especially with the introduction of Duffy Square, which opened in October 2008, [we redefined the] expectations for Times Square as a public space. Until we actually had Duffy Square as a kind of a concrete, tangible paradigm, it was all theoretical, and people couldn’t really experience it.
to read the full interview go to the [SOURCE: Streetsblog San Francisco]
In recent News via Guardian newspaper a game designer, Keita Takahashi will be working with Nottingham City Council and its landscape architect to come up with a playground design for Woodthorpe Grange Park.
Ed note: I think this will offer a new perspective on playground design. Hopefully, this will create a playground that will encourage children to spend more time in the landscape. It is good to see a city that could create a playground that responds to the new generation of children who are growing up in an age when games are played virtually not physically.
Two years ago, Miami and Audi of America began a joint effort to revitalize downtown’s Simpson Park, one of the city’s few remaining hammocks.
Last Friday, Carolina Monteiro, head designer of Enzo Enea Landscape Design in Miami, as well as Oppenheim, Sarnoff, Mayor Manny Diaz and Anja Kaehny of Audi celebrated Phase Two of “re:design Simpson Park” with a ribbon-cutting ceremony to inaugurate the park’s grand opening.
SOURCE: MiamiHerald.com – Downtown Miami’s Simpson Park is renovated, back from obscurity
A recent article by William L. Hamilton at the New York Times about landscaping enhancing property values interviewed some landscape architects and clients and many drew the conclusion that people are heading towards more low maintenance gardens with few features. Out with the outdoor kitchen and in with the kitchen garden. More native plants and natural aesthetic.
The landscape architects in the article were:
Mike Mushak (CT, NY) said his clients were more interested in growing vegetables and getting their hands dirty than owning and operating the elaborate outdoor appliances…..
Anne Howerton(SF) said “how much work you want to put into maintaining a property, at any price point.”…….
Andrea Cochrane(SF) said about clients with green intentions – “They’re definitely aware, but when people look at the amortization — the payback — they tend to cut it out. I’ve become a little jaded about that.”…..
Perry Guillot(NY) stated that “High, high maintenance, that’s moved on,”……..“It’s like having five bad kids in the house, constantly needing things.”
Read the full article at the the [SOURCE: New York Times – Landscaping With a Lighter Touch]
Recently Sasaki Associates and Clough Harbour & Associates(engineers) presented several design options for a redesign of the Itaca Commons to Ithaca Commons Council and about 30 residents. A finalised preliminary design will be available in December, 2009.
“The Commons is a vital area for the Ithaca community, but some areas are in need of major repair,” said Susannah Ross, a senior associate at Sasaki Associates.
The first option was a minimal plan addressing some current issues and maintaining the existing design; the second option was a radical redesign inspired by “solar radiation” and the third was an “eclectic streetscape” plan.
For more information go to the [SOURCE: The Cornell Daily Sun – Common Council Explores Redesign of The Commons]