Could Harvard expansion restore Allston’s watery ways?

In the late 19th century, the banks of the Charles River near the Harvard campus were covered with marshes, cut through with small streams that advanced and retreated with the tides.
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Then engineers took over. The tidal marshes were filled, land was reclaimed, and many of the streams were buried underground in pipes.

Now, as Harvard begins its expansion on the Allston side of the Charles, there is a push to return the area to a more natural state – part of an emerging national movement that touts the environmental benefits of landscape restoration.

For the last two years, Harvard, the city, the local community, and various groups including the watershed association have worked – sometimes contentiously – to determine the best course for the project. Bowditch said her group’s main goal is to figure out how the drainage systems in North Allston work and how to make them work better.

Could Harvard expansion restore Allston’s watery ways? – The Boston Globe.

Environmentalists push $1 million program to save urban trees

Environmentalists eager to save urban trees are promoting the Evergreen Cities campaign, naming it one of their top four priorities for the legislative session that starts next Monday. They’re pushing a $1 million program to improve urban forests statewide.

Protections for urban trees vary widely in the Puget Sound region, contributing to a dramatic decline in the tree cover. Satellite images from the ’70s are dominated by green swaths with black specks of buildings and roads. Recent pictures are practically reversed, with black oozing across the image and green patches shining through.

It’s an urban deforestation seen nationwide. About 25 percent of city tree canopy vanished over the past 30 years, based on satellite image analysis by American Forests, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit group.

Environmentalists push $1 million program to save urban trees. Seattle – LISA STIFFLER SeattlePI

Melbourne leads Australia in cleaning stormwater naturally

EVERY year, about 500 billion litres of stormwater washes off the roofs, roads and footpaths of Melbourne into our rivers and bays.

That’s about the same amount of water that Melburnians consume each year.

Often it comes in a thunderous rush, surging out of drains, damaging waterways, and pouring litter into Port Phillip and Western Port bays.

But a $20 million bid to use Melbourne’s stormwater on “rain gardens” across the metropolitan area has gathered speed since early last year.

Rain gardens are designed to absorb large volumes of water from downpipes, road surfaces and paved areas.

Melbourne leads Australia in cleaning stormwater naturally | Herald Sun.

Creating Inspirational Spaces: A Guide to Quality Public Realm in the Northwest

Creating Inspirational Spaces: A Guide for Quality Public Realm in the Northwest has been produced by Gillespies on behalf of the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) and RENEW Northwest, and forms part of the wider Places Matter! programme co-ordinated by RENEW Northwest.

Creating Inspirational Spaces: A Guide to Quality Public Realm in the Northwest – Landscape Institute– UK

Palm collection for LACMA

Forget what you know about the palm, that topknot-on-a-pole that punctuates much of Los Angeles. Come Feb. 16, when the Renzo Piano-designed Broad Contemporary Art Museum opens at LACMA, you’re going to be reacquainted with the tree. Your impressions will never be the same.

Over the last year, artist Robert Irwin and landscape architect Paul Comstock have been “curating” a collection of palms that will function as a living LACMA display—an ever-changing exhibition of botanical sculpture that introduces Piano’s addition and links the elements of the museum’s campus

Palm Pilots – Los Angeles Times – Susan Heeger

New Law to reduce lawsuits – lets hope others follow suit

In Hawaii a law has recently been introduced that requires complaints against engineers, surveyors and landscape architects registered in Hawaii to be filed first with the state’s Design Claim Conciliation Panel. The introduction of this law will reduce the number of frivolous and fraudulent lawsuits against professionals.

The state of Hawaii has taken a great step towards reduce the burden on the judicial system. Many countries and states have realised that Arbitration and Concilliation is a far better alternative for complainants and professionals to settle disputes. This method of dispute resolution reduces costs and time spent for both parties to settle disputes.

I foresee that this approach of dispute resolution will become popular with states and other countries as they realize that courts are often bogged down with claims that could have been easily solved with a mediator. Changes like this also allow professionals to concentrate on practicing their profession and less on defending themselves in court which is often costly and unnecessary.

Read more from the press release issued by Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs

Professor sees past connections in cultural landscapes

Anita Clark interviews Professor Arnold Alanen a man who ‘sees the world through different eyes’. Professor Alanen talks about how cultural landscapes exhibit links to past uses and human influences.

A professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Wisconsin –Madison looks at cultural landscapes to interpret our past and their influence on public spaces and uses.

His interpretations of cultural landscape also show how cultures evolve over time through periods of growth and change.

Read more in WISCONSIN STATE JOURNAL – Anita Clark or for those with an interest in Wiscounsin landscape you can read his new book ‘Morgan Park’ from

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