DOUGLAS M. JOHNSTON is chair of the Department of Community and Regional Planning and of the Department of Landscape Architecture at ISU wrote a great article about the Iowa floods*
During and after any catastrophe, many will review the events and ask: Why did it happen and what can be done to prevent it? The ongoing flooding in Iowa is no exception.
…….we often fail to remember is that water flows downhill. It comes from somewhere, and it goes somewhere. Anything we do that affects the flow of water will have an impact further downstream. Prairie and forest are good at capturing rainfall. Tile-drained farm fields, roofs, roads, and parking lots are less so. With fewer wetlands, prairies and forest to slow runoff or prevent it, the same rain event will send more water downstream faster.
Read more @ the SOURCE: DesMoinesRegister.com – Guest column: Don’t expect simple solutions to complexities of flooding – The Des Moines Register.
San Franciso Chronicle has published a practical artile on permeable pavement – sort of a Sustainable Landscape Design 101
Does your driveway look like a patchwork quilt, with raised and sunken surfaces; chipped, off-color mortar stuffed into jagged cracks; and a generation’s worth of oil, paint and mold stains? Has the time come to replace it? Or, if your driveway is fine, is this the year to install the new patio you’ve been dreaming of, or some garden walkways?
Whether you’re replacing your existing driveway, patio and walks or installing new ones, you have an opportunity to turn them into water management and conservation features by building them so water can drain through them – in landscaping terms, making them “permeable hardscape.”
SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle (SFgate.com) – Permeable hardscapes let the water soak in.
Great cities have great urban parks. Central Park in New York, Millennium Park in Chicago, Washington’s Mall. They are magnets for the key ingredients that make a successful city center: housing and hotels, shops and cafes, museums and concert halls, public festivals and recreation from active sports to leisurely strolling. They provide breathing room amid the civic bustle; they open up the densest cityscapes; they signify the heart of the heart of their hometowns.
Unfortunately, Los Angeles — a great city by most definitions — has no important downtown park. Griffith Park meets many needs, but it’s not in the center of the city. The Cornfield, north of Chinatown, is also removed from the action (and mostly not off the drawing board). The public space that links downtown’s civic center buildings may get a polish as part of the Grand Avenue project, but it’s tucked away, hemmed in by government buildings. None of these alone is the great, open-air city gathering place that L.A. needs.
SOURCE: Los Angeles Times – Where’s our Central Park?
Another major “green roof” project is set to move forward atop a high-profile building in downtown Minneapolis.
City officials are putting together construction documents for a green roof over Target Center, even as the city – with help from a project team led by RSP Architects – continues the job of planting 40 varieties of mostly native plants on a portion of Minneapolis City Hall.
The Target Center project was first reported by Finance and Commerce in March 2007.
By putting vegetation on top of the 18-year-old city-owned arena, the city hopes to protect the membrane and extend the roof’s life. Green roofs typically last 40 to 50 years, compared to 20 to 25 years for a conventional roof, Guild said.
Read more @ the Source: Finance and Commerce – Target Center roof going green
Los Angeles Business Council (LABC) honored the region’s finest architecture design projects, including the new Los Angeles Green Building Award, at the 38th Annual Los Angeles Architectural Awards. The Awards Program, which recognizes entire project teams (architects, developers and contractors), spotlighted the abundance of world-class architecture and sustainable development being built in Los Angeles today.
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE AWARD
Project: Santa Monica Airport Park
Architect: ah’be landscape architects
Contractor: L.A. Engineering
Owner: City of Santa Monica
Project: South Park Streetscape
Architect: ah’be landscape architects
Contractor: Kato Landscape
Developer: The South Group Partnership
Owner: City of Los Angeles
For the full list of winners go to the SOURCE: StreetInsider.com – World-Class Design and Sustainable Development Take the Spotlight at 38th Los Angeles Architectural Awards.