Scapegoat is a publication that engages the political economy of architecture and landscape architecture. The figure of the scapegoat carries the burden of the city and its sins.
The image of US 280 in Michael Tomberlin’s post – Birmingham committee revisiting sign rules is very telling of the suburban landscape where signs breed like rabbits and litter the road side with retailers using the mantra ‘the bigger the better’ rather than ‘less is more’. Signage littering the urban landscape is not endemic to just Birmingham or the USA for that matter, all across the globe streetscapes are littered with A-Frames blackboard signs, bus stop advertising and billboards. But do they really urge passers by to go and shop or are they just landmarks to designate the location of the store? I think it is the latter and that all cities should have formulate signage guidelines (many already do) including the number of signs allowed and the size.
Guidelines should also go further to streetscape and city government signage & intepretation. Often towns and city landscapes becomes a minefield of directional, parking and place marking signs that have been added layer by layer by various departments and changes of staff who continually add more signage to the landscape. All cities should at the least evaluate their main streetscapes and see where they can reduce the clutter to provide a clean landscape that is visually easy to navigate and often more pedestrian friendly. Often city signage for an area can be easily amalgamated into one sign(or sign family) such as place marking and area parking restrictions.
Read more about what Birmingham is proposing at [al.com]
JOB: Qatar recently won the World Cup 2022 and needs to design and build the supporting infrastructure. So the call has gone out for Urban Designers. See the job listing for more information
NEWS FROM THIS WEEK
Today we launch – LAND Reader – a new website that will provide the latest news, books, products, events and other information updates from across the web. LAND Reader will give updates from local to international built environment news to summaries of interesting topics. LAND Reader will be your weekly read for news about landscape architecture.
Why create another website when we have World Landscape Architect? World Landscape Architect has evolved from a blog, posting news articles; to a news website giving the latest design projects in rich images. As we read a vast amount of news daily from across the web and we sort to provide this information via twitter. However, we felt World Landscape Architect readers where missing out so we felt a new web space was needed and the reason for launching LAND Reader . World Landscape Architect is going to change over the coming months and will be moving to new home in 2011.
LAND Reader will be predominately text based so that people from across the world with varying access to the web (dial-up, broadband, mobile) will be able to be informed about landscape architecture. LAND Reader will also look at interesting topics and give a summary of resources so that readers can stay informed and today with the launch of the new site we give our first sample of a topic post with Landscape Urbanism vs New Urbanism.