USA urban forests losing ground

Albuquerque Aerial 2006 (Flickr User kla4067)

National results indicate that tree cover in urban areas of the United States is declining at a rate of about 4 million trees per year, according to a U.S. Forest Service study published recently in Urban Forestry & Urban Greening.

Tree cover in 17 of the 20 cities analyzed in the study declined while 16 cities saw increases in impervious cover, which includes pavement and rooftops. Land that lost trees was for the most part converted to either grass or ground cover, impervious cover or bare soil.

Of the 20 cities analyzed, the greatest percentage of annual loss in tree cover occurred in New Orleans, Houston and Albuquerque. Researchers expected to find a dramatic loss of trees in New Orleans and said that it is most likely due to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Tree cover ranged from a high of 53.9 percent in Atlanta to a low of 9.6 percent in Denver while total impervious cover varied from 61.1 percent in New York City to 17.7 percent in Nashville. Cities with the greatest annual increase in impervious cover were Los Angeles, Houston and Albuquerque.

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This Week in Landscape | 5 February 2012

This weeks round-up of landscape news and views from around the web

Emotional Landscapes: Interview with landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh | Gideon Fink Shapiro | BMW Guggenheim Lab
Michael Van Valkenburgh interview about urban landscapes and what they can do

The architecture meltdown | Scott Timberg | Salon
With the economy still in the doldrums where does architecture go from here?

How should we design urban parks? | The Urban Portal | University of Chicago
A social science look at parks, the important differences and the costs of parks in cities.

Building green cities using public/private partnerships | Matthew Kahn | Christian Science Monitor
Public funding for environmentally friendly urban centers benefits private investors, too

Re-greening the Plateau |Michelle Lalonde | Montreal Gazette
Residents are fighting to save their street trees, even if it means removing parking spots

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Urban Prairie | Gatineau Canada | Claude Cormier + Associés with Aedifica

Canadian Museum of Civilization Plaza

Fall view from the Museum | ©Claude Cormier + Associés inc.

The Canadian Museum of Civilization, designed by Canadian architect Douglas Cardinal and inaugurated in 1989, is comprised of two pavilions, their architecture a startling embodiment of the country’s distinguishing geographical features. The public display wing replicates the dramatic effect of the glaciers; the contours of the curatorial wing symbolize the majestic Canadian Shield; and the open Plaza simulates the vast Great Plains. The layout and sheer size of the Plaza were planned in such a way as to visually incorporate the Museum buildings and the Parliament Buildings perched across the Ottawa River. However, the Plaza’s lack of appeal had left it empty of visitors for much of the year. To remedy the situation, we extended the Museum’s original conceptual metaphor, bringing to life what had long remained latent: the swaying grasses of the Prairies.

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OLIN rejuvenates Rodin Museum Garden

OLIN-Rodin Museum Garden

OLIN has rejuvenated the garden landscape surrounding the Rodin Museum located on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia. The rejuvenation of the site enhances and amplifies the original 1929 plans for the garden by architects Paul Cret and Jacques Gréber placing special focus on the relationship of the Rodin Museum to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The Rodin Museum garden rejuvenation project is a component of the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Master Plan and a part of a larger project to re-imagine and renew the entire Benjamin Franklin Parkway as a preeminent artery for arts and culture. The rejuvenation project is the result of OLIN’s partnership with the Museum, The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and Philadelphia’s Department of Parks and Recreation.

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bimbaum + flowerflash by xarchitekten + henning grahn

bimbaum by xarchitekten + henning grahn

bimbaum ©xarchitekten + henning grahn

The city of vienna is working on a general concept for urban development goals, to be reached by 2020. Within this context an open competition was launched, aimed at finding and developing ‘urban oases’. The winning projects are the ‘bimbaum’ and the ‘flowerflash’ by xarchitekten + henning grahn. The projects offer new strategies for temporary and flexible plantation in addition to conventional greening. they activate urban sites which are not adequate for permanent vegetation.

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