This Week in Landscape | April 1 2012

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

Image Credit: Flickr user Andy Carter

The increasingly rare sight in UK’s green spaces – children playing | Martin Wainwright | Guardian
“The National Trust says that despite warnings, Britain’s kids are increasingly staying indoors and losing touch with nature….”

Celebrate Spring at the Brooklyn Bridge Park | Kadie Yale | Metropolis Magazine
Already in bloom, the gardens at Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 1 give those of us who can’t get out of the city for a day the opportunity to find the beauty of nature just across the water

Livable streets in Calgary | Steven Snell | Calgary Herald
“A complete street accommodates all of its users where pedestrians and cyclists are not lower order to motorized traffic…. ”

Saskatoon’s urban forest focus of pollen audit | Betty Ann Adam | Star Phoenix 
Unfortunately, the lack of females to draw in the pollen from the males leaves the tiny allergenic grains to bombard the vicinity of the tree, causing and aggravating allergies, says horticulturalist Tom Ogren.

How full is full? Planning Sydney to be big, sustainable and healthy | Anthony Capon | The Conversation

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Image Credit: Flickr user andy_carter

This Week in Landscape | 25 March 2012

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

Jungleland - The Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans Gives New Meaning to ‘Urban Growth’ | Nathaniel Rich | New York Times Magazine
The power of nature is shown by the ‘jungle’ that is recolonising parts of the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans that have been abandoned since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Finding the urban forest in your neck of the woods | Laurie Casey | Chicago Tribune
Boasting millions of trees, other plants, and wildlife, the urban forest contributes valuable benefits. It produces fresh oxygen, reduces urban heat island effects, and stores carbon. Studies show being around or seeing trees even improves our mood and helps us heal from surgery faster.

Cloned trees fuel urban pollen count | Randy Shore | Vancouver Sun
Planting male clones effectively doubles the amount of pollen released, horticulturalist says.

He changed Bangalore’s landscape | Deccan Herald
Gustav Krumbiegel established the Horticultural School in the erstwhile Mysore state, a first for India.

America’s Coolest Driveways | Tanya Mohn | Forbes
“Good driveway design is all about the arrival experience,” says Charles A. Birnbaum, founder and president of The Cultural Landscape Foundation

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Tennessee’s Urban Forests Valued in the Billions

Overton Park | Memphis, Tennessee | Image Credit: Flickr User: duluoz-cats

Tennessee’s urban forests, currently valued at about $80 billion, also provide almost $650 million in benefits such as carbon storage, pollution removal, and energy reduction according to a new U.S. Forest Service report.

The authors of Urban Forests of Tennessee, 2009 (published in early 2012) found there are 284 million trees in urban areas in the state, with canopies covering 33.7 percent of 1.6 million acres of urban area. Those urban forests provide an estimated $204 million per year in pollution removal and $66 million per year in energy savings. The study is the first of its kind in Tennessee.

Continue reading Tennessee’s Urban Forests Valued in the Billions

Colorado Esplanade | Santa Monica | Peter Walker Partners Landscape Architecture

The proposed Colorado Avenue Esplanade Project will integrate the Expo Light Rail into the Downtown, streamlining the existing intersection functions and guiding passengers to their business, shopping, cultural and entertainment destinations. The project accomplishes this with a combination of major urban design improvements at the Downtown Expo Station Plaza and along Colorado Avenue between 4th Street and Ocean Avenue. The improvements organize and simplify the flow of pedestrians, vehicles and bicycles, and provide more detailed directional cues such as new signage and green street improvements that clarify pathways, improve wayfinding, enhance landscaping, and provide public art.

Continue reading Colorado Esplanade | Santa Monica | Peter Walker Partners Landscape Architecture

San Francisco using new online tool for mapping trees

Last week the Mayor of San Francisco, announced new online tool developed by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire), in cooperation with Friends of the Urban Forest (FUF) and the City of San Francisco, to catalogue the city’s trees.

“You can add the trees around your home, office, school, or local café to the Urban Forest Map, or you can use it to learn more about the trees in your neighborhood,” said Amber Bieg, manager of the project. “It’s like a census for trees.”

Anyone with a web browser, whether on a mobile device, laptop or desktop computer, can add information about specific trees to the Urban Forest Map, such as their location, species, size, and health. That data can then be used by urban foresters and city planners to better manage trees in specific areas, track and combat tree pests and diseases, and plan future tree plantings. Climatologists can use it to better understand the effects of urban forests on climates, and students can use it to learn about the role trees play in the urban ecosystem.

Because the Urban Forest Map is built with open-source software, and leverages the growing power of geographic information systems (commonly known as GIS tools), it will likely have uses beyond those currently envisioned. Technologists can “layer” the tree data with other kinds of geographic data to illuminate or reveal aspects of an area or region that might otherwise be overlooked.

San Francisco is the first city to use the Urban Forest Map; others are expected to follow. “Million Tree” campaigns are taking-off around the nation, and this tool enables the on-the-ground community information sharing vital to the success of such campaigns.

See the tool in action at Urban Forest Map

[SOURCE: SFGOV.com] via Inhabitat

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