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.

Continue reading USA urban forests losing ground

This Week in Landscape | 12 February 2012

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

Tribeca Neighborhood has a High Walkability Score (Flickr Image: Paul Stein)

Most Americans Want a Walkable Neighborhood, Not a Big House | Nona Willis Aronowitz | GOOD
The symbol of American success often involves having the biggest house possible, but our outsized fantasies seem to be shifting.

Reclaimed bus yard begins life as urban wetland | Kate Linthicum | LA Times
A nine-acre park at Avalon Boulevard and 54th Street offers walking paths, native plants and pools with bacteria that clean polluted storm water

Phoenix architect uses desert landscape as inspiration, focuses on simplicity, sustainability | Josselyn Berry | Downtown Devil
Attributes of the desert landscape are re-imagined in the work of Phoenix architect Will Bruder.

Frederick Law Olmsted Is Holding Us Back (There. I Said It.) | ASLA DIRT Blog
A blog post that has caused a stir in the profession in the USA. Is Frederick Law Olmsted holding landscape architects in the USA back?

Landscape Architecture Students Work with Frogtown to Create Pop-Up Tree Nursery | Jolene Brink | University of Minnesota College of Design News
University of Minnesota landscape architecture students are collaborating with Saint Paul Parks and Recreation Department, Frogtown residents, and the Frogtown Neighborhood Association to create a temporary nursery for 4-6 months during 2012.

Don’t Reinvent The Wheel, Steal It: An Urban Planning Award for Cities That Copy | Zak Stone | GOOD
Cities around the world may all be struggling with the same problems, from building affordable housing to boosting internet access, but a lack of dialogue means that local governments rarely copy each other’s successful ideas….

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IMAGE CREDIT: [Flickr Image: Paul Stein]

Brickell CitiCentre | Miami USA | Arquitectonica GEO

Brickell CitiCentre
ArquitectonicaGEO is working with Swire Properties and Arquitectonica on Brickell CitiCentre, a three and a half block downtown redevelopment which aims to create an urban gathering place for downtown Miami. The 4.6 million square foot mixed-use project will consist of four-levels of retail and entertainment supporting hotel, office, and residential towers. The landscape will be anchored by improved downtown streetscapes which lead to landscaped public courtyards, pedestrian passages, gathering, and performance spaces.
Continue reading Brickell CitiCentre | Miami USA | Arquitectonica GEO

First Projects Certified by SITES National Rating System for Sustainable Landscapes

Woodland Discovery Playground at Shelby Farms Park | James Corner Field Operations

The Novus International Inc. Campus, the Green at College Park of the University of Texas at Arlington, and the Woodland Discovery Playground at Shelby Farms Park in Memphis, Tennessee, are the first to be recognized for their sustainable land practices from among 150-plus pilot projects seeking certification since summer 2010.

Continue reading First Projects Certified by SITES National Rating System for Sustainable Landscapes

studio a+i wins AIDS Memorial Park Design Competition

AIDS Memorial Park Design Competition
Organizers of New York City’s proposed AIDS Memorial Park  today announced the winners of their design competition. First place was awarded to Brooklyn, NY’s studio a+i: Mateo Paiva, Lily Lim, John Thurtle, Insook Kim, and Esteban Erlich, with a rendering by Guillaume Paturel, for their design “Infinite Forest.” The design was selected from 475 entries submitted between November 29, 2011 and January 21, 2012, representing more than 26 U.S. states and 32 countries on six continents.

Continue reading studio a+i wins AIDS Memorial Park Design Competition

Riverside Park South Waterfront | New York USA | Thomas Balsley Associates

Riverside Park South Waterfront | New York | Thomas Balsley Associates

Stretching along Manhattan’s west side, Riverside Park South is an urban miracle on the Hudson and the last link in Manhattan’s west side greenway. Its creation involved working with local and state government agencies, community groups, stakeholders and the client to create a vibrant new public space that reintroduced the community to the water’s edge and responded to the unique industrial history and riparian ecology of the site.

Continue reading Riverside Park South Waterfront | New York USA | Thomas Balsley Associates

THE LENS by Michael Maltzan Architecture wins St.Petersburg Pier Design Competition

St.Petersburg Pier Design Competition Finalists©Michael Maltzan Architecture
The Judging Panel has selected “The Lens” design by Michael Maltzan Architecture with Tom Leader Studio. The City Council will hold a workshop to decide if they accept the panel’s decision and to engage the winner in the next stage of developing the design.

The jury evaluating the proposals is comprised of: Stanley Saitowitz, a South African architect and an architecture professor from University of California, Berkeley; James Moore, PhD, a Tampa-based urban designer and former architecture and design professor at USF; Susan Fainstein, PhD, a Harvard University urban design professor; City Council Member Leslie Curran and Pinellas County Commissioner Ken Welch.

The new Pier is not an icon unto itself. It is instead a lens that frames the City’s relationship to the water, changing how St. Petersburg views its present and its future. While the Pier will remain an important attraction for visitors, we believe that the Pier must be first for the people of St. Petersburg, an active, vital part of the City’s life and culture. Operating on multiple scales of renewal—individual, urban, economic, ecological—this new Pier serve as a new kind of fountain of youth for St. Petersburg and its citizens, a symbol of the renewed vitality of the City, a platform for continued growth, and a destination within the City, the region, and our nation.  – Michael Maltzan Architecture (Competition Entry Design Statement)

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