LA+ is a new interdisciplinary journal from the University of Pennsylvania School of Design. LA+ takes a broader approach to landscape architecture looking at various issues facing the landscape architecture profession from a macro level.
The first edition, Wild sets the tone for the new journal with articles from Richard Weller, Paul Carter, Timothy Morton, Claire Fellman, Orkan Telhan, Nina-Marie Lister, Steve Pine and many others who grapple with a broad range of topics including Rewilding, World Park, Wild Crossings, Wild Ocean, Firescaping and more. This edition challenges the reader to think about landscape in a broader context that many landscape architects in design practices have little time to explore. This edition is not a formulaic landscape or academic journal, it explores the topic (Wild) from various points of view including that of a landscape architect, artist, writer, scientist, urbanist, climatologist and other professionals. This interdisciplinary approach allows the reader to read views that go beyond the normal consensus and look beyond the view of the landscape architect or academic. Although there is a wide range of disciplines in this edition of LA+, I hope that in future editions there will be more diversity in the origins of the writers, which I am sure will occur once the worldwide profession gets hold of the first edition.
Richard Weller’s World Park looks at numerous initiatives across the world to create large scale connectivity and how these can be achieved by understanding the gradations of contiguous systems ranging in scale. Using clear graphics Weller provides an overall picture of World Park and the North-South Corridor(North to South America) and the East-West Corridor (Europe to the Far East Asia).
Nina-Marie Lister provides an interesting review of strategies to improve connectivity via crossing systems across highways (overpasses & underpasses). Lister concentrates on the TransCanada Highway near Banff, Alberta, Canada and also the ARC International Wildlife Crossing Infrastructure Design Competition that included submissions from design firms such as Balmori Associates, HNTB, OLIN and others. Lister concludes that “…redesigning of the road for two clients – animals and human-wildlife-crossing infrastructure presents a timely opportunity to communicate the problem and solution to the public.”
Wild also includes conversations with Dan Jenzen & Winne Hallwachs concerning biological diversity and connectivity. The conversation is very forthright with Dan Janzen providing interesting views on corridors and financing of controversial conversation ideas. This edition of LA+ also includes a conversation with Richard T.T. Forman renowned ecologist providing another great thought provoking conversation about ecology and the understanding of ecological systems.
LA+ is a high quality publication with well thought out layout, color palette, and design that compliments the well written articles.