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Caño Martin Peña Restoration Project

Couldn’t attend live? Watch the recording from our March 20 webinar with Wes Michaels of Spackman Mossop Michaels. The webinar is part of LAF’s new quarterly webinar series geared especially toward emerging professionals. Stay tuned for announcements of future webinars.

Recording from live webinar on 3/20/18

Caño Martin Peña Restoration Project

Webinar with Wes Michaels of Spackman Mossop Michaels
Recorded March 20, 2018

Across the globe, climate change promises to have the greatest impact on the most vulnerable communities. Many economically disadvantaged communities are in low-lying areas, and often settled informally without basic infrastructure or flood protection.

In Puerto Rico—even before Hurricane María—the communities along the eastern half of the Caño Martín Peña, a tidal channel within the San Juan Bay Estuary, faced public health and safety challenges. Buena Vista Santurce is a community that was settled informally in the mangrove wetlands there in the early 1900s. The neighborhood lacks critical infrastructure—sanitary sewer systems, storm drainage systems, flood protection, access to public open spaces, among others. Repetitive flooding, typically by contaminated water, has had serious health impacts on the residents, especially the children. Hurricanes Irma and María exacerbated these conditions.

In 2016, as part of the larger Comprehensive Development Plan for the Caño Martin Peña led by ENLACE, Spackman Mossop Michaels was awarded funding through the EPA Smart Growth Implementation Assistance Program to work on green infrastructure design options for the community. The collaborative process involved multiple community-based meetings and workshops. The final report proposes a series of interconnected water plazas and green infrastructure to clean the water and reduce flooding, while also creating a framework of civic open spaces to strengthen the social fabric of the community.

Seven Selected for 2018-2019 LAF Fellowship for Innovation and Leadership

The Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) is delighted to announce the amazing people and projects selected for the second year of the LAF Fellowship for Innovation and Leadership. Four Fellows and three LAF Olmsted Scholars will participate in this year-long transformation program to develop ideas that have the potential to create positive and profound change in the profession, environment, and humanity.

Each Fellow receives a $25,000 award and will dedicate 12 weeks of time over the course of the year to pursue their proposed project. The year-long fellowship consists of this project work, supported by facilitated discussions, critiques, mentorship, and explorations of transformational leadership that occur during three, 3-day residencies in Washington, D.C. The 2018-2019 fellowship year kicks off at the first residency May 17-19 and concludes in Spring 2019 with a final symposium to showcase completed work. (Learn more about the final symposium for the 2017-2018 Fellows.)

LAF is proud to make this investment in the ideas and the people that will drive the future of the landscape architecture profession, and we look forward to working with the cohort as they tackle these important challenges and issues.

2018-2019 LAF Fellows

  • Pamela Conrad, Senior Associate, CMG Landscape Architecture, San Francisco, CA

pamela-conrad-226w-6q6The Landscape Carbon Calculator: A Tool to Understand and Reduce our Carbon Footprint

To improve the impact of our projects on the planet, we need to better understand their landscape carbon footprints. To date, no publicly available carbon calculator for landscape architecture exists. As landscape projects contain trees and plants, they possess the power to sequester carbon. That said, can landscape architects do better than carbon neutral? Can we instead strive beyond neutrality to do “net good” and contribute to the fight against global warming? To do this, we must understand how to measure our contributions. With a carbon calculator specifically designed for landscape architecture, we can actively set goals for ourselves as a profession to combat climate change.

  • Maisie Hughes, Owner, Rhetorical Virtues LLC, Washington, D.C.

maisie-hughes-226w-msyThou Shalt Not Trespass: Cultural Diversity and Landscape Interpretation

Maisie will produce a documentary series that seeks to uncover feelings of belonging or exclusion in the landscape to help elucidate how socio‐economic factors affect landscape interpretation. This project will examine how different types of people interpret the same landscape by creating short web documentaries that explore the concepts of belonging and trespassing in high‐profile DC landscapes, both public and private. The project will document DC residents from diverse backgrounds in Dumbarton Oaks, Washington National Cathedral grounds, Meridian Hill Park, Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens and the Gotelli and Asian Collections of the U.S. National Arboretum.

  • Karl Krause, Senior Landscape Architect, OLIN Partnership, Philadelphia, PA

karl-krause-226wThe Landscape of Public Housing

Decades of diminished federal funding and limited capital improvements have left millions of Americans in deteriorating 50s-era housing in a landscape hindered by dated urban design ideas. Recent restructuring of federal support for public housing has generated billions to fund capital improvement projects. Landscape architects have an opportunity to lead developers and public housing officials in solving long-standing problems of social isolation while creating a new vision for public housing. To support this, The Landscape of Public Housing will combine site visits, interviews, and analysis to illustrate current conditions in a documentary video and create design resources for those engaged in the rehabilitation of public housing communities.

  • Sanjukta Sen, Senior Associate, James Corner Field Operations, New York, NY

sanjukta-sen-226wVolume for Water: Legislating our Urban Waterfronts for a Resilient Future

As coastal cities grapple with sea level rise and more frequent occurrences of flooding, it is necessary to codify standards for open space in waterfront developments, with zoning laws and codes that focus not only on area but also on volume provided for water. Public-private partnerships will continue to be responsible for urban development projects that will shape our cities and coastlines in the years to come. It is incumbent on our profession to question and critique existing legislative frameworks that govern these developments and to propose replicable and incremental mechanisms that allow public open space to perform a role beyond its traditional social and ameliorative characterizations.

Olmsted Scholar Participants

Recently-named LAF Olmsted Scholars are selected to participate in the fellowhip to develop and advance their ideas alongside the LAF Fellows in preparation for a future fellowship, partnership, or funding opportunity.

  • David de la Cruz (2017 National Olmsted Scholar, Graduate), Project Manager, Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust, Los Angeles, CA

david-de-la-cruz-226wEnvironmental Justice through Community Engagement and Education

Through film, David will archive the built environment of Los Angeles by exploring the land uses that affect communities and point to the potential of landscape architecture paired with on-site phytoremediation as a way to address sites that are polluted. This project is intended for high-school classrooms to explore topics of both environmental and social sciences while simultaneously grounding the built environment experiences of high-school-aged youth from working class families. In partnership with extensive advocacy work, this film will also point to landscape architecture as a profession fit to address environmental justice issues.

 

  • Lauren Delbridge (2017 National Olmsted Scholar, Undergraduate), LA Designer, Land Design, Charlotte, NC

lauren-delbridge-226wCoal Ash Ponds and Designed Remediation

Lauren will continue her thesis explorations at Virginia Tech to explore the future of coal ash ponds and research successfully remediated wastescapes in the U.S. and abroad. Lauren plans to collect precedent case studies through the documentation of site visits, discussions with stakeholders, and the collection and study of existing remediation strategies. Lauren looks forward to the support of the fellowship cohort to help her develop and refine a strategy for further research on disturbed sites. Participation in the fellowship will be valuable in guiding her research and building her leadership skills to allow her to propel her advocacy work from academia into the public realm.

 

  • Andrew Sargeant (2016 University Olmsted Scholar), Landscape Designer, OLIN Partnership, Philadelphia, PA

andrew-sargeant-226wImmersive Technology and Landscape Architecture

Andrew seeks to emphasize and clarify the benefits that immersive technologies offer the profession of landscape architecture. Immersive technologies, specifically augmented reality and virtual reality, provide greater potential than all previous rendered visualizations of landscape. Although traditional means allow us to prototype, with immersive tech, designers are provided a more direct experience by being able to walk, fly and interact with their prototypes, either in a VR or AR environment. Andrew plans to conduct survey research and use it to garner partnerships with stakeholders to create and make available solutions for landscape architects to use in the design of and advocacy for public space.

New Emerging Professional Webinar Series

LAF is excited to launch a new webinar series geared especially toward emerging professionals. Topics include professional journeys, alternate modes of practice, and innovative projects and research that address timely issues.

The series is inspired by the LAF Olmsted Scholars, a community of rising landscape architects who, as students, were nominated by their universities and recognized by LAF for their exceptional leadership potential. The quarterly webinar series was created in late 2016 by and for the Olmsted Scholars, and this year we are pleased to make it open to all.

The first webinar will be a presentation and Q&A session with Wes Michaels, Principal at Spackman Mossop Michaels, who will discuss their work with the Caño Martin Peña Restoration Project in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

smm-cano-martin-pena-gi

Caño Martin Peña Restoration Project

Live webinar with Wes Michaels of Spackman Mossop Michaels
Tuesday, March 20, 3-4pm EDT
Register now

Across the globe, climate change promises to have the greatest impact on the most vulnerable communities. Many economically disadvantaged communities are in low-lying areas, and often settled informally without basic infrastructure or flood protection.

In Puerto Rico—even before Hurricane María—the communities along the eastern half of the Caño Martín Peña, a tidal channel within the San Juan Bay Estuary, faced public health and safety challenges. Buena Vista Santurce is a community that was settled informally in the mangrove wetlands there in the early 1900s. The neighborhood lacks critical infrastructure—sanitary sewer systems, storm drainage systems, flood protection, access to public open spaces, among others. Repetitive flooding, typically by contaminated water, has had serious health impacts on the residents, especially the children. Hurricanes Irma and María exacerbated these conditions.

In 2016, as part of the larger Comprehensive Development Plan for the Caño Martin Peña led by ENLACE, Spackman Mossop Michaels was awarded funding through the EPA Smart Growth Implementation Assistance Program to work on green infrastructure design options for the community. The collaborative process involved multiple community-based meetings and workshops. The final report proposes a series of interconnected water plazas and green infrastructure to clean the water and reduce flooding, while also creating a framework of civic open spaces to strengthen the social fabric of the community.

Transforming the Discussion at the 2018 CELA Conference

cela-2018-logo

The Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) is looking forward to the upcoming Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA) Conference March 21-24 at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA. The conference is always a great opportunity to catch up with faculty and students from universities across the United States and Canada, as well as representatives from further abroad, including Australia, New Zealand, China, and Korea. The presentations and discussions are an insightful window into new research and trends in pedagogy.

LAF staff will present during two Concurrent Sessions, give updates at the CELA Administrators Meetings, and host informal meet-ups for current and past Case Study Investigation (CSI) participants and Landscape Performance Education Grant recipients. The conference features over 250 presentation and panel sessions, including a number from LAF program participants and grant recipients, speaking about their experience, findings, and further research.

Research from LAF’s various landscape performance initiatives will be part of five sessions:

 

Economic Benefits: Metrics and Methods for Landscape Performance Assessment

Concurrent Session 1, Thurs, 3/22, 9:30-10:50am (First presentation)

Bo Yang, University of Arizona
Zhen Wang, Huazhong University of Science & Technology
Shujuan Li, University of Arizona
Chris Binder, Utah State University

 

Teaching Landscape Performance: Strategies and Lessons Learned

Concurrent Session 3, Thurs, 3/22, 2:20-3:40pm

Megan Barnes, Landscape Architecture Foundation
Ellen Burke, California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo
Kenneth Brooks, Arizona State University
Phillip Zawarus, University of Nevada Las Vegas
Kelly Curl, Colorado State University

 

Assessing Learning Landscape Performance   

Concurrent Session 4, Thurs, 3/22, 3:50-5:20pm (Second presentation)

Rebekah VanWieren, Montana State University
Joseph J. Ragsdale, California Polytechnic State University
Kirk Dimond, University of Arizona

 

Presentations Based on Research Conducted During LAF’s 2016 and 2017 CSI Program

Concurrent Session 5, Fri, 3/23, 9-10:20am

Post-Occupancy Evaluation of the Landscape Environments in a Primary Care Clinic: The Environmental and Social Performances
Shan Jiang and Sofija Kaljevic, West Virginia University
Kirsten Staloch, HGA Architects and Engineers

Evaluating the Landscape Performance of Railroad Park, Birmingham, AL
Charlene LeBleu, Ryan Bowen, and Britton Garrett, Auburn University

Landscape Performance Research: Findings from Harvest Community, Wayne Ferguson Plaza, and The Shops at Park Lane in North Texas
Taner R. Ozdil, Riza Pradhan, Ravija Munshi, and Ali Khoshkar, University of Texas at Arlington

Improving Environmental Performance Evaluation of Landscapes: Lessons Learned from the Landscape Architecture Foundation’s Landscape Performance Series
Hong Wu and Clarissa Ferreira Albrecht da Silveira, Penn State University

 

Ubiquitous Landscape Monitoring: Fitting the Landscape with Sensor Technology for Continuous Monitoring and Data Collection

Concurrent Session 7, Sat, 3/24, 10:30-11:50am

Christopher Ellis, University of Maryland
Heather Whitlow, Landscape Architecture Foundation
Ming-Han Li, Texas A&M University
Lee Skabelund, Kansas State University

 

In addition, LAF’s 2013 National Olmsted Scholar Leann Andrews and 2016 National Olmsted Scholar Finalist Jorge (Coco) Alarcón will present their ongoing research, which was supported in part by the Olmsted Scholar financial awards:

A New Model Integrating Landscape Architecture within Global Health: A Case Study with an Informal Community in the Peruvian Amazon

Concurrent Session 2 - Thurs, 3/22, 11:00am - 12:20pm (Final presentation)

Leann Andrews, University of Washington
Jorge Alarcón, Informal Urban Communities Initiative