An unmistakable irony creeps vinelike through Olmsted’s landscape theory: It takes a lot of artifice to create convincing “natural” scenery. Everything in Central Park is man-made; the same is true of most of Olmsted’s designs. They are not imitations of nature so much as idealizations, like the landscape paintings of the Hudson River School. Each Olmsted creation was the product of painstaking sleight of hand, requiring enormous amounts of labor and expense. — The Atlantic
What do you do with a sad, funky, abandoned trolley terminus? Well, if it's the former Williamsburg Bridge Trolley Terminal under Delancey Street in New York City, you make the world's first underground park by virtue of adding some mirrors, skylights, and vegetation. One acre in size, the freshly...
Los Angeles is in for a lot of (proposed) change, especially in its downtown core. Yesterday, the City of L.A. announced Mia Lehrer + Associates and OMA as the winners of a competition to design a new public park called the FAB Park...Proposed for the well-trafficked streets of First and Broadway in downtown L.A., the 1.96-acre FAB Park will integrate “the themes of food, art, and land.” — Bustler
Space 134, the city's $150-million plan to build 24 acres of park space atop a trenched stretch of the 134 Freeway [is] slated for a .7 mile stretch between Central and Balboa Avenues, [and] would span from the city's Downtown district to adjacent residential neighborhoods to the east. Glendale officials have trumpeted the project's potential to improve public health, reduce pollution and strengthen transit connections to the rest of [L.A.] County. — urbanize.la
One thing, though, is different this time around. These days the city and county are busy investing money and lavishing attention on public spaces across L.A. — and even producing some from scratch...In a range of ways, Southern California is beginning to make up for neglecting its public realm for the bulk of the postwar era. — L.A. Times
With two park design competitions currently underway (linked below), Downtown L.A. is eager to boost its amount of green space. But will those ambitious plans pan out in a tricky cityscape? Christopher Hawthorne gives his two cents on the potential of each park.Previously on Archinect:Take a look...
The Hills on Governors Island will welcome visitors this summer — nearly a year ahead of schedule, it was announced last week — and add 10 acres of green space to the city, largely in the form of four artificial hills. Made of recycled construction debris and clean fill, the hills rise as high as 70 feet above the island...An unseasonably warm fall contributed to faster-than-expected construction times. — NextCity
[Botany professor Paloma Cariñanos] found it surprising that the design of these green spaces thought about landscaping, climate, and fashion criteria, but didn't think about pollen problems.
[She] says that in the future, urban green spaces 'will become 'comfort islands' inside 'urban heat islands.''...Cariñanos and her team stress that their research is a tool for planning and prevention. They hope that other cities will be able to use their methods to prevent high allergen levels. — phys.org
the place where cities get “remade” is in the public rather than private sphere. Part of the problem, then, with privately owned public spaces (“Pops”) ... is that the rights of the citizens using them are severely hemmed in. [...]
[Pops] feel too monitored, too controlled, to allow this communal activity to simply unfold. London, and many other cities, are failing miserably to enable diversity in people’s engagement with such spaces. — theguardian.com
In a new paper published Thursday, a team of researchers present a compelling case for why urban neighborhoods filled with trees are better for your physical health.
[...] they found that “having 10 more trees in a city block, on average, improves health perception in ways comparable to an increase in annual personal income of $10,000 and moving to a neighborhood with $10,000 higher median income or being 7 years younger.” — washingtonpost.com
For fans of the park, the gift from the Diller-von Furstenberg foundation represented more than the revival of Pier 54. It was a statement that Hudson River Park deserved to be in the same league as the city’s other signature, showy spaces. — The New York Times
"The public sector stopped making public space a long time ago," Los Angeles architect Jon Jerde told Wired magazine rather matter-of-factly in 1999. [...]
A little more than two decades later, there is something quaintly fatalistic about Jerde's attitude toward the frail state of public space. In Los Angeles, at least, it has returned pretty dramatically to health. — latimes.com
You can't see it now among the overgrown cart paths and weed-choked lagoons but a championship golf course will soon rise in City Park [...] City Park's long-awaited, oft-delayed $24.5 million golf complex finally broke ground and will one day be a boon for the local golf community. — NOLA.com
OMA and OLIN Studio have been selected to design the new 11th Street Bridge Park in Washington D.C. The competition was held as part of the 11th Street Bridge Park project initiative, which will transform an old freeway bridge into D.C.'s first elevated park. From the six shortlisted teams in phase one of the nationwide competition, and down to four finalists, OMA + OLIN won with their proposal, "Anacostia Crossing." — bustler.net
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