One of the biggest hurdles faced by communities recovering from a flood is that the community itself needs to come together, become more involved and develop new partnerships to move forward with recovery. As landscape architects who work for government agencies on behalf of a community to restore devastated amenities and facilities, we see how quickly plans with the best intentions can be derailed solely based on the process used to develop them.
Many plans need to be driven by the engineer or Town in order to meet funding, permitting and requirements. With a community driven project, the people themselves set the priorities and endorse action as it moves forward over the years of reconstruction and recovery. This presentation centers on how true collaboration between landscape architects and engineers can provide a better outcome that balances the social needs of a community with the technical needs of a floodplain.
The City of Los Angeles has grown from urban sprawl, and evidentially inherent pockets of under-utilized, un-planned, or mis-used voids throughout the City. Setting up a kit of parts for reinvigorating/regenerating these spaces, this research attempts to inform and formulate different design strategies in approaching these urban voids. Whether the spaces can be enhanced in social connectivity, or improved in ecological performance, the study showcases a closer look in-between, and aim to enrich the potential growth of Los Angeles.
Innovators look towards natural ecology as a source for inspiration in the urban environment. As designers, we are attempting to identify connections between biomimicry, inspiration from nature, ecological design principles and biophilia, human beneficial connection, and love of nature. The aim is to establish a relationship between ecological principles of landscape configuration and biophilic patterns currently existing in urban areas.
Focusing on existing public parks and plazas within five European cities, patterns of biophilia were correlated against landscape configuration characteristics and principal components were extracted. Statistical analysis attempts to explain the identified relationships between public spaces and natural patterns, as well as conditions which are conducive to both human and biological life, biophilic patterns, and cultural appreciation for nature. The comparison: 1) illustrate how natural features are visually, physically, and spatially portrayed in the current built environment and 2) promote integration of natural ecosystems into urban culture.
Visual social media such as Instagram and Twitter have the potential to offer more than a chronicle of our everyday lives. They allow landscape architects to reach into a vast storehouse of visual information and extract valuable information about the general public's shared landscape experiences. An ability to collect and analyze this information can give landscape architects, urban planners, and researchers insight into how snapshots reveal individual preferences and interpretations of the built environment.
This presentation will take the practitioner on a technological journey through the Instagram API Console and its potential when applied to a real site in an attempt to answer if this type of Big Data can be used to find hidden patterns and commonalities in the landscape. Webinar participants will learn how to use Twitter’s “Streaming API” to build their own tool for site analysis, post-occupancy evaluation, and design research.
Play environments encourage physical activity, socialization, and provide opportunities to get outside. However, many of these environments in the United States have become increasingly homogenized and safe as play regulations and insurance requirements respond to societal concerns over children’s risk and safety. Play environments in countries with a higher tolerance of risk often offer more dynamic and interesting play models.
Over a 6-month period in London, we visited 45 playgrounds and assessed 16, collecting data on user gender, age, ethnicity, and activity levels. By comparing playgrounds of similar size (.25-.75 acres) and population density (50,000-175,000 people in 1-mile radius) in London to those in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York, we discovered that environments with fewer “off the shelf” components with more unique design elements and play surfaces, had 55% more visitors and 16-18% higher moderate to vigorous physical activity in children and teens.