Archive | Sustainability

The Green Alley, the Water Table, and the Ostrich

by Heather Heimarck Boston Architectural College’s “Green Alley” was built with the intention of creating a replicable model that would ameliorate negative environmental impacts caused by urban streets and high building density. Cities lack porous surfaces to return stormwater into the ground due to road, rooftops and sidewalks built with non-absorptive or impervious surfaces. The […]

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LandscapePerformance.org: Resources to Demonstrate Impact

by Heather Whitlow The Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) is pleased to announce the launch of its new LandscapePerformance.org website. With 90 Case Study Briefs, over 100 Fast Facts, and dozens of Benefits Toolkit calculators, LandscapePerformance.org is sure to become your go-to place to find design precedents, show value, and make the case for sustainable landscape […]

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Forget the Debate! Let’s Get on with Planting Resiliency

by Kevin Staso If you listen to nightly news reports or read articles in Nature, The Journal of Ecology or The American Meteorological Society, the frequency and severity of drought in the United States seems unavoidable, despite being more predictable. Headlines like “Drought Monitor shows record-breaking expanse of drought across United States” from 2012 and […]

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Soil as Carbon Storehouse: New Weapon in Climate Fight?

This article first appeared in Yale Environment 360.  by Judith D. Schwartz In the 19th century, as land-hungry pioneers steered their wagon trains westward across the United States, they encountered a vast landscape of towering grasses that nurtured deep, fertile soils. Today, just three percent of North America’s tallgrass prairie remains. Its disappearance has had a dramatic impact […]

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Conserving Soil with Grow Bags

by John Kinchla Amherst Nurseries grows trees and shrubs on approximately 100 acres of land on farms in Amherst, MA and Charlemont, MA. As the nursery owner, I try to produce plants that are as environmentally friendly as possible by reducing the use of pesticides, using drip irrigation, and growing in field soil (which uses […]

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Transition to Sustainability at Kent Hospital, Warwick, Rhode Island

by Nick Novick Beginning about ten years ago, a significant portion of the landscape around Kent Hospital has been transformed from the common template of mostly maintenance-intensive lawn and beds of shrubs and annuals to a more sustainable model comprising stormwater retention, mostly native plants, and designs that are more self-sustaining. (more…)

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Piloting the Sustainable Sites Initiative™

by CeCe Haydock The Sustainable Sites Initiative™, or SITES™ for short, was born from a need for a nationwide, voluntary rating system for landscape construction. The collaborative effort involved forty groups, with the Lady Bird Johnson Wildlife Center, the American Society of Landscape Architects, and the U.S. Botanic Garden as lead partners, and the rating […]

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Planning for Resilient and Sustainable Communities

by Jack Ahern An original method for planning resilient and sustainable cities is presented here. The method builds on established planning methods and models. The method has five themes: (1) goal-oriented and exosystem-services-based, (2) strategic, (3) scenario-driven, (4) transdisciplinary, and (5) adaptive. Each of these five themes is discussed in the following sections. (more…)

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