Archive | Urban Landscaping

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 […]

Continue Reading

The Spicket River Greenway: Habitat Creation at Manchester Street Park

by Brad Buschur The City of Lawrence, MA, has three very distinct rivers flowing through its boundaries. The wide Merrimack River flows through the heart of Lawrence’s Mill districts. The Shawsheen River flows northward through a small river floodplain forest. The Spicket River has been engineered to flow through residential neighborhoods, and the process of […]

Continue Reading

Greening the Greenway

by Stu Shilaber The Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway is Boston’s only organically maintained public park and one of a handful of organically maintained urban parks in the United States. The Greenway was built atop the main north/south tunnel of the Central Artery by the State of Massachusetts, which replaced a 1950s era elevated highway in […]

Continue Reading

Site Considerations When Reclaiming Previously Developed Land

by Anja Ryan Throughout New England’s cities and towns there are many uncovered opportunities to reclaim previously developed land. Forgotten over the years, old railroad beds, burned-out mill foundations, and vacant lots have become overgrown with successive vegetation, been vandalized, and used as dumping grounds. Sometimes structures remain, beckoning us from a not so distant […]

Continue Reading

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…)

Continue Reading

Establishing Resilient Urban Landscapes Using Native Plants

by Claudia West Imagine yourself strolling along a typical metropolitan street. What vegetative characteristics might you experience? Are window boxes and containers bursting with seasonal color? Do low growing sedges tickle your ankles as you walk past a lushly planted tree pit? Are you enticed to run your fingertips through the Panicum seed heads as […]

Continue Reading

Quantifying Sustainability: Santa Monica’s “Garden/Garden” Project

by Owen Dell Amid a sea of talk about the benefits of sustainable landscaping, there is precious little information to prove that it actually makes sense, environmentally or economically. Landscape professionals have long operated on a hunch that sustainable landscapes save water, reduce labor, minimize fossil fuel use, and offer other benefits over conventional turf-and-flowerbed […]

Continue Reading