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Posted by on Nov 17, 2014 in Fresh Trends |

Latest News in Landscape Architecture

Latest News in Landscape Architecture


In this week’s Latest News in Landscape Architecture, we showcase a leading mature food forest in the UK, discuss how Europe’s cycling culture has contributed to significant job creation, and share a few exciting projects in Miami Beach and Chicago.

(Click the headline for the full story)

The Sunshine State is the recipient of a $500 million renovation of the Miami Beach Convention Center led by Fentress Architects (architecture), Arquitectonica (facade), and West 8 (landscape architecture). Although plans were submitted by Rem Koolhaus and BIG, the design review board chose to scrap Rem’s initial winning design. What we’re left with is a 12-acre swath of open space, which features the unique flora of South Beach, allowing for flexible space. Additionally, the Park Pavilion links to the 3.5-acre park and a veterans memorial, while providing indoor/outdoor dining areas. Even though the park isn’t scheduled to open until 2018, the convention center is slated to begin construction in December 2015.

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WATCH: A Past Concept By BIG (check out the animation!)

It’s no surprise that Europe is a thriving cycling haven. Copenhagen and Groningen have bike mode shares of 37 percent and 55 percent respectively. However, up until now we weren’t fully aware of the effect cycling has had on job creation. In a study commissioned by the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF), cycling has created 655,000 jobs. That’s more than mining and quarrying, and almost twice as much as the steel industry! “Now we can show clearly that every cycle lane you build and every new cyclist you create is contributing to job growth,” says Kevin Mayne, development director at the ECF.

Explore Can Copenhagen Become The Best Cycling City in the World?

In a rare opportunity, the author of Permaculture Garden (Graham Bell) sat down with Permaculture Magazine to discuss how he and his wife developed a food forest. Twenty-five years later, it’s transformed into a mature food forest, which serves as one of the premier examples of permaculture done well.

Interested in reading more about permaculture? Check out The Essential Guide.

WATCH: Visit Britain’s Oldest Forest Garden

Held in conjunction with the City of Vancouver and the University of British Columbia’s School of Architecture and Landscape, the Architecture for Humanity Vancouver Chapter has announced the winners of an “open call for design solutions to high-magnitude earthquake and tsunami events.” The first-place prizes were awarded to Yoshihiro Kaneko (Tokyo, Japan) for Revive the Moat (emerging designers category) and Grant C. LaBossiere, Joseph G. Orobia (Winnipeg, Canada) for Eco-Fort (design professionals category).

While buzzwords such as smart cities, resiliency, and green infrastructure have emerged on the scene, perhaps artificial intelligence could play one of the largest roles in the advancement of cities. From construction, transportation, and infrastructure, artificial intelligence robots are forecasted to take on human qualities by 2040 and begin patrolling cities, according to Noel Sharkey, professor of artificial intelligence and robotics at the University of Sheffield.

Drop testing, fall heights, playground protective surfacing — these terms are still quite nascent in the grand history of play. Yet, as playgrounds “supposedly” become safer, the risk has been designed out. According to landscape architect Sharon Danks, “By designing risk out of standard playground equipment, conventional playgrounds are not only under-stimulating, but ironically also more dangerous.” One of the few remaining adventure playgrounds in the United States is located in Berkeley, CA, which was born out of the concept first envisioned by Danish landscape architect Søren Carl Theodor Marius Sørensen.

The Windy City is anxiously awaiting the soft opening of its newest public park. While the initial intent was to complete the first phase by the fall of 2014, recent photos deem this rather ambitious. Nevertheless, the exciting aspect is its unique collection of amenities, including a climbing wall, ice skating ribbon, play garden, and tons of open space — all worth the wait! Click the link to view a neat infographic, which demonstrates how the park is being transformed.

WATCH: Maggie Daley Park Play Pyramid Installation

If you’re interested in reading more about contemporary public parks, check out:

Starting Friday, Nov. 21, I’ll be live tweeting from the ASLA Annual Meeting & EXPO in Denver. Follow me.

We hope you enjoyed this week’s landscape architecture news. For all of the hottest news, continue to follow us on Facebook  and Twitter. Have news to share? Send to

News report by Brett Lezon

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