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"Readers' Choice" for 2012

The start of a new year would be incomplete without some reflection on the last. In 2012, LAF continued to grow its reach and expand the dialogue on sustainable landscape solutions, as evidenced right here on the LAF website. Below is a summary of that growth, complete with links to some of the compelling content you may have missed — a “Readers’ Choice” list, of sorts.

Compared to 2011, LAF’s overall website traffic has grown by 50%. International interest is up, with the proportion of international visits (those outside the U.S. and Canada) up from 18% in 2011 to 29% in 2012.

Traffic to the Landscape Performance Series increased substantially, with pageviews more than doubling and the number of unique visitors nearly tripling. The LPS Case Study Briefs continue to be the highlight of the series, and the five most-visited reflect the growing interest in global practice and international projects:

  1. Cheonggyecheon Stream Restoration Project in Seoul, Korea
  2. Uptown Normal Circle and Streetscape in Normal, Illinois
  3. Shanghai Houtan Park in Houtan, China
  4. Tianjin Qiaoyuan Park: The Adaptation Palettes in Tianjin, China
  5. Thomas Jefferson University Lubert Plaza in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Use of both the LPS Benefits Toolkit and Fast Fact Library is up, with the most popular searches being for tools related to stormwater management and Fast Facts on recreational and social value.

Our most-viewed blog articles were the guest posts from the 2011 and 2012 Olmsted Scholars. Here are the top five:

  1. The Los Angeles Riverscape: An Urban Estuary by Tina Chee, 2012 National Olmsted Scholar Finalist
  2. Transgressing the Grid by Alison Hirsch, 2011 National Olmsted Scholar Finalist
  3. A Landscape Architect in Coal Country by Marin Braco, 2012 National Olmsted Scholar Finalist
  4. Landscape Architects and the Microbrewery Renaissance by Lee Streitz, 2012 Olmsted Scholar´╗┐
  5. An Urban Farm in Downtown Orlando by Chris Merritt, 2011 Olmsted Scholar

Other popular blog content were the announcement of the 2012 Sustainable Destination Sweepstakes winner , the 2011 winner’s trip report from Crosswaters Ecolodge & Spa in Guangdong Province, China, and reflections from the 2012 Case Study Investigation (CSI) teams.

Happy reading, and remember to vote with your clicks to see what will be the most popular content in 2013!

LAF Receives NEA Art Works Grant for CSI

artworkslogo-f3kThe National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced today that the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) is one 38 national, regional, state, and local nonprofit organizations to receive an NEA Art Works grant in the Design category.

LAF is recommended for a $25,000 grant to support the Summer 2012 Case Study Investigation (CSI) program. CSI is a unique research collaboration that matches LAF-funded student-faculty research teams with leading practitioners to document the benefits of exemplary high-performing landscape projects. ´╗┐Ten research teams will participate in the Summer 2012, and the NEA grant will fund half of the $5,000 stipend paid to the student Research Assistant on each team.

“We are thrilled that NEA is investing in this research to show the environmental, economic, and social value of exemplary design,” said LAF Executive Director Barbara Deutsch, ASLA.

The NEA received 1,624 eligible applications for this round of Art Works funding. The 788 Art Works grants total $24.81 million and support the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and the strengthening of communities through the arts.´╗┐ Visit the NEA website for a complete listing of projects recommended for Art Works grant support.

LPS Wins Potomac/Maryland ASLA Honor Award

The Potomac and Maryland Chapters of the American Society of Landscape Architects presented LAF with a 2011 Honor Award for Communications for the Landscape Performance Series. Winners were recognized at the 18th Annual Awards Event and Reception held on April 15 in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

The awards were juried by the Alabama ASLA Chaper. Jurors offered the following comments on the LPS:

potomac-md-asla-honor-award-500w        “A wonderful creative, collaborative resource to begin to understand the implications and potential successes, well designed places and landscape can have.”

        “The LPS is a great tool for clients and prospective owners — as well as landscape architects — to use in making decisions about sustainable site development practices, using easily understood, tangible figures to support the claims of LEED and SITES. It’s earned a bookmark in my browser!”

Other award winner include: Michael Vergusen Landscape Architects, Ayers Saint Gross, Maryland National Captial Park and Planning, Mahan Rykiel Associates, Florence Everts Associates, Landscape Architecture Bureau, Graham Landscape Architecture, and Plusen Designs Landscape Architecture.

Congrats to all, and many thanks to the Executive, Banquet, and Awards Committees of the Potomac and Maryland Chapters for organizing a great event!

LAF Case Study Book Wins 2010 Great Places Award

The Environmental Design Research Association announced its 2010 Great Places Award winners, and recognized Greening Cities, Growing Communities: Learning from Seattle’s Urban Community Gardens with the award for a recently published book advancing the critical understanding of place and the design of exceptional environments. The book is the fifth in LAF’s Land and Community Design Case Study Series.

greeningcities

To celebrate this important achievement, LAF, along with the George Washington University Landscape Design Program and the Potomac Chapter and Maryland Chapter of ASLA, hosted authors Jeffrey Hou and Julie Johnson from the University of Washington and Laura Lawson from the University of Illinois for a lecture, reception, and book-signing event in Washington, DC on June 2, 2010.  The authors presented insights from their research to an engaged audience of over 50 landscape architects, community organizers, students, and community gardening enthusiasts. 

The book highlights community gardens in Seattle where there has been a strong network of knowledge and resources. The case studies reveal the capacity of urban gardens to address larger community issues, like food security, urban ecosystem health, sustainable design, active living and equity concerns. The authors also examine how landscape architecture, planning, and allied design professionals can better interact in the making of these unique urban open spaces.

More information and online ordering are available through the University of Washington Press.