LPS Watch List: January 2015

Each month we bring you a roundup of landscape performance news worth sharing – the latest in research, tools, and innovative thinking related to the measurable environmental, social, and economic benefits of sustainable landscapes.

What Makes Nature Look Natural?

CITYLAB.COM | Jan 5, 2015
What are the particular properties of green settings that enhance our mental well-being? Understanding the visual elements that scan as “natural” could mean better design for built environments. More

Landscape Architecture in a Changing World

THEDIRT | Jan 6, 2015
What is the purpose of landscape architecture in the 21st century? Is it to beautify? To increase ecological health? To mitigate impacts of climate change? In Landscapes of Change: Innovative Designs and Reinvented Sites, author Roxi Thoren argues that contemporary works of landscape architecture must do all of these things. More

A Toolkit for Tracking the Outcomes of Community Gardens and Urban Farms

THENATUREOFCITIES | Jan 14, 2015
The toolkit is made up of sixteen different methods for collecting data about things like the number of pounds of food harvested or the number of children who develop a taste for fresh vegetables after hanging out at a neighborhood farm. More

AWE Releases Research Review on Outdoor Water Saving Programs

ALLIANCEFORWATEREFFICIENCY.ORG | Jan 15, 2015
This review of research on outdoor water use documented savings of 15-65% from specific measures such as conservation-oriented rates, xeriscape, or soil moisture sensors. More

System A and System B

BETTERCITIES.NET | Jan 19, 2015
Zoning reform and better street design are both needed to make System A – the walkable, mixed-use neighborhood; the best-performing system – the normal way of building communities. More

Should We Put a Price on Nature?

HIGHCOUNTRYNEWS | Jan 19, 2015
The scientific literature is strewn with ecosystem appraisals. Bats provide up to $50 billion annually by eating insects, etc. But do these astronomical figures help? Despite reservations, ecosystem services have graduated from a rhetorical device into a conservation tool. More

A 3-D Visualization Engine For Reimagining Cities

CO.EXIST | Jan 28, 2015
Drag and drop a bike lane here, a park there and create a more perfect urban landscape. CityEngine can run analytics to tell predict impact on traffic, “bike stress”, and various costs like the price to paint roads with a certain material. More

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