For broken, derelict, and underutilized urban space, 2015 was a good year. In North American cities, including Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Toronto and elsewhere, landscape architects contributed to the ‘urban renaissance’ through excellent design, thoughtful urban planning, and prescient environmental management. Ambitious waterfront development projects are generating headlines and car-obsessed cities are developing pedestrian-centric solutions. This is an exciting period of connecting and rethinking; however, it is also marred by taking–specifically, the confiscation of open space held in the public trust, including parkland designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr. Here’s a look back at what happened and what’s worth following.
Toronto continues to impress with new additions to world-class development on its waterfront. In addition, a recently announced proposal to build a linear park beneath a portion of the Gardiner Expressway has been widely lauded, and Evergreen Brick Works aspires to “brand” the city’s network of ravines–The Ribbon at the Lower Don–in the tradition of Olmsted’s Emerald Necklace in Boston. […]