Relational Water Landscapes

From drought to deluge, survival to decadence, water is shaping our cities and landscapes

Development Feature International Landscape Architecture Sustainability Urbanism
SCAPE's plan to revitalize Lexington, Kentucky using a long-buried creek. See 'Lexington's Groundwater' below. (Courtesy SCAPE Landscape Architecture)
SCAPE's plan to revitalize Lexington, Kentucky using a long-buried creek. See 'Lexington's Groundwater' below. (Courtesy SCAPE Landscape Architecture)

For landscape architects today, urbanism and water go hand in hand. Whether dealing with issues of sea level rise, groundwater retention, or just plain old water supply infrastructure, landscape architects are working with scientists, engineers, and policy makers on increasingly bigger projects that encompass more external factors and larger networks of physical, biological, environmental, and political networks. We examine some of these water landscapes and how they relate to each other in the broader context of how resources and climate-related changes are being managed.

Architect's Newspaper October Landscape Architecture and Water Issue

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To put these projects in perspective, we have positioned them on a grid: The x-axis runs from “not enough” to “too much” water and the y-axis posits these projects as either being rooted in necessity or decadence. Within this grid, we found a surprising variety of combinations.

Here we’ve posted all our water-related articles from this issue. Enjoy!

Feature Stories

Alaska’s Relocation — One remote Alaska city is seeking $200 million to flee the rising sea

Lexington’s Groundwater — SCAPE turns Lexington, Kentucky’s long-buried water into an asset

L.A.’s River — L.A. River revitalization takes center stage in public eye (and real estate development)

Istanbul’s New Islands — A coterie of artificial islands and high-rises planned to rise near Istanbul

Miami’s Flooding — Miami battles rising floodwaters even as development booms

Chicago’s Runoff — Chicago digs deep to fight flooding, but the city’s geology may provide another solution

Waco’s Water Grid — Texas planners envision a county-wide “grid” to provide clean water during droughts

China’s Archipelago — This master plan calls for a brand new city to alleviate China’s water issues

UrbanLab is combining water infrastructure with architecture to reimagine how cities work

L.A.’s Reservoir — What will Angelenos do with a decommissioned, 45-foot-deep reservoir?

Milwaukee’s Harbor — Studio Gang’s research-based approach to ecological design rethinks the shape of urban waterfronts

Massachusett’s Ports — The plan to combine fishing, tourism, and the waterfront to invigorate a New England city

Wisconsin’s Lake Straw — A controversial decision will allow a Wisconsin city to draw water out of Lake Michigan

Water-Related News (also from the October issue)

A new proposal would turn a stagnant abandoned Chicago waterway into a community amenity

Seattle’s waterfront transformation by James Corner Field Operations prepares to break ground this year

Chicago and Philadelphia–based PORT Urbanism wants to redesign your city

“Landscape as Necessity” conference aims to broaden the role of landscape architects

Has “resiliency” been hijacked to justify and promote development?

This landscape architecture firm is bringing Dutch water expertise to the U.S.

Detroit engages with its community to solve its raw sewage and storm water problem

A team of landscape architects, geneticists, and bioinformaticians are trawling the Gowanus Canal for science

One landscape architect’s plan to fuse Dallas–Fort Worth’s waterways with urban growth

Landscape architects face crossroads to address shrinking ecological resources

A grassroots organization starts an environmental movement in Iowa City

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