April 10th, 2014 at the School of Design and Construction, Washington State University in Pullman, WA.
A Case Study for Quantitive Urban Ecosystem Design and Planning
United States Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles River Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study
Contested Territories in the Los Angeles River
For Contested Territories: Geopolitics, Media and Design in Southern California, DES-03601, Professor Alison B. Hirsch.
For many (both human and animal residents) I believe the main difference between the Army Corp's ARBOR study alternative 13 vs. 20 would likely be the amount of the actual concrete river channel is modified and "restored". Alternative 13 improves about ~3.2 miles (29%) of the 11 mile reach, where as alternative 20 improves ~6.4 miles (58%). The unacceptable condition of the existing river channel is largely why this study has been initiated and alternative 20 is a "best buy" option that improves more than half of this reach – twice as much as alternative 13. Improving the heart of the river, the channel itself, also has a substantial implications in terms of habitat connectivity (that are often hard to quantify vs. area calculations) and in terms of how people access and engage with the river restoration.
L.A. River Design Proposals that Can Handle the Floods
Though the designs are still theoretical, Robinson hopes the process LML had developed would find itself replicated in sites along the Los Angeles River, especially now that many key projects could be greenlit due to the ARBOR study. "We're going to have one chance to modify the river," said Robinson, "If we don't step up, it's going to be a tragedy."
"I'm not an ecologist. I'm a people person," said Alexander Robinson, director of the Landscape Morphologies Lab at the University of Southern California in a separate conversation. "But it's clear that we have to change the river itself, and we have to think about how that would affect generations of people who will live with the river and the ecological benefit of changing the river in the long-term. If we don't do this right, the river would continue to be this blight and that would be terrible."
Article by Carren Jao
We had a grand opening at the City Hall, including a great reception with the a multitude of fantastic speakers, including: Councilman Mitch O' Farrell who hosted the reception, ex-councilman Ed Reyes, Councilman Tom LaBonge, City Engineer Gary Lee Moore, Deborah Weintraub, Carol Armstrong, Director Bob Harris, USC Alumni Tina Chee, and myself with many other notable folks attending in the audience. The work in City Hall is up until Thursday next week.
The USC Landscape Architecture Program & Landscape Morphologies Lab Exhibits New Design Research on the LA River and the Los Angeles Region.
On the eve of a landmark decision from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on the future design and funding of its Los Angeles River Ecosystem Restoration Study, a new exhibition on view at Los Angeles City Hall Bridge Gallery through Aug. 29 showcases concepts and designs for the river, each hydraulically tested to respond to changing seasonal conditions.
Organized by Alexander Robinson, an assistant professor at the USC School of Architecture, and his Landscape Morphologies Lab, the exhibition is a collaboration with the City of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering’s Los Angeles River Project Office and the Department of Water and Power. The designs demonstrate how the river can effectively be designed for multiple uses while accommodating its complex infrastructure functions.
Using physical hydraulic modeling (complete with running water), graduate USC landscape architecture students developed new visions that are responsive to the river’s dynamic water flow conditions. Included in the exhibition are several 12-foot-long foam model river inserts and videos documenting the dynamic hydraulic tests.
Another facet of the exhibition details the USC School of Architecture’s commitment to developing sophisticated responses necessary to enrich our urban condition. It includes a selection of landscape architecture design studio projects for transforming challenging non-river related urban sites in various council districts across the city.
Under the direction of Robert Harris, Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, the accredited USC Landscape Architecture Program offers three curricula within its Master of Landscape Architecture degree. The focus of the program is landscape architecture as a natural and urban phenomenon that is integral to the quality of human experience, essential for reclaiming degraded places and cities throughout the world and necessary for sustaining nature. For more information, visit http://arch.usc.edu/programs/master-landscape-architecture
The exhibition is supported by the City of Los Angeles and the USC School of Architecture Graduate Program in Landscape Architecture.
The Bridge Gallery at Los Angeles City Hall is located in the walkway between City Hall and the City Hall Annex at 201 N. Main St. It is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.