The following excerpt comes from the upcoming “Designing Places for People and the Environment: Lessons from 55 Years as an Urban Planner and Shaping the Global Landscape Architectural Practice of the SWA Group,” by former SWA CEO Kalvin Platt, published by ORO Editions. Do you agree with Kalvin’s estimation of the profession? Comments are most… Read more »


Honestly, part of the reason I volunteered to help the Institute of Outdoor Theatre develop a guide for aspiring outdoor performance organizations was filial duty—my Dad works there, and he needed a landscape architect’s contribution. The other was that we use amphitheaters as a ubiquitous public space typology—with the implied ‘if you build it, they… Read more »


At the turn of the 20th century, only ten percent of the world’s population resided in cities; today, that number has grown to nearly fifty percent. Paul Romer, Director of the Marron Institute at NYU, projects that “in 100 years, there will be about five billion more urban residents in the evolving world than there… Read more »


The first time I heard the phrase “civic-scale landscape” was about 25 years ago, when I was working with a colleague on a large-scale landscape/urban design project in Anaheim, California. She actually said, “What this project needs is a landscape with a civic scale.” Which is not exactly the same as “civic-scale landscape,” but her… Read more »

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Corners without curb cuts Broken sidewalks Ficus tree sidewalk upheaval Poorly signaled traffic lights Cars in driveways blocking sidewalk Fallen trees across sidewalk Sidewalks closed indefinitely for construction Mysterious deep puddles (it hasn’t rained in months) City parking lot without elevator or pedestrian ramp Sprinklers watering sidewalk Drivers turning right without yielding to pedestrians Lack… Read more »

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Bill Tatham, from the Sausalito office, was assisting with the student program in Los Angeles last week when he snapped this iconic image. And while there are many standout attractions in LA, Dodger Stadium is truly in a league of its own. Even those who are not baseball fanatics will appreciate the sensual qualities of… Read more »