Category : Landscape Architecture

The Impact Placemaking can have on a College Campus

The process of “placemaking,” a concept that for half a century has been more common to the public realm, can help transform private campuses and campus life.

Maple trees loom large in the history of Simpson College, and in the icons and narratives created to celebrate it.…

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Branding our Parks System

Creating a Competitive Edge – with a Coordinated Parks Graphic System –

Our park systems have a multitude of competitors vying for their user’s eye and attention. Between man-made destination water parks, to indoor digital driving ranges, to digital devices which encourage park users to look more at their phone than their surroundings, our parks and park systems are in need of attention.…

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How Communities can benefit from Greenways

Long and linear, greenways are grassy or vegetated areas that can be created and cultivated or reclaimed and improved for public recreation use. Unlike a typical park, greenway trails are designed to get people somewhere, so they may connect parks, link communities or even create a regional or statewide network for non-motoroized transportation.…

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Farming the Gold of Design Residency 2015

Our 2015 Design Residency topic focused on “Urban Alchemy.” We wanted to identify how cities can combine existing and proposed urban elements and spin them into social, economic, and environmental gold. We engaged ten of the top collegiate students from across the Midwest in our design residency process, and challenged them to address a loosely-bounded district in downtown Des Moines near the riverfront that included 24-acres of proposed “re-invigoration” projects.…

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Therapeutic Gardens in Healthcare Design

For years, it’s been known that the simple act of viewing or visiting a safe landscape is beneficial to our health. It’s why corporations value the “corner office” and why picture windows became a staple in our homes; viewing landscapes makes us feel better. …

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Natural Playscapes: Healthy Childhood Development through Exploratory Play

“They splash for slithering tadpoles, tip-toe to observe butterflies, and set up mini-track and field for beetles in the sand,” says Naturalist Lew Major. “They learn things about themselves that they don’t even know they’re learning and learn in ways traditional schools aren’t teaching.”   Major animatedly refers to the children experiencing the Jester Park Natural Playscape in Polk County, Iowa, USA.…

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FIVE Sustainable Site Practices:

Through integrated best management practices, we are striving to incorporate measures that reduce the amount of runoff and improve the water quality of every site. There are site and design practices that can assist in creating a more sustainable, regenerative environment, while utilizing a natural systems approach – one that mimicking the ecological systems of the tall grass prairie.…

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Ecological Design in Early Childhood Centers

Children do not simply grow, but evolve from nature into culture; therefore ecology should form the basis of design for both indoor and outdoor spaces in early child education centers. Through interaction with the natural environment, children become active participants in their own development.…

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