The Designers Behind a Landscape Revolution

Rebecca Messner looks at the groundbreaking work being done by the present generation of landscape architects, and wonders why the only one most people can name died more than a century ago.

Of course, unable to shake his indelible impact, Messner begins her effort to raise the profile of the present generation of landscape architects by "geeking out" on Frederick Law Olmsted for several paragraphs.

With historical perspective out of the way, Messner turns her attention to today's urban parks, which "are changing the way people interact with cities, just as Olmsted's were." Paying particular attention to projects by Nelson Byrd Woltz, AECOM, and James Corner Field Operations, designers of the High Line, she finds that "suddenly, urban parks are cool again, and not in the way they've always been (It's springtime, let's have lunch in the park!) but in a way that makes the act of actually designing them look really impressive and hip."

Noting the love-hate relationship between the current crop of landscape architects and the ever-present shadow of Olmsted, Messner believes that "the more this new guard of landscape architects tries to distance themselves from Olmsted, the more, in the end, they resemble him."

Full Story: The new revolutionaries: Landscape architects reinvent urban parks

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 2012

Thinking about Grad School?

You need the essential resource for prospective planning students
Starting at $24.95
Book cover of Where Things Are from Near to Far

Where Things Are From Near to Far

This engaging children's book about planning illustrates that "every building has its place."
$19.95