Superstorm Sandy was perhaps the most significant event of the year, yielding headlines for landscape architects and the field's role in helping to mitigate future storms. Birnbaum calls out Kate Orff's "prescient 2010 proposal for mitigating storm surge in Brooklyn's Red Hook neighborhood (which was badly hit by Sandy) and Gowanus Bay" and landscape architect Susannah Drake's examination of the extent of New York's public housing located in flood zones, for particular praise.
Not all of the significant events in the field were Sandy-related. Several excellent new projects showed off the field's contributions to urban environments, including: Sugar Beach on the Lake Ontario waterfront in Toronto designed by Montreal-based Claude Cormier & Associés Inc., seven (!) projects at San Francisco's Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and Rios Clementi Hale's new Grand Park located in the heart of downtown Los Angeles.
As Alan Brake's recent editorial in The Architect's Newspaper noted, "[l]andscape architecture is gaining in public stature and it's because of entrepreneurial students at CCNY and elsewhere, practitioners like Kate Orff and Susannah Drake, organizations like the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy and the Presidio Trust, and many others that the profession and its practitioners are being recognized as leaders capable of integrating nature and culture to shape our future."