The Importance of Botanical Gardens

During the COVID-19 pandemic, public gardens like the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden have become very popular destinations, serving as places of respite and recreation for a weary public.

February 23, 2021, 11:00 AM PST

By clementkhlau @clementkhlau

Silk Floss Tree

Nick Pecker / Shutterstock

The 127-acre Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden is an arboretum, botanical garden, and historical site located in Arcadia, California. The facility is managed through a private-public collaboration between the Los Angeles Arboretum Foundation and the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation. The mission of the Arboretum is to cultivate its natural, horticultural and historic resources for learning, enjoyment and inspiration.

In this essay, writer Yxta Maya Murrary discusses her experiences and observations of the Arboretum which she and her husband became members of during the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, she adopts a new hobby of "therapeutic photography" and talks about her interesting run-ins with the peafowls which are commonplace at the Arboretum. According to the Arboretum's website, the species of peafowl at the Arboretum are Indian Peafowl which are members of the pheasant family. The species is named Pavo cristatus with cristatus referring to the peafowls’ crest. The male birds are called peacocks, the female birds are peahens, and the offspring are peachicks. Although the term “peacock” is often used when referring to the species as a whole, the collective term for both genders is peafowl.   

Wednesday, February 17, 2021 in Zocalo Public Square


The Surprising Oil Tax in the Inflation Reduction Act

President Biden has made reducing gas prices paramount in his administration, so it was likely a surprise to hear a Republican senator last Sunday warn TV viewers that a revived and increased oil fee in the climate bill will increase their gas costs.

August 15, 2022 - Bloomberg News

People gather on a street with no cars during the L.E.A.F. Festival of Flowers in the Meatpacking District of New York City.

The Tide Has Turned Against Open Streets

Once a promising development for advocates pushing for a less car-centric future in cities, the open streets movement has ceded significant ground to cars since the height of the pandemic.

August 14, 2022 - The New York Times

Aerial view of downtown San Antonio with Tower Life Building in foreground

San Antonio Office Tower To Become Residential

With the building more than half vacant, the new owners of the Tower Life Building plan to convert the historic tower into residences that could include affordable housing.

August 15, 2022 - San Antonio Report

Colorado River

Department of the Interior Forced to Intervene on the Colorado River

More questions than answers on the Colorado River this week as the federal government failed to deliver on threats to force Southwest states to cut back on water use.

August 19 - High Country News

For Rent

Explaining Rent Inflation

The delayed effects of changes in rent costs make rent inflation a difficult figure to pin down.

August 19 - The Atlantic

Two cyclists on a paved bike trail through short grass with Dallas buildings in background

Dallas Names 66-Mile Bike and Walking Trail

When complete, the newly named DFW Discovery Trail will incorporate 50 miles of existing trails into a regional ‘super highway.’

August 19 - The Dallas Morning News

Transportation Planner, Planning Division

San Francisco County Transportation Authority

Product Manager

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension

Assistant or Associate Professor of Urban Design

Harvard University Graduate School of Design

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.