Grass

Close-up of roll of green artificial turf laying on more artificial turf.

Fossil Fuel-Based Artificial Turf Raises Concerns

Cities and states are rolling back support for artificial turf, which can leach chemicals and microplastics into groundwater.

April 9, 2024 - Route Fifty

Drought tolerant desert plants including large agaves in the front yard of a Spanish-style Southern California home with red tile roof.

California Agency Awards $38 Million for Turf Replacement

The grant funds grass replacement rebates for commercial and residential properties and water-saving devices for fire stations.

November 16, 2023 - Governing

Aurora, Colorado

Aurora Restricts ‘Cool Weather Turf’ For New Development

Drought is reshaping western U.S. landscapes. Las Vegas banned ornamental grass in 2021. Aurora is now the first municipality in Colorado to curb the use of some grasses in new developments.

August 14, 2022 - The Denver Gazette

Lawns and Suburban Homes

The Rise of Artificial Turf

Once scratchy and unrealistic, artificial grass has come a long way. Now, it’s quickly becoming a popular lawn replacement as droughts and climate change make traditional lawns harder to maintain.

July 19, 2022 - Bloomberg CityLab

Drought Tolerant Landscape

How To: Drought-Resistant Gardening

Curbed surveyed landscape architects specializing in drought-resistant lawns for their best "tips and tricks."

October 25, 2016 - Curbed

Grass Grift

L. A. company Turf Terminators promised low impact lawns in exchange for city rebates, but delivered shoddy work and hot rocks.

October 13, 2016 - Bloomberg

Coaxed by Cities, Southwest U.S. Homeowners Say Goodbye to Grass

With strained water supplies a growing problem throughout the Southwestern U.S., cities from Austin to Los Angeles are using carrots and sticks to coax homeowners into adopting drought-resistant landscapes. Not all are pleased to see the grass go.

August 14, 2013 - The New York Times

Sound Walls Made From Grass

The Ohio Department of Transportation is experimenting with "green noise walls" instead of the standard eyesore, using bags of soil sprouting greenery as an alternative to concrete.

July 19, 2010 - The Cleveland Plain Dealer

New Research: Lawns Aren't Green

Lawns - long known to be the main culprit in urban water consumption, now can be blamed for another environmental woe - greenhouse gas producer in excess of whatever carbon it 'sinks'. The gas is nitrous oxide - 300 times more potent than CO2.

January 21, 2010 - University of California @Irvine Press Office

Cities Facing Turf Questions

Water saver or environmental hazard? Questions are compounding about artificial turf as more homeowners ditch their grass for fake lawns. Contradicting city policies muddy the issue in the arid Southwest.

September 4, 2009 - Miller-McCune

Turf Troubles

When mandatory water conservation rules took effect in Glendale, California, homeowner David Wood installed artificial turf to maintain the green front yard emblematic of the American Dream. But his new fake lawn is against the law.

August 9, 2009 - Glendale News Press

Lose Lawn, Gain Money

Cities in the Southwest are drying up. With less water to go around, water-intensive plantings like vast lawns are becoming an environmental faux pas. Now some cities are compensating residents for getting rid of them.

July 21, 2009 - GreenBiz

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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.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.