February 13, 2015 at 11:49 pm #152103
Does anyone else think that all these artificial landscapes (High Line, Vertical landscapes, Planter boxes, etc….) are high maintenance, expensive, resource depleting, and non-sustainable?
I’m not sure that all this demand on resources is responsible. Maybe schools are not encouraging stewardship of the earth anymore….
Just asking…..Please don’t be bent over an observation/opinion….after all opinions are like elbows, everyone has two.February 20, 2015 at 10:19 pm #152117
Mark Di LucidoParticipant
Many tweets of late from the ASLA Twitter feed have included the graphic below. Sustainability aside, I don’t think this adds any visual quality to the building and if this is the strongest graphic/LA concept they can present to the world, I’m disappointed. BTW, not everyone has two elbows but we all have one ***hole–I like that version of the adage better.February 21, 2015 at 3:02 am #152116
Thanks for posting Mark.
It does look a bit lame to me too…
Is this supposed to be an example of good design?February 21, 2015 at 9:41 am #152115
Well not all type of artificial landscape is bad.February 21, 2015 at 5:42 pm #152114
The primary maintenance is skilled labor. And we need jobs for people (with th rate of human population growth and automation we face a growing problem of What are people supposed to do to support themselves?) So greening sites and as a result creating employment opportunities seems eminently sustainable to me. If we are to have plantlife then the same water will be needed no matter how we do it or where the soil is located. So what resource is being depleted?
The Highline has provided needed green space, so I can’t help but think in an urban setting it is a savvy solution. Some purely decorative greenwalls may be considered superfluous and using resources for little return. But some insist that greenery in an urban landscape is all good.February 21, 2015 at 9:05 pm #152113
Some is good…that was not my point.
Make work projects are not my idea of something sustainable.
When other peoples money runs out, then what?
Who will maintain it when the city goes broke?February 22, 2015 at 4:12 pm #152112
Well I was not thinking of it as “make work”, simply recognizing what the actual resource required is (labor). The argument “Who will maintain it when the city goes broke?” applies to everything, doesn’t it? New construction? Extended subway line? Streets? It cannot be a reason not to create green space.What are the alternatives? Hardscape for recreation or no space for recreation?February 22, 2015 at 5:12 pm #152111
The Government will rescue us……
Labor intensive maintenance still does not sound very practical to me, which was my original point.February 22, 2015 at 7:11 pm #152110
Some is good…that was not my point.
Which are good and why?
You appear to be making a point of some sort rather than posing a question. What then is your point?
The Government will rescue us……
Your statement, not mine. Whether the cost of maintenance is born by Government (is that something other than the Public?) or a public/private cooperative arrangement or some wildly generous corporation, the question I raise is this: if walkable cities are a sustainable approach and if green spaces are necessary for livability, then how does one provide sustainable green spaces that require no input of resources? (I ask again)
One beauty of the High Line is that it takes up no land that would otherwise be used for development. It adds green to the in-between spaces.February 22, 2015 at 11:02 pm #152109
See comment above ….
Where I stated my point.February 25, 2015 at 10:53 pm #152108
High Line (and Brookyln Bridge Park for that matter) seems to have an excessive cost attached to maintenance in comparison to others in the city. vertical landscapes still haven’t seem to have gotten to a point where there’s a good return on investment. I suppose schools often encourage pushing the boundaries and hence the discussion of some of these projects (though I will say the High Line competition entries were studied more in our program rather than the built work).
As long as the ‘sexy’ projects get private funding why not? HL helped raise property tax revenue after all.February 27, 2015 at 11:31 am #152107
As landscape architects we all know that the ‘site’ often extends beyond the boundaries drawn on a plan, so when you consider The High Line in the context of lower Manhattan, I think it’s had a tremendous return on investment! Even more so when you consider the project in relation to the special West Chelsea planning controls, air rights, etc. that have arisen out of the HL’s redevelopment..
The HL is much more than ‘sexy’, it reinstates landscape as a fundamental building block of the city..February 27, 2015 at 12:50 pm #152106
Andrew Garulay, RLAParticipant
I think Alan is right that these are high maintenance and not “sustainable”. I don’t think he expressed an opinion on whether there is something wrong with that or not.
We are so brain washed and hypersensitive about “sustainability” these days that it is like walking on egg shells to design, build, or even appreciate something that is not out straight out of the eco-warrior design handbook?
We are also compelled to come up with every kind of BS reasoning to declare anything we design, build, or appreciate to have wonderful “sustainable” qualities.
Why can’t we just honestly recognize that we have human cultural values as well as ecological values? Sometimes one (or the other) is far away from the other.
I don’t want to live in a world devoid awesome interesting things, nor do I want to live in a world with an environment that is ravaged by such things.
We can and do have both. Put the Kool-Aide down and enjoy aesthetics in moderation with a guilt free conscience. It’s OK, really, it is.February 28, 2015 at 12:15 am #152105
Very well said Andrew….I always enjoy your input.March 14, 2015 at 3:37 am #152104
I understand many of the points presented here.
From Alan’s point of view – there are many designs being touted as ‘sustainable’ when in reality they man not be so. Instead, they appear to and may actually have certain ‘sustainable’ features, but as a whole may be very resource intensive. From my limited understanding of how High Line was constructed and how it is maintained, it seems to fit this description.
As Andrew points out – it is somewhat trendy to have something you can sell as ‘sustainable’ in a design. But it might not always be truly as such. There certainly is value in aesthetic design from the standpoint that it provides spiritual or emotional value to the humans that partake in a good design.
In response to Rob’s points, utilizing water in itself is a resource intensive act. Labor input is also resource intensive and expensive in the long run.
My opinon? I believe there is a happy medium between all of this. I am of the mindset that we are in a resource-limited world, and we should start acting accordingly. However, this does not mean that design aesthetics have to fly out the window, or that we need to tack the word ‘sustainable’ onto every design. Instead, an ecologically sound mindset should be at the core of what we do. From that point, we can use our aesthetic and artistic capabilites to create systems that are low resource intensive, attractive, and ecologically sound.
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