Professional Practice News
Members of the Professional Practice Networks (PPNs) were recently surveyed about their favorite spaces. Responses were varied and had many insightful comments and suggestions, which will be shared and discussed with everyone here over the next few months.
This week we will focus on projects that are at risk of being lost.
When asked about these spaces, we received many varied answers. Here are a few places that were mentioned more than once:
• Glacier National Park, Montana
• The Grand Canyon, Arizona
• The National Mall, Washington, D.C.
But the theme that arose was a fear of losing types of spaces. Here are a few of the suggestions and comments.
“Once it is covered over with suburbia it can never be replaced.”
“Encourages sprawl versus compact development.”
Natural and Open Spaces
“This is the seed bank, the reproductive grounds of countless species, our lungs of the world.”
“Environmental loss, loss of visual quality, and impacts of sprawl development.”
“We need open space to recreate, unwind, and relax. We are too urbanized and are losing touch with our natural environment.”
“Climate change and animal habitat.”
“They take too long to regenerate and have the ecological cycle restored.”
“Functional ecosystems provide so many services for us all and the greater environment. When we lose these, we are diminishing the quality of our lives on a day to day basis whether we realize it or not.”
Coastlines and Beaches
“With global warming and rising sea levels I'm worried that the great beaches aren't going to be around for much longer.”
“This fragile point where land meets water is dynamic and limited.”
“We are losing it to development, rising sea level, and extreme storms. The views from the New England coastline are varied and beautiful...the variety of ecosystems that they provide is immeasurable.”
Forests and Woodlands
“In my opinion, today's children have no idea what it’s like to be in the wilderness and be able to physically feel the true effects of Mother Nature and our world. It's disappearing at an alarming rate.”
“Forests are where anyone can interact with the landscape in their own way without the intrusion of ‘programmed’ or overly designed spaces.”
“This is a space that belongs to everyone, but it is vulnerable to political lobbying. The organizations that try to protect the space are no match for paid lawyers and influential politicians. The loss would surrender the buffer to ugliness of sign clutter, box store exteriors, billboards, and limited access fencing.”
“They are national treasures; they show the wonderful diversity of landscapes we have in this nation. National parks hold rare species and precious ecosystems.”
“We can still learn a great deal about composition from the old masters. Often the connection to the original designer is lost to the current generation, and their ignorance can lead to losing these parks.”
“Because 80 percent of the population lives in urban areas, but many of those areas are experiencing serious budget shortfalls in ways that mean poor maintenance, park closures, or reduced programs. These enrich a lot of lives, when they are open and available to the public.”
Urban Green Space
“The human species needs green and respite. Urban areas need to protect those spaces for the ol' psyche.”
“These were part of a move to ‘green up’ cities and reconnect city dwellers with nature's systems and are being removed and radically redesigned throughout the United States. Preservation of some of these or part of these should occur so we do not completely lose these iconic spaces.”
“People need to experience nature [instead of] losing it to development. Nature is not just the National Park Service in the most remote areas left in the country; it used to be backyards and spaces between neighborhoods. I am only 29 but have experienced development’s destruction on connected open space too many times.”