View More

Two New Tools for Planning a Healthy Urban Canopy

Trees are a vital part of urban communities, providing social, environmental, and economic benefits. However, the urban environment is a difficult one for most trees due to the added stresses of soil compaction and lack of available soil, among many other challenges. Once established, their success is often further complicated by infrastructure conflicts and maintenance... More

Urban Soil Assessment and Reuse 
Part 2: Soil Assessment Methods

This is the second of a two-part series about urban soil assessment and reuse. Read part 1 here. While the types of questions one might ask about urban soils are somewhat similar to the questions an agricultural soil scientist might ask about farm soils, the methods to get information is dramatically different. Urban soils are... More

Urban Soil Assessment and Reuse
Part 1: Soil Properties

A critical part of any landscape architect’s training is to learn how to understand the site conditions before starting the design. There is likely nothing more important than soil to the success of anything placed on it or planted into it. Urban sites, and thus urban soil, make up a large part of the work... More

A multi-pronged approach to stormwater management

As engineers and landscape architects working in the built environment, we are increasingly faced with retrofit situations that must work with and around a variety of existing conditions and constraints. As stormwater requirements increase, requiring more storage or larger footprints, we must think creatively to locate and design systems to fit into an already constrained... More

Episode 8: Seeing the forest and the trees

Today marks the eighth and final episode of season 1 of Remarkable Objects (sob). Since this podcast is all about the intersection of nature and the urban environment, I wanted to use this last episode to talk about engaging ordinary citizens to create a better urban forest. As much as policies and regulations shape our... More

An Introduction to Placemaking

Public space is more than just a pleasant amenity in our towns and cities, it is an important connection between our homes, businesses, institutions, and the rest of the world. It’s where we bump into each other and wave hello. It’s also where nearly half of violent crimes happen (Bureau of Justice Statistics), where people... More

Episode 7: People Habitat

I’ve been a fan of Kaid Benfield’s writing for years, so I was incredibly excited when he agreed to be interviewed on Remarkable Objects. I was first introduced to his work as a reader of “Switchboard,” the blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council. His posts stood out to me because of their conversational tone,... More

Key Concepts for Tree-Friendly Design

As a consulting arborist, I am often called upon to diagnose and help “sick” trees in a landscape. The primary cause of health problems for many of the trees I look at are related to impacts from a landscape renovation or home remodel. Despite best intentions, many bad things can happen to trees during development... More

The Restorative Power of Nature

Our surroundings have the power to shape our emotions, health, and well-being. We can feel this in our bodies – our tensions heighten while driving in city traffic, and relax while walking in a park – and research supports it, too. The lights, sounds, and colors of the environment in which we live and work... More
Undiscovered Country

Episode 6: Undiscovered Country

Soil is not something I spent a lot of time thinking about before starting to work for DeepRoot. But in that time, I’ve come to see and appreciate soil as an almost-magical substance. Soil is foundational to so many things: the biological processes of billions of organisms, carbon sequestration, plant life, and the built environment... More