“Landscape architecture is basically the planning and design of space under the sky.”

James Corner: Urban Dreamscaper TIME Magazine interviews landscape architect James Corner on the power of public space and quality urban design.  He defines our profession: “Landscape architecture is basically the planning and design of space under the sky.”

In Progress: Urban Infill Residential on Wilmington Ave; Salt Lake City, UT

Here at VODA, we’re big believers in the value of urban infill. For many reasons property in established neighborhoods can become available, or a community may decide that there are better uses for things such as parking lots, industrial areas, or underdeveloped land.  We’ve been working for CityBlock lately to assist with the development of[…]

How a library can transform Main Street

Here’s a great article from today’s Salt Lake Tribune on the effect moving to Magna’s Historic Main Street has had on the Magna Branch of the Salt Lake County Library.   VODA staff worked on the conceptual landscape and site planning for the library a few years ago. More info on that project here. Magna’s Main[…]

Sustainability means a Local, Living Economy

Everyone seems to be talking about “sustainability” and how communities can become more sustainable. Sustainability is NOT just about solar panels and recycling, its also about social and economic sustainability.  The video below showcases Bellingham, Washington as one of the country’s most sustainable communities, thanks to its “local, living economy.”  With a majority of the[…]

APA Utah Urban Agriculture Presentation

VODA presented the latest planning issues related to urban agriculture today to the membership of the Utah Chapter of the American Planning Association on Monday, August 8, 2011 along with staff planners from CRSA, Kelly Gillman and Susie Petheram. Below is additional information from the presentation for those interested in how agriculture must play a[…]

Salt Lake City Community Food Assessment

VODA is excited to announce that we’ve been selected to develop a community food assessment for Salt Lake City. We are teaming with Robin Carbaugh, of Carbaugh Associates, and Scott Murray, of Murray Farms to analyze the food systems of Salt Lake City, including all producers, processors, distributors, and consumers of food within a 200[…]

New UTA TRAX Light Rail Lines Opening This Weekend

Salt Lake’s TRAX light rail system will be expanding significantly this weekend with the opening of two new lines to West Valley City and South Jordan.  Its been more than ten years since the first sliver of TRAX opened, connecting Sandy and downtown Salt Lake City, and ridership and public support is higher than ever. […]

Design Your Neighborhood for Living (not driving).

For 50 years America has been conducting an experiment in urban planning–designing all of our cities around the needs of automobiles. Lots of “free” parking, lots of highways, and lots of fuel subsidies to keep cars fed.  I think we can all agree that this experiment is coming to an end, and nearly every community[…]

Salt Lake County Economic Development Best Practices; Salt Lake City, UT

VODA worked with LYRB and Salt Lake County planning and economic development staff to create  a new “Best Practice” document to guide future economic development in the region. This document was added to the Best Practices document developed in 2008 by VODA, CRSA, and others for inclusion in Salt Lake County’s Township General Plans. The Economic Development Best Practice focuses on specific funding mechanisms that will best assist local governments in ensuring development is guided and sustainable.   In 2010 the Township General Plans were awarded a “plan development” award by the Utah Chapter of the American Planning Association.

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Cities + Parks =Economic Development

Cities are made livable by their parks and open spaces. Known as one of the densest cities in the world, New York City is famed for its grand Central Park, which is skirted by some of the most expensive real estate on the planet.  A lesser known park project in NYC, the Highline has had[…]