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Renderings revealed for Disney’s Star Wars theme parks: Imaginary landscapes unveiled alongside the announcement of plans for a 14-acre Star Wars-themed extensions to both Disneyland and Disney World theme parks by 2019 (the Star Wars-themed lands are the largest-ever, single-themed land expansions at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts.)

How cities can stand up to climate change: “Donald Trump has pledged to defund climate change science and undo Barack Obama’s progressive climate legacy. As the White House abandons the climate change fight, “resilience” is becoming a big part of the way cities design and build for the future.”

Yesterday’s Dams Face Tomorrow’s Floods: “Water—whether too much or too little—has a way of revealing weaknesses in design and decision making. For Oroville Dam—the tallest dam in the nation—the crisis began with poor maintenance of its main spillway compounded by wholly inadequate design of the emergency spillway, a known problem. But the crisis at Oroville also raise five broader concerns that California will have to reckon with…”

Scientists Are Working to Make All of L.A. Three Degrees Cooler: “Mayor Eric Garcetti has pledged to reduce L.A.’s average temperature by three degrees over the next two decades (which, if you think about the difference between it being 101 and 98 outside, is a big deal), and, as the Los Angeles Times reports, a group of scientists are actively working towards that goal.”

Despite drought-reducing rains, central California continues to sink: “The most comprehensive study yet of the problem reveals the startling pace and extent of the damage: NASA satellites found the ground subsiding up to 20 inches in a seven-mile area near the Fresno town of Tranquillity, because the state’s subterranean water supply was drained to record lows by farms and towns coping with the recent drought.”

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As another winter storm system fast approaches to immerse Los Angeles in torrential rain to threaten to our state’s infrastructure and landscape to the limit (this one supposedly the biggest one yet), it’s easy to forget only a short while ago we were all praying for rain. Little did I know California has employed the aid of rainmakers utililizing alternative methods to manifest results and mitigate the drought.

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Welcome to our ongoing series of Cal Poly Pomona Coastal Resiliency posts, featuring the observations of 4th year undergraduate students in the Landscape Architecture program.

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Photo by Barry Lehrman

Joining the powers of the left and right sides of the brain is central to the practice of landscape architecture, while tapping into our creativity and brain muscle allows our profession to give shape to previously unexplored opportunities. The Cal Poly Pomona students have been applying their minds to the science and art of our profession: see their observations on the process below.

Amphibious Neighborhood Team: Amanda F., Iliana V., Elise A., Andres R.

Amphibious Neighborhood Team: Amanda F., Iliana V., Elise A., Andres R. / Amphibious neighborhood strategies by Amanda F.

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All photos: Jennifer Salazar

What are the requirements for a city’s public transit system to operate successfully? We want connections between the city’s main train station and the local sports stadiums, lines between residential cores into areas of entertainment, and connections between different modes of transportation such as main stations for rail, air, and bus travel. But we also benefit from smaller, smart connections too – ones of shorter length offering more direct routes on existing transit systems to shopping and places of work. (more…)

The video above is my love letter to TV Guide. I credit my education of United States geography to a Fisher Price jigsaw puzzle and the pages of TV Guide during my childhood. In August 1979, our family vacation took us on the road from our home in Baton Rouge to visit cousins in Indiana and friends in Cleveland. At the time, the country was covered by about 90 different regional editions of the eponymous weekly magazine dedicated to television – which roughly corresponded to the largest television markets (as opposed to the states).

Each time we entered a new TV Guide region, my parents bought me a corresponding regional edition to add to my collection. These magazines and that jigsaw puzzle conceptualized my perception of the United States landscape and its geographies – including the two perceived Kentuckys that persist in my mind to this day. (more…)