Outreach and Engagement within the Department
Outreach and Engagement is a central part of our department for both our faculty and for our students.This takes place through our center (CUES), NJ Extention Offices, academic research, studio courses, and faculty scholorship.
CUES - The Center for Urban Environmental Sustainability (CUES), headed by our Dr. Wolfram Hoefer, is a unique academic center because it is a collaboration between the departments of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Sciences. This collaboration provides an opportunity to combine the best science, engineering, and design capabilities in order to better address urban environmental issues and questions. Current projects are:
- Drumthwacket Inventory and Action Plan
- Hackensack River Regional Planning: Connecting Communities Along a River Corridor
- Bayonne Urban Coastal Design: An Integrated Approach
- Bergen County Parks Master Plan
- Sustainable Raritan River Initiative
- Perth Amboy 2nd Street Park: Brownfields to Waterfront Park
“The Ramapough and the Ringwood Mines Superfund Site - History, Culture, Education, and Environmental Justice,” is a New Jersey Council for the Humanities (NJCH) funded project that our faculty member Anita Banshi directs. It focuses on illustrating the connections between scientific data, environmental remediation reports, and personal narratives of the cultural and spiritual traditions of the Ramapough community living in what is now the Ringwood Mines/Landfill Superfund Site. Our Land, Our Stories, the book and the exhibition that resulted from the project, includes visualizations of traditional Lenape stories and imaginative design proposals for memorials that mark environmental losses.
New Book by Kathleen John–Alder
"Ian McHarg and the Search for the Ideal Order examines the well-known and much-studied landscape architect, Ian McHarg, in a new light. The author explores McHarg’s formative years and vestigates how his ideas developed in both complexity and scale. The resulting argument offers new interpretations into the search for order outlined in McHarg’s influential book, Design with Nature, and outlines how his struggle to understand humanity’s relationship to the environment in an era of rapid social and technological change reflects an ongoing challenge that landscape design has yet to fully resolve."
"A recent review by Fritz Steiner commends the text’s “amazing scholarship,” and the “critical, insightful, engaging, thorough” analysis of McHarg’s intellectual development. "
"Kathleen John–Alder is Associate Professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture at Rutgers University. A practicing landscape architect with degrees from Oberlin College, Rutgers University, and Yale School of Architecture, her scholarly research bridges disciplinary boundaries in order to explore the transformative role of ecology and environmentalism in the discourse of mid-twentieth century landscape design, and its impact upon contemporary practice. John-Alder has published articles in Landscape Journal, The Journal of Planning History, JOLA, Studies in the History of Gardens and Designed Landscapes, Site/Lines, and Manifest. Her work has also received design and research awards from the Van Alan Institute, the National Park Service, and the American Society of Landscape Architects"
New Translation of Book by Anette Freytag
Dieter Kienast (1945–1998) is a key Swiss figure in European landscape architecture. Amidst a striking change in societal understandings of nature, he sought a synthesis between design and ecology in the 1970s. He designed spaces to make the dissolving opposition between city and countryside legible and to enable aesthetic experience to help cope with increasingly complex everyday life. As a designer, planner, researcher and university lecturer, Kienast introduced new challenges into the discussion of those fields. Critique of urban planning, processes of participation and the significance of spontaneous urban vegetation played just as much a role in these discussions as did art, literature, architecture and the popularity of postmodernism.
The Office of Urban Extension and Engagement
Run by our department chair Richard Alomar, the Office's primary purpose is to raise the visibility of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES) and Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (SEBS) expertise and resources available to address issues affecting urban residents and their communities. These objectives will be advanced through the Office's efforts to coordinate and facilitate programming to address food security, individual and community health, resource stewardship, urban agriculture and food chains, environmental planning and design, and other concerns facing our state's urban communities.
Recent projects and programs highlighted on this website represent just some of the ways in which we engage and collaborate for a healthy, equitable and resilient future in New Jersey.
Geodesign and Geohealth Scholarship
Through his work at the Geohealth Lab at CRSSA, Dr. David Tulloch integrates the geographic information sciences and human health research into landscape architecture. In 2010 Dr. Tulloch was an invited participant at the inaugural Geodesign Summit, at which the overlap between landscape architecture, planning, GIS, geography, and computer science, were reconceptualized as a single field of work. As an early leader in this emerging area of geodesign, he is widely published on the subject (Tulloch 2012, 2013, 2016, 2017, 2019). He organized and led a geodesign panel for the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA).
The same advances in geospatial technologies that have empowered the geodesign community (e.g., interactive mapping, improved user interfaces, cloud computing, mobile mapping on personal devices, open source tools) also create new opportunities for integrating public participation in planning and design processes. Seeking to contribute to the conversation about such platforms, he served on the Organizing Committee for the first three Public Participatory GIS (PPGIS) Conferences (2002, 2003, 2004), including the inaugural meeting hosted at Rutgers. His pioneering role in both PPGIS and VGI were recognized with my successful applications for funded participation in their respective specialist meetings (1998 and 2007).
Human health has become a primary area of application for these topics. With funding from NIH and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, he has spent over a decade as part of a multidisciplinary team examining linkages between the food and physical activity environment and patterns of childhood obesity. Collaborating with a team at Rutgers’ Center for State Health Policy and Arizona State University, he has inventoried the changing urban landscapes of 5 New Jersey cities across nearly a decade, mapping changes in the food environment and activity environments available to children and then comparing those with the obesity measures and locations of over 1,500 young residents. This “team science” approach was essential to prove the positive impact for children living within a half mile of parks or the detrimental impact for children within ¼ mile of corner stores (DeWeese et al. 2013; Ohri-Vachaspati et al. 2013; Tang et al. 2014; Lorts et al. 2019; Ohri-Vachaspati et al. 2019).
Helping expand and formalize that geospatial health research, he developed a structured research team called the Geohealth Lab group within the larger (and quite supportive) setting of the Grant F. Walton Center for Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis. Not only does the lab support research, but it also hosted workshops and engaged community groups in New Jersey. Today the lab group has “alumni” that include a professional community planner and a Ph.D. student studying citizen science GIS at UNC-Chapel Hill and a current undergraduate whose experiences at the lab helped her spend the summer of 2019 in Columbia University’s Biostatistics Epidemiology Summer Training (BEST) Diversity Program.