Japanese Gardens, Parks, and Open Spaces

by Jason on April 14, 2014

In December 2012-January 2013, I did research in Tokyo, studying Shinjuku Station. In my time there, I was also able to explore the rest of the country, and make more informal observations of the open spaces there. After reflecting on a series of landscape architecture classes I have taken, I revisited some of these pictures to find those of parks, gardens, plazas, and other open spaces. With a different lens on seeing space now, here are some reflections of public spaces in Japan.

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

The grand scale of the Peace Memorial Park commemorates the lives loved and lost due to the dropping of the Atomic Bomb in World War II. The greatest of space conveys the importance of the event.

The fire in this momument will be extinguished when the last nuclear warhead in the world is disarmed.

The Atomic Bomb Dome, originally an exhibit for arts and education programs, stands as a monument.
Nara




Kyoto


The Kyoto landscape preserves the hsitoric integration of period buildings and the landforms they needed to survive.

Kamakura


The detail and coloring of this garden takes into great account how it would look with snow.

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I took a trip to Washington D.C. in October of 2013 with some college friends. We were worried that due to the government shutdown, we would not be able to see anything. Luckily, our elected officials were so nervous upon my arrival to the city that they reached an agreement and ended the shutdown. You’re welcome, America.

I have wanted to visit Washington D.C. for a while, but the urge was heightened during my graduate studies. The city and her momenuments are a great showing of a city and nation projecting her power. I can’t help but feel in awe, wonder, fear, motivated, inspired, and patriotic just walking and viewing all these momuments. Interestingly, the out-of-scale nature of these momuments is the reason for all these feelings. This sense of scale, fortunately, is broken up with pocket gardens, historic homes, and community commerce that infuses the gandieur with the human.









In D.C. you do feel like you are part of a movement, in crowds of people all wanting to do good things for this world.

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I need your VOTES!

I entered the KCET Northest Los Angeles Placemaking Competition and there is a category for People’s Choice! The premise of my design is to create a Celebration Street in Cypress Park, connecting the neighborhood with a civic spine and would link all the present retail and institutions on Cypress Street. Additionally, the proposed design would utilize local business and school energy to add more identifying and placemaking features to the street, and provide a community link to the present stock of amenities, freeway and transit options, and potential revitalization of the Los Angeles River.

Vote here!

Or vote here! Just check the box “Celebration Street”! There is no need to sign in or to create an account.

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Expose Muir Woods – Landscape Wonder

by Jason on February 18, 2014

In one of my landscape architecture courses, the professor presented on important landscapes and gardens, both designed and natural, around the Bay Area. Still being relatively new here, living in the Bay for two years, and just finishing graduate school, I never had the time to go exploring. At the end of daylight savings time in 2013, I decided to make a trek to arguably one of the most popular parks in the Bay Area – Muir Woods, and experience firsthand the landscape beauty of the Bay.

Additionally, this is my first time in Marin County proper!



The changing seasons powder the foliage with yellow.

In 2013, I have taken on a more active approach to connecting with nature. The urban relief, the sense of adventure, the connection to the natural have been lacking in my life previously. In addition, I feel that taking hikes has made me a better planner and urban designer. I understand better the importance of these parks – for recreation, the environment, and regional history. The paths and groves that also form in the forest are all natural, and add another perspective to how one can see and facilitate movement. I look forward to taking and posting more hikes in the future.

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2014 Updates – Personal pace of professional development

February 4, 2014

Hi everyone, I know an update has been in the works – so here is a quick one on just what new developments have been happening on my end. Currently, I am working for the San Francisco Department of Public Works under the project management division – specifically working on streets. It has been great […]

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Evolving Urban Morphology of my Hometown

December 24, 2013

Being originally from Los Angeles, I come back during the holidays like millions of Americans this season. Each time I am back, I see something a little different: a new development, a stripmall more worn down, new bus stops, wayfinding signs, etc. While at times the feeling is bittersweet, it is also interesting to note […]

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Let us admit it, planners are agents of the “Man”

December 9, 2013

Dear fellow planners. Let’s all hold hands and collectively admit something we all may be a bit hesitant to admit, but we should do it. We are agents of “the Man.” Ok, that wasn’t so bad – was it? A few weeks ago, the article, the San Francisco Exodus, made its its round through the […]

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Database of city planning and urban design jobs

September 6, 2013

For all those looking for employment opportunities – whether it is a job or an internship, I have collected a list of websites over the years to peruse for such purposes. Opportunities are out there, we just have to be creative. Hopefully this can be a nexus of where to find planning jobs online. NATIONAL […]

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Expose San Antonio, Home of Texas Liberty

September 1, 2013

The third of the Texan cities I visited while I was at my cousin’s wedding. San Antonio is beautiful, definitely a great place for tourists. The Alamo is worth seeing (warning – it is smaller than you would expect), but also shows how old architecture manages to keep a place cool without electricity. The open […]

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Design with empathy – using the human experience to create more thoughtful solutions

August 5, 2013

In the Introduction to Landscape Architecture class I am currently taking, we all took turns presenting on an article or chapter of an unassigned book to give the whole class an overview of how broad the field of landscape architecture encompasses. One of my classmates presented on the work of Clare Cooper Marcus, the renowned […]

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