1,328 Followers, 176 Following, 824 Posts - See Instagram photos and videos from Spontaneous Urban Plants (@spontaneousurbanplants) The huge backyard along the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn was the perfect site for the summertime Sunday afternoon parties that … Wherever you have two types of paving material coming together, you have a seam, and the different materials expand differentially in response to summer and winter temperature to create a crack. Ecologists refer to these functions as environmental services and they include excess nutrient absorption in wetlands, heat reduction in paved areas, erosion control, soil and air pollution tolerance and remediation, food and habitat for wildlife, and food and medicine for people (even if we don’t use it). 18 He discovered that in the 1970s, women in Appalachia learned of this traditional European use of Queen Anne’s lace from their mothers, who had learned about it from their mothers, going back to their immigration from Europe. 2 The concept of a novel ecosystem applies not only to our cities and suburbs but also to many landscapes that have been subjected to the disturbance-intensive practices of agriculture, industry and mining. The Spontaneous Urban Plants website (www.spontaneousurbanplants.org) contains a gallery user-generated Instagram photographs of weeds that people have found in the cities. In some cases, pockets of native soil will support a remnant native ecosystem, but in many cities, large areas of non-native soil have brought in as fill. They provide plants — especially vines — with a convenient trellis to spread out on and a measure of protection from the predation of maintenance crews. Often found in derelict urban landscapes, overlooked and unwanted, SUP thrive in places most plants cannot grow, sprouting up from cracks in the side walk, and propagating the seams along chain link fences. While Detroit is clearly a tragic story from the socioeconomic perspective, it is a paradise for spontaneous vegetation. Read Spontaneous Urban Plants: Weeds in NYC book reviews & author details and more at … Indeed, modern research has shown that Queen Anne’s lace is biologically active and can affect a woman’s menstrual cycle. The name for this process is “intaglio,” from the engraving process, where one creates an image by removing unwanted material. Really appreciate this essay. A simple taxonomy of urban landscapes Remnant Native Managed Horticultural Abandoned Ruderal Landscapes Landscapes Landscapes Land-use Minimally disturbed Large and small parks, cemeteries, Post-industrial land, vacant lots, Category woodlands, wetlands lawns, … These are the forgotten places, the greyfields-in-flux that make up a significant part of cities. When severe, such contamination has the capacity to inhibit plant growth, limit vegetation succession and damage human health. 20 It doesn’t take a lot of resources to establish such a meadow from seed (the soil should be on the lean side) or to maintain it with one or two mowings per year. The plants that appear spontaneously in urban ecosystems are remarkable for their ability to grow under extremely harsh conditions — most notably in soils that are relatively infertile, dry, unshaded and alkaline. The plant-body encounters with spontaneous urban plants in spaces like “vacant lots’, sidewalk cracks, on the margins in Botanical Gardens, treepits and highway medians are observed, dance and documented through movement language and visual documentation. Pavement cracks are among the most distinctive niches in the urban environment. Landscape architect David Seiter talks about his new project: Spontaneous Urban Plants: Weeds in NYC. Stay up-to-date with the latest plants & supplies available plus get notified of sales & specials! In Berlin, the Natur-Park Südegelände was established on the site of an abandoned rail yard that had been colonized by spontaneous vegetation following the construction of the Berlin Wall. Changes in urban vegetation over time clearly reflect constantly shifting human value judgments, socioeconomic cycles and evolving technological advances in transportation, communication and construction. A simple taxonomy of urban landscapes Remnant Native Managed Horticultural Abandoned Ruderal Landscapes Landscapes Landscapes Land-use Minimally disturbed Large and small parks, cemeteries, Post-industrial land, vacant lots, Category woodlands, wetlands lawns, ball fields, street trees, infrastructure edges, railroad and and coastal … Casual observations suggest that the amount and maturity of spontaneous vegetation is inversely proportional to cities’ economic prosperity. 12 Near the Vince Lombardi exit on the New Jersey Turnpike, for example, one can’t … Community owned and operated. [All photos by the author], The concept of ecological restoration, as developed over the past 20 years, rests on the mistaken assumption that we can somehow bring back past ecosystems by removing invasive species and replanting native species. Spontaneous Urban Plants investigates the role of weeds in the urban ecosystem by profiling a cross section of weeds. Public scholarship on architecture, landscape, and urbanism. 16. Given a consistent level of maintenance, these landscapes can be preserved as features within the urban context; without maintenance, they are often overwhelmed by non-native species. Comments are closed. You are reading an article printed from Places, the journal of public scholarship on architecture, landscape, and urbanism. Stories to illustrate this point are legion, but I have selected a few examples: Purslane (Portulacca oleracea) is an annual plant of uncertain origin that grows everywhere — in the tropics as well as the temperate zone — and everywhere it grows, people eat it. Aesthetics are also context dependent: a plant growing in a vacant lot in Boston is considered a weed, while the same plant growing in a meadow in the countryside is deemed a wildflower. Some of this land consists of abandoned buildings, but about half can be classified as open space. Spontaneous Urban Plants investigates the role of weeds in the urban ecosystem by profiling a cross section of weeds. To most people, these are invasive weeds and a great deal of effort and chemicals are used in an attempt to keep them in check. SUP is an acronym for “Spontaneous Urban Plants” and refers to the plants that do well in the generally stressful environment of cities. 18 … Both Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) and Common Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) are edible and highly sought after, finding their way onto plates at trendy restaurants. From the September 2015 issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine. As discussed last week, our wild, urban flora is a cosmopolitan mixture of plants that were either native to the area before it was developed, introduced from all corners of the world on purpose or by accident, or brought in by migrating wildlife. Ailanthus altissima Tree of Heaven. Vacant lots that have been cleared of buildings are often mulched with masonry and construction rubble. Wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa) – one of the plants that Norbert Kühn included in his study as a candidate for improving the aesthetics of spontaneous, urban plant communities. Read more at placesjournal.org. We also have quality potting soils and pots of all shapes, sizes, and colors. Spontaneous Urban Plants, or "SUP" for short, are providing urban environments and residents with helpful resilience against flooding, unexpected medicinal and food sources, and phytoremediation--which is a fancy word for removal, degradation, and containment of contaminants in soils, sludges, sediments, surface water and groundwater. Spontaneous Urban Plants: Weeds In Nyc (hardcover) CA $22.97. 1. Teaching a Human the Urban Weeds Alphabet. It’s a warm-season grass that thrives when it’s hot and dry, and because it is an annual species, the road salt used in winter has no effect on its development. 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