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Articles by Jared Green

Jared Green is editor of The Dirt, the blog of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). The Dirt covers news on the built and natural environments.

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Beach house in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in Far Rockaway, N.Y.

ShutterstockBeach house in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in Far Rockaway, N.Y.

Kevin Shanley says too many cities have an outdated approach to storm protection that makes them vulnerable to the coming mega-storms. The CEO of SWA Group, an international landscape architecture, planning, and urban design firm, Shanley is an advocate of using “green infrastructure” — human-made systems that mimic natural ones — as bulwarks.

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, people are taking note. Some experts believe New York City would not have sustained such severe damage had the original wetlands that lined the coasts not been uprooted by development. In fact, some parts of Staten Island remained relatively unscathed because they were protected by the massive Fresh Kills Park and its wetlands.

SWA GroupKevin Shanley.

What’s needed, Shanley says, are policy shifts “rooted in a natural system-approach that work with nature’s tremendous forces.” Beyond policy changes though, Shanley has also worked on projects, in Texas and elsewhere, that show how ... Read more

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