Today I had to go to a seminar to accrue some of my CEU’s. The beauty of finally getting my Landscape Architecture license. The seminar was put on by Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). I have not ever been to any of these so I did not know what to expect but I came with my iPad and ready to be on the internet all day. The bastards did not allow us any access. So now I had to listen.
So since I had no choice I listened and man I did not like what I was hearing. I was disillusioned with Landscape Architecture in dade county already but what I saw today made it worse.
First last week I heard that the mayor of Miami-Dade county decided that a linear park under the metro-rail proposed by a private company was not needed (this project would have been equivalent to the Hi Line in New York City). He never consulted with anyone. It was a quick jerked reaction and just because that is what he wants. He doesn’t care about the community or it appears that way. If he did he would have jumped at the proposal. The ideas were inspiring and would have brought life to this area.
Yesterday what I heard was that because of the governor of Florida and the new secretary of the FDOT all projects need to follow the new concept of “bold landscape”. My definition of bold landscape is large masses of similar plant material alternating with differing masses of similar plant material. It’s simple. If you are driving around 60 MPH you can not see individual plants. You need masses to see them. FDOT”s definition is larger trees and palms and no shrubs. I personally do not have an issue with the larger trees and palms but no shrubs I do. They also kept showing examples of what they liked. The examples were of palms (Date Palms and Bismarkia Palms-both non-natives and require lots of maintenance) planted on highway 874/878 in dade County. This planting was never designed. It was an exercise by a local nursery that needed to clean out some fields. They convinced MDX that they did not need registered landscape architects to design the work. They could just hire them and they would design it. By looking at it I am pretty damn sure no guidelines were followed. The guidelines and codes we as landscape architects have to follow.
During the seminar people spoke about how native plants are the way to go because it is more sustainable and less maintenance in the end. What we heard was we have a client and that is what he wants. I am thinking I am also a client, its my taxes that are paying for this and I do not agree. It was digusting.
What I learned today is that either I need a career change or I need to move from this place. Both will be challenging but I am ready.