Reading List

List Author

Allison Blyler

Boston University, Boston, MA

My Bookmarks


  • Online

    Prince & Place

    Places Journal

    Listening to Prince, we are immersed in the soundscape of Minneapolis — a musical geography shaped by racism, class inequality, sexuality, migration, habitation, and displacement.

  • Online

    How to Map Nothing

    Places Journal

    Many pandemic maps depict the macro-scale forces that produced the “Great Pause.” What’s harder to show is all the something enabling that nothing, the pulsing activity powering the pause.

  • Online

    Shade

    Places Journal

    It’s a civic resource, an index of inequality, and a requirement for public health. Shade should be a mandate for urban designers.

  • Online

    Our Unwitting Autobiography

    Places Journal

    A geographer puts on her social-scientist bifocals to photograph the signs of public yearning macro and micro, near and far, in a summer of protest in Washington, D.C.

  • Online

    Almost Home

    Places Journal

    The compelling part of the multiplayer survival game Fallout 76 was exploring a fantasy version of hardscrabble West Virginia, a digital recreation of places where the author grew up.

  • Online

    Landscape Will Thank You to Remember That

    Places Journal

    Public art is a growth sector for architects. But when it comes to objects in landscape, our experience is altered by who builds what and how we know the difference.

  • Online

    Cloud and Field

    Places Journal

    On the resurgence of “field guides” in a networked age. We’ve moved from birding to dronewatching, from natural history to dark ecology. But are we still looking through colonialist binoculars?

  • Online

    Tree Thinking

    Places Journal

    Trees have served as models of intellectual inquiry and as sites of religious and civic deliberation. Now they are inspiring deeper forms of ecological investigation.

  • Online

    Maintenance and Care

    Places Journal

    A working guide to the repair of rust, dust, cracks, and corrupted code in our cities, our homes, and our social relations.

  • Online

    Reading Detroit in a Season of Mourning

    Places Journal

    The grassy mounds that dot Detroit might be scrap heaps, or dumping grounds, or piles of ash and brick. But they are also unintentional artifacts in a tradition of monumentality and commemoration.

  • Online

    Accelerated and Decelerated Landscapes

    Places Journal

    People who study, design, or care for landscapes need to become experts at the techniques, knowledges, and ethics of bending time.

  • Online

    Water Is Wealth

    Places Journal

    In Honolulu, environmental activists are seeking to remake their city according to Indigenous design knowledge. What is happening in Waikīkī might be a model for a new watershed urbanism.

  • Online

    The Ecology of Unpredictability

    Places Journal

    Birch trees clumped in thickets are usually found at derelict and disturbed sites. When landscape architects use this type of planting, are their designs truly ecological? Does it matter?

  • Online

    The Green Fuse in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn

    Places Journal

    I did not expect to be transported by a plant growing in a diesely tree-bed, a few feet from a dreary phone store and our steamy local laundromat.

  • Online

    Taking the Measure of a Forest

    Places Journal

    Maple Grove is so small you could learn its trees in an afternoon. But run a transect through the site, and you’ll find a forest preserve shaped by millennia of human settlement and plant evolution.

  • Online

    Walking the Darkness Home

    Places Journal

    A journey to the bottom of the Grand Canyon defies the expectations (and clichés) of the famous landscape.

  • Online

    A Home Before the End of the World

    Places Journal

    What does it mean when a famous novelist makes careless errors in his depiction of nature? Is our ignorance of natural ecosystems making it easier for us to destroy them?

  • Online

    Zombies and Ghosts

    Places Journal

    In 21st-century finance capitalism, residential buildings are valued less as homes than as investments. The unsettling results are underpopulated cities and bleak unfinished suburbs.

  • Online

    The "Indianized" Landscape of Massachusetts

    Places Journal

    The inclusion of Native American names and sites in civic geography near Boston has obscured the violence of dispossession.

  • Online

    Elegy in Three Plagues

    Places Journal

    Viral spread, racist prejudice, and a presidency premised on lies and violence: The antithesis to these plagues is the backyard as birding preserve.

  • Online

    The Problem with Solutions

    Places Journal

    We need to engage troubled landscapes without presuming to fix them. Notes toward a history of non-solutionist design.

  • Online

    Dwelling as Resistance

    Places Journal

    Resistance against the expansion of Heathrow Airport has been led largely by an off-grid, eco-utopian community. Against the odds, it has used the art of dwelling to genuinely radical effects.

  • Online

    Who’s Your Data?

    Places Journal

    A city is not a BMW. You can’t drive it without knowing how it works.

  • Online

    A Concatenation of Sprawls

    Places Journal

    How, in 21st-century Los Angeles, can we continue to nurture the hardy roots of rasquachismo, to yield new and more inclusive Latinx-urbanist aesthetics?

  • Online

    Above Grade: On the High Line

    Places Journal

    A native New Yorker traces the pre-history of the High Line, and ponders whether the celebrated park will be a victim of its success.

  • Online

    These Studies Led to Further Studies

    Places Journal

    A journey along the abandoned Karachi Circular Railway.

  • Online

    Field Notes on Pandemic Teaching: 1

    Places Journal

    The first installment of a narrative survey focusing on the massive move to emergency online instruction.

  • Online

    An Air of Permanent Mourning

    Places Journal

    The polarization between city and country is an old story, but now it is entrenched in the upstate New York communities that were sacrificed to provide water to the downstate metropolis.

  • Online

    Why A Marsh

    Places Journal

    A writer and a scientist trace the deep history of a marsh on the Hudson River, from the Medieval Warm Period to the Little Ice Age and from the industrial era to our problematic present.

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