Every stretch of America has at least one: an old industrial site that's so trashed and toxic, it looks like the setting for a Garbage Pail Kids reunion -- not exactly the type of thing you want in your backyard (unless, of course, you're an 8-year-old boy).
The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has heard the cries of cities everywhere and has produced a handy animated-film guide for converting these so-called brownfields into dazzling green spaces. From Industrial Wasteland to Community Park -- produced for the ASLA's web exhibit on designing sustainable landscapes -- takes you through the process step by step, from clearing trash to seeding toxins-absorbing plants. Move over Messy Tessie!
OK, so this is obvious stuff for cities that have already transformed their assorted dead malls and disused steel mills into sparkling models of urban renewal. But for places that haven't, or for people who just want a basic understanding of what landscape architects do, the film is a refreshingly simple primer. Visit the ASLA's website here for more animated demos, including clips on leveraging landscapes to manage local water supplies and designing communities for a post-Auto Age world.