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Improvements and updates to Dirt: AKA tilling the soil.

Little by little, as I’ve been meeting a goal of at least five blog posts a month, I’ve been making steady upgrades and improvements to this site.  And they’ll keep rolling in over the months ahead, as I work to ensure American Dirt remains a chronicle of landscapes and the built environment, as internally consistent

Urban autumn: when a single favored tree like the gingko provides all the leaf-peeping a city needs.

The introduction of landscaping into densely populated urban settings has always been a thorny issue, pun fully intended.  Steeped in emissions and incarcerated by impervious surfaces, plant life across urban environments typically only thrives against the odds.  Certain flora that can flourish in a suburban front yard are scarce in downtown settings, for obvious reasons:

Cycle tracks in small towns: North Beach, Maryland has one, but does it really work?

Do you remember the good old days of bicycle advocacy, back when the prevailing ambition was the introduction of bike lanes, buy applying solid stripes on the pavement?  If you’re older than twenty, you probably should remember those days; they weren’t that long ago.  As recently as the mid-2000s, the standard for bike-friendliness was bike

The oversized rabbits of Valdez, Alaska: from invasive specie to unofficial mascot.

Verdant and breathtaking as much of Alaska might be, the Last Frontier is no great shakes when it comes to biodiversity.  Such is the nature of boreal forests in general: they typically host few varieties of tree species, although the ones that thrive are as abundant as one might expect in a mostly uninhabited, vast

Roadside vegetable market update: still sexy produce. But less subtle.

Keeping my tradition of singling out particularly smart business models, I’ll shift my focus away from the previous article’s burgeoning ice cream chain Kilwin’s and, this time, return my camera’s lens to an old standby: a roadside produce stand off State Route 1 (Coastal Highway) in southern Delaware.  I say “return” because I visited this

Staircases can be sexist: when the design of stairs is a hazard to high heels.

Of all the keywords used to organize my blog posts by topic, the number one by far is “signage”.  The keyword (under my menu bar “Topics”) yields 193 separate articles.  Given the aspirations of this blog, it’s a hard subject to avoid: one of the key elements of a human-conceived, built environment is that critical,

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