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Offbeat

World’s Coolest Urban Landscapes

If you think Central Park is awesome, you haven't seen anything yet.

Photo courtesy of EMF; Tudela-Culip (Club Med) restoration project, Cadaques, Spain (2010)

It used to be simple: Come summertime, where there was shade and a sprawling lawn, locals would go. Nowadays, the average green just doesn’t cut it — and innovative landscape designers are upping the ante with new, futuristic pathways and gardens around the world.

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The other day, the visually stunning 30:30 Landscape Architecture landed on our desk, and we were floored. It’s essentially a highlight reel of works by 60 visionary architects — both established and emerging — from Chile to China and beyond.

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Photo courtesy of Iwan Baan; Tongva Park, Santa Monica, CA (2013)

Besides gorgeous, glossy landscape photos, you’ll also find excerpts from masters like Peter Walker — famed for the outdoor gallery at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas — and Andrew Grant, who sketched the Gardens by the Bay in Singapore. There’s also commentary from emerging architects like Yi Kyu Choe, who will cut the ribbon to New Jersey’s Overpeck County Park in 2024.

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Photo courtesy of Yusuke Komatsu; Sekitei Parking, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo, Japan (2013)

Our favorite projects vary from playful (see: the art installation Pink Balls, a canopy of 170,000 fuschia spheres that hangs over a pedestrian street in Montreal) to trippy (like Eiki Danzuka’s graphic moped parking area in Tokyo, which is pictured above).

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Photo courtesy of John Gollings; Australian Garden at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne, Australia (2012)