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Engineered Nature

A series by Karrie Jacobs that explores the emergence of spaces that are part manmade and part natural, from a sensor-packed hill in the New York Harbor to manmade rivers in East Texas.

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What if New Jersey’s Meadowlands were a national park?

A greener Garden State could keep 20 million New York-area residents above water.

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The manhole in the meadow

Why Prospect Park, 150 years later, is still America’s premiere example of manmade nature.

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Welcome to Freshkills, local landfill-turned-park

The manmade hills of Staten Island's Freshkills Park are inarguably beautiful, but they're also indicative of the disposability of the post-war American way of life. Karrie Jacobs explains, while taking us through the new, 2,200-acre park.

Meet the man who dedicated his life to creating artificial rivers

In East Texas, Jeff Henry has created a network of infinite artificial rivers at his family’s chain of water parks, Schlitterbahn. Think of it as nature well-suited for a generation raised on electronically enabled instant gratification

Why urban green roofs aren't just pretty gardens

In the latest installment of Engineered Nature, Karrie Jacobs explores the world's largest rooftop farms in Brooklyn and Chicago and discovers the place where high tech strategies and mother nature meet.

Paradise under the expressway

In the second installment of Engineered Nature, Karrie Jacobs explores the Buffalo Bayou in Houston and examines how a change in perspective can turn a highway’s inhospitable underside into a bucolic park.

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On Governors Island, the world's smartest hill

The Hills on Governors Island are a perfect example of the hallmark of 21st century design: objects that are hybrids, part manmade and part natural. Karrie Jacobs examines the engineering behind the landscape.