Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Reading the Landscape: Landscape as Urbanism

via Landscape+Urbanism

The next essay in the Landscape Urbanism Reader, following 'Terra Fluxus' and the initial 'Reference Manifesto' is a longer essay by Waldheim exploring the idea that landscape is most suited to the modern metropolis, being "uniquely capable of responding to temporal change, transformation, adaptation, and succession... a medium uniquely suited to the open-endedness, indeterminacy, and change demanded by contemporary urban conditions." (39)  This idea could be considered one of the formative structures on which landscape urbanism is built, explained by many writers as a response the failings of architecture and urban design to cope with the complexity of the urban situation, leading to Waldheim's apt, but somewhat hyperbolic statement that "the discourse surrounding landscape urbanism can be read as a disciplinary realignment in which landscape supplants architecture's historical role as the basic building block of urban design." (37)
Ironically, this essay explains clearly that landscape urbanism theory has its origins in the same rejection of modernist architecture and planning, and the retreat to "policy, procedure, and public therapy." (39)  This is a common refrain from contemporary planners as a way to distance themselves from top-down, totalitarian schemes of the mid-twentieth century, which has led to a renaissance of engagement in both community and context that makes all urban design and planning better but also a tendency to favor specific strategies. Corner is quoted as well, mentioning that "only through a synthetic and imaginative reordering of categories in the built environment might we escape our present predicament in the cul-de-sac of post-industrial modernity, and 'the bureaucratic and uninspired failings,' of the planning profession." (38)

Landscape architecture, Bercy, photo by La Citta Vita

Welwyn Garden City Entrance,  by UrbanGrammar

more about landscape and architecture:

The Professional Practice Of Landscape Architecture: A Complete Guide To Starting And Running Your Own Firm

Ian McHarg, Landscape Architecture, and Environmentalism: Ideas and Methods in Context

Fractalled: The Interstitial Spaces And Frank Gehry

Master of Landscape Architecture, University of Texas, Arlington

No comments:

Post a Comment