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The Landscape Reader Exploratory Essay

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Updated: Jun 6th, 2019

Landscape is the skill or art of organizing horizontal surfaces. It has emerged as a model for urbanization in the past few years. The architect behind this concept of urban model was James Corner. It is worth noting that this concept has greatly benefited from the intellectual and cultural revitalization. It has also become the most pertinent discipline in structural and city designs as well as planning.

The basis of landscape urbanism can be drawn from postmodern critics of modernist architecture and planning. They observed that modernism could not possibly come out with meaningful and livable public realm. Hence, postmodern architectural scenographic’s approach did not tackle the structural settings of developed modernity which seems to focus much on urbanism.

However some designers argue out that landscaping is not just a formal model for urbanism today. However, it is also a model used in the process of urbanization. In this case, landscape is a medium which is capable of reacting in response to temporal change, transformation and any form of adjustment.

Interestingly, the first schemes to disclose the prospective for landscape to function as a model for modern process were not produced in North America but in Europe. The 1982 Competition for parc de la Villette was among the first projects. During the wake of la Villette’s influence, the architectural culture was part and parcel of landscape’s role as a practicable framework for the contemporary city.

Landscape urbanism does not merely present strategies for designs. It also grants a cultural category. This acts as a lens through which designers are able to see and explain the features of a contemporary city.

Some of the advantages of landscape urbanism include conflation, integration and fluid exchange between environmental and infrastructural systems. The discipline of landscape architecture observes its historical and theoretical underpinnings while the general public is concerned with environmental issues.

One can argue from the implication that landscape urbanism is a remediating practice. It brings solutions for the hurts of the industrial age. This fact is evidenced through the work of many contemporary landscape architects.

Another major strategy of landscape urbanism is incorporation of transportation of infrastructure into public space. It provides public parks and highways. According to West 8 Landscape Architects, one of the multiple roles of landscape urbanism deals with reordering the relationships between ecology and infrastructure.

Some of the international design competitions for industrial sites in North American cities have used landscape as their key medium. Downsview Parks and Fresh Kills are critical examples. These two projects illustrate viable works of landscape urbanism.

They are also remarkable for the company of landscape architects on interdisciplinary panels of consultants while the la Villette competitions named a single lead architect to oversee the whole project.

These projects and the work of their competitors should be taken collectively in order to see the point of transformations that are underway. In addition, these transformations are changing the disciplinary and professional suppositions following the design of built environment.

My thoughts concerning this reading are mainly on the fact that landscape urbanism is indeed an important undertaking which may not have received the much needed recognition in the field of architecture. This reading had laid down some of the most important issues concerning landscape urbanism as a medium to modern cities.

In addition, it is imperative to note that it may not be advisable for architects to ignore thorough consultations from other fields. Secondly, landscape discipline needs to be combined with professionalism in order to come up with trustworthy projects that put environmental issues into consideration. Lastly, it is essential to consider new projects that can transform landscape urbanism for the benefit of the public.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "The Landscape Reader." June 6, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-landscape-reader/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'The Landscape Reader'. 6 June.

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