All around the world people associate something different with the term landscape. However, it is man who shapes landscapes all over the globe, often changing them irrevocably, as in the case of oil sands extraction in Canada, the mining of ore in Papua or large-scale afforestation in China. The landscape of the Kimberley in Australia, where Aboriginal peoples live as one with nature, is under threat of being plundered for natural gas deposits. In addition to these topics, this issue of Topos also details projects in which people have contributed to the conservation of our cultural landscapes, as in the rice terraces in Japan, and projects that were designed by exploiting the huge potential offered by the natural landscape, like at Desert Rock Park in India.
The Multicultural Meanings of Landscape
Landscape is a part of political, economic, social, and cultural concepts. But when it comes to defining and understanding the meaning of landscape, we are forced to face the fact that there is no common sense at all. We have to deal with a multitude of landscape concepts.
Author: Diedrich Bruns
Breaking down Silos and Compartments
The International Federation of Landscape Architects aims to launch an International Landscape Convention to force a holistic and strategic approach to the landscape.
Authors: Kathryn Moore, Bruno Marques
The term topology helps to establish an integrated understanding of terrain at all scales of planning and design.
Author: Christophe Girot
Green Wall Infrastructure in China
The Chinese 3-North Shelterbelt Program is the largest afforestation program in the world, extending across over 40 percent of the country. The project is being recommended as the most effective strategy to combat desertification and dust storms. At this scale, planting is certain to have extensive effects on both the local territory and the region. A critical view on a complex landscape issue.
Author: Rosetta Sarah Elkin
The extraction of Canada’s oil sands will ultimately produce a landscape with irreversible ecological, social, and infrastructural transformations. After closure of the mines, the original boreal landscape should not be imitated.
Author: Kelly Nelson Doran
Indonesian Mining Landscapes
Indonesia is a country abundant in minerals. Throughout the archipelago gold, diamonds, tin, and coal have been mined for more than one thousand years. Now the reclamation of mining sites has become a challenge, as shown by the case study Gold Mining in Mimika Regency, Papua.
Author: Puspita Galih Resi
In the desert near Cairo, new housing estates mushroom – with dramatic ecological and social consequences. A photographic work portrays the construction of a new satellite city outside the Egyptian metropolis.
Author and photos: Manuel Alvarez Diestro
Larger than Landscape
The Kimberley region along Australia’s western coast is rich in natural resources and therefore in danger of being plundered.
Author: Michael Howard
Landscapes and Legends
There is a relationship between local legends and the landscape they originate from. This project is based on a holistic approach to sustainability, where culture, nature and economy come together in an attempt to develop a distinctive method of rural development.
Authors: Peter Fjågesund, Tone Telnes
Small Means – Big Experiences
Denmark’s many natural and beautiful landscapes have potential: from rounded hillocks to the turbulent North Sea with sandy cliffs and dunes; from magical mires to the world-famous tideflats, unique flora and fauna, wide-flung moors, and ancient rock-carvings. This potential could be realised to a greater extent than it is today. New architectural interventions will foster better natural experiences in ten exclusive landscapes.
Author: Christian Andersen
A Confluence of Cultures
A land art project on the Columbia River deals with the interplay of landscape, cultures, and communities, demonstrating how environmental forces continually shape the land and the people who live on it.
Author: Betsy Henning
Texcoco Lake, Mexico City: Landscape as Infrastructure
The Texcoco Lake Ecological Park in Mexico City is a work in progress. Step-by-step, a large park is developing through a flexible masterplan.
Authors: Iñaki Echeverria, Jonathan Hajar
Up On The Roof
A South African landscape architect realizes a public park in Khorog, the capital city of Gorno-Badakhshan in Tajikistan, as part of a rehabilitation project in the harsh Tajik Pamir mountain range.
Author: Anthony Wain
Reviving A Desert Landscape
The dry landscape of Rao Jodha Desert Park in Jodhpur, India, has been restored. A regional study helped in selecting the plants. They were grown in a special nursery for the park.
Author: Akshay Kaul
Foodscape Cultural Landscapes in Japan
Foodscape is an initiative in Japan undertaken to highlight the relationship between traditional rice paddies and premium food production for sustainable conservation practices.
Author: Yuko Tanabe
Save Cape Town’s Pantry
The Philippi Horticultural Area on the Cape Flats in South Africa is an effective agricultural area which benefits from its proximity to water and a favourable microclimate. Although this productive land feeds Cape Town, it is now under threat because developers have set their sights on it.
Author: Gareth Haysom
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