Understanding urban landscapes essay

When in George Orwell—social conservative, Little Englander, intellectual cosmopolitan—hopefully envisioned an English socialist revolution, he assured his readers and himself that such a mere political event, like all such past convulsions, would prove no more than a surface disturbance.

Understanding urban landscapes essay

But what I remember as clearly was the drive back: Manhattan appearing out of the haze, emitting wavy lines of heat like a cartoon pie. Then being back in the thick of it, with the buzz of hundreds of thousands of air conditioners making the city itself feel like a single massive machine.

The contrast was clear: The city was hot, dirty, disconnected; nature was hidden. Today that division has eroded.

Understanding urban landscapes essay

Confronting climate change and ecological collapse, environmentalists increasingly see urban areas as the most promising engines of sustainability. Two converging realizations — the efficiency of cities, and the global demographic trend towards urbanization — are inspiring a new generation to focus on urban and technology-based solutions to environmental problems.

The political moves have been swift. In American cities, mayors have overreached the federal government with promising policies and infrastructure projects: Yet the old metaphors retain their power.

The mainstream environmental movement remains rooted in images of wilderness, revealing a stubborn anti-urban bias. In this spirit I will explore the current relationship between landscape architecture and ecology, focusing on two projects of Michael van Valkenburgh and Associates: Beginning with disused industrial landscapes, both projects explore a new paradigm for integrating cities and nature by creating landscapes that attempt to operate ecologically as well as metaphorically.

Their designs reveal highly functional natural systems that connect us emotionally to broader natural processes. This is a crucial departure from past approaches to landscape architecture, and MVVA is not alone in it.

The next generation of parks — including the large-scale work of James Corner, Adriaan Geuze, George Hargreaves, Ken Smith and Tom Leader — is unencumbered by musty divisions between nature and city. Rather than smooth over the presence of the city and the sordid elements of its past, they eagerly reflect them, with a 21st-century transcendence of ideology which one could call Obamaian.

A barge becomes a garden. An elevated railroad line becomes a meadow.

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A tidal bed becomes a playground. The liabilities of the industrial past are transformed into the amenities of the sustainable future.

These designs are meant neither to repress the disorder of the city with the serenity of natural landscapes nor to smooth it out beneath a modernist veneer.In this essay, we argue that assemblage thinking has much to offer geographers attempting to conceptualize the interrelationships between sexualities, subjectivities and contemporary urban spaces.

Urban planning and the importance of green space in cities to human and environmental health. Home / Articles & Research / Urban planning and the importance of green space in cities to human and environmental health. Topics: Natural landscapes are vital to preserving regional ecosystems amid growing cities.

The same thing can be said about city streets, highways and any number of different busy landscapes. Obviously, you can’t shut the streets down or get people out of the way by asking nicely.

This is a technique ‘for clearing the area’. As James Corner writes in his essay ‘Terra Fluxus’. and to organize large urban fields. Like a diagram. and eventual types of landscapes that underlie.

taken here to mean a group of essays that hang together only loosely as they converge on their object of study. As most urban landscapes expand in number and size, their inhabitants place increasing understanding cultural landscapes which produce economic, political, and social constructs written) pages per essay, citing inclass materials and - other sources to bolster their answers.

This question is of particular relevance in the context of peri-urban landscapes, where there is a great need to develop a deeper understanding of how countryside areas are influenced by cities.

SMART CITIES AS SUSTAINABLE CITIES: A VISUAL ESSAY – Society & Space