Archived entries for Infrastructure

Landscape as Infrastructure (II)

“Design of surface systems, synchronization of material volumes, logistics of implementation, re-zoning of land across boundaries, sequencing of land transformations over time, synergies between land uses, and reciprocities between different agencies, can therefore augment and accelerate these strategies, placing emphasis on performative effects of practice rather than their end results. The new paradigms of longevity and performance decisively break with the Old World pictorial, bucolic, and aesthetic tradition of landscape design. Instead, they give landscape planning and design a logistical and operative agency as a practice that deals with complex, multidimensional systems. By design, the synthesis of urban operations—coupled with the refl exive mechanisms that underlie them—can therefore lead toward the development of this contemporary landscape practice; one that is urgently needed for the present and future reclamation of urbanizing and deurbanizing land in the Great Lakes region and North America.”

Landscape as Infrastructure, Pierre Bélanger

landscape as infrastructure

“However, the overgrown banks of the Flint River are a testament to the imminent rebound of its biodiversity from neglect and abandonment. Decline seems to have become the progenitor of ecological regeneration. As a catalytic infrastructure, landscape is rendered visible at the precise moment at which the city fails.”

Pierre Bélanger, Landscape as infrastructure

The geographic, social, and cultural origins of landscape, as stated here by Cosgrove, mark landscape and infrastructure as human, not pre or post- industrial, and rooted (in origin) in biophysical systems specific to place and time…

Landscape is not purely a temporal or biophysical phenomenon; culture is an integral component in the formation of both landscape and the infrastructural systems which transverse it, many of which are unique to place and people. Denis Cosgrove says of J.B. Jackson: “more evident perhaps is the influence of his consistent demonstration that landscapes emerge from specific geographical, social, and cultural circumstances; that landscape is embedded in the practical uses of the physical world as nature and territory” [19]. These “practical uses of the physical world” are infrastructural: transport, production, mediation, facilitation. The geographic, social, and cultural origins of landscape, as stated here by Cosgrove, mark landscape and infrastructure as human, not pre or post- industrial, and rooted (in origin) in biophysical systems specific to place and time.

via The Humanity of Infrastructure: Landscape as Operative Ground | Landscape Urbanism.

The Tigris, Euphrates, Indus, Yellow, and Nile rivers were the physical operative platform for the systems which provided basic services and necessities for each civilization…

By calling for reintegration rather than integration, the diverse and complex history of human infrastructural works is recognized. The cradles of civilization in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Indus Valley, and Yellow River valley provide a strong precedent. For these civilizations, the river was the infrastructural backbone of life. Each culture was initially defined by a river which provided transportation, irrigation, and fertility. Although human interventions during the initial evolution of civilization were relatively minor compared to contemporary infrastructural systems, the infrastructure of the ancient world was no less integral to human survival and prosperity. For example, use of a river by a fishing boat transforms it into an infrastructural entity through the introduction of a system of production derived from the landscape, and this system of production was part of a much larger network of food provision. The Tigris, Euphrates, Indus, Yellow, and Nile rivers were the physical operative platform for the systems which provided basic services and necessities for each civilization.

via The Humanity of Infrastructure: Landscape as Operative Ground | Landscape Urbanism.

Landscape is a conduit, an exaggerator, a proliferator, an inhibitor, an enabler; herein lies its timeless operative capacity…

For the purpose of this discussion, infrastructure can be defined as those systems, works, and networks upon which the function of any system of human inhabitation is reliant. According to Bhatia, it has become apparent that “the natural environment is perhaps the only issue that affects all of humanity equally,” and a renewed “emphasis on the collective natural environment repositions the role of infrastructure as the foundational spatial format, as it allows for the interconnection between the human and environmental spheres [1]. Landscape is Bhatia’s infrastructure. Landscape is inherently infrastructural: it mediates, produces, facilitates, and transports. As a network of infrastructural function and flow, landscape (here considered to be a result of human modification of an environment) becomes the operative platform of human existence; where landscape exists, so does infrastructure. Landscape is the medium through which culture, society, and the individual interact with biophysical, meteorological, and geological fluctuation or stasis. Landscape is a conduit, an exaggerator, a proliferator, an inhibitor, an enabler; herein lies its timeless operative capacity.

via The Humanity of Infrastructure: Landscape as Operative Ground | Dane Carlson in Landscape Urbanism.



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