Infralandscapes and landscape architecture

Toorn, M. van den, 2001, Infralandscapes and landscape architecture, in: ECLAS (J. de Vries), ‘Integration of infrastructure and landscape architecture’, Larenstein University of Professional Education, Velp

  • Author : Toorn, M. van den
  • Year : 2001
  • Published in Book : Integration of infrastructure and landscape architecture
  • Pages : 91-107
  • Abstract in English : In this paper we research the consequences of the growing importance of mobility, traffic and infrastructure for the planning and design of the landscape. The present attention for infrastructure is not new; the construction techniques of the Romans formed an important basis for their Empire. What is new is the role of mobility in social sense and consequently the impact of infrastructure in spatial sense. So different space conceptions have been developed in the course of time . Till the 19th century roads — and in Holland waterways — were designed as elements in the landscape. In the beginning of the 20th the structural aspects of infrastructure became more important both in the rural and in the urban landscape. In the last part of the 20th the emergence of the network character of roads became a dominant issue. Designers no longer could stick to their old design principles of hierarchy, proportion, cross sections, etc.. Infrastructure became an autonomous landscape with its own forces that direct development and new form typologies. The design concept now is based on the design of a space of flows where acceleration and deceleration are the two poles. This is now the emerging idea that waits for exploration, research and design in plans. Landscape architects should take the challenge of finding new forms of expressing this idea as a contribution to the form of the cultural environment today and tomorrow. For landscape architecture education this means quite a change in approach and methodology. First of all to teach students a sensitivity for these developments at large and perception of these different space typologies in relation to their studio-assignments. Visual research is an important means to develop such a sensitivity and skill. Secondly they have to learn to apply the different design means at the respective levels of intervention. Thirdly students should be stimulated to contribute to the development of new ideas, visions, design solutions for these type of problems; a major challenge for the profession as a whole but for students in particular.