History + Cultural Influences
[The Cultural Landscape Foundation (Links to an external site.):] “Cultural landscapes (Links to an external site.) are landscapes that have been affected, influenced, or shaped by human involvement…. Collectively, cultural landscapes are works of art, narratives of culture, and expressions of regional identity. There are primarily four types of cultural landscapes, although any given landscape may fall under more than one typology: Designed Landscapes (Links to an external site.), Ethnographic Landscapes (Links to an external site.), Historic Sites (Links to an external site.), and Vernacular Landscapes. [Content = 1:21:00]
First, we will look at the history of community planning with a focus on a few standard planning approaches including Traditional Neighborhood Development (TND), New Urbanism, and Smart Growth, which emerged in the 1990s. Then, we will hear from a number of designers on how design can preserve history, connect cultures, and build community. [Total content = 1:38:20]
- Project Precedents | Yongqing Fang Alleyways: An Urban Transformation (Links to an external site.) (4:00)
- [ASLA:] Instead of creating a dead street with fake historical decorations, the design successfully recovered the traditional street life with a series of micro-transformations measures…. Residents and visitors celebrate and appreciate the local cultural and historical context that is in harmony with the community.
- Project Precedents | The Bentway (Links to an external site.) (8:00)
- [ASLA:] The Bentway re-imagines the city’s most divisive symbol of 20th century transportation planning as a new model of shared public terrain, able to capture the soul and spirit of Toronto.
- Project Precedent | Sundance Square Plaza, The Heart of Fort Worth (Links to an external site.) (7:00)
- [ASLA:] Texans are famous for a charismatic hospitality that blends traditional values with a genuine good time. Fort Worth’s Sundance Square Plaza is a prism for this practice at a large scale, a place where everyone can feel at home.
This week we begin to explore human systems including history, cultural influences, and community design. Based on the week’s content, please respond to at least (2) two of the bullets below:
History + Cultural Influences
Reflect on the four types of cultural landscapes presented by the Cultural Landscape Foundation (LAF). What are their defining elements and what are a few examples of these types of landscapes that you have experienced (or would like to experience).
Rod Barnett mentions that, “Landscapes organize the creation and dissemination of national myths, which are naturalized over time.” What landscapes have you seen or visited that have helped to shape the national or local identity of place and people? How do landscape architects create public spaces of engagement and that enable true contact between cultures?
How do the precedent projects celebrate or commemorate a community’s history and culture? Which project did you find to be most interesting and why?
Walter Hood speaks about the role of history and memory in building community. Which of his five guiding principles and/or projects did you find particularly compelling? What are some other places or projects that you have encountered that are successful in using history and memory in design to create community?
What do you think about Vishaan Chakrabarti’s argument on the “creeping sameness” in many of our newest urban/suburban landscapes? Is advancing technology the right solution to create a more human-centered world?
What stood out to you about Michael Murphy’s (MASS Design Group) approach to community-based design? How does the firm’s architecture relate to the landscape and broader community context?
How do the precedent projects create a sense of community, encourage social interactions, and provide comfortable public space? Which project did you find to be most interesting and why?
How could Landscape Architects serve a vital role in the creation of strong, vibrant communities while fostering environmentally sustainability? What are your take-aways from the readings and videos on Community Design?
A discussion post of about 300 words is expected for full credit.