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A Poverty of Landscapes



January 20, 2017

Park in Bristol, UK. Photo Elliott Brown via Flickr

A Poverty of Landscapes by Laura Solano on Land8 (an excellent blog about all things landscape architecture and design) examines the unequal access of society’s ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ to good quality, green urban spaces.

Solano addresses the basic inequalities we find throughout our cities where lush green, well-tended (and funded) landscapes are everywhere throughout our wealthier suburbs but rare in low-income neighbourhoods. She describes how this ‘poverty of landscapes‘ influences the social and emotional well-being of our cities’ urban poor.

While it’s often raised how children need access to planted green space or they can develop what’s called ‘nature deficit disorder’, creating mental fatigue, Solano asks what about their parents, and other adults?

The solution to failed landscapes in poor urban areas – trees damaged, grass too worn – is usually to pave them, and create hard-wearing surfaces that will endure.

As Solano says:

“On a project by project basis, where outcomes are determined, we can undermine our collective achievement when we make designs that don’t fit the context or that bow to architecture, chose plants of inferior quality or those that can’t withstand given conditions, ignore basic soil and hydrologic performance requirements, make fussy landscapes that can’t be maintained, or experiment without the proper research and testing”

Read Laura Solano’s full story at Land8’s A Poverty of Landscapes

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