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Other titles in the Center Books on Contemporary Landscape Design series:
Designing America's Waste Landscapes (Center Books on Contemporary Landscape Design)by Mira Engler
Synopses & Reviews
One of the physical costs of our society's breakneck consumption, sprawl, and technological innovation and production is the increasing amount of terrain relegated to accommodating the resulting waste and wasted space. These marginal landscapes can be divided into four distinct categories: sinks; ruins or abandoned land; toxic or damaged land; and waste landscapes. Although Professor Engler discusses all four types, she is concerned mostly with waste landscapes - landfills, recycling and waste transfer centers, and sewage treatment plants, as she addresses two distinct aspects of waste landscapes: 1) the historic and cultural context of waste, and 2) the professional planning practices and aesthetic concerns of those who deal with waste and its landscapes. Ultimately, Professor Engler seeks to change our ideas about waste places through her discussion of how landscape design can function within the scientific and technological parameters of safety and environmental concerns to make waste places more central to our thinking and perception. In so doing, she reviews the physical evolution of waste sites, and scrutinizes perceptions and representations of these landscapes, and grounds her ideas in critiques of what environmental designers and artists have done recently with waste places to change public perceptions. Designing America's Waste Landscapes is a pioneering and original work that will appeal to professional planners and landscape designers, and students and scholars in landscape design and planning, environmental studies, urban studies, cultural geography, and even the history of technology.
Book News Annotation:
Engler (landscape architecture, Iowa State U.) explores the places where society puts material, objects, and environments that are deemed unuseful, limiting her concern to domestic and municipal rather than industrial waste. She begins with the private spaces of bathrooms and basements, then turns to public dumps, recycling and reuse institutions, and sewage treatment plants.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
One of the most visible consequences of our society's breakneck level of production and consumption is the increasing amount of land designated as landfill and other waste disposal and processing sites. Often located in marginal areas or adjacent to politically and economically dispossessed communities, these places are usually ignored by mainstream society, as is the garbage that fills them. Even with the greater awareness of the problems of waste disposal inspired by recycling programs and anti-littering ads, we would much rather take the garbage out than think about where its going.
In Designing America's Waste Landscapes, landscape architect and scholar Mira Engler takes a close look at the landfills, recycling and waste transfer centers, and sewage treatment plants that accommodate and redistribute the by-products of consumption. For Engler, waste is not only a pervasive, essential, and constructive process of civilization; it is a key element in the way we consider, order, and shape our landscape. Yet the overwhelmingly negative, defensive perceptions we have of these places — and their marginalization within public debate — limits our ability to respond creatively and effectively to the growing problem of waste disposal.
Engler addresses two distinct aspects of waste landscapes in America: the historic and cultural context of waste and the theories, practices, and concerns of the planners, engineers, landscape designers, and other waste management professionals. She reviews the physical evolution of waste sites across the country, scrutinizes perceptions and representations of these landscapes, and highlights attempts by environmental designers and artists to change public perceptions. Illustrated with more than 70 photographs, maps, drawings, and other images, Designing America's Waste Landscapes is a cogent and compelling inquiry into the scientific, environmental, and aesthetic parameters of cutting-edge waste management technology and design.
landscape architect and scholar Mira Engler takes a close look at the landfills, recycling and waste transfer centers, and sewage treatment plants that accommodate and redistribute the by-products of consumption. For Engler, waste is not only a pervasive, essential, and constructive process of civilization; it is a key element in the way we consider, order, and shape our landscape.
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