Contributions to Proceedings:
K. Hagen, R. Stiles:
"Lessons from historic examples as a base for climate sensitive urban landscape design";
in: "Alnarp 2008. New landscapes new lives. New challenges inlandscape planning, design and management.",
I. Sarlöv-Herlin (ed.);
issued by: SLU Alnarp, Schweden;
Faculty of Landscape Planning, Horticulture and Agricultural Science,
Since the days of Nan Fairbrother´s New Lives, New Landscapes, contemporary European landscape design has lost much of its functional clarity. The expansive paved spaces of many of today´s projects often appear to have been designed more for the benefit of magazine photographers than for everyday use by the public. Since the reaction against the `design with nature´ paradigm of the 1970s and early 1980s on, it has perhaps been possible to get away with focussing primarily on the aesthetic and visual characteristics of projects. This has been acceptable, not only due to the welcome contrast that such projects initially offered over the rather indeterminate naturalistic spaces created with previous designer paradigms, but also because - at least in northern Europe - the climatic demands relating to ensuring human-well being in such spaces have been minimal. With the imminent threat of increasingly extreme climates, caused by global warming, there is a need to rethink approaches to landscape design, and urban landscape design in particular. The urban situation is different simply because the heat island effect, which has always caused the climates of towns and cities to be hotter and more extreme than those of the surrounding landscapes, is likely to mean that the impacts of global warming and the resulting effects of aggravated atmospheric pollution on open spaces and their use is likely to be felt most extremely there first. It will be necessary to develop new strategies to tackle the design of urban spaces in the light of these changes, and the issue of design to create more suitable microclimates will move closer to the centre of these concerns. However, in seeking new strategies it is often useful to study precedents from the past. One obvious source of such precedent is traditional Moorish garden architecture, in which attractive and sensuously rich outdoor spaces were created in otherwise harsh, hot and dry climatic conditions. The renewed analysis of these gardens from a contemporary standpoint will be an important contribution to creating new urban landscapes capable of responding to the demands of climate change which will increasingly shape "new lives" in the future.
Created from the Publication Database of the Vienna University of Technology.