Infrastructure underlies and shapes urban growth, yet for the most part exists outside the realm of design discussions, tucked below ground or hiding in plain sight. Traditional forms of public infrastructure of the last century have proved expensive and difficult to maintain. Green infrastructure, soft systems, decentralized systems, eco-engineering have all been hailed as the solution to the inability of traditional engineering approaches to solve the pressing issues of climate change, financial malaise, unemployment and failures of governance -- but are they really up to the task?
As landscape advocates and practitioners argue for a more central role in the design of cities, many are starting to ask, how can a focus on landscape transform traditional conceptions of urban and regional infrastructure? Can we rethink how infrastructure of the next century is imagined and built? Rethinking infrastructure requires new design ideas and technological solutions, but it also requires a conversation about politics, economics, equity and the environment-- a combination of big ideas and the details of implementation. What will it take to transform the urban landscape?
Landscape Urbanism Journal: Issue 4 welcomes the submission of critical essays, provocations, and design projects that explore the topic of landscape as urban infrastructure.