Building the Future of Health

https://landscapemachines.files.wordpress.com/2016/03/1453042356-los20angeles20river.jpeg?w=1019&h=675June 2  Time:10:00-11:00

Theme:#healthy cities

Source: Building the Future of Health

Serious Landscaping, Healthy landscapes, transforming experiences

 

During the nineteenth century it was debated whether ‘land’ could be described in terms of beauty or sublime, as these were words related to the experience of nature. It was then generally agreed that landscapes needed ‘that kind of beauty which is agreeable in a picture’ (Gilpin, 1802). Recently, however, the agenda for an understanding of landscapes has toppled towards more immediately embodied nature and landscape experiences instead through the arts (Carlson, 2014). One of the explanations why the aesthetic character of ‘the sublime’ has become relevant again, is that there is need for a revolt against industrialization and ruthless urbanization combined with an increasing acceptance of ecological ideals (Brady 2013). If this is the case, the notion of the sublime can be explained as a critique of the current inadequacy of imagination on how to build cities and manage natural resources.

In this session we will first elaborate on this notion and then discuss two examples, made by young landscape architects. A new generation of landscape architects is concerned with large-scale landscape transformations that both heal the physical aspects of these landscapes, as well as their experiential character. We thereby interpret the future of health as both a physical as well as an experiential phenomenon. The combined ecological and experiential character will be explained by use of a framework for six archetypical landscapes that each poses a different challenge for healing. In general, we acknowledge healing as a transformation process of both body and mind.

 

http://www.buildingthefutureofhealth.eu/en/programme/28/serious-landscaping-in-between-disaster-management-and-trenscendental-nature-experiences

 

Eastern Scheldt: from nature – to human reserve

Neeltje Jans

Deltas are of great importance to humans all over the world. Densely populated coastal areas where land arises from sea. An amazing gradient where two worlds meet and nature and humans traditionally proliferate. It is the area where one hears, smells and sees the awakening of nature between the ebb – and flood line. It is where the sailor exalts navigation to a form of art and where he falls dry with his boat to be alone and to enjoy the mind-expanding vastness. Yet these qualities increasingly disappear due to the great technical advances since the 19th century, which tried to control the marine dynamics of deltas to ensure safety of the hinterland against inundation.

The Delta Works in the Netherlands embody this. The masterpiece of the Delta Works meant the construction of a national icon: the Eastern Scheldt Storm Surge Barrier in Zeeland, which does not only withstand storm surges, but even controls the tides of the sea daily in its Eastern Scheldt. However, this permeable dam has resulted in the erosion of the intertidal area (1) and subsequently in an insatiable demand of sand, which increases annually due to sea-level rise. The intertidal area will have disappeared in about 2080 as a consequence of this sand hunger (2), with major social – and ecological problems as a result.

Besides sand hunger, Zeeland also suffers from space hunger. The rise of mass recreation in the past century has led to the cluttering of holiday parks in the hinterland of the delta, which destroy the lowlands and the sea in their vastness. Therefore, a holistic solution for the Zeeland delta does not only secure the intertidal area, but also encompasses the finding of a suitable place for recreation in its delta.

This is achieved by means of the deconstruction of the Eastern Scheldt storm surge barrier and Grevelingendam, and using the resulting new marine dynamics (3) to promote the social – and ecological situation of the Eastern Scheldt. The new coastal defense systems (4-6) protect the hinterland from inundation, grows along with sea-level rise, and is in itself a new landscape entity of Zeeland in which the function of recreation becomes integrated into the landscape (7-11). This way Zeeland is strengthened integrally between sea and land and the Eastern Scheldt (12) is transformed from a nature – to a human reserve, where all interactions live together as an obviousness.

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Figure 1: The Eastern Scheldt Storm Surge Barrier caused a decrease of tidal volume and thereby shifted the marine dynamics from a sand exporting – to a sand importing system. 

Oosterschelde 2050-2100 Verminderd getij SITE2.jpg

Grafiek-01

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 2: As a consequence of the shift in marine dynamics the intertidal area will mostly have dissappeared in 2080.

ZW Delta Concept High-Low-01-01

ZW Delta Concept Low-High-01-01

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 3: The Eastern Scheldt Storm Surge Barrier is deconstructed along with the Grevelingendam. The new marine dynamics are used to stimulate the social – and ecological situation of the Eastern Scheldt.

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Figure 4,5,6: The new multifunctional coastal defense systems do not only answer the social – and ecological situation of the region, but also their cultural history aesthetically. 

waterstad

Figure 7: Watervillages become part of the new coastal defense systems, unveiling the qualities of the delta to its visitors

Neeltje 1op15000 Masterplan

Figure 8: Neeltje Jans, the terrain section of the barrier, as the symbol of the old – and the new relation between man and water.

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Figure 9, 10: Former parts of the barrier become breakwaters and borders to protect the new heritage and the most vulnerable shores at the mouth of the Eastern Scheldt.

Surf village

Figure 11: Surf village Neeltje Jans

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Figure 12 Human reserve Eastern Scheldt in which all interactions (co-)exist as an obviousness.

 

Full access at:

Eastern Scheldt: From nature – to human reserve (2015)

For consultation or more info please contact the author

Koen Steegers (koensteegers@gmail.com)

e-lecture ‘how to design a landscape machine’

Here is the complete video of the e-lecture on landscape machines.

It contains some minor technical failures, as were part of the original e-lecture,

https://webconf.vc.dfn.de/p4wiyzxiwdn/

Yours, Paul R.

First price Archiprix competition won by a landscape machine!

The project ‘Ems, Full Hybrid’ by my former students Remco van der Togt and Jonas Papenborg (co-supervised by Harro de Jong)

won the prestigious Archiprix first price 2014.

For the project description see here

and for the jury report see below:

Each year the Dutch institutions offering Master’s programmes in architecture, urban design and landscape architecture select their best graduation projects and submit them to Archiprix.

Of the 27 submitted projects 21 are by students graduating in architecture. Two entries have urban design as the major subject and six have landscape architecture. Thirteen of the graduation projects are located abroad.

Armed with an ingenious strategy, this graduation project presents more than just an all-in solution to the serious and complex economic and ecological problems afflicting the Ems estuary. It adds a convincing long-term perspective for developing this area on the border between the Netherlands and Germany. The approach is professional in the extreme and scientifically underpinned where possible and clearly documented. The designers correctly acknowledge that this is a so-called wicked problem. There is a margin of uncertainty to be considered, since the effects of the proposed interventions are not entirely predictable. This explains the manoeuvrability of the strategy to be followed. The project makes a credible impression, illustrating that designing can combine well with scientific research. The design has appealing spatial qualities and is presented in a way that is transparent to all involved. The compelling tale is clearly told and beautifully portrayed. The project unfolds a series of related proposals that are technically well underpinned. The proposed measures are targeted at benefitting the processes in the area. These are not just natural processes such as the flow of the river and the effects of the tide, but also the displacement of water by the cruise ships passing by. The long disused polder system to either side of the river is exploited in a new way, in which discarded North Sea oil rigs get a new duty to perform. Besides generating an attractive landscape in which nature and production join forces, the project provides economic opportunities while putting an end to the expensive business of constant dredging. The designers make a convincing proposal, one that gives shape to their intention of taking the vitality of the Ems region to a higher level. It is a project that provides valuable insight to a wide audience, from scientists to inhabitants, from harbour barons to nature lovers. A project that impresses and delights.

Landscape Machine CHECKLIST

Thermomodel_LaMa_Page_1
Figure 2: An energy systems diagram of a hypothetical Landscape Machine described by making use of COOS – the key concepts of evolutionary thermodynamics described by Tiezzi. A set of interacting processes, energy and material flows that resemble functions and services performed by a hypothetical landscape machine. Processes, systems and connections among them have a spatial and temporal dimension, each of which is the potential object of a deep investigation and design. By Riccardo M. Pulselli 2012.

The design follows a procedure that is besides being dependent upon local circumstances, roughly generic according to these points:

 

examine (4 points)

  • examine the confinement of the landscape machine
  • examine potential ecosystem services
  • examine historic systemics of the site and past/present social engagement (e.g. cultural embedding)
  • examine external and internal metabolic relationship and mark by what they can be measured

 

define (4 points)

  • define desirable nutrient cycles and feedback systems (recycling)
  • define nutrient cycles geographically and describe what has to be connected/isolated?
  • define desirable human, animal and plant life involvement (affordances and landscape ecology)
  • define what type of yield is possible over what timespan (strive for abundance and diversity)

 

A rather pragmatic part of the procedure is to administrate an input-output scheme of the metabolism. This scheme, together with accompanying cross sections that show the dimensions in the landscape, indicate what types of interactions may take place. We argue, and have witnessed, that such schemes can serve as the neutral ground for both the designer and the involved specialists to foster the research and design process.

 

Bibliography

Tiezzi, E (2011), ‘Ecodynamics: Towards an evolutionary thermodynamics of ecosystems’, Ecological Modelling, (222), 2897-902.

Landscape Machine TYPOLOGY

Recent examples of landscape machines envisioned in the design laboratory at Wageningen University have revealed several types that clarify the diversity of living system design. Even while all designs reveal a site-consciousness, they differ in their productive aim and living system methods.

production type, example see here

waste treatment type, example see here

system repair type, example see here

renewable energy type, example see here

With the ‘production type’ an initially small enclosed cycle of crop or livestock breeding is upscaled to become an open chain of nutrients, waste and fertilizer exchange. The landscape machine enlarges the amount of production units while being responsive to existing or dormant landscape processes that are cooperatively used.

With the ‘waste treatment type’ it is intended to decontaminate soil, water or artificial materials by means of ecological processes. The sequence of processes is determined by variation in time, size and position of the various cleaning stages. Eventually, the majority of waste is turned into valuable resources. In some cases, a minority of waste residue has to be isolated to perform in extreme types of landscape environments (e.g. the sink garden in Dredge Landscape Park) and to avoid contamination of other systems.

The ‘system-repair type’ is an intervention in a landscape to re-adjust an unbalanced aspect within for instance delta regions, riverbeds or beach and breach coastlines. Due to human creations such as deep sea harbors, some dynamical systems need continuous and costly maintenance that results in an equally continuous hindrance of biodiversity and system complexity. Such landscapes are ‘kept alive’ by relentless human involvement that by their necessary brutality continuously effect the evocation of natural balances. Carefully designed landscape machines are however capable to catch up with natural balances within dynamical landscapes and by doing so, introduce more abundant and diverse biodiversity that can thereafter become the basis for local and sustainable economical management. For example, the project ‘Ems, full hybrid’ , reveals that a sea-delta can be restored to a natural balance of width, depth and shape of the delta while adding new breeding grounds for mussels and a vast diversity in marine biotopes that, given the change to mature, will re-establishes an (economically profitable) gradient between mainland and delta landscapes.

Lastly, the ‘renewable-energy type’ of landscape machines are intended to redesign the infrastructure of energy and mass exchange within a confined physical environment (or region). The availability of local materials and energy to produce electricity and heath/cooling can be enhanced by living system design. Renewable energy provided by natural forces such as ebb and flood, plantgrowth, wind, sun, and the chemical difference between sweet and salt water (i.e. blue energy) all offer parts of a puzzle that is needed to assimilate and store a guaranteed amount of energy. The various parts of this machine operate within their own timeframe and speed, some very slow and some need prevention to develop into the next successive state. The periodicity and overlapping biorhythms are specific to this type of design and are especially interesting to describe by way of an evolutionary thermodynamical system.

Landscape Machine DEFINITION

The definition of a landscape machine can principally be explained in threefold:

(1) It is a productive landscape that by a design intervention will resolve an existent malfunction in the physical environment. This malfunction may already be explicitly present by negatively affected ecological, societal and economic development. The malfunction may also be artificially introduced in a landscape, because the environmental interactions are expected to be resilient against an introduced stress, i.e. respond with a beneficial processing. The design effort lies in the determination of the components, scale, position, time and set of human/animal interactions, by which a landscape could adapt to a desired functional situation. The malfunction (or induced stress) needs to be quantified to predict the material interactions and it also needs to be qualified to understand the type of interactions to facilitate new routines of human/animal involvement.

 

(2) The machine-aspect consists of ecologically described  processes that are either enlarged or stimulated to perform. These will continuously interact with each other, affecting the shape, scale and position of components within the landscape. There is a dynamic exchange, a continuous shift of ecological interactions, because there is a continuous disturbance of the system by large scale harvesting of crops, fresh water, cleaned soil or animal stock. There is need for a book keeping model of all the input and output that runs through the system.

 

(3) The design and evaluation of the functionality is made explicit by an input-output ratio, i.e. metabolism of the system. This can both be monitored quantitatively (e.g. amounts of water retention and waste decomposition) and qualitatively (e.g. human and animal responses and well being). The overall development can be simplified by four stages: an initial stage, a growth stage, a yield stage and a steady state stage. During the initial stage an intervention is made in the landscape and the related societal/(a)biotic types of engagement. The growth stage is transitional due to various parallel successions that interact. During the yield stage the Landscape Machine entirely regulates itself, is powered by renewable resources and will provide a maximum amount of ecosystem services and goods. The steady state stage would be the ideal state of the landscape machine because it indicates that the continuous harvesting of products can coincide with continuous shifts within the landscape, maintaining an abundance of biodiversity (ad. 2). Preferably developing into the dynamic and dissipative ecosystem such as mangrove forests, wetland systems or highland peats. Yet it could also evolve into a steady state that is no longer productive. This would mean a failure according to the intended design, but a success to a newly introduced ecological state.