Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Landscape Goals

The urban landscape is a set of interdependent elements that creates a
controlled sense of place. It includes thoroughfare type, building type,
frontage type, and the form and disposition of landscape.

Public landscaping plays many roles above and beyond that of ornamentation:

1. To correct inadequacies of spatial definition caused by building frontages.
Planting steady rows of trees at the edges usually reduces the
height-to-width ratio of the street space. Grids of trees are used to fill
gaps left by unbuilt lots and surface parking.

2. To adjust the microclimate by providing the appropriate level of shade or sun
for buildings and sidewalks. For thoroughfares running east-west, this may
involve the use of asymmetrical planting.

3. To support the intended urban or rural character of the public space.
Selecting appropriate species and varying the species planted, as well as the
regularity of their disposition, can alter the landscape significantly.

4. To create a pleasing visual composition, being careful to mask the aesthetic
failure of certain buildings as well as to reveal the successes. Consider
seasonal changes of each species.

5. To create a harmonious whole of specific character by coordinating public and
private plantings. Selection should vary, to ensure resistance to pests, but
not result in an incoherent collection of specimens. Native species should
predominate to reduce maintenance, with an emphasis on species that support
wildlife compatible with human settlement.

Copyright (C) 2000
Architectural GRAPHIC Standards CD-ROM
John Wiley & Sons, Inc. New York, NY

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