Advertisement

Engineering Earth pp 1191-1222 | Cite as

Engineering Metaphorical Landscapes and the Development of Zoos: The Toronto Case Study*

  • Paul Harpley
Chapter

Abstract

The public institution of the zoo has been changing and evolving to meet the dynamic aspirations and needs of its visiting public and managing bodies, and to reflect the diverse habitat needs of animals in various geographic sites. Zoo exhibit design and site architecture have followed a number of directions over the years, ranging through realistic, abstract sculptural, architectonic, romantic, formal, impressionistic, representational and ornamental. The development of the institution of the zoo from its ancient origins and forms to the early western zoos and their evolution from the colonial period to the present are an area of study only now being documented. Only from the study of this ancient and contemporary history of zoos can we understand the current evolution of the institution and see clearly its future. We see today a certain urgency for better understanding connections between humans and nature. Relationships between human culture, nature, wilderness and conservation and our view of the environment are fundamental to our daily lives. Many of the modern zoo exhibit design initiatives can be considered megaengineering projects by virtue of their large size and cost, and the ancient history of the zoo institutions in various forms has always been of a dynamic and large scale. The modern period has seen the evolution of the zoo to the point of institutions like Toronto Zoo which first opened to the public in August 1974. It was one of the largest zoos on one site, and the first fully zoogeographically organized large zoo in the world. With an area at 710 acres (287 ha), and only 340 acres (137 ha) being intensively developed, the rest of the site is part a wild urban forest and wildlife refuge, now part of the famous Rouge Park, the largest urban wilderness park in Canada. The current Toronto Zoo replaced an old colonial city zoo called the Riverdale Zoo on another site. The Toronto Zoo 35 year anniversary has arrived in 2009, and over this time it has quietly been redeveloping and re-envisioning itself to serve its evolving public. Past and contemporary landscape mega projects at the Toronto Zoo, the African Savanna, Gorilla Rainforest and Tundra Trek are reviewed in the context of the discourse of Engineering Earth. Also related perspectives of zoos as creations of metaphorical landscapes of place and sites of future nature recreation and conservation of habitats are explored.

Keywords

Wild Animal Polar Bear Termite Mound Zoological Garden Future Nature 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Abler, R. F., Marcus, M. G., & Olson, J. M. (1992). Geography’s inner worlds: Pervasive themes in contempory American geography. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Adams, W. M. (1997). Future nature: A vision for conservation. London: Earthscan.Google Scholar
  3. Anderson, K. (1995). Culture and nature at the Adelaide Zoo. At the frontiers of ‘Human’ geography. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 20, 275–294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Anderson, D., & Grove, R. (Ed.). (1987). Conservation in Africa: People, policies and practice. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Ardrey, R. (1970). African genesis, A personal investigation into the animal origins and the nature of man. New York: Dell.Google Scholar
  6. Babbie, E. (1990). Survey research methods. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.Google Scholar
  7. Cajete, G. (1994). Look to the mountain: An ecology of indigenous education. Durango, CO: Kivaki Press.Google Scholar
  8. Canadian Parks Index. (2010). Closed Canadian Parks (1847–1867 and 1869–1872) (pp. 1–3). Website: http://cec.chebucto.org/ClosPark/Downs.html/
  9. Castree, N., & Braun, B. (Eds.). (2001). Social nature: Theory, practice, and politics. London: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  10. Cherfas, J. (1984). Zoo 2000: A look beyond the bars. London: British Broadcasting Corporation.Google Scholar
  11. Collingwood, R. G. (1957). The idea of nature. Toronto, ON: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Cronon, W. (1996). Uncommon ground: Rethinking the human place in nature. London: W.W. Norton.Google Scholar
  13. Dalley, S. (1993). Ancient Mesopotamian gardens and the identification of the hanging gardens of Babylon resolved. Garden History, 21, 1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dougan, B. (2004). Canadian Association of Zoos: Newsletter. Autumn, Ottawa, ON.Google Scholar
  15. Driver, F., & Gilbert, D. (Eds.). (1999). Imperial cities: Landscape, display and identity. Manchester: Manchester University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Finegan, J. (1963). Babylon; Babylonia and Assyria. Colliers Encyclopedia (pp. 425–427). The Crowell-Collier.Google Scholar
  17. Finkel, I. L. (1998). The hanging gardens of Babylon. In P. A. Clayton & M. J. Price (Eds.), The seven wonders of the ancient world (pp. Chapter 2). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  18. Frome, M. (1984) Battle for wilderness. Boulder, CO: Westview.Google Scholar
  19. Glacken, C. J. (1967). Traces on the Rhodian Shore. Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  20. Hancocks, D. (1971). Animals and architecture. New York: Praeger.Google Scholar
  21. Hancocks, D. (2001). A different nature: The paradoxical world of zoos and their uncertain future. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  22. Hanson, E. (2002). Animal attractions: Nature on display in American zoos. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Harpley, P. J. (1992). Western perceptions of savannas: Perspectives from visitors to the Toronto zoo. MA thesis, York University, Toronto, ON.Google Scholar
  24. Harpley, P. J. (1999). People and passion: The African savanna project. Toronto: Canadian Museums Association Annual Conference, Session on People, Power, Passion: Museum Performance in the 21st Century.Google Scholar
  25. Harpley, P. J. (2005). New exhibitry in a changing world. In A. B. Plowman & S. J. Tonge, (Eds.), Innovation or replication? Proceedings of the 6th international symposium on zoo design (pp. 49–60). Devon: Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust Paignton.Google Scholar
  26. Harpley, P., & Simpson-Housley, P. (1998). Response to a zoo creation of an African savanna landscape. Great Lakes Geographer, 5(1–2), 67–76.Google Scholar
  27. Heffernan, M. (2003). Histories of geography. In S. J. Halloway, S. P. Rice, & G. Valentine (Eds.), Key concepts in geography (pp. 3–22). London: Sage.Google Scholar
  28. Higgs, E. S. (2003). Nature by design: People, natural process, and ecological restoration. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  29. Ingold, T. (2000). The perception of the environment. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Ittelson, W. H., Rivlin, L. G., Proshansky, H. M., & Winkel, G. H. (1974) An introduction to environmental psychology. New York: Holt, Rhinehart and Winston.Google Scholar
  31. Kirchner, W. (1960). Western civilization to 1500. New York: Barnes and Noble.Google Scholar
  32. Kisling, V. N., Jr. (Ed.). (2001). Zoo and aquarium history: Ancient animal collections to the zoological garden. New York: CRC Press.Google Scholar
  33. Lank, D. (1975) Animals in art: An international exhibition of wildlife art. Toronto: Royal Ontario Museum Show, 7 October–14 December. Catalogue.Google Scholar
  34. MacNair, J. I. (Ed.). (1954). Livingstone’s travels, London: J. M. Dent and Sons.Google Scholar
  35. Marsh, Z. (1961). East Africa through contemporary records. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  36. Mitchell, B. (1989) Geography and resource management. Essex, England and New York: John Wiley, Longman Scientific & Technical Publication.Google Scholar
  37. Moss, C. (1982). Portraits in the wild: Animal behaviour in East Africa. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  38. Newark, W. D., Leonard, N. L., Sariko, H. I., & Gamassa, D. -G. M. (1993). Conservation attitudes of local people living adjacent to five protected areas in Tanzania. Biological Conservation, 63, 177–183.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Olwig, K. J. (1984). Nature’s ideological landscape. London: Allen and Unwin.Google Scholar
  40. Philo, C. (1995). Animals, geography, and the city: Notes on inclusions and exclusions. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 13, 655–681.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Plowman, A. B., & Tonge, S. J. (Eds.). (2005). Innovation or replication? Proceedings of the 6th international symposium on zoo design. Devon: Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust, Paignton.Google Scholar
  42. Polakowski, K. J. (1987). Zoo design: The reality of wild illusions. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan School of Natural Resources.Google Scholar
  43. Riley, J. L. (2003) Flora of the Hudson Bay Lowland and its postglacial origins. Ottawa, ON: The Nature Conservancy of Canada, NRC, Research Press.Google Scholar
  44. Robinson, M. (1996). Foreword. In R. J. Hoage & W. A. Deiss (Eds.), New worlds, New animals: From menagerie to zoological park in the nineteenth century. Washington, DC: National Zoological Park, Smithsonian Institution.Google Scholar
  45. Rothfels, N. (2002). Savages and beasts: The birth of the modern zoo. Baltimore and London: The John University Hopkins Press.Google Scholar
  46. Rust-D’eye, G. (1975). The Riverdale Zoo. The seven news (pp. 6, 7). Riverdale Residents Association Toronto, ON, Canada.Google Scholar
  47. Said, E. W. (1993). Culture and imperialism. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.Google Scholar
  48. Saggs, H. W. F. (1989). Civilization before Greece and Rome. London: B.T. Batsford Ltd.Google Scholar
  49. Sommer, R. (1966). Man’s proximate environment. Journal of Social Issues, 22(4), 59–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Speiser, E. A. (1963). Mesopotamian – Ancient civilization. Colliers Encyclopedia, 15, 731–743.Google Scholar
  51. Wallace, A. R. (1962). The geographical distribution of animals. London: Hafner Publishing Co.Google Scholar
  52. Whatmore, S. (2002). Embodying the wild: Tales of becoming elephant. In S. Whatmore (Ed.), Hybrid Geographies: natures, cultures, spaces (pp. 35–58). London: Sage.Google Scholar
  53. Wolch J., & Emel, J. (1995). Bringing the animals back in. Guest editorial. Society and Space, 13(6), 632–636.Google Scholar
  54. Wolch, J., & Emel, J. (Eds.). (1998). Animal geographies. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  55. Zucconi, D. G., & Nicolson, J. A. (1981). Robert J. Lafortune North American living Museum. In P. J. Olney (Ed.), International zoo yearbook 21 (pp. 41–49). London: Zoological Society.Google Scholar
  56. Zuckerman, L. (Ed.). (1980) Great zoos of the world – Their origins and significance. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyYork UniversityTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Director of the Zephyr Society of Lake SimcoeSutton WestCanada

Personalised recommendations