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Making Territory

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Part of the Urban and Landscape Perspectives book series (URBANLAND,volume 14)


We inhabit a vulnerable planet. The devastation caused by natural disasters such as the southern Asian and Japanese tsunami, Hurricanes Katrina and Ike in the United States, and the earthquakes in China’s Sichuan province, Haiti, and Turkey – as well as the ongoing depletion and degradation of the world’s natural resources caused by a burgeoning human population – has made it clear that “business as usual” is no longer sustainable. We need to find ways to improve how we live on this planet while minimizing our impact on it.

Landscape architecture and its subfield, landscape urbanism, have the potential to provide leadership to enable us to inhabit this vulnerable planet in a more sustainable manner. Seven key landscape urbanism axioms are presented: cities and landscapes change constantly; technology connects us to each other and our environments in new ways, changing how and where we live; sense of place and sense of region produce distinct cultural identities; certain regional identities foster creativity; landscape-based urban design involves one application of additive structure across several scales; design and planning disciplinary boundaries blur in landscape urbanism; and cities and landscapes are resilient ecosystems.


  • Additive structure
  • City beautiful
  • Ecology
  • Fractals
  • Incrementalism
  • Landscape
  • Landscape architecture
  • Regionalism
  • Resilience
  • Territory

From “Design for a vulnerable planet”, Chapter 5 Adapted Version (Steiner) 2011. With kind permission from University of Texas Press.

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-6037-0_9
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Correspondence to Frederick Steiner .

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Steiner, F. (2013). Making Territory. In: Serreli, S. (eds) City Project and Public Space. Urban and Landscape Perspectives, vol 14. Springer, Dordrecht.

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