edited by Anna Jorgensen and Richard Keenan
Urban Wildscapes is one of the first edited collections of writings about urban “wilderness” landscapes. Evolved rather than designed or planned, these derelict, abandoned, and marginal spaces are frequently overgrown with vegetation and are remnants of a wide range of human activities. They include former industrial sites, landfills, allotments, cemeteries, woods, infrastructural corridors, vacant lots, and a whole array of urban wastelands at a variety of different scales. Frequently maligned in the media, these landscapes have recently been re-evaluated and this collection assembles these fresh perspectives in one volume.
Combining theory with illustrated examples and case studies, the book demonstrates that urban wildscapes have far greater significance, meaning, and utility than is commonly thought. It also suggests that an appreciation of their particular qualities can inform a far more sustainable approach to the planning, design, and management of the wider urban landscape.
The wildscapes under investigation in this book are found in diverse locations throughout the UK, Europe, China, and the US. They vary in scale from small sites to entire cities or regions, and from discrete locations to the imaginary wildscapes of children’s literature. Many themes are addressed including the natural history of wildscapes, their significance as a location for playful activity, and the wildscape as “commons.” It also explores the implications for landscape architectural practice, ranging from planting interventions in wildscapes to the design of the urban public realm on wildscape principles.
Urban Wildscapes is included in our New Books List for December 10, 2012.