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The Political Landscape Cover

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The Political Landscape

Constellations of Authority in Early Complex Polities

Adam T Smith

How do landscapes—defined in the broadest sense to incorporate the physical contours of the built environment, the aesthetics of form, and the imaginative reflections of spatial representations—contribute to the making of politics? Shifting through the archaeological, epigraphic, and artistic remains of early complex societies, this provocative and far-reaching book is the first systematic attempt to explain the links between spatial organization and politics from an anthropological point of view.

The Classic-period Maya, the kingdom of Urartu, and the cities of early southern Mesopotamia provide the focal points for this multidimensional account of human polities. Are the cities and villages in which we live and work, the lands that are woven into our senses of cultural and personal identity, and the national territories we occupy merely stages on which historical processes and political rituals are enacted? Or do the forms of buildings and streets, the evocative sensibilities of architecture and vista, the aesthetics of place conjured in art and media constitute political landscapes—broad sets of spatial practices critical to the formation, operation, and overthrow of polities, regimes, and institutions? Smith brings together contemporary theoretical developments from geography and social theory with anthropological perspectives and archaeological data to pursue these questions.

Unearthed Cover

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Unearthed

The Landscapes of Hargreaves Associates

By Karen M'Closkey

The work of landscape architecture firm Hargreaves Associates is globally renowned, from the 21st Century Waterfront in Chattanooga, Tennessee, to London's 2012 Olympic Park. Founded by George Hargreaves in 1983, this team of designers has transformed numerous abandoned sites into topographically and functionally diverse landscapes. Hargreaves Associates' body of work reflects the socioeconomic and legislative changes that have impacted landscape architecture over the past three decades, particularly the availability of former industrial sites and their subsequent redevelopment into parks. The firm's longstanding interest in such projects brings it into frequent contact with the communities and local authorities who use and live in these built environments, which tend to be contested grounds owing to the conflicting claims of the populations and municipalities that use and manage them. As microcosms of contemporary political, social, and economic terrains, these designed spaces signify larger issues in urban redevelopment and landscape design.

The first scholarly examination of the firm's philosophy and body of work, Unearthed uses Hargreaves Associates' portfolio to illustrate the key challenges and opportunities of designing today's public spaces. Illustrated with more than one hundred and fifty color and black-and-white images, this study explores the methods behind canonical Hargreaves Associates sites, such as San Francisco's Crissy Field, Sydney Olympic Park, and the Louisville Waterfront Park. M'Closkey outlines how Hargreaves and his longtime associate Mary Margaret Jones approach the design of public places—conceptually, materially, and formally—on sites that require significant remaking in order to support a greater range of ecological and social needs.

The Unknown World of the Mobile Home Cover

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The Unknown World of the Mobile Home

John Fraser Hart, Michelle J. Rhodes, and John T. Morgan

In American popular imagination, the mobile home evokes images of cramped interiors, cheap materials, and occupants too poor or unsavory to live anywhere else. Since the 1940s and '50s, however, mobile home manufacturers have improved standards of construction and now present them as an affordable alternative to conventional site-built homes. Today one of every fourteen Americans lives in a mobile home. In The Unknown World of the Mobile Home authors John Fraser Hart, Michelle J. Rhodes, and John T. Morgan illuminate the history and culture of these often misunderstood domiciles. They describe early mobile homes, which were trailers designed to be pulled behind automobiles and which were more often than not poorly constructed and unequal to the needs of those who used them. During the 1970s, however, Congress enacted federal standards for the quality and safety of mobile homes, which led to innovation in design and the production of much more attractive and durable models. These models now comply with local building codes and many are designed to look like conventional houses. As a result, one out every five new single-family housing units purchased in the United States is a mobile home, sited everywhere from the conventional trailer park to custom-designed "estates" aimed at young couples and retirees. Despite all these changes in manufacture and design, even the most immobile mobile homes are still sold, financed, regulated, and taxed as vehicles. With a wealth of detail and illustrations, The Unknown World of the Mobile Home provides readers with an in-depth look into this variation on the American dream.

Water-Efficient Landscaping in the Intermountain West Cover

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Water-Efficient Landscaping in the Intermountain West

A Step by Step Guide for Professionals and Do it Yourselfers

Heidi Kratsch

This working manual provides complete information on the technical aspects of designing, building, and maintaining waterwise landscapes in the Mountain West. Written particularly for professionals, including landscape designers, architects, contractors, and maintenance and irrigation specialists, it has an attractive, well-illustrated, user-friendly format that will make it useful as well to DIY homeowners and to educators, plant retailers, extension agents, and many others.

The manual is organized according to landscape principles that are adapted to the climate of the intermountain region. Beginning with planning and design, the topical principles proceed through soil preparation, appropriate plant selection, practicalities of turfgrass, use of mulch, and irrigation planning, winding up with landscape maintenance. Designed for onsite, handy use, the book is illustrated with color images of landscapes, plants, and materials. Tables, charts, diagrams, landscape plans, plant lists, checklists, and other graphic resources are scattered throughout the manual, which is written in an accessible but information-rich style. Water-Efficient Landscaping in the Intermountain West answers, more comprehensively than any other single book, the need for professional information that addresses both growing awareness of the necessity for water conservation and the desire for beautiful, healthy yards and properties.

The Working Man's Green Space Cover

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The Working Man's Green Space

Allotment Gardens in England, France, and Germany, 1870-1919

Micheline Nilsen

With antecedents dating back to the Middle Ages, the community garden is more popular than ever as a means of procuring the freshest food possible and instilling community cohesion. But as Micheline Nilsen shows, the small-garden movement, which gained impetus in the nineteenth century as rural workers crowded into industrial cities, was for a long time primarily a repository of ideas concerning social reform, hygienic improvement, and class mobility. Complementing efforts by worker cooperatives, unions, and social legislation, the provision of small garden plots offered some relief from bleak urban living conditions. Urban planners often thought of such gardens as a way to insert "lungs" into a city.

Standing at the intersection of a number of disciplines--including landscape studies, horticulture, and urban history-- The Working Man’s Green Space focuses on the development of allotment gardens in European countries in the nearly half-century between the Franco-Prussian War and World War I, when the French Third Republic, the German Empire, and the late Victorian era in England saw the development of unprecedented measures to improve the lot of the "laboring classes." Nilsen shows how community gardening is inscribed within a social contract that differs from country to country, but how there is also an underlying aesthetic and social significance to these gardens that transcends national borders.

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