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  • Editors’ Introduction

Multifunctional Landscapes: Call for Papers for a Fall 2013 Special Issue

Anticipating a Fall 2013 issue (32:2) on multifunctional landscapes, we have previously issued calls for submission of manuscripts relating to this topic. To produce a Fall 2013 publication, we will have to receive manuscript drafts from prospective authors by mid-July of 2012.

Multifunctional landscapes are multi-dimensional. The concept of multifunctional landscapes implies the implementation of more functions in a determined place over a determined period of time (Priemus 2001). Efficient use of land is engendered by sustainable spatial, ecological, and cultural patterns; and for some theorists, greater overall resiliency (O’Farrell and Anderson 2010). Planners strive to meet various rubrics of performance that have emanated from principles articulated in broad policy declarations such as the Brundtland Commission (1987) mandate of meeting present societal needs without impairing ability of future generations to meet their own needs, and wrestle with the cyclical nature of many biophysical and socio-cultural processes. Designers increasingly see performance standards such as those in SITES™ or similar systems in local communities/some locales and across Europe as a regular part of practice.

In a multifunctional urbanized context, intensive and diverse land uses occupy land in functionally integrated, connective patterns. In such new places designers and planners often adapt, remediate, and repurpose existing sites with new programs and spaces. Such projects consider the sectional integration of systems (in other words, above, below, and at grade) and temporal patterns of land use (Lagendijk and Wisserhof 1999; Rodenburg and Nijkamp 2004). Park projects, for example, on industrial brownfield sites, such as Westergasfabriek (Gustafson Porter) in Amsterdam (US Environmental Protection Agency 2011) and Land-schaftspark Duisburg Nord (Latz + Partner) in the Emscher Valley of Germany, demonstrate innovative design processes as they afford multiple human experiences and deliver mitigative and adaptive approaches to the provision of cultural, ecological, and hydrological services. All of this occurs in new and traditional aesthetic forms and programs. Such combined regional and site-specific approaches can also be seen in the East London GreenGrid (Design for London, UK), Sustainable Living, Tring (m3project, UK), and other projects of various types and scales in several parts of Europe. In 2010, the Swiss National Science Foundation awarded Verzone Woods Associates’ Food Urbanism Initiative a three-year research grant under the National Research Program “New Urban Quality.” In the United States, the Landscape Architecture Foundation Performance Series has begun to collect case study examples of site-scaled projects, such as the Menomonee Valley Redevelopment Plan and Community Park (Wenk Associates, Milwaukee, WI), Kroon Hall Quad, Yale University (OLIN, New Haven, CT), and Taylor 28 (Mithun, Seattle, WA) (Landscape Architecture Foundation 2011). The designs of new communities and subdivisions in North America from Prairie Crossing (Applied Ecological Services, Grayslake, IL) to Southlands, an agricultural urbanism project (HB Lanarc, British Columbia, Canada), and Sonoma Mountain Village (BioRegional, Rohnert Park, CA) have forefronted suburban and urban solutions. Similarly multifunctional projects of several types and scales in other parts of the world are in various stages of development.

The rural conceptualization of multifunctional landscapes evolved in Europe around the recognition that agriculture produces commodity outputs (for example, food, fiber, and fuel) as well as various non-commodity outputs (habitat, scenic values, recreational opportunity, jobs, and regional identity). Both sets of outputs provide positive values for society. Multifunctional rural landscapes contain environmental structures and functions that provide multiple material and immaterial “goods” and “services” capable of satisfying multiple societal needs (McCarthy 2005; Wiggering et al. 2006) or what have been termed “ecosystem services” (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment 2005). We can define such landscapes as “providing multiple [End Page iv] environmental, social, and economic functions in a given area of land, taking into account the interests of landowners and users” (Lovell and Johnston 2009, 214). The design of multifunctional landscapes involves an explicit coupling of human and natural systems in the creation of self-organizing and non-equilibrium structures that evolve over time in non-linear, undetermined trajectories in response to the decisions and actions of society in a biophysical and socio-cultural context (Naveh 2001). Multifunctional landscapes must perform, even regenerate themselves on multiple trajectories. At its biophysical core, the expected...


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