Landscape affected by human activity. Landscape that is exploited, i.e. used as well as abused, cultivated as well as capitalized, reshaped landscape, post-landscape. We focus our attention on places where man has left a significant footprint and where an intentional renewal is coming. What leads us to this renewal? Remorse, memories of the past, economic profit, a desire for residentiality and beauty?
We are examining renewal strategies of landscape with a burden that can have an ecological, economic, as well as a socio‑cultural origin, and to remove it we are using different tools. We are trying to find a new fully-fledged economic or recreational use for post-mining, post-industrial or post‑agrarian landscape; we are returning wild horses and wisents into post-military landscape, we are reviving the expelled frontier landscape through performances or land-art installations.
Considering the current changes in the landscape, the reclamation is a huge topic. It often costs a lot of money and takes decades or even centuries. Also the size of reclaimed areas is not insignificant. For example, a lake system formed after the hydrological reclamation of North-Bohemian coal mines will contain six times more water than the Lipno reservoir; the Ralsko military district is actually the fourth biggest municipality in the Czech Republic according to cadastral area. And we can find more such examples.
However, the phenomenon of landscape exploitation is nothing new. Today, almost the entire Earth has been transformed by man. And, as the doyen of the Czech reclamation school Stanislav Štýs stated for our magazine: landscape cannot be destroyed, but only transformed for better or worse.
Should we try to reclaim landscape at all costs or is it better to leave it fallow? What does landscape renewal have to do with architecture and what part do architects play in it?Send e-mail back »
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