Part of the book: Advances in Spatial Planning
Part of the book: Advances in Spatial Planning
Planners, designers, citizens, and governmental agencies are interested in measuring and assessing urban design treatments that are environmentally sensitive across numerous environmental design issues such as stormwater, adapting to climate change, wildlife suitability, visual quality, and maintaining soil productivity. This chapter examines a case study in the Grand Rapids Michigan, exploring design ideas for the extension of a medical campus and adjoining areas. The results of the case study present newly derived equations to assess soil productivity. The results of the soil equation development indicate that the soil productivity of an area has two primary dimensions, forming an annual plant preference cluster, a woody plant preference cluster, and a wetland plant preference cluster, where each soil setting requires a different soil profile. The equations explain between 90 and 97% of the variance and are definitive (p-value<.001). The environmental variables examined in the study, including the soil productivity, indicate that the developed master plan for the site is significantly better than traditional approaches and the existing site characteristics (p-value < 0.05).
Part of the book: Sustainable Urbanization
Investigators are seeking methods to assess the visual and environmental quality of the landscape across urban areas. In addition investigators are interested in applying these predictors to study landscape transformation and change. In our study we employed an environmental quality prediction equation, which assesses environmental quality to create a visual quality map of southern Michigan and then evaluated the map’s ability to determine the map’s reliability. Through the Kendall’s coefficient of concordance statistical test, we determined that the map is significantly reliable (p ≤ 0.01) and conclude that constructing such a map of a large area is possible. We then applied this approach to quantify environmental quality change to southeast Michigan (Detroit metropolitan area) from land-use maps in the 1800s, and from a map constructed in 2008. Only areas with cliff detritus had statistically significant changes. Many of these cliff detritus areas are now being transformed back to pastoral urban savanna environments, a vision that had been embraced by Frank Lloyd Wright. Wright’s approach compares differently with the grand vision Le Corbusier had for urban areas, a series of multiple-use towers spaced across an urban forest. The sprawling towers of Shanghai, P.R. of China exemplify this model in a modern manner.
Part of the book: Urban Agglomeration
For a least the last half-century, scholars have been seeking methods to predict and assess the visual and environmental quality of the landscape. In these investigations, some scholars have been interested in applying predictors to create maps, representing visual and environmental quality. In our study, we employed a reliable environmental quality prediction equation that assesses environmental quality to create a validated visual quality map of Michigan containing a variance of 0.67, containing an overall p-value less than 0.0001, and p-values less than or equal to 0.05 for each predictor. Measures ranging in the mid-40s and 50s indicate a moderate level of environmental quality, while scores in the 80s through 110 indicate a very poor environmental quality. Through the Kendall’s coefficient of concordance statistical test, we determined that the map is significantly reliable (p ≤ 0.005) and conclude that constructing such a large area (250,493 km2) is possible. This type of map can be employed to evaluate progress and decline in measuring the environmental quality/land-use change of extensive landscape areas.
Part of the book: Land Use
Environmental scientists, natural resources agencies, planners, landscape architects, engineers, and concerned citizens are interested in the impacts that land uses within watersheds have upon lake water quality and water runoff volume. For the past 40 years, much has been discovered and many North American water bodies from small to large can be reliably modeled and studied, employing phosphorus as the identifier of water quality. We present an overview of the key features in this multi-disciplinary effort and illustrate how to apply the general method to Rainbow Lake, in Gratiot County, Michigan, the USA. In addition, we illustrate how these fundamental ideas are being employed at the Haizhu wetland park, a large wetland setting in Guangzhou, the People’s Republic of China, and present Chinese planning and design efforts termed “sponge city” to address new ideas to reduce runoff and improve water quality.
Part of the book: Land Use
Planners, designers, governmental organizations, and citizens are interested in creating enduring safe buildable environments. Landscape hazards such as earthquakes, wildfires, hurricanes, tornados, flooding, volcanoes, radon, air pollution, sinkholes, avalanche, landslides, and blizzards create a complex set of destructive forces that form disturbances obliterating life and structures. In our study, we examined these forces across the lower 48 states of the United States of America. We applied geographic information system (GIS) technology to identify areas of extreme hazard and areas of low risk. Our investigation indicated that most of our study area (approximately 83%) was exposed to highly reoccurring destructive forces and that only relatively small patches (Upper Midwest-portions of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota) and thin stretches (Rocky Mountain Front Range—eastern Montana, Wyoming, and eastern Colorado) of land were relatively secure from these forces. This means that in the long term, much of the study area is not safe from disturbances that will destroy much of the built environment, challenging notions of sustainability for numerous metropolitan areas, United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Biosphere Reserves, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, National Parks, other noted historic sites.
Part of the book: Landscape Architecture
Natural resource scientists, concerned citizens, and government officials are interested in reconstructing disturbed environments for reforestation and agricultural productivity. We examined Clearfield County in Pennsylvania, USA, to develop a predictive model to reconstruct the landscape for seven agronomic crops (corn, corn silage, oats, alfalfa hay, red clover, bluegrass, and soybeans) and thirteen woody plants (white cedar, lilac, highbush cranberry, Amur maple, gray dogwood, peashrub, white spruce, white pine, red maple, red pine, jack pine, nannyberry, and white ash). A significant predictive model (p ≤ 0.001) was generated explaining 96.94% of the variance, with percent clay, bulk density, hydraulic conductivity, available water capacity, pH, percent organic matter, percent rock fragments, slope, topographic position, and electrical conductivity explored as main effect terms, plus squared terms, and first order interaction terms. The model is not over-specified and each predictor is significant (p ≤ 0.05). The modeling effort suggests that there are at least several clusters of vegetation preference dimensions based upon the terrain of the landscape. The model provides insight into how to reconstruct the disturbed environment for vegetation in the study area.
Part of the book: Vegetation Index and Dynamics
Landscape scholars, educators, and academics are interested in the structure and nature of the knowledgebase that comprises both the discipline of landscape architecture and the profession of landscape architecture. In this study, the latent nature of the landscape architecture discipline was revealed by constructing a principal component citation analysis representation (the landscape architecture research universe) concerning several decades of literature (1982–2017) in Landscape Journal, a preeminent American journal addressing landscape architecture research. In addition, an ordination was developed describing the curriculum relationships between fifteen top American universities teaching landscape architecture as identified by ‘DesignIntelligence,’ preparing students for practicing in the profession of landscape architecture. The results revealed that in the discipline, the research activity is highly diverse along many dimensions, constantly evolving as new topics are explored. The pattern in landscape architecture research is broad, as the discipline integrates knowledge and ideas in many fields. In contrast, landscape architecture curriculums, teaching the fundamentals of the profession, are fairly closely clustered together and quite similar, with small differences reflecting emphasis in either landscape history or the visual arts, and mathematics or course electives. This dual identity is both a source of conflict and a unique opportunity.
Part of the book: Landscape Architecture Framed from an Environmental and Ecological Perspective