A 2013 Lecture by Pierre Belanger at TU Delft, Faculty of Architecture, Chair of Landscape Architecture within lecture series “How Do You Landscape?”
Starting with the claim that Americans are “geographically illiterate,” Belanger explores the concept of urbanity, especially as it relates to our landscape infrastructure, and you probably haven’t heard anyone speak about urbanization with more nuance or innovative thought. The Harvard professor argues that not only is our land surface urbanized, but so are the ground deep beneath our feet, the air far above us, and most of the bodies of water along our shores. As these processes proliferate, Belanger argues for viewing “urbanity” within a more holistic context. Where do materials that build our cities come from? Where do our wastes go? How does development on land radically alter landscapes under the sea?
“Rather than trying to see the processes of changing climates, we need to essentially work with them. Because right now rather thinking of our urbanizations on coasts as downstream from all these larger inland processes, we should think of them as being upstream of this larger oceanic landscape that we are essentially urbanizing.”