Do you really know what is under that new house you just bought? How about what lies beneath the neighborhood playground? Was that "big box" retailer down your street built over a toxic site? These are just a few of the worrisome scenarios facing us all as our cities begin to redevelop old toxic waste sites--places Alan Berger has coined "drosscapes." Drosscape: Wasting Land in Urban America is your guide to this vast, hitherto largely ignored field of waste landscapes.
Landscape architects must learn to accommodate these wastelands along with the more traditional challenges of site and construction. This will require a radical reconceptualization of thinking about landscape before potential solutions can be effectively addressed or devised. Ten cities are examined both visually and analytically through the use of aerial photography and geospatially derived maps, charts, and graphs.
Lured by tax incentives and the benefits of inadequate public awareness, corporate America is rapidly developing these toxic sites. It is our right to know about these danger zones underneath our communities and our duty to stay vigilant. Drosscape makes clear it is also a design challenge of the most pressing order.
Alan Berger, Associate professor of Landscape Architecture at Harvard's Graduate School of Design, lives in Arlington, MA. He is author of Reclaiming the American West, Princeton Architectural Press, 2003
The Social Issues Shelf, The Midwest Book Review:
"A top pick not just for architects and building designers, but for any homeowners or buyer who would understand waste landscapes and how they are handled....a radical new method of thinking about landscape and its problems."
— James A. Cox
"(Drosscape) describes another vast landscape project awaiting our sustained attension while simultaniously prodding the landscape architecture profession to claim a more prominent role in shaping the landscapes of urbanization."
— Gale Fulton
A Climate of Change, Green Places:
"This book offers a collection of aerial photographs of Americas near-derelict industrial landscapes - redundant marshalling yards, docks, shopping malls - as well as stretches of new low rise suburbia, all of which have produced a crisis of horizontality in planning, density and transport costs. It is thought provoking stuff, contributing graphic evidence to American exceptionalism in matters of land use, scale and programmes of ecological rehabilitation."
Drosscape, New Scientist:
"Dross is integral to the urban landscape. The holes are part of the whole"
In the Modern World, Dwell:
"An enlightening smattering of illustrations - from aerial photography to charts to maps - forces readers to understand the frightening impact of unfettered urbanization."
Edifice Complex, Kansas City Star:
"suggesting new ways to think about the dross along the edges of American cities."
— Steve Paul
"Much of what he photographs is recognizable as what most of us would call sprawl. But fo rBerger, that term is irrelevant. Sooner or later, he says, all of this seemingly wasted land will be reused in some way."
— Harold Henderson
"Do you really know what is under that new house you just bought?How about what lies beneath the neighborhood playground?Was that big box retailer down your street built over a toxic site?These are just a few of the worrisome scenarios facing us all as our cities begin to redevelop old toxic waste site-places Alan Berger has coined drosscapes."
"(Drosscape) makes excellent use of aerial photoggraphy and complex, detailed charts and images showing population densities and the migration of manufacturing activity."
— Ray Bert
...wasted space(s) are on our coffee tables this month., Wallpaper:
"Alan Berger has coined the term drosscape, and this is its first atlas. Through stunning aerial photography, he records the worst of this taken-for-granted resource, tracing the millions of abandoned, overexploited, junked and fallow acres that exist, scattered across the countrys landscape of big-box outlets, tract housing, raised interstates and post-industrial and post-military wreckage."
Waste Not, Want Not, Architecture:
"Bergers well-researched current discourse about the inevitability and causal factors of sprawl extends to an analysis of 10 urbanized regions, with three types of mapping termed by the author: entropic indicators, charting four categories of waste landscapes (infrastructure, obsolence, exchange, and contamination); dispersal graphs, juxtaposing population density, distance from teh city center, and changes in urbanization patterns; and spindle charts, setting the decline and growth of industry within the context of its distance from the city center."
— Nathalie Westervelt