Reclaiming the American West

Alan Berger

     11 × 9.5 in (27.9 × 24.1 cm)
224 pages
179 color illustrations, 29 b/w illustrations
Publication date: 12/1/2002
Rights: World
ISBN: 9781568983622

There are over 200,000 abandoned mines covering hundreds of thousands of acres in the western United States. Seen from the air, they create surreal, haunting, yet somehow beautiful landscapes of mind-boggling scale. But these scarred landscapes are only temporary: by law, mining companies are required to reclaim them, and the process of renewal exposes many physical, philosophical, technological, environmental, political, regulatory, and ethical issues.

Using aerial photography, maps, designs, charts, and analyses, Alan Berger provides a colorful and insightful overview of the possibilities-and dangers-of converting these altered landscapes. Reclaiming the American West covers the historical background and policy, as well as representational, technical, and design challenges presented by working with these enormous toxic sites, many of which have been converted into landscapes of extraordinary beauty. In addition, the book gives us an unprecedented vantage point above the sublime landscapes.

Choice magazine writes: "This beautifully produced book is an exploration of landscapes of the American West that have been transformed by the work of humans during the extraction of minerals. . . . The whole book is itself an aesthetic experience, from the layout to the superb photographs of disturbed lands. Many unique illustrations hybridize information graphics with abstract-techno art. . . . The book, which is presented in the context of landscape architecture, is a unique and intriguing combination. For the reader with an interest in human and their impact on the land, it is an enjoyable read."

Alan Berger received his Masters of Landscape Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania. He is currently assistant professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Colorado in Denver. He was the winner of the 2000 CELA international award of recognition for excellence in teaching and research.

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