Dissertation submitted to the Faculty of Architecture University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka. For the final examination in Degree of Bachelor of Architecture 2011

Department of Architecture University of Moratuwa Sri Lanka January 2011


Key words Landscape, urbanism, development, environment

Architectural and design theories follow an orbital motion as seen throughout the history. When the western world is turning back at the environmental consciousness the developing countries are rapidly destructing the environment to give way to infrastructure development ambitions. However developing countries always look at the developed countries for precedents. This phenomenon holds both negative and positive attributes. The contemporary local urban scenario showcases foreign styles and elements which are over powering the city architecture. These are rapidly being spread destructing the regional flavor and local environment. Landscape urbanism is a new hybrid practice comprising architecture, landscape architecture, urban design and planning. This ideology has occurred as a result of ambitions to restore the natural ecology in the urbanity which is lost due to the dominance of built environment. Basically it demarcates the contemporary western ideology of built to natural rather than natural to built. As a developing country contemporary Sri Lanka exhibits an attitude of natural to built. But when closely examined it is seen that somehow or other we will have to think vice versa as human beings are subordinate to nature whatever we try to do to dominate it. So that it is needed to examine the processes of the developed countries and learn from them to establish a meaningful development policy. The study aims at looking at such processes with special reference to the contemporary phenomenon of landscape urbanism and analyze local avenues that demarcate such new urban perspectives.



Abstract Table of contents List of illustrations Introduction

i ii iv 01

Chapter one – Architectural design movement and urban development 1.1 – Orbital nature of theory 1.2 – Two entities of development 1.2.1 – The third world development 1.2.2 – The first world development 1.3 – Sustainability and the eco city

05 06 12 13 15 16


2 – Parc de la villette 2.3.1 – landscape and urbanism – Contemporary development attitudes of the country 3. the emergence 2.3.3 – Downsview and Fresh kills competitions 21 22 25 26 29 30 33 35 38 Chapter three – Landscape urbanism as an urban development case study 3.2.2 – International precedents and its influence on development 3.1 – Havelock city 3. concepts and phenomenon of contemporary Sri Lanka 3.2 – Contemporary theoretical discussions on landscape 2.1 – Changing role of landscape 2.2 – City as landscape 2.3.1 – The origin 2.2 – Colombo 07 greenery 3.Chapter two – Emergence of landscape urbanism 2.3 – Landscape urbanism.3.4 – Urban initiatives through landscape urbanism perspective 40 41 44 48 49 53 55 Conclusion 59 References 63 iii .3 – Urban initiatives.

14 1.8 1.3 1.5 1.4 1.9 1.17 Mies Van der Rohe Robert Venturi Buildings of modernism Pruitt-Igoe housing scheme detonation Ford poster Mass production of cars Las Vegas City as an egg Mumbai slums Development.11 1..2 1.10 1.LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure 1.13 1.6 1.1 1.7 1.12 1.15 1.16 1.? Times magazine green cover LEED logo Green globe logo Carbon trading New urbanism concepts Danish pavilion by Bjarke Ingles Chinese people on bicycles iv 07 07 08 08 09 09 10 12 13 14 16 17 17 18 18 19 20 .

10 2.13 Cave paintings Swiss iron works head quarters Blue stick garden Olympic sculpture park – Seattle Jacob Javitz plaza New York High Line project Kenneth Yeang ecological master planning Floating island Palacio Hiero a Mexican city mall bank of England Recovering landscape book cover The landscape urbanism reader book cover Parc De La Villette competition entry by Bernard Schumi 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 31 32 33 33 35 Figure Figure 2.9 2.2 2.5 2.12 2.3 2.4 2.8 2.11 2.Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure 2.6 2.15 Parc De La Villette Parc De La Villette competition entry by Rem Koolhaas 36 37 Figure 2.1 2.7 2.14 2.16 Downsview park competition entry by James Corner Field 39 v .

7 3.17 Uthuru Wasanthaya Proposed convention center at Hambanthota Hambanthota harbor development American bill boards in the 90s Contemporary Sri Lankan advertising Billboards Nuga gama Colombo.14 3.Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure Figure 3.13 3.3 3.9 3.4 3.16 3.1 3.11 3. Colombo Havelock city project Singapore MRT Singapore residence towers Trillium residencies web page caption Aerial map of Colombo 7 Aerial map of Pettah Recent floods Gandhara Street Wellawatta canal 42 43 43 45 45 46 46 48 49 50 50 52 53 54 55 57 58 vi .8 3.6 3.12 3.2 3.10 3.5 3.15 3.

Often the development of a country or a city is depicted by means of its physical infrastructure. As depicted in the Charlie Chaplin’s movie Modern Times the city life has become a monotonous mass production. Is built environment really an indicator of development? It has been an indicator and it could be considered still to a certain extent. In conclusion the cities are not healthy to live at and the process of creating them has caused fatal environmental consequences to our home – The Mother Earth. The developed countries however are rethinking whether the concrete jungle is really the development humans expect? The two entities of developed and developing countries have different opinions.INTRODUCTION Architecture directly deals with the built environment and the built environment moulds the physical structure of the city. service oriented entity where life is not celebrated. At the first place developed countries have gone through industrialization and mass destruction of forests to arrive at the present state of development which is the concrete jungle. Page | 1 .

Turner T. black-white. Sri Lankan cityscapes seem to have adopted certain elements and strategies which are influenced by the Western model. Derrida acknowledged that the ancient values should not be dismissed. in 2005. p151 As a student of Architecture I have noticed this phenomenon in the local context. p 208 Page | 2 Schumi assisted Jacques Derrida for his philosophical understanding who expressed an interesting . firmness and delight. 1996.“The irony is that while we in the west now seek holistic solutions for post-industrial life and landscapes. good-bad are the polarities that we interact in life. and author-critic. at the design stages of Parc de la villette Bernard idea. architecture has been subordinated to considerations of commodity. he challenged the hierarchical dominance of one term over another in the polarities of malefemale. nations with emerging economies – China in particular are industrializing at frantic rates based on the old western model” Neil p and Hopkins j cited in Sheila Harvey and Fieldhouse k. but to challenge the dominance of one pole over the other. Positivenegative. Some of these are positive and some are negative. At least since Vitruvius. He did not wish to destroy the polarities. white-black.

It is still at the nurturing stages as it happens to be a recent development. and planning. so that it is divided in to three chapters. landscape architecture. the dissertation is an exploration of theory related to architecture and a parallel reading with other affiliated discourses such as landscape. so that the study is to configure the emergence of landscape urbanism at the local scale and critically analyze its impact of the urban situation and whether it may or may not provide a new insight contrary to the above mentioned built fabric oriented development.Likewise we can notice that a certain amount of dominance of one polarity over the other. urban design. Some urban initiatives in the local context seems to exhibit the precedence which are discussed under landscape urbanism concept and as a developing country we still have provision to adopt a new way of thinking. planning and urban design. Page | 3 . Are we going to chase the American dream and then think back again or are we going to learn the lessons and adjust our development ambitions to suit the future? Landscape Urbanism is a new hybrid concept involving architecture. Our planners and decision makers are at a one way thinking process resulting in the dominance of one polarity which is in development terms the development of the built fabric. According to the limited time frame allocated to the dissertation it has to be narrowed down to a manageable limit. It focuses on a bottom up planning and design process concentrating on the built to natural contrary to the ideology of natural to built.

Page | 4 . The Sri Lankan situation will be highlighted in forming the argument. The third chapter will discuss the examples along with the theoretical discussion formulated by the former chapters which will lead the way towards the conclusion of the whole study.The method adopted in researching is not based on case study detailing. The issue of taking the western model as a precedent by the emerging economies will be described in the second chapter. as new urbanism in urban design and as landscape urbanism in landscape. as the topic demands a theoretical basis that can be cohesively described by means of appropriate examples from literature and projects from both local and foreign arena. The first chapter highlights the proceedings of the world architectural movements that led towards the contemporary situation of sustainability concern and its occurrence as green architecture in architecture. Especial emphasis will be given to the emergence of landscape urbanism as it acts as the general idea which the dissertation revolves.


where a trend from a bygone era can be seen re-emerging as the contemporary hot shot. at this stage it is at a growing phase where people try to familiarize the object or style by imitating the people who use it. p217) The book City As Landscape where the book author Tom Turner under the chapter heading Revolutions In The Garden tries to summon up the pattern of ideological changes in the garden design. The orbital motion is the subject that can be considered as an interesting observation which is phenomenal in all the aspects of life if we are keen enough to notice. 1996.1 . This revolution in the exact sense of ‘orbital motion’ dates back from 1793 (Tom Turner. Fashion or any other trend can be considered to possess a cyclic life. Followed by the saturated phase comes the decline phase where people may try out something new. Page | 6 .Orbital nature of theory When there was no obvious way forward.Architectural design movements and urban development Chapter one 1. After being spread in a considerable portion of the society it arrives at a saturated phase. the initial enthusiasm fades away but the trend does not die but it will reach another audience in a different part of the world thus supporting the cyclic movement. It emerges as a trend at the beginning then throughout the usage it is being introduced to the particular city or the country. The most common and understandable out of all is the trends and styles of fashion. most designers turned back to the reproduction of ancient styles.

or the ‘isms’ hold a significant value as it has provided the background for changes in arts. so that the considered truth during a certain time period becomes out dated and stated to be possessing certain errors thus becoming unsuitable or unhealthy for the life style of the people considered. Elaborating on the topic the best example is the statement by the renowned architect Mies Van der Rohe stating “less is more” which was contradicted by another renowned architect Robert Venturi stating “less is bore”. movements. Those changes may act as both positive and negative outcomes. politics etc. landscape design. Interestingly this sought of dialogue triggers the idea of not having a distinct truth in considering theoretical fig 1.Robert Venturi [electronic print] Available at <http://www. Page | 7 . The contradiction of the two statements does not run down any of the two architects but both are considered masters of the same trade.Mies Van Der Rohe [electronic print] Available at <http://www.com > [Accessed 6th December 2010] fig 1.cartype. These theoretical discourses. In reading architectural history one may find various theoretical discourses that compliment.Architectural design movements and urban development Chapter one In architecture.cartype. urban design and planning the above rule is phenomenal even though it may take relatively a longer period than fashion. contradict and sometimes cross over each other in so making architecture one of the interesting discourses available where no fixed boundaries are demarcated. However these theories which reign over a period of time contribute to various changes in the human civilization. planning.com > [Accessed 6th December 2010] frameworks. architecture.1 .2 .

fig 1. reinforced concrete typified the era which was coined as the dominant age of the univalent form.4 .3 .blogspot. fig 1. The town planning and urban design was based on the aspect of functionality thus ignoring the design issues that adds on to the humane factor of the overall context. The utopian dream initiated by the modernism which resulted in the industrial revolution marks a significant turning point in the history. the past has been a time of woe let us go forward to a bright future. Flat roofs.coyoteblog. health and happiness founded on the principles of liberty. equity and fraternity.com > [Accessed 6th December 2010] The modernist ethic was a hope towards a new life style. to a new age of prosperity.buildings of modernism [electronic print] Available at <http://thetallyho. In architecture which was pioneered by Le Corbusier formulated a set of guide lines in designing buildings. My friends.com > [Accessed 6th December 2010] Page | 8 .Architectural design movements and urban development Chapter one Once the majority becomes uneasy with a certain theology it fades away giving rise to a substitute solution.Pruitt-Igoe housing scheme detonation[electronic print] Available at <http://www. The failure or the death of modernism can be expressed by the detonation of Pruitt-Igoe housing scheme in July 1972. The concept of univalency ruled the modernist era through not only architecture but also in planning and other related fields as well.

fig 1.6 . The life styles were purely based on the functionality metaphor.ford poster [electronic print] Available at <http://www.gettyimages. Industrialism which provided the ground for the modernism seed to germinate has its own way of adding to the historical development. pg57) The concept of the city was idealized from natural to build where high ways interconnected each other townships together.Architectural design movements and urban development Chapter one The building which adopted the purist hospital metaphor of the modernism surprisingly has won an award from the American Institute Of Architects when it was designed. 1964.com > [Accessed 6th December 2010] fig 1.mass production of cars [electronic print] Available at <http://www.com > [Accessed 6th December 2010] inflicted by the machine Page | 9 . so low in price that no man… will be unable to own one and enjoy with his family the blessings of hours of pleasure in God’s great open spaces” (P.Blake.5 .. Like the utopian dream of the modernists the noble idea of Henry Ford changed the life styles and cityscapes forever with its dominance of the motor car. p30).cartype. by the mid-seventies these explosions were becoming a quite frequent method of dealing with the failures of modernist building methods (Charles Jencks. 1968. “I will build a motor car for the great multitude….

[electronic print] Available at <http://www. as this followed modernism it was named post-modernism. It is a combination of both modernism and historical antecedents. in planning contrary to the modernist attitude post-modern planners adopted the idea of diversity. Naturally the univalency did not exist forever resulting in a new ideological shift.Las Vegas Pluralism of the junk yard. buildings hold individual character but collectively lacks seems out of place. It is not surprising to notice the contemporary cities where individual buildings showcase unique identities rather than the concrete.Architectural design movements and urban development Chapter one It is interesting to notice that the idea of Henry Ford to provide affordable motor cars to enjoy the natural open spaces itself was the destruction of the natural context and traditional town concept which was much humane than the modernist townships. Page | 10 .com > [Accessed 8th December 2010] fig 1. Likewise many movements preceded the post-modernism. Architectural postmodernism was typified by the multi-valent idea or the pluralism. glass matchbox solution of the modernists.7 .ubertramp.

Architectural design movements and urban development

Chapter one

This new phenomenon of pluralism according to the architectural critics resulted in the pluralism of the junk yard, where individuals considered may hold a certain character but collectively stands meaningless or out of place. The technological advances, material consciousness, univalency and multivalency all ultimately created a built environment that reigned over the natural context. The spree of development was so direct that the loss of our inherent naturality was unnoticed or neglected till we got tired of building our concrete dreams. From the poetic style of the renaissance, vitruvian morale of commodity delight and firmness, machine metaphor of modernism, scientific thought of industrialism the theoretical spectrum revolves to arrive at the contemporary natural consciousness; GREEN. The process started from the man’s control over the natural context, ultimately the contemporary situation provides testimony however sometime or other natural context has to be thought after in the first place. However once the ideology of the built to natural wear off the cycle will continue its course again; the history repeats. The fact of emergence and divergence of various design movements are not to be discussed throughout the dissertation but to critically review the contemporary situation of the ideological stand point which is generated in the developed world and the impact of it on the developing countries will be examined.

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Architectural design movements and urban development

Chapter one

1.2 – Two entities of development

As discussed in the previous sub chapter architectural design movements have changed with the time due to ideological shifts caused by the development of various aspects of human life. The flow of this cyclic changes did not single handedly changed the architectural language of buildings only. As a collective measure the building ideological shifts impacted the overall city or urban form. The history of urban design, city planning, urban housing and so forth showcases a continual need by the planners and authorities to restructure the urbanity, so the city form has been constantly at a dynamic situation rather than a static entity. The resulting city form was expressed interestingly by the metaphorical adoption of the city during different eras to an egg in different forms by Cedric Price.
fig 1.8 - city as an egg, coined by Cedric Price [electronic print] Available at <http://honeyedmouth.blogspot. com > [Accessed 6th December 2010]

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Architectural design movements and urban development

Chapter one


– The third world development

The definition or the identification of the city or the urbanity may differ drastically with the country or the region. As described in Charles Correa’s book The New Landscape the third world city icons are undifferentiated mass of humanity and cycles clogging the roads in all directions, contrary to the city icons of the developed world which are high rise towers, automobiles and flyovers. Then again considering the case of Bombay in India there is a part which is densely populated by high rises and another part which is densely populated by the squatter settlements but comparatively the squatter settlements are at a rapid pace of multiplying as a result of the daily influx of stress migration from the rural areas. While the nation has grown by 50% and the city by 100%, the squatters have increased more than 1100%!, facts such as these are going to change the images triggered in our minds by the word “city” (Charles Correa 1989, p 11). The image of the city thus becomes a multifaceted one with relevance to the country or the region we are talking about. With this idea the thought that the cultural and sociological issues interplay in moulding the city has to be individually thought after in generating a unique city model for the individual countries. This concludes the blindfolded copying of the western model as the wrong answer to the question posed.

fig 1.9 - Mumbai slums [electronic print] Available at <http://www.abc.net.au > [Accessed 8th December 2010]

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This phenomenon is seen by Peter Neil and John Hopkins as a contemporary irony. fig 1. The concept of orbital motion which was highlighted architectural in reference to the be ideologies would considered here again as the argument of different urban developments. As cited in the introduction Peter Neil and John Hopkins in The Cultured Landscape has observed that while the western world is re-thinking the urban theoretical bases they adopted in development.development.Architectural design movements and urban development Chapter one The study does not intend to look at the urban phenomenology from a sociological perspective but to summon up the theoretical changes affected the city form in general.India.? [electronic print] Available at <http://www.Russia. the emerging economies are following on the foot steps they have created. This aspect is also noticeable in the ethic of the BRIC countries (Brazil..China) towards development as those countries are reluctant to follow environmental friendly measures as it will slow down the pace of development. They are in the idea that as the developed countries they will consider the aftermath once the development goals are fulfilled.com > [Accessed 7th December 2010] Page | 14 .dailyhaha.10 .

Page | 15 . so that the following chapters will be prioritized on the new hybrid concept of Landscape Urbanism which has emerged along with many other concepts. the aftermath and remedial issues are considered. While they highlight on the importance of natural processes through their trial and error method the developing nations are doing the same destruction in the name of development. and once achieved.2.Architectural design movements and urban development Chapter one 1. The western world has frantically followed the development ambitions with less consideration about other facts. The dissertation framework does not provide the scope to carry out such an extensive analysis during the course of time granted. Does the western world have a right to demand the frenzy of developing world which they have previously practiced? Or can’t the developing countries think of a positive new hybrid development strategy with the lessons from the west? These questions are not easy enough to be provided with an answer. a kaleidoscope of issues which are interrelated together lingers at the background.2 – The first world development The phenomenon above discussed can be simplified as a single act or process that takes place at different paces in different regions. This fact is exhibited by the elaboration in the contemporary initiatives towards the environment or sustainability consciousness.

The concept has become the key concern in all most all the day today occurrences ranging from food generation methods.Architectural design movements and urban development Chapter one 1. vehicles. The present trend of cityscapes and the urban habitat is the opposite. Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. .tnr. The Bruntland Commission 1987 Above mentioned is the definition of sustainability as coined by the Bruntland Commission in 1987. The Modern city was used to consume materials and energy at a large scale and produce a relative amount of waste which resulted in pollution. Recently the world has shown various initiatives towards this aspect by means of conferences. As the industrialist ideal of mechanization has worn off resulting in fatal environmental circumstances the present generation of professionals are developing environmental friendly technologies and practices. Sustainability idealizes the scarce resource management.3 – Sustainability and the eco city The contemporary western or the developed countries ideology towards built environment is predominantly concerned with sustainable issues.com > [Accessed 7th December 2010] fig 1.Time magazine green cover The only issue in the history of time magazine which used a different color in its cover from its usual red color signifies the importance of green issues.11 . Page | 16 [electronic print] Available at <http://www. summits etc. The present generation is being provided awareness on the importance of managing resources. clothing manufacture and so forth.

altensis. adopting passive strategies for lighting and ventilation purposes are encouraged so as to cut down the operational energy demand. The operational energy is the energy which is required to run or operate the building for its desired purpose.med.Architectural design movements and urban development Chapter one In architecture this phenomenon has taken place as Green architecture. The bottom line of green architecture concept is cutting down on the capitol energy and the operational energy. Capitol energy means the energy which has to be invested in creating a building. in urbanism it is new urbanism.com > [Accessed 6th December 2010] maintenance required etc.13 . It is interesting to examine the amount of operational energy needed even in majority of office and other buildings in Sri Lanka. level of fig 1. transportation. ventilation. This includes lighting.Green globe logo [electronic print] Available at <http://www. a machine or by an activity. in order to minimize on the capitol energy the buildings are encouraged to use materials which possesses a low amount of embedded energy.12 . a building. processing. construction etc. A brief survey done under the subject module low energy architecture on Nawam Mawatha office buildings has shown that majority of buildings possess a very high carbon foot print as a result of buildings being clad with glass or Zn-Al cladding which demands air conditioning and lighting even at day times. Page | 17 . embedded energy is a measure of energy invested on creating and processing a particular material.LEED logo [electronic print] Available at <http://www. human contribution. This includes the energy on material extraction. The carbon foot print is the collective measure of the environmental impact done by a person.govt.nz > [Accessed 6th December 2010] fig 1.

Lower the carbon foot print lower the impact to the environment.carbon trading [electronic print] Available at <http://www.co m > [Accessed 6th December fig 1.New urbanism concepts People will either walk or cycle to the work places. This implies the extent the developed world is willing to tread in order to reclaim the natural entity. pg 92) Page | 18 .Architectural design movements and urban development Chapter one Carbon foot print briefly is a measure of the amount of carbon released by the activities and processes of an individual or an object.15 . work. To compensate on the damage. if sustainability were over emphasized cities would become miserable places (Tom Turner. we want cities that are beautiful. comfortable and accessible. The contemporary modern has become the restoration of the past in a different form isn’t it? Even though new urbanism it promises is to provide to a sustainable solution subjected various fig 1.com> [Accessed 6th December 2010] comments regarding the behavior patterns and life styles which will occur as a result. recreation and other facilities are located in walkable or cyclable distance. they have initiated encouraging countries possible to grow trees for them for money which is called as carbon trading. The developed world has done so much damage by means of built cities and infrastructure that they no longer possess land which is needed for the green reclamation. Sustainability is but one amongst many goals. The main theme of new urbanism is to create closely knit neighborhood structures where housing. 1996. Even it is named as NEW urbanism the concept has a historical precedent of old townships prior to the automobile revolution.14 . The urban design initiative towards the sustainable issue is surfaced as a new concept by the name new urbanism.triplepundit. [electronic print] Available at <http://onewaystreet. convenient.typepad.

But the attitude of westernizing is changing the habitat patterns at the contemporary stage as expressed by Charles Correa before two decades. Likewise the ideological shifts generated by the environmental concerns are at the peak.Architectural design movements and urban development Chapter one While the western world is idealizing on these aspects Charles Correa in New Landscape in 1989 did put forward that those concepts are already within the habitat of the people of the third world countries. circulation for by the the Bjarke The concept Shanghai Expo 2010 for the design is by means of a bicycling ramp.Danish pavilion for Shanghai Expo 2010 [electronic print] Available at <http://www.com> [Accessed 6th December 2010] Page | 19 .contemporist. This is expressed by the Danish pavilion design designed Architect Ingles.16 . the resulting phenomenon can also be reflected by the emergence of a new hybrid concept named Landscape Urbanism. according to the designer earlier Chinese city life was densely populated by bicycles but it is at a decreasing phase so that the idea of the pavilion was to re-introduce the bicycle which is healthier to the city itself and to the people as a green machine. fig 1.

As through literature references it is identified as the contemporary paradigm that amalgamates architecture.17 We have it but are changing phases towards some other? Or we have a potential towards adoption? The following chapters of the dissertation are based on the above posed questions. New urbanism concepts being practiced before its emergence. besides the term movement demarcates a dynamic entity with a flow which is natural to get subjected to changes and alterations. The ideals of the concept may not be finite or forever as the time moves on another concept or a movement will take place criticizing its aspects as well. urban design and planning towards a holistic urbanity. Chinese people on bicycles to work places daily. landscape architecture.com> [Accessed 6th December 2010] Page | 20 . [electronic print] Available at <http://voyage.typepad.Architectural design movements and urban development Chapter one What is Landscape Urbanism? Do we already have it? fig 1.


mimenta. humans touched. Everyone carries that legacy in body and mind. The word landscape triggers an idea about a physical entity in a picturesque manner. near water. read before the invention of other signs and symbols. heard. saw. (Spirn cited in Sheila Harvey and Ken Fieldhouse. landscape was the original dwelling. smelled. Through trial and error he worked his way into the so called civilized man. 2005.1 – Landscape and urbanism The language of landscape is our native language. humans evolved among plants and animals.cave paintings [electronic print] Available at <http://www. upon the earth. The transition from hunter gatherer to the agriculturist was the initiative in shaping the surrounding forestscape into landscape. Landscapes were the first human texts. at the evolution process his first attempt was to identify his surroundings. whereas the landscape painting is the best known historical precedent where artists painted a potion of the nature for its aesthetical appreciation.1 . pg17) As the above statement dictates the man evolved with the nature. fig 2. under the sky.com > [Accessed 6th December 2010] Page | 22 .Emergence of landscape urbanism chapter two 2. Man’s initial dialogue was with the nature. tasted. lived in and shaped landscapes before the species had words to describe what it did.

2005. It has leapt from private garden design to a public necessity. It does not sit easily within any single discipline. this plurality creates tension. Landscape is therefore a multivalent form of knowledge.2 . However all these definitions are based on the appreciation of the nature in an aesthetic or romantic manner which has also lead to the historical perception of landscape as feminine.c o.uk> [Accessed 6th December 2010] Page | 23 . The contemporary meaning of landscape may not only be the representational aspect of it but further stretching towards its objective processes. The minute that a single tree is cut down or planted by a human it becomes a human landscape intervention. fig 2. as the knowledge within landscape and the imperatives for action that it brings can lead to diverse outcomes (Simon Swaffield cited in Sheila Harvey and Ken Fieldhouse.Swiss iron works head quarters landscape [electronic print] Available at <http://www.visitsaarland. nor does it offer only one perspective upon the world. Throughout the history the landscape design has being considered as an art form which was basically involved in garden design but today landscape design has become a social entity with a higher purpose. pg7). The difference between landscape and nature is the human interface.Emergence of landscape urbanism chapter two Etymologically the word landscape is derived from the Dutch word Landschap and German word Landschaft which is evolved by the addition of suffixes to the word Land.

Economic aspects and real estate development seems to have taken over the initial priority on the human aspects of the urban condition.persianblog. The term urbanism however has a direct link with the human behavior patterns. economy. The contemporary definition or the understanding of the urbanism is based on the built environment.Emergence of landscape urbanism chapter two Urbanism can be defined as the study of the processes of change in towns and cities or else it can be defined as the product of town planning and development. political aspects.Blue stick garden [electronic print] Available at <http://zorwan.3 . ir > [Accessed 7th December 2010] Page | 24 . and socio cultural aspects of the urban situation. fig 2. As discussed in the first chapter the development of the city has undergone various changes due to the different movements which has not only changed the architectural definitions but also has subsequently resulted in a change in the town and country planning arena.

Emergence of landscape urbanism chapter two 2. planning and urban design has arrived at the environmental consciousness stage. Landscape today serve a larger purpose in the urban design field of the developed countries where it is becoming the major component and has preceded over the role of the built form as the basic building block of city planning and designing. Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe’s landscape of man is an ornate historical description of the civilization through the landscape point of view. pg 7).4 . Susan Jellicoe 1975. 12 Praxis) Page | 25 urbanization processes with the natural environment has become the key concern of designers fig 2.Olympic sculpture park at Seattle [electronic print] Available at <http://www. Increasingly landscape is emerging as a model for urbanism (Charles Waldheim. As discussed in the previous chapter the contemporary architecture. At the contemporary stage it has become a fully fledged discourse that deals with public open space planning and designing to the reclamation of post industrial sites in developed countries. The relationship or the interconnection of the global today. It was only in the present century that the collective landscape has emerged as a social necessity (Geoffrey.artslant.2 –Contemporary Theoretical discussions on Landscape The landscape has been a medium or a mode to understand the world we live in throughout the history of human civilization.com > [Accessed 7th December 2010] . 2005. which provides a powerful testimony to its role as an indicator of change. landscape architecture.

But in the process of naturalization landscape directly deals with vegetation. Page | 26 fig 2.5 . political and economic factors. landscape has become the model and medium through which contemporary urbanism is best apprehended.1 – Changing role of Landscape For many architects. mass production and automation.Emergence of landscape urbanism chapter two 2. Ecological restoration is a new concept in landscape scene which developed countries have adopted in the reclamation process of vast industrial sites which resulted due to industrial revolution. The phrase landscape ecology in this context has become a major component where landscapes are used to restore the natural eco-systems which are destroyed by the human interference. ir> [Accessed 8th December 2010] .Jacob Javitz plaza [electronic print] Available at <http://zorwan. Charles Waldheim Landscape deviating from the private garden designing has become a public entity at the contemporary stage and also landscape is being interpreted by different people and countries in different manners due to socio cultural. the difference here is vegetation or landscape elements are not merely used as a visual backdrop in the cityscapes.persianblog. Over powering the visual aspect of landscape it is appreciated for the natural processes that underlie the whole landscape system.2. For example the contemporary term landscape may not always deal with trees and greenery.

Here abandoned structures.arch. At the urban scale where built ratio is over powering the non built area this ecological restoration is practiced in a different manner. The New York High Line Project and Atlanta Belt Line are exemplary projects where landscape is used as an urban boom.ca > [Accessed 8th December 2010] Page | 27 .mcgill.6 . fig 2.New York High Line project [electronic print] Available at <http://www.Emergence of landscape urbanism chapter two Reclamation landscape is practiced as a separate branch of contemporary landscape design. railway lines etc are used as landscape components so as to restore naturality and most importantly to provide a catalyst to the monotonous urban life of the urbanites.

fig 2.7 . It is also note worthy that architectural practices are also amalgamating landscape at a higher degree than the previous eras.ir> [Accessed 8th December 2010] Page | 28 . here the human interference is limited only to the management aspect.Kenneth Yeang ecological master planning [electronic print] Available at <http://zorwan. contemporary examples are numerous where buildings are being treated as landscapes itself. Ruderal vegetation is one such aspect of the wide spectrum of landscape where plants are allowed to grow in the natural accord.persianblo g. Likewise the role of landscape is at a dynamic phase thus resulting how we perceive our surrounding context. This trend or system has occurred because it is researched that natural growth and distribution of eco systems are far more diverse biologically than the controlled or planted vegetation patches in landscape.Emergence of landscape urbanism chapter two The landscape cannot be concluded as used completely different from its historical role but it can be stated as an upgration with a higher purpose. Ecological master planning concepts of Kenneth Yeang are such initiatives where whole townscapes are to be designed as a single landscape.

the first emerged as a tight Neolithic agrarian arrangement fig 2. It has been suggested that landscape may be the model for a third urban form. subsequently this form was disrupted by the industrial revolution which allowed the city to spill beyond initial constraints to form a looser second form.com> [Accessed 9th December 2010] containing a narrowly defined urban core and associated protected surrounding.2.2 .flickr. pg 34. the third form after this modern industrial revolution city form has been described as an organic model (Christopher Grey 2005.floating island [electronic print] Available at <http://www. The city also is at a distribution process dissolving the city edges thus it either spreading as city into the landscape or vice versa. Page | 29 .8 .City as Landscape Landscape urbanism is a resulting paradigm shift caused by the reaction of the design professionals in order to bridge the gap between natural environment and the built environment at the urban scale. These are the facts that are considered in the landscape urbanism discourse.35) According to the classification of Cedric Price the contemporary city form is a scrambled egg where the core is distributed throughout the context this demarcates an open ended city form which is parallel to the ecological patches of landscape ecology.Emergence of landscape urbanism chapter two 2. The trigger or the inspiration for this new concept was generated in the urban context or simply in the city.

2006.Landscape urbanism. the emergence “Landscape urbanism’s methodology is multidisciplinary by definition. expanding from the legacy of landscape design to consider the complexity of contemporary urban dynamics. the development industry and architecture. urban strategy. pg23 As the statement dictates landscape urbanism is a multidisciplinary approach which has a close relationship with the idea of pluralism.Emergence of landscape urbanism chapter two 2.3 . the phenomenon was a direct result of the Modern single handed approach which was described in the former part of the dissertation. The Modern architecture and planning of the 1970s and early 80s prompted the failure in creating livable and meaningful cityscapes and townships. The present day society comprises of a multi cultural. environmental urban disasters of the industrialization during the twentieth century and the nostalgic permanent individual structures of the post-modernism the global urban phenomenon has reached the contemporary stages of development. Along with the social. Graduate prospectus 2005 cited in Christopher Grey. It integrates knowledge and techniques from such disciplines as environmental engineering.” Architectural Association. landscape ecology. multi religious environment where the expectations of the people are rapidly changing and very Page | 30 .

9 . architectural objects could not be sustained given the advent of mobile markets. and the decentralization of cultural norms (Charles Waldheim 2005.nz> [Accessed 4th December 2010] Page | 31 . fig 2. sequenced sympathetically styled. As a result the contemporary city definitions are moving from the concrete jungle to the actual naturalness.org. automobile culture. Can the urban aspirations of these societies which are powered by the information technology be handled by the conventional urban design and planning theories? This is where the landscape urbanism comes into play. The master planning has to deal with the changes of the contemporary society and run hand in hand with the natural concerns which have taken the center stage. pg12).Palacio Hiero a Mexican city mall [electronic print] Available at <www.Emergence of landscape urbanism chapter two different from each other. Traditional urban design’s dependence upon a steady supply of and spatially substantial.flatrock. The act of master planning at the urban scale has to be thoroughly sought out in this context.

[electronic print] Available at <http://www.mcgill. In this context the landscape is not just an element used to camouflage the architectural and planning blunders.arch.Bank of England The designer John Soane saw his building as a future ruin. landscape is dealt as an ecological process where the process of naturalization is introduced into the city. pg 3). fig 2. 2003. It has been a cover up story during the bygone eras of the developed world and it is still in action in some parts of the emerging economies around the globe. The landscape in this perspective is thought with its inherent qualities rather than its visual appreciation.Emergence of landscape urbanism chapter two The era of dominating nature in an attitude of natural to built is over in the developed part of the world giving way to the present day trend of built to natural.c a > [Accessed 4th December 2010] Page | 32 .10 . The contemporary landscape in the developed part of the globe acts a different and much important role which is the bottom line in landscape urbanism practice. The disappearance of the city into the landscape thus becomes a part of its larger evolution over time that can be designed (James Corner cited in Grahame Shane.

1 – Origin James Corner Field a landscape architect and the head of the University of Pennsylvania initially developed the phrase landscape as urbanism in the 1990’s during a conference which dealt with “constructing landscape” and “recovering landscape”.3. 2005. the outcome of ideas and papers were published under the theme Recovering Landscape. Charles Waldheim a graduate of the landscape Architecture program University of Pennsylvania coined the term Landscape Urbanism and organized a conference on the same topic in 1997. landscape is the lens through which the contemporary city is represented and the material from which it is constructed (Charles Waldheim. First coined in the 1990’s the term landscape urbanism is a hybrid practice between landscape and architecture with the assumption that the landscape has a specific relevance in defining the contemporary city. This conference and the initiatives by James Corner paved the path into this new paradigm which is being publicized by literature and also being taught as a graduate program in some universities. A straight forward definition on landscape urbanism is not available due to the fact that it is a new discipline.com> [Accessed 6th December 2010] Page | 33 .12 – the landscape urbanism reader book cover [electronic print] Available at <http://smendelson.11 recovering landscape book cover fig 2.Emergence of landscape urbanism chapter two 2. a hybrid field between landscape and architecture. Across a range of disciplines. 10praxis). fig 2.

Landscape urbanism also is a manifestation on open space and natural systems over built form and infrastructure. also it is at the Page | 34 . Charles Waldheim defined Landscape Urbanism as a branch of Landscape ecology. Urban planning and Landscape planning. public issues.private issues etc. landscape architect from the department of Architecture SLU Sweden on landscape urbanism has defined landscape urbanism as a new paradigm that brings together professional fields like Architecture.cultural. Landscape Architecture. the urban.rural. small scale – large scale. The landscape urbanism concepts were triggered by the architectural and landscaping projects in the urban scale and the thought involved in forming them. Explaining that further in Waldheim the spaces adds that landscape buildings. bio diversity and the introduction of urban agriculture. Basically the concept is about the transformation of the urban scheme through landscape related aspects such as water systems. multiple use of infrastructure which has a direct relationship with the urban built fabric and life style. concentrating on the organization of human activities in the natural landscape. natural.. ecology. Urban design. Landscape urbanism also describes a reorientation of planning where landscape will replace the role of architecture as the main building block in contemporary urban design. urbanism is a design discipline like landscape Architecture operates between infrastructural systems and natural ecologies. further more it is said that the concept is based on bringing together in many senses.Emergence of landscape urbanism chapter two According to a research paper done by Gunilla Lindholm a senior lecturer.

2. Tom Turner. The client argued on the fact that people will not be willing to go to a discontinuous building for what they expect from a park. as distinct from an unenclosed ‘forest’.wo rdpress. pg 211 The naming of the Parc de la villette triggered an interesting debate over the client and the architect Bernard Schumi.13 . It is most probably the knowledge generated by the practice and by the search into a new way of looking at the urban scenario rather than theory being formed and applied into the projects itself.com> [Accessed 4th December 2010] . In Britain and Germany the barriers and the supervision have been removed to a greater extent than in France. The latter believed at that stage the word park has lost its meaning and wanted to provide the client with ‘the largest discontinuous building in the world’. etymologically a park is an enclosed place for keeping beasts.Emergence of landscape urbanism chapter two processing stage with new knowledge being generated by means of international competitions. But this has not brought about a fundamental difference in the character of the parks.3.Parc de la Villette There are problems with the word ‘park’.Parc De La Villette Bernard Schumi’s competition entry [electronic print] Available at <http://landscapelover. subsequently the project ended up becoming ‘The Page | 35 fig 2.2 . 1996. Early town parks were also enclosed by wooden and then iron railings.

flickr. The parc employs a set of free standing structures which are named follies. fig 2.Parc De La Villette [electronic print] Available at <http://www.14 . This was the outcome of Schumi’s interest on the reconstitution of event and program as architectural concerns rather than superficial stylistic issues which symbolized the post-modern architecture. The winning entry by the architect Bernard Schumi astounded landscape architects and designers with its revolutionary idea of employing landscape as an appropriate and most suitable medium to order complex arrangements of urban activities. Out of 470 entries from 70 countries two projects stood out from the rest demarcating a new ideological shift. pg 13). However this particular project marks a turning point in architecture and landscape design evolution. contrary to the architectural monologue form follows function. The project initiated as a design competition in the 1982 to design an ‘Urban park for the 21st century’ on a 125 acre former site of Paris’s largest slaughter house. La villette proposed landscape as the basic framework for an urban transformation of what had formerly been a working part of the city.Emergence of landscape urbanism chapter two parc de la villette’. left derelict by shifts in economies of production and consumption (Charles Waldheim. these structures were first designed and assigned a purpose later on. 2005. This initiative demarcated the motive behind landscape urbanism where landscape is used as the primary element in organizing the whole.com> [Accessed 4th December 2010] Page | 36 .

Parc De La Villette Rem Koolhaas competition entry [electronic print] Available at <http://contemporarydesig nandarchitecture. It is also stated by Koolhaas that during the life span of a park it is in a perpetual state of revision so that the design should facilitate modification. urbanism Koolhaas the infrastructure of the parc was strategically organized to support an indeterminate and future unknowable uses over set of time (Charles Waldheim 14).blogspot.15 . fig 2. conceived As it. Even though unbuilt the second place winning entry by the office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) and Rem Koolhaas also demarcated a new ideology which paved the path in defining the landscape concepts. com> [Accessed 4th Page | 37 . This idea is reminiscent to that of Christopher Alexander’s idea of timeless way of building. or substitution without affecting the initial design hypothesis. replacement. The inability of the built structures to adjustments resulted by changing urban attitudes question our prominence of such components in the urban planning agenda.Emergence of landscape urbanism chapter two These structures along with the overall setting facilitate both perceived and arbitrary programs which are subjected by the urban dynamics.

hydrological systems etc. animal habitats. In Christopher Alexander’s view the city is not a tree – it is a landscape with overlapping layers which demands an open ended planning and design approach. Schemes presented by James Corner and Allen/Field Operations for Downsview and fresh Kills comprise of detailed diagrams of phasing. These two projects are coined as the most fully formed examples of contemporary landscape urbanism practice.Downsview and Fresh kills competitions The contemporary bias on landscape as the primary medium is phenomenal in recent international competitions where it is being adopted as the basic design configuration. succession planting. pg16). New York. Page | 38 . Such recent projects are the Downsview Park on an abandoned military air base site in Toronto and Fresh Kills on world’s largest landfill site on Staten Island.3. across disciplines would do well to examine landscape as the medium through which to conceive the renovation of the post-industrial city (Charles Waldheim. The body of work produced for them represents an emerging consensus that designers of the built environment. 2005. 2.Emergence of landscape urbanism chapter two This contemporary phenomenon is what that is being questioned by the landscape urbanism.3 .

16 Downsview park competition entry by James Corner Field. social cultural and infrastructure of the contemporary city. fig 2. The diagram showcases phase by phase development proposed for the ecological restoration of the park [electronic print] Available at <http://fruitfulcontradictions.blogsp ot.Emergence of landscape urbanism chapter two The thought involved in the project description comprise of complex interrelationships of natural ecologies.com> [Accessed 9th December 2010] Page | 39 .


The form of government at the national level has played a key role in the success or failure of development schemes in many third world countries (M. As architects the Sri Lankan institute of Architects have confronted on this fact and has been taking initiatives throughout the last couple of years on the importance of taking necessary acts towards the upcoming issues and how the built environment and architecture all together contribute to the fact in a positive manner. p288) Page | 41 .Gottdiener. 2003. This phenomenon is coined as the crony politics of the third world by Mark Gottdiener in his book New Urban Sociology. This particular situation provides testimony to the present state of the country which is governed by the mere will of the governing body rather than the professional advice and accordance. planning and urban design as formerly discussed is at the stage where environmental sustainability consciousness is at the core. landscape architecture. The contemporary world view on architecture.Landscape urbanism as an urban development case study chapter three 3. there seems to be a lacking in the implementation of such measures due to the slow phase of policy making and law enforcement.1 – Contemporary development attitudes of the country As discussed in the first chapter of the dissertation the concept of orbital nature of theory can be analyzed in the local context as well. Even though the initiatives are such from the professional bodies.

But the contemporary international phenomenon provides testimony that the development indicators are no longer the panoramic concrete structures and inter-wined multiple highways intersections. [electronic print] Available at <http://www.Uthuru wasanthaya Equipment and machinery arrayed at Galle Face Green before send in to the Northern province As discussed in the second chapter the contemporary concept of Landscape Urbanism has occurred as a result of looking at the development perspective of the urbanity in a new angle.lk> [Accessed 4th January 2011] fig 3. Page | 42 . After the nearly 30 year civil war being ended the country enjoys a new found freedom which has demanded civilians to look at their lives in a new perspective.defence. It basically reaches the attitude of built to natural rather than natural to built.Landscape urbanism as an urban development case study chapter three In the other hand the development phenomenon is happening in a rather different manner concentrating on the infrastructure mainly. The government is at a spree of accelerated development with initiatives of such measure. The government in this motive of a new vision to the country has started on a multiple number of development projects throughout the country especially concentrating on the north-east and the southern regions.1 .

Proposed Convention center at Hambanthota [electronic print] Available at <http://www.3 . This fact may hold a lot to think about because development needs to be thought at holistically rather than being biased on certain attitudes and concepts. As discussed earlier this occurrence can be signified as a positive approach to the civilians who are at a life style shift from largely agrarian to service oriented job structure. The argument of development may take a multi faceted perspective as some or else the majority will argue that the economic or social development can only be achieved through infrastructure development. oil refineries and so forth to arrive at the development goals. air ports. For example the future city of Hambanthota as perceived by means of 3d simulations show cases just another New York or a typical urban metropolis.development.development. But this method of taking on the foot prints of the past methodologies of the developed countries has its own circumstances when applied to the local context. If this concrete dream materializes in the name of development won’t it destroy the inherent quality of Hambanthota which the architects have always being naming as the spirit of the place? Will the predicted number of tourists for the future Hambanthota will come to look at the same concrete built up mess they interact in their day to day lives? fig 3.lk > [Accessed 4th January 2011] fig 3.Hambanthota harbor development [electronic print] Available at <http://www. In the cycle of development contemporary Sri Lanka is undergoing the phase of infrastructure development of harbors.2 .lk > [Accessed 4th January 2011] Page | 43 .Landscape urbanism as an urban development case study chapter three But the contemporary local condition is undoubtedly a demarcation of the idea of natural to built.

This visual pandemonium is a result of the contemporary trend of Page | 44 . as an unknown traveler would not be able to differentiate between Panadura and Ratmalana.The concept of globalization has decreased the gap between nations through technological advancements thus letting people to draw upon a wide variety of options and preferences in every aspect of life. 2005. This particular aspect of homogenizing is phenomenal in most of the major cities of the country while a journey along the Galle road provides the best example.Landscape urbanism as an urban development case study chapter three 3. Now our increasingly multicultural society. fuelled by cheap travel and information technology has the ability to draw on an ever more eclectic mix of references (Peter Neil and John Hopkins cited in Sheila Harvey and Ken Fieldhouse. pg151).2 – International precedents and its influence on development The contemporary development phenomenon discussed above acted as the main observation behind the dissertation which is perceived in the urban context through the un-thoughtful copying of foreign models and examples without considering their pros and cons. In architectural and urban designing terms this phenomenon has led the towns and cityscapes took look alike resulting in a monotonous environment that does not possess regional flavor. International examples and precedents are an unavoidable fact considering the contemporary technological biased society.

The brutal destruction of our landscape is much more than a blow against beauty.com. This particular aspect has been researched on special reference to buildings being mere façade decorations by Juhani Pallasma in his book Eyes on the Skin where he coins this aspect as the ocular-centricism of architecture. pg69) fig 3.Contemporary Sri Lankan advertising [electronic print] Available at <http://www.chinapost. no Frank llyod Wright. no Ruskin.net> [Accessed 4th January 2011] fig 3. tw> [Accessed 4th January 2011] Page | 45 . scientist and philosopher in the history of mankind has pointed to the laws of nature as his greatest source of inspiration.mapsites. there would have been no Leonardo. (P.5 . Every artist.Landscape urbanism as an urban development case study chapter three buildings being clad by Zn-Al composite cladding and massive digital hoardings that dominate the architecture. The billboards or large advertising hoardings have been an occurrence in the US since the 1905 which was critically discussed by Peter Blake In the book titled God’s Own Junkyard. 1964.4 . no Nervi.Blake. undisturbed.American billboards in the 90s [electronic print] Available at <http://www. without the presence of nature.

fig 3.com> [Accessed 4th January 2011] Page | 46 . People seem to be using roof top gardens in both residential and public building sector.Landscape urbanism as an urban development case study chapter three This provides evidence that we bring about technologies and styles which the other countries have tried tested and abandoned.7 . This trend has also affected the local audiences whereas couple of years back people were reluctant to use it on buildings both residential and public due to skepticism. As well as the negative aspects of taking on international precedents there lies positive attributes also. Architecturally the concept of urban agriculture and roof top gardening has been a contemporary occurrence in the world arena not only as a sustainable measure but also as a solution for the lack of garden space in urban housing blocks. This current incidence show cases that people are updated in modern proceedings as well as their implementation methodologies with the help of rapid developing methods of information technologies and other means. but that seems to have changed in the contemporary context. functional performance and other related issues.billboards [electronic print] Available at <http://www.Nuga Gama Cinnamon grand rooftop cafe [electronic print] Available at <http://www. which also provides evidence on the trend cycle mentioned in the chapter one. The ability of printing massive scale advertisement during election times fuels the idea of easy and cheap advertising among politicians.lk > [Accessed 4th January 2011] fig 3.dailynews. which means we won’t be able to expect a political level policy which will abandon or marginalize this disastrous usage any way near.thehindu.6 .

It acts as a tool in master planning to structure the urban conditions in an environmentally conducive and socially acceptable manner contrary to the typical planning process. Page | 47 . The following sub chapters contain some of the urban initiatives which have occurred recently in the Colombo urban area that demarcates new ideological thinking which can be considered and add on to some aspects of landscape urbanism point of view. This concept as mentioned can be a positive guideline to reorient the local urban condition and provide a basis for new urban areas like hambanthota which are still at the initial stages of development.Landscape urbanism as an urban development case study chapter three These aspects as discussed are related with the individual or micro scale projects rather than master planning level which is noted in the former part of the chapter. The importance here to the local situation lies in the fact that the country is at a renaissance period after the war which provides the ideal platform to adopt a much suited methodology and also as a country which is not yet spoiled beyond repair comparatively to the other so called urban megapolises where these concepts originated. Landscape urbanism in this case does not relate to the micro scale aspects but deals with the macro context planning.

Page | 48 . These can be either new concepts adopted from the international arena as discussed previously or else it can be urban phenomenon that can be observed happening throughout the time line.Colombo. While particular areas seems to be developing high rise luxury residential complexes certain parts like Pettah.8 .Landscape urbanism as an urban development case study chapter three 3. Colombo [electronic print] Available at <http://www. concepts and phenomenon of contemporary Sri Lanka The Colombo city as the region which resembles the closest to the definition of urbanity acts as the trend setting city to the whole country in general. Colombo provides an interesting study base as it show cases both highly concentrated low income population and high income elite which share the city in different perspectives.com > [Accessed 10th January 2011] urbanity.3 – Urban initiatives.galenfrysinger . It is interesting to notice that various development to models the are inacted throughout. With the rapid population growth as a result of in-migration Colombo city has faced with large issues regarding housing and infrastructure development. Mutwal seems to be spreading as a low rise development thus adding on to the urban sprawl. thus following own agendas contributing overall fig 3. However each and every development and urban occurrences add on separately to the urban structure which demarcates either positive or negative attributes.

Havelock city project [electronic print] Available at <http://www. The total project is estimated to be completed by the year 2015 complete with a fully fledged shopping complex and an office complex.Landscape urbanism as an urban development case study chapter three 3. The basic concept of the project was triggered by the new urbanism concepts but it does not intend to strictly adhere with all the new urbanism concepts as the main aspect of the project which is centered on housing in general. Comprising eight Residential towers with 1080 housing units which are categorized as luxury apartments.lk > [Accessed 4th January 2011] Page | 49 . fig 3.1 – Havelock City Havelock city can be coined as the biggest residential development project happening in Colombo at the moment. The idea behind the development is to create a closely knitted neighborhood structure with all the life style amenities closer to the Colombo urban core.3.lbr.9 . During the study period only two residential towers were being completed.

11 Singapore residence towers [electronic print] Available at <http://www.com > [Accessed 4th January 2011] fig 3.flickr. The urban fig 3. thus it serves energy purposes as well by reducing the distance between work place and home resulting in low fuel consumption on vehicular usage.Landscape urbanism as an urban development case study chapter three The developers are a Singapore based company which may have invested on such a project to achieve the urban condition of Singapore.com> [Accessed 4th January 2011] Page | 50 .10 MRT Singapore condition in Singapore is highly organized by the placement of green areas and parks as intermediate lobbies to residential towers.sgclub. According to the developers the Havelock city project aims at catering a certain class of people who are in the motive of inhabiting the city by providing a place within the city. This according to the developers will contribute to minimize the blurring of city margins in to the surrounding sub-urban and rural areas with new individual housing units. where majority of residents live in residential towers which are interconnected by a highly efficient mass rapid transit (MRT) net work. [electronic print] Available at <http://www.

One of the interesting attributes of the project lies in the predicted allocation of 7 acres of acres of garden space on top of the car park roof slab which acts as the common garden to the dwellers. The developers however have tried to amalgamate urban green garden concepts also to heighten the overall value. The importance of the project lies in the fact that it can be considered as an implementation of a new urban condition to the country. This can be considered as providing for lost ground by the project. It is interesting to observe that the general masses do not yet think it a primary concern to think green or environment contrary to the developed world where everything posses a green label on it. According to the work station office the motive behind the garden space is to create another value addition. Havelock city is an urban initiative it acts as an exemplary project towards new urban development in the country. It is said by the developers at the contemporary situation people think about the value for money at the first place where as scenery or greenery comes later on. It can be Page | 51 . This may be seen as an improvement in the luxury apartment scenario. Whereas it has been a phenomenal fact that the apartments around the Colombo Golf Club used the golf club greenery as a valued addition to draw the clients’ attention.Landscape urbanism as an urban development case study chapter three With the Wellawatta canal cascading near the border and the canal being planned to be purified and used for transportation means by the government the project promises to provide new avenues to possible buyers.

Landscape urbanism as an urban development case study chapter three fig 3.lk> [Accessed 4th January 2011] concluded that the value of greenery is emerging as an important factor even though it is considered at the moment for its visual appearance.12 Trillium residencies web page caption [electronic print] Available at <http://www. Page | 52 .trillium.

As discussed previously Colombo city provides an ideal study base as both rich within and one poor is single it will sector seen city be development fig 3. This particular aspect can be observed by closely examining the concentration of greenery within the Colombo city itself. If studied using aerial maps it shows a clear contrast to the low income households.13 – Aerial map of Colombo 7 Considerable green to built ratio.3. It is quite opposite in the Colombo 7 area. Thus the household development has happened closely knitted taking every possible square inch of space for functional amenities. In that study he show cases that greenery stands as direct indicator of urban attributes where as it provides a positive demarcation of the city population distribution.2 – Colombo 07 greenery Professor Rohinton Emmanuel has conducted a study regarding the urban greenery as an indicator of demographic data with special reference to Detroit. Image courtesy Google earth limit.Landscape urbanism as an urban development case study chapter three 3. Likewise greenery can be regarded as a key in understanding the city itself. In the vegetation perspective examined that most of the low rise poor settlements lack greenery. Page | 53 .

This coincides attitude developed towards greenery phenomenon with of the the world urban reclamation. Page | 54 . It can be examined that once the basic amenities of life are fulfilled people tend towards other related supportive activities and elements towards life. As the Colombo 7 population is considered it consists of the elite of the city who have achieved the highest standards of living and it is seeing that these people tend towards appreciating environment and valuing it. Contrary to the low income community who are struggling towards the days earnings and how to co-op up with basic amenities. Image courtesy Google earth somewhat individual towards environment. So that vegetation can be considered as an indicator of development thus it provides an interesting observation on the proceedings that are happening in the world itself. It may be a collective whole with affects on the this urban local planning.14 – Aerial map of Pettah area Built fabric dominates greenery.Landscape urbanism as an urban development case study chapter three It can be concluded that the development level of people has a close relationship towards greenery and vegetation thus greenery can be considered as a development indicator. precedent provides attitudes the fig 3.

but once if it becomes the only concern environmental pay backs become the resulting outcome. In the other hand recent heavy rains has resulted in most of the Colombo city areas being subjected to flood. so that isn’t there a strong need towards a new planning ordinance? The concepts of landscape urbanism as given in the chapter two by means of various projects and data generated by projects occurred to restore the inherent naturality of the world.Recent floods which effected the parliament complex [electronic print] Available at <http://indi.Landscape urbanism as an urban development case study chapter three 3.4 – Urban initiatives through landscape urbanism perspective This observation provides for the idea that whatever the environmental concerns and consequences people tend to consider them only at a certain phase. as the majority of the population and the country in general is at the developing stage. The reason behind is not having a proper drainage layout and no proper drainage land available as a result of filling wet lands and mangroves for housing purposes. But to what extent can those be applied are the questions posed. The question is complicated enough as people need to be provided with basic amenities.ca/category/colo mbo/> [Accessed 4th January 2011] Page | 55 . This particular aspect can be seen as a positive demarcation that ideologies of landscape urbanism have an avenue in the local context.15 . The above mentioned Havelock fig 3. So that it can be assumed that these new ideas will be taken into account by a certain sector but whether it will be sufficient in the master planning arena is at stake.

While the contemporary development bias is happening it is seen that certain positive approaches are also occurring even at a minor scale. While the development by means of infrastructure is happening at a powerful political will initiatives as such are contributing to both environmental and development purposes. The newly freed pedestrian pathways seem to be working smoothly with new vendor fronts that have rejuvenated after the new clearance which have previously been covered. From sociological or humanitarian perspective it may seem to be an unfair accord to the livelihood of the vendors.Landscape urbanism as an urban development case study chapter three city project and the urban greenery phenomenon both does not relate directly to the concept of green reclamation. It is seen that even though initially the decision held controversy people seems to have adopted with the new conditions as well. The recent decision to remove the street vendors from the streets of Pettah triggered a multitude of questions among many professionals and the general mass alike. so that it can be considered that different factors apart from the time such as economy. This particular approach Page | 56 . social condition etc acts an equal part in moulding the development picture. but with the relocation of vendors in a new facility without completely removing their vending opportunities opens up new avenues in the urban design scene in Colombo itself. The attitude of development differs with the time as mentioned in the first chapter under the concept of orbital nature of theory. but it stands as a new way of thinking initiated by certain developers and individuals.

This particular development which is done under a private business body has harnessed the potential of creating a theme street with life style shopping facilities. fig 3. The water bodies and water front development has been a neglected area of the urbanity of Colombo and many other townships which holds a huge potential in creating healthy and beautiful town character. The inception of water transportation may result in new avenues that go hand in hand with the water front development. It also contributes to a natural habitat pattern of flora and fauna if properly managed.Landscape urbanism as an urban development case study chapter three provides testimony of a new urban order happening in the city thus providing a controlled growth.16 Street Gandhara Photography by the author Page | 57 . This phenomenon seems to be taken into consideration by the developers of the Gandhara Street in Kirulapona. In the other hand the newest development plans for the initiation of water transportation systems starting with the Wellawatta canal improvement seems to have opened up another aspect of the city form. It may consist of purified water bodies with water’s edge parks and recreation amenities as well.

These incidents differ from the conventional attitude towards looking at the new development projects. Landscape urbanism is the first of extensive research on urban environmental consciousness.Landscape urbanism as an urban development case study chapter three The on the street project the architects predicted canal and future which designers have given due thought purification and development of Wellawatta being borders the street. The local projects demarcate just the attitude shift at its earliest stage which leads towards the emergence of landscape urbanism. With the architecturally manipulated to create a unique identity.17 canal Wellawatta parks and cafes thus adding more activity and flavor to the total Gandhara Street. So that the implication of the concepts of landscape urbanism has to wait until due thought reaches the involved parties and professionals alike. plans are under way to amalgamate the rejuvenation of the canal itself to the future development of water’s edge fig 3. Page | 58 Image courtesy Google Earth . The previously discussed urban occurrences in Colombo show cases that new urban concepts are being practiced which resembles a bias towards energy and environmental consciousness. All in all it is seen that within the Colombo urban district there are initiatives taking place that depicts new development thinking.

The risk that the country holds in ecological terms is that whether it will damage the existing natural ecology in the name of development.CONCLUSION The contemporary and development picture has in both developing developed countries different attributes. When the western ideological thinking is turning back on to the environmental consciousness the countries with emerging economies are on their way towards development. Massive scale development of highways and new townships need to be thoroughly considered in terms of ecological conditions before implementation. As a country at the development process we still preserve a fair amount of greenery. The development to cater the countries’ well being should not destroy the inherent nature. This particular aspect of development is seen in the contemporary political decision of accelerated development in Sri Lanka. The larger development at planning scale in the country is biased mainly on the development become a goals. mere the side environmental concern has statement. destructing the inherent naturality. Page | 59 . This natural asset acts as the tourist magnet for the country in general. This phenomenon is understandable as discussed in the chapter one in reference to the orbital nature of theory.

however it demarcates a certain bias at the concept of conservation of environment. Here the lost natural context in the city is to be brought back by means of a planned development program. It does not only serve the natural concerns and environment but also provides a boom to the monotonous urban life by providing a retreat space. Above mentioned projects show that the appraisal of environment is for the sake of visual aesthetics. Page | 60 . These aspects as discussed under chapter three showcases a trigger in looking at the environment perspective withholding the development goals. The western concept of landscape urbanism is such an approach which integrates the human role in the city system with other ecological systems. This concept involves phase by phase planning to restore natural habitats within the city.But in the urban areas of Colombo certain occurrences are underway that demarcate a positive new way of thinking. These projects and occurrences exhibit the initial stages of appraising the environment within the urban core. But contrary to the western thought the environment is not yet appraised for its ecological value because still the general mass does not seem to have grabbed the importance it holds. As discussed in the chapter three with the Havelock city project and the wellawatta canal rehabilitation the area seems to open up new avenues of looking at the environment.

at the urban scale this is shown by the elements and styles which are followed in architecture. These new attributes showcases that a certain sector is involved in the initiative of adopting contemporary strategies along with the global environmental picture. The development spree is so focused in this one sided agenda. thus we are still approaching the so called urban infrastructure systems. Once a style or a trend is practiced by a certain sector of the community it is easily followed by the majority. The landscape urbanism practice is something that is being practiced at the international arena to restore the ecological balance in the city. The discussed cases are such that provide exemplary thinking which will reinvent the development definition. This phenomenon holds both negative and positive aspects as given in the chapter three. The cases given in the chapter three demarcate that the Page | 61 .With the advances of information technology people draw upon various precedents. The importance of looking at these concepts is that we have not yet lost our cities beyond repair. Once we reach these goals we will arrive at a stage where we will have to think back at the environmental picture as the developed world is doing at the contemporary stage. The study was conducted on identifying positive new urban attributes that look at the environment. But it is advisable if we can identify the larger future picture and reorient our thinking towards a unique development strategy. These projects and occurrences are at the germinating stage which will bear the fruits of the concepts discussed under landscape urbanism in future.

and try to reorient our development processes rather than blindfoldedly copying the idea which may not always suite the local conditions. The conclusion is that as a developing country we must examine the processes which led developed countries towards these initiatives. Architects and planners all together must join hands to redirect the development agenda with the environmental concern in mind as architects are the trend setters related to built environment. Page | 62 . which has been thoroughly discussed throughout the study. and it is not the intended research outcome. If the architects and planners try to adhere with such methods it will be inacted in the society as a trend. Concepts of landscape urbanism cannot be directly applied to the local context.country holds an avenue towards such an ideology.

Britain. From emergence to divergencemodes of landscape urbanism. Birkhauser publishers for architecture. Ed Strelow H. Landscape research 2009 (vol. 2004 Richard T. Harvard Design Magazine . 2005 Landscape Architecture (the magazine of the American society of landscape Architects) Issues 03 (2009). The Emergence of “Landscape Urbanism” . Landscape Architecture 2009 (3) 98-99 Taylor K. a dissertation submitted M Arch University of Edinburgh. Ecological Aesthetics. Holt. 1996 Page | 63 . Promenade plantee and the High Line. Landscape Ecology 1995 (vol. City as landscape.Fall 2003/winter 2004 (19) Steven L. Rinehart and Winston. Some general principals of landscape and regional ecology.10) 133142 Shane G .REFERENCES Blake P.The planned deterioration of America’s landscape. The Cultured Landscape. 1964 Christopher D Grey.34) 7-31 Turner T. God’s own junkyard. Oxon. Switzerland. USA.T Forman. David V. Routledge. Cantor.A post modern view of design and planning. E&FN Spon. art in environmental design theory and practice. Fieldhouse K. Cultural landscapes and Asia: reconciling international and Southeast Asian regional values. 10 (2009) Prigann H. 2005-06 Ed Harvey S. Hopkins J.

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