If we accept that humans have altered the Earth so much as to produce a new geological epoch then we must elevate McHarg’s rhetoric of design with Nature to the design of Nature.

Ironically, the increased exposure of risk to humanity brought about by climate change, bio-diversity loss, and water and food scarcity enable us to feel more connected to the world around us. As a profession, landscape architects offer a unique chance to deconstruct and create generative opportunities that enact deeper connections between local and global systems while at the same time mitigating these risks. This is not, and cannot be just through our practice, but our thought leadership in advocating for change.

In a rapidly urbanising world, the everyday peri-urban edges of cities offer one of the predominant sites available for these opportunities to play out. Here, the differences and continuities of humanity and nature must connect people and natural systems so the way we think, act and communicate is once again explicitly connected to the world around us. In many cases, as so eloquently described by Joan Iverson Nassauer, the design of Nature will mean consciously deciding to prioritise orderly frames of the novel.

Lecturer, Landscape Architecture
AILA Director and Company Secretary
UNSW Built Environment

UNSW updated Padgett