Urban Landscaping and Information Technology

Traditionally, Landscape is a section or expanse of scenery, usually extensive and natural, that can be seen from a single viewpoint. It refers to the visible features of an area of land (often extensive) which includes: abstract elements such as the weather and lighting conditions; human elements such as structures, buildings and so on; natural elements such as landforms, terrain shape and elevation, or bodies of water; and more commonly living elements, such as flora or fauna; or what is commonly known to as gardening.

In furtherance, Landscape architecture is concerned with the shaping, planning, design and management of landscapes at various scales (may include rural, urban and ‘peri-urban’) to create, enhance, maintain, and protect places so as to be functional, aesthetically pleasing, meaningful and sustainable and appropriate to diverse human needs and goals.

However, over the decades, urbanization has reduced the usual extensive and naturalistic features of landscape. Nowadays, landscape is not necessarily defined by its size; rather it’s by a spatial heterogeneous area relevant to the whatsoever phenomenon under consideration. For instance, Landscape can be a tree and a bench. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate park as People in cities are no longer necessarily looking for a full-blown experience of nature as it were in the old days.

In corollary, advancement in information technology as it pertains to landscape architect has manifested itself in changing land use patterns, especially with respect to the contemporary problem of suburban sprawl. The different forms of land use (commercial, agriculture, recreation, residential etc.) reinforce each other with lags between phases of development. These developments all together put considerable pressure on outer suburban use. This can be said to be what architects have defined or foretold as ‘dead of cities’.

Generally, cities or urban centers are characterized with congestion of cars, persons and buildings or constructions. However, the advent of advanced information technology systems has stepped in as a slacker to relax the highly congestive and built-up nature of cities. That is, the dominance of advance information technology in the 21st century is capable of re-birthing an ‘artificial’ form of spatial dispersal of human settlement and economic activities as it were before urbanization reached the vertex we all are experiencing today.

You would agree with me that times have changed indeed. Now, people can work at home or at their local neighborhood cybercafe, thus rarely setting foot in a car for the office resumption purposes again. Thus, one can evidently see how advancement in information technology has increasingly superseded the face to face contact of our traditional cities, even rendering such contact (s) obsolete but not in the extent of electronic communication means like telephones, fax machines, electronic mail, and video-conferencing among others.

The resultant effect of this is that car use would in theory is reduced. More so, there would be spatial dispersion in the settlement of people , less noise, less demands on services and amenities, contentiously less traffic and consequently, less chopping off of urban space for buildings, constructions or what-a-view because people would be able to live further and further afield, a green field . This in turn enables more room for landscaping to be done in cities at a whole new level as more open spaces can be revived or created. In addition, it enhances the even settlement of people, thereby bridging the gap between rural and urban settlement.

In conclusion, it is held that about two hundred years ago, landscape was the source of productivity in human settlement and that can be regained today via the pathway of information technology. Advancement in information technology is one ample way to integrate human habitat and natural systems and to minimize conflicts/repercussion for both thereby making for a more sustainable city and an increased quality of urban life.

Ps: Investment in both landscape and technology is on the rise and landscape architecture is at the nexus.