Urban centres are normally considered as the positive elements of the regional landscape: often, they are given the greatest planning attention. In some mapping conventions the urban area is depicted as darker, the positive element, set against the surrounding countryside, which is largely white. Figure 4.17 uses Hamburg in Germany to illustrate this image of a city seen against a landscape backcloth. Being beyond the day-to-day remit of planning, large parts of the countryside in this country were known in the planning profession as 'white areas'. In Figure 4.18, the tonal values for town and country are reversed. The map now shows landscape as black and the urban area as white. A different picture emerges. The regional landscape is seen in a new perspective. All mapping is a simplification of reality and this way of depicting regional landscape is particularly so. However, with the change of viewpoint, the new image, does
serve the simple purpose of emphasizing the rural hinterland: it now becomes the positive element in the picture. For sustainable development the regional setting is the primary consideration.
The function of the bioregion and its landscape is to maintain environmental services including waste management, water, energy and food supplies for the regional populations together with the maintenance of biodiversity, a cornerstone of sustainable development. For too long monoculture has dominated the rural landscape: its role has been to support the global food markets, seeking justification in the presentation to the population of a spurious choice of food products. Clearly, the very shortest supply lines, serving local markets with good quality, fresh produce would seem to be both in the people's best interests and to be a more sustainable system in the long term. An assumption of urban landscaping is that the city is not, apart from a few token allotments, the place where food is grown. The city is not the location for trees and bushes bearing fruit, where groundcover is edible, or where vegetables are used as decoration. Mollison (1996) suggests that we, 'Replace energy hungry parkland lawns (requiring frequent mowing, fertilizing, and weed control with health damaging pesticides) with edible and decorative understorey species such as blueberry, comfrey, lavender, strawberries and so on, depending of course on climate. Nut trees could replace barren hedges. In the industrial zones, greenbelts and undeveloped city land, urban woodlots could be created. These could include native trees to attract birds and productive insects, as well as orchards____'In
Portugal, for example, it is usual for the city squares to be lined with orange trees which
are perfumed when in flower and lovely, and potentially useful when in fruit (Figure 4.19).
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How would you like to save a ton of money and increase the value of your home by as much as thirty percent! If your homes landscape is designed properly it will be a source of enjoyment for your entire family, it will enhance your community and add to the resale value of your property. Landscape design involves much more than placing trees, shrubs and other plants on the property. It is an art which deals with conscious arrangement or organization of outdoor space for human satisfaction and enjoyment.