As IBM, Cisco, Google, Facebook, and the Internet of Things continues to draw and determine our future urban lifestyles, the pertinent question relates to the ultimate role of the field of landscape urbanism and its contribution to the massive urbanization of territory, ocean, air, and space.
Landscape architecture has long paralleled economic fluctuations, particularly during the transition from the mid-20th century to the end of the 20th century. Landscapes of logistics emerged to accommodate for the economic shift from the concentrated Fordism of the industrial city to the internationally distributed economies of scale. Along those lines, landscapes of production, assemblage, storage, distribution, and consumption mushroomed.
As the economies shifted and the urban life transformed, landscape architecture performed as the post-crisis tool re-envisioning brownfields, remediating lands, and re-occupying industrial grounds with community programs and environmental agendas. At this point of dramatic augmented global economic, technological, and political shifts – at a time of pervasive technology and habitable virtual reality – where does the field of landscape urbanism stand?
This is an open question to the agency of landscape urbanists and planners in a future where the fabric of urbanization is not driven by the physical pervasive infrastructure of highways or telephone networks, but by intangible reversible personalized infrastructural technologies.