Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 21

CHOISIR LE DÉSORDRE

...OUR
EXPERIENCE
OF MESSINESS
GIVES US
REASON TO
FEAR WHAT WE
DO NOT KNOW.

2

Agricultural land is expected to look neat as
a sign of good stewardship. Even landscapes
like landfills or factories that function as
the "closets" of the environment, hiding
what is not being used, are expected to look
neat when seen from a distance. Where
neighborhoods are challenged by pervasive
visible disorder, with vacant structures,
dumped garbage, fallen trees and weedy
lots, the stress of living with messiness even
can undermine the health of community
members. In this context, order and neatness
of the landscape are particularly valued.
WHEN MESSINESS IS A CHOICE
In neighbourhoods where community
members are assumed to have the capacity
to maintain orderly, neat landscapes, there
may be greater openness to integrate "messy"
landscape elements that are understood
to enhance sustainability. In such places,
"messiness" is a choice. But even in these
neighbourhoods, messy landscapes may be
temporary experiments that fail to capture
broader, longer-term community approval.
Only in landscapes that are large enough to
be perceived as wild places, where humans

are expected to be respectful visitors, are
community norms for neatness largely
set aside.
Neatness is expected in most community
contexts because it connotes adequate
human care. Care is attention and action
that respects the experience of others. It is
a deeply human act of empathy for others:
people, animals and plants. Care of places is
an act of deference to the values and norms
of others in our community. In times and
places where we are acutely aware of our need
for community, messiness may be interpreted
as disregard for others or, more benevolently,
as a lack of capacity to respond to community
norms and values. If a landscape looks messy,
those responsible for it may be assumed to
be overwhelmed, impoverished or ill. They
sometimes will be understood to be actively
anti-social or even criminal - hiding something
in the mess. A messy landscape is understood
as unclean and unsafe.
CONTRADICTORY CONNOTATIONS
These connotations of messiness, as well as
the connotations of orderliness, neatness and
tidiness, sometimes contradict deeper truths

about health or sustainability. For example,
some studies now suggest that childhood
exposure to the "dirty" environments of
barnyard animals or household pets may
endow people with enhanced lifetime
resistance to certain allergies and diseases.
At the same time, it is known that childhood
exposure to "dirty" urban air and soil
pollutants, common in even the most orderly
urban neighborhoods, is associated with
greater lifetime likelihood of some diseases.
Similarly, neat landscapes maintained with
pesticides can be toxic, and nutrient and
energy inputs used to maintain conventional
landscape neatness have significant
environmental impacts.
WHY ARE WE AVERSE?
So, why are we so averse to messy
landscapes? Because we know we do not
understand them, and our experience of
messiness gives us reason to fear what we
do not know. However, if we have deeper
knowledge about the environmental benefits
of a messy landscape, we may be willing to
allow messiness to exist as part of our orderly
world. I have argued that the reassurance
SUMMER | ÉTÉ 2017 21



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Landscapes - Summer 2017

TO BEGIN WITH | POUR COMMENCER
COLLABORATORS | COLLABORATEURS
PROLOGUE
ESSAY | ESSAI
Après le désordre vient le beau temps
A Fine Mess
Biophilic City
“I Am the Space Where I Am”
OPINION
Homo the Homogenizer? Do LAs Design Messy Terrain?
Waste-Less in Seattle: How Will This Look When It Gets Dirty?
Beaver the Disruptor Tolerating Disorder in the Heart of Vancouver
Messiness by Intention
CRITIQUE
@landtecanada Taking It With You
THE LAST WORD | LE MOT DE LA FIN
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - intro
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - cover1
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - cover2
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 3
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 4
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 5
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 6
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 7
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - TO BEGIN WITH | POUR COMMENCER
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 9
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - COLLABORATORS | COLLABORATEURS
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 11
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 12
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 13
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - PROLOGUE
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 15
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 16
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 17
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 18
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 19
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - ESSAY | ESSAI
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 21
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 22
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - Après le désordre vient le beau temps
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 24
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 25
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - A Fine Mess
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 27
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 28
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 29
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 30
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - Biophilic City
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 32
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 33
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - “I Am the Space Where I Am”
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 35
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 36
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 37
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 38
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 39
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - OPINION
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 41
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 42
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - Homo the Homogenizer? Do LAs Design Messy Terrain?
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 44
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 45
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 46
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - Waste-Less in Seattle: How Will This Look When It Gets Dirty?
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 48
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 49
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 50
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - Beaver the Disruptor Tolerating Disorder in the Heart of Vancouver
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 52
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 53
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - Messiness by Intention
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 55
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - CRITIQUE
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 57
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - @landtecanada Taking It With You
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 59
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 60
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 61
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 62
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 63
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 64
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 65
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 66
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 67
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 68
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 69
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 70
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 71
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 72
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 73
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - THE LAST WORD | LE MOT DE LA FIN
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - cover3
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - cover4
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