Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 45

TERRASSEMENT : NIVELER OU MODELER?

PLAN FORM

PROFILE FORM

B1

17 SITES: TERRAIN COMPLEXITY
To determine whether LAs were essentially levellers or landformers,
our study compared complexity value changes proposed in several
sample landscape plans. We solicited designs from landscape
architects which featured a range of design objectives in a wide
variety of project areas. By comparing CTCIs calculated for existing
terrains with the CTCIs in the proposed design, we could measure
directional and proportional change. Would the grading designs
increase or decrease terrain complexity?
Our analysis found the CTCI to be a visually valid measure of
terrain complexity change, showing samples of increased and
decreased values reflective of contour representations. Ten of our
17 samples increased in complexity by design; seven decreased
in complexity. Of the 10 increasingly complex terrains, four were
golf course designs, suggesting a contour grading technique
was implemented.
However, the landscapes with reduced terrain complexity had a
mean decrease of 26 per cent. When terrain became more complex,
the mean change was 14 per cent. This suggests that designs which
simplify the terrain are having a more acute impact on landscapes
than designs which increase terrain complexity.
We found the greatest terrain complexity change in a cut-and-fill
mine reclamation project that decreased landform complexity by 50
per cent. A sports park site decreased in complexity by 44 per cent,
and a golf course section decreased by 39 per cent, both through the
creation of more functional play surfaces. Complexity reductions
generally showed increased linear slope forms, while more complex
designs showed increased irregular surface shapes in plan and
profile. The landscapes that increased most in complexity were a
park (38 per cent) and a nature reserve (35 per cent).
THE IMPORTANCE OF CURVATURE
Our results found that total curvature was the greatest contributor
to complexity change after design. Perhaps two landscapes from
California were the most telling. One, a conventionally graded
roadway bank, showed a CTCI decrease of 30 per cent, while a
roadway bank utilizing landforming showed an increased CTCI of
17 per cent. Both were influenced most by total curvature changes,
suggesting this measure might be the most important for terrain
complexity assessment.

B2

Our project found that landscape architects are not solely levellers
or solely landformers, but do some of each, even for similar land
uses. Future study is surely necessary. We understand our baseline
measure of existing conditions may have been on terrain already made
uniform through prior design, so although our comparisons are useful,
researchers have yet to knowingly compare natural landforms with
those that are designed.
The concept of sustainable landscapes is in itself complex - even
messy - and landscape architects are increasingly attentive to many
of its dimensions. However, since landform complexity is still often
overlooked as a component of sustainability, landscape designs
could certainly benefit from a careful evaluation of form. Landscape
architects are well-positioned to do this work, and to assess their
designs not only for how well they give order and meaning to the
landscape, but also for their contribution to the lands complex - and
messy - foundations.
coreyjdawson@live.com
rcorry@uoguelph.ca

2 SKI HILL 3 A CONTOUR COMPARISON OF AN EXISTING TERRAIN (B1) AND A
LANDFORMING DESIGN (B2) | 2 PENTE DE SKI 3 COMPARAISON DES CONTOURS
ENTRE UN TERRAIN EXISTANT (B1) ET UN CONCEPT DE MODELÉ (B2)

SUMMER | ÉTÉ 2017 45



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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