McHarg's reputation is most often linked with a method of suitability analysis which, as everyone who has read his 1969 book, Design With Nature, knows, is a way of planning land uses using hand-drawn, translucent overlay maps of geology, soils, vegetation, and other critical factors.And in our planning class, it is nice to see how his work keeps coming up in different units.
When the maps are superimposed, sensitive areas, as well as areas suitable for particular human activities, are revealed as in the "light shining through a stained-glass window." The concept was not original with McHarg. It had been tried as early as 1912 by landscape architect Warren Manning in Billerica, Massachusetts, and later, in various rough incarnations, by others. It took McHarg to turn an old refrain into an environmental call to arms.
05 April 2007
Flashback: Ian McHarg
When I found this old 1991 Planning Magazine article about Ian McHarg, I just had to share. While some of the pieces of his work seem a little dated, the ideas and the work itself have held up so well over time.