Related Staff : Ashley Kelly
“Landscape as Development” was a technology-theory seminar that surveyed the epistemological and practical gap between ecological planning (as construed by landscape architecture) and biological conservation. This course was designed to facilitate critical reflection on the selection and appropriation of secondary scientific research for environmental planning practice and policy. The course’s reading list was a mix of: a) foundational texts in landscape architecture, landscape planning, and landscape ecology; b) novel papers in spatial ecology; and c) case-based literature from science and technology studies (STS), land change science, and political ecology. We focused equally on theory, bridging between the design disciplines and the axioms, problem framing, and project types of the above conservation-related fields, and building students’ technical geospatial skill sets for working within complex and contested natures. Students’ term projects for the course introduced them to how landscape ecologists and landscape scientists are engaging a major ongoing international development plan, this year focused on the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC) running from Ruili in Yunnan to Rakhine State in Myanmar via Mandalay. In-class workshops helped students develop an understanding of this corridor as an assemblage of pre-BRI (Belt and Road Initiative) development projects and critically assess plans for its improvement and conservation.