Theory & Discourse
Whither Landscape Architecture: Personal Musings and Messages | Shishir R. Raval
LA 57
The issues plaguing mankind can be clubbed under two broad heads- human systems and natural systems.
Landscape comprises primarily three disciplines- Ecological Science, Environmental Psychology and Ethics.
Once learnt and mastered, these have the potential to strongly influence the design techniques that we employ in our term as professionals and, thus, affect our future as a society.

"What we love only from self-interest, we will sooner or later destroy."
- David W. Orr, Earth in Mind, p. 142
As somewhat sentient and engaged citizens in the present-day global-local (glocal) communities, many people are aware of various glocal issues. The global and national crises are articulated by various forums and media. The more local ones are in our face by way of everyday experiences of living and the news in local media or at paan-shops. Some of the critical glocal issues are:

1. Human System: Governance Failures and Polarization, Glocal Economic Vulnerabilities (livelihood decline and mounting debts), Involuntary Migration, Techno-crimes, Loneliness, Depression, Obesity, and Undernourishment

2. Natural System: Extreme Weather Events (Climate Change), Ecosystem Collapse (resulting loss of Ecosystem Services), Environmental Calamities, Resource Degradation, and Biodiversity Loss

There are two main attributes of these issues. One is that these issues cause enormous financial burdens and human woes. The other is that while these issues are often presented and addressed as individual phenomena, further exploration and introspection reveal that these are systemic, interconnected, and wicked. A majority of these issues are rooted in the values, decisions, and actions by individuals. They are also symptoms of something else that is going wrong and not addressed adequately. Later in this essay we will reconnect with these ideas.


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