Construction in the Landscape – A Handbook for Civil Engineering to Conserve Global Land Resources – 2011

Author: T.G. Carpenter
Publisher: Earthscan, London
ISBN: 978-1-84407-923-0 HDBK

This is not just a handbook for civil engineering, it contains cross-cutting information that will be of wide benefit and interest to Landscape Architects, Environmental Engineers and Designers, Urban and Rural Planners, Environmentalists and a host of other related professions and disciplines. The book is packed with excellent photographs which illustrate clearly many of the concepts and expand upon designing with nature.

In broad terms, the book describes the impact of construction on the land and landscape where it takes place. Geographical coverage is necessarily global to reflect the great variation both in people’s economic and social needs and in the shortage or abundance of natural resources.

Part I introduces both land resources, whether used for agriculture, human settlement or mineral extraction or conserved as scenery, wildlife habitat or for the undefined needs of future generations; and construction, its products, skills, processes and impacts on land resources.

Part II describes specific forms of civil engineering – from landform adaptation, through dams and river control works, coastal construction and transport infrastructure to particular types of structure such as bridges, towers and power stations, or the layout of complete settlements.

Part III deals with regional planning of construction and land use in different geographical circumstances – from fine scenery, through rural countryside to city and suburban development – and to the sort of land arrangements that may be sustainable for an increased but hopefully more civilized human population a century hence.

This book is geared for reference and review as it not only has a subject index but also a Places, Projects and People Index. I found it really easy to “dip into” and eventually found myself reading large swathes of text because the book is written in such a readable and straight forward style.

Highly recommended for landscape professionals from all sectors. The book is very practical, well written and well illustrated.