The Bartlett Faculty Climate Curriculum Working Group

Reciprocal Landscapes: Stories of Material Movements

"Reciprocal Landscapes: Stories of Material Movements" by Jane Hutton is shared by the Bartlett Faculty Climate Curriculum Working Group.

Cover of Reciprocal Landscapes: Stories of Material Movements

An exploration of the intricate connections between landscapes and urban environments

“Reciprocal Landscapes: Stories of Material Movements” by Jane Hutton, published in 2019, offers an exploration of the intricate connections between the landscapes where materials originate and the urban environments where they are utilised. Hutton, a landscape architect and Assistant Professor at the University of Waterloo, investigates the journey of five common landscape construction materials – fertiliser, stone, steel, trees, and wood – from their source to their destination.

Through archival documents, photographs, and field trips, Hutton illustrates the journey of each material, revealing the hidden stories behind their transportation and installation. From guano from Peru that adorned Central Park in the 1860s to structural steel from Pittsburgh that reshaped Riverside Park in the 1930s, each chapter delves into the social, political, and ecological complexities of material movements.

By bridging the gap between material sources and urban landscapes, Hutton challenges readers to reconsider materials not merely as inert products but as integral components intertwined with land, labour, and communities. “Reciprocal Landscapes” asks the reader to envision forms of construction that honour solidarity with people, other species, and landscapes across the globe, urging us to reimagine our relationship with the built environment.


Image of Chaper 4 Breathing with Trees: London Plane Trees from Rikers Island to Seventh Avenue, 1959 from Reciprocal Landscapes: Stories of Material Movements


This reference was recommended by the Bartlett Climate Curriculum Working Group. 

The working group serves as a collaborative platform for staff, students, and professional services staff from the 13 institutes and departments within the Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment. Participation in the group is voluntary, with a focus on gathering recommendations for resources that explore the intersectional and multidisciplinary aspects of the climate emergency and social justice. Despite the global nature of the climate crisis, its social repercussions disproportionately affect marginalized communities, highlighting the urgent need for action. The list of recommended references is continuously expanding through collective efforts. Bartlett Alternative acknowledges and appreciates the Working Group’s ongoing dedication in promoting the sharing of diverse works and resources, by amplifying underrepresented voices, narratives, and agendas.


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