Barren landscapes of concrete and broken glass first inspired landscape architecture professor Carl Smith’s interest in sustainable residential design. “Pit houses” – cheap housing marooned in a sea of cement, built in the late 19th century for coalmine workers – helped him to appreciate the hedges, trees and plots of land that graced his own suburban neighborhood in Sheffield, England.
“Even as a small boy I could see that the design of housing has a pretty direct impact on people’s lives,” Carl Smith said. “We’ve got to provide a healthy environment where people can live and bring up their kids.”
Smith has made a major contribution towards that goal with the recent publication of his book, Residential Landscape Sustainability: A Checklist Tool (Blackwell Publishing, 2008). Coauthored with Andy Clayden and Nigel Dunnett, the book draws on extensive research to summarize a complex topic, and promises to be the go-to guide for landscape architects, architects and planners who want to design sustainable housing. The book’s clear prose, numerous charts and photographs make it an accessible text for students as well.
Image Source: University of Arkansas