This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Eating the Landscape You Live In: How Can Contemporary Communities Be Incorporated into the Agricultural Landscape?




Michael, Julie

Type of Degree



Landscape Architecture


This thesis explores the idea of creating settlements that function aesthetically, as well as economically, by designing and incorporating human living conditions into productive agrarian landscapes. The project designs a village based on the practices associated with sustainable food production at the local community scale. Production practices are examined first and priority placed on these techniques over the typical human settlement pattern. The project examines exactly how humans will be able to occupy the spaces within agricultural production. Human needs are also considered and adaptations made, which can provide an improved way of living by promoting biodiversity through the production that exists in the landscape. Long before any type of urban developments, transportation routes, and mass production existed; people had to survive on natural resources that grew and lived in their regions. Every small town or village should take advantage of the potential for designing with edible green space in mind because they may not always enjoy the luxury of having produce shipped from afar to their local groceries. For landscape architecture in general, this should be a topic that more people incorporate, even in little increments, to designed spaces. If we are going to replace the natural environment with the built environment, it is only fair to augment parts of that built environment with landscape which provides direct benefits for human and other ecosystems. This topic is important because landscapes can be designed in ways which incorporate the edible plant repertoire of regions, while following seasonal changes in the plants as well. By creating space within a settlement for sustainable agriculture, we are allowing organisms to thrive and continue the cycles of nutrient replenishment in the soil. The project investigates the possibility of deriving settlement design from production plant operations.