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COMBUSTIBLE LANDSCAPES By Stephanie Lin A thesis submitted in partial satisfaction of the requirements for the degree of Master of Landscape Architecture in the Graduate Division of the University of California, Berkeley

Committee in charge: Professor Louise Mozingo, Chair Professor Marco Cenzatti Professor John Radke Spring 2016


ABSTRACT

The landscape is combustible. This study explores how landscape design might work to acknowledge and coopt this phenomenon. A design process is informed by a multidisciplinary literature review engaging ecology, philosophy, and design to describe a unique intersection of combustion, the landscape, and the city. Through the concept of a didactic landscape, a design proposal for the Puente Hills in Southern California works to visualize the combustion process by relating components of a combustible landscape—fuel, wind, dryness, topography, and ignition—to the human experience. A fire simulation is produced to prompt a design that is informed by explorations derived from both data and art. The result is a proposed framework of new terms and a series of constructed moments along a public trail called the Outdoor Museum of Contemporary Combustion.

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DEDICATION

PAGE

This work is dedicated to my late father with whom I spent our last moments at the site of this study. We sat at a concrete picnic table under a grove of Eucalyptus trees near the main entrance of Schabarum Park off of Colima Road and across from the 83-acre Puente Hills Mall lot. The breeze blew comfortably warm and the sky was clear, making for a typically casual yet remarkable Southern California sunset.

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TABLE

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CONTENTS

PREFACE iii ACKNOWLEDGMENTS iv INTRODUCTION 1 the landscape is combustible 2 thermodynamic cities 3 designing for combustible landscapes 5 LITERATURE REVIEW 9 ecology 10 philosophy 13 design 14 PRECEDENTS 23 Gasworks Park 28 Tudela-Culip Restoration Project 30 West Point Foundry Preserve 32 Storm King Art Center 34 NEW TERMS 37 think of fire, not as fire 38 water and fuel parallels 38 PLACE: THE PUENTE HILLS

wildland-urban gradient public posts combustible landscapes

45 46 47 48

FIRE SIMULATION 83 the weather report 84 interpretation and application 85 SCHEME 93 mechanical removal 96 grazing 96 controlled burns 97 public agency 97 IMAGINED PLACE 103 didactic landscape 104 exploded design concept 104 outdoor museum of contemporary combustion 105

CONCLUSION 129 looking back 130 moving forward 130 REFERENCES 132 APPENDIX 138


PREFACE

"In a birdless dawn the magician saw the concentric blaze close round the walls. For a moment, he thought of taking refuge in the river, but then he knew that death was coming to crown his old age and absolve him of his labors. He walked into the shreds of flame. But they did not bite into his flesh, they caressed him and engulfed him without heat or combustion. With relief, with humiliation, with terror, he understood that he too was a mere appearance, dreamt by another." - Jorge Luis Borges, translated by James E. Irby, The Circular Ruins, 1949

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I would like to thank and acknowledge the support and intelligence provided to me by my thesis advisors. My chair, Professor Louise Mozingo has kept me honest and accountable, and therefore capable. Professor Marco Cenzatti has offered key intellectual artifacts to inspire me to evaluate the most fundamental of assumptions. Professor John Radke has invested his stories, memories and knowledge, of utmost importance in conveying the language of a combustible landscape. To the Environmental Design Library I credit those connections that extend beyond time and space. I am grateful toward my teachers of past and present (professors and peers) for their commitment and what has shaped for me, a truly precious education. Lastly, I would like to acknowledge my mother, Shay Lin and father, Anthony Lin, for their encouragement.

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CHAPTER

1

Introduction T H E LANDSC APE IS C OMB USTIB L E T H E R MODYNAMIC C ITIES DE SI GNING FOR C OMB USTIB L E L ANDSC APES


INTRODUCTION

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TH E L A N D SC A PE IS C OMBUS TIB L E “Like medicine (architecture) must move from the curative to the preventive.� - Cedric Price, The Square Book, 1984

To solve a problem in a thoughtful way, Cedric Price suggests it may be useful to first depart from and reject the idea of a solution all together.1 Alternative to problem-solving, architectural design can work to question the system from which the termed problem originated, to re-see and re-engineer it into a potential asset, or at least non-problem, through dynamic and responsive design. The question posed in this paper is about how landscape design might address a typical problem, often described as the wildland urban interface, of fire risk and the destruction of built environments, homes and habitats at the outside edges of cities.2 The wildland urban interface describes an edge, often paradoxical in nature and lacking the spatial dialogue its name suggests. Rather than a true interface, by default, this edge typically works and looks like a wall that keeps the domestic and wild sides of a place experientially apart. Working with the indiscriminate nature of fire, fuel, and combustion in the landscape, I hope to use the process of combustion to illustrate that the landscape is a (thermo)dynamic system regardless of wildland urban dichotomies. With that, how can landscape architects design with combustion and the processes of fire and fuel?

Although fire can be destructive, dangerous, and catastrophic in the urban context, I believe it is so because fire is treated narrowly as a problem to cure. What if fire risk could be re-seen and re-engineered in order to proactively include combustion processes into the ecological, social and material design of urban landscapes? Looking into the history of cities, it is already the case that urban landscapes have formed in direct response to their combustible nature.3 Combustion, at its most basic, is a process by which material is transformed, through the application of thermal energy, such as mechanical friction or heat from an existing source.4 Fire in itself is an event or manifestation of basic combustion and thermal transfer. In this paper, I will use the term, combustion, to refer to the process of thermal energy transfer, which results oftentimes in fire, the conflagration, or flame. Putting the focus on the process of combustion rather than the flame it produces is an attempt to broaden the discussion of fire in landscapes to include fuel, climate, and energy flow in cities. A new set of terms is necessary to reframe the issue of fire into its whole process and system of origin. The contemporary literature on designing for combustible landscapes is sparse. Many publications recognize the need for landscape architects to participate in designing for fire safe com-


INTRODUCTION

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munities, though strategies are often limited to vegetation selection and buffer zones as recommendations scaled for individual homeowners.5 There is a general disinterest in the problem at the present moment; most landscape design firms deal with water, not fire or fuel. Although some precedents exist, linking landscape design to combustion, there is an urgent need to develop and practice ways to positively and proactively integrate combustion into urban landscape systems using the tools of landscape architecture in conjunction with environmental planning and land management.

formation of fuel to fire as thermal energy produces an often invisible, thermodynamic reality in urban mundane culture.

TH E R M O DY N A MIC CIT IES

When the flame escapes human control, the phenomenon is termed a wild fire. In the media, it rages, spreads uncontrollably, destroys and terrorizes.8 Without the pipe fixtures, switches, and valves typical of the humanized flame, the wild fire behaves by traveling with the wind, upon slopes, and moving quickly up and through desiccated material, no matter the consequence.9

“From the candle to the lamp there is for the flame something like a conquest of wisdom. The flame of a lamp, thanks to man’s ingenuity, is now disciplined. It is given over completely to its task, both simple and lofty, as giver of light... this humanized flame.�

In his book, Fire and Memory, architect Luis Fernandez-Galiano frames combustion as a distinctly human phenomenon.7 Rather than picturing fire as a wild destructor of buildings and cities, combustion is recognized for its material production through manufacturing processes, maintenance of building climates, and the formation of light apart from the sun. Through these means, urban physical and social formation is a direct result of material combustion.

- Gaston Bachelard, The Flame of a Candle, 1961

Looking deeper into the story of fire and its relationship to the formation of cities and ecosystems, it becomes apparent that the continual production of the urban landscape, at its center, comes directly from processes of combustion, disturbance, and dynamic shifts. Combustion, manifested in Bachelard's humanized flame,6 is ever-present in the daily life of a city-dweller. Cars moving, lights flickering, stoves cooking, barbecues smoking - the trans-

Wild fire behavior, informed by the fields of disturbance ecology, forestry, and fire science, have recently been documented as having historically positive ecological effects as a phenomenon of recurring, regenerative cycles.10 In forestry, for example, the role of recurring fires plays an important part in timber production, biodiversity, rates of CO2 uptake, and resiliency to catastrophic wildfires.11 Many conifers in the Sierras, for example, are fire resistant, and species like Coast Redwood actually


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respond to non-severe fires by strengthening their cambium.12 Some serotinous species, like the Giant Sequoia, require fire to regenerate.13 Many species ranging from the California Black Oak to native perennial bunchgrasses have evolved to historic fire regimes; they are able to resprout after fires from naturally protected subsurface roots.14 In the Sierras, meadows have been historically maintained for thousands of years through active burning by indigenous residents to improve open space clearances and to prevent meadow encroachment by adjacent conifer seeding.15 According to a fire ecologist from the US National Park Service, fire has seven major functions in producing the giant sequoia mixed-conifer forest in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.16 “Fire in this forest (1) prepares a seedbed; (2) cycles nutrients; (3) sets back succession in certain relatively small areas; (4) provides conditions which favor wildlife; (5) provides a mosaic of age classes and vegetation types; (6) reduces numbers of trees susceptible to attack by insects and disease; and (7) reduces fire hazards.” - Bruce Kilgore, “Origin and History of Wildland Fire Use in the U.S. National Park System,” 1972

Whether wild or humanized, understanding combustion on a philosophical level happens to lend itself to a discourse of shifting, dynamic landscapes. The laws of thermodynamics, which describe thermal energy transfer as an alternative to mechanical energy transfer didn't emerge until the 18th century.17 The laws

of thermodynamics signified a philosophical jump beyond ideas of static trajectories previously founded by Newtonian science. Before, natural science and phenomenon was interpreted as a set of predictable, celestial mechanics in the Western world like clockwork in motion.18 Despite centuries past, the laws of thermodynamics are still somehow only beginning to emerge in ecological and design thinking, while the clockwork model of functioning landscapes has often prevailed. In the past couple decades or so, urban water systems have begun to be taken seriously by landscape architects as shifting, dynamic systems beyond pure mechanistic infrastructure.19 Urban retrofits of concrete channels are now rendered to include systems of diffused catchment, filtration, vegetation, wildlife, recreation, and flood accommodation. This practice has created an emerging lexicon for the ecological design of urban watersheds and waterfronts. It is important to recognize these emerging practices because they illustrate how the landscape design profession was instrumental in re-seeing and re-engineering a typical problem of the urban waterfront and flood risk; designers were able to transform a hydrological system of risk into a community asset.20 Like newfound relationships between contemporary cities and water, this document aims to explore the potential for newfound relationships between cities, landscape and combustion. In contemporary urban life, the relationship between people and combustion remains intimate and is an underlying force that pro-


INTRODUCTION

duces the visible built environment, as both kinetic and embodied energy in dynamic, shifting systems. Given the problems of wild fire and elevated risks to urban developments and communities with climate change,21 how can designers work to re-imagine the role of combustion in shaping urban edges to produce safe and ecologically functioning territories? What kind of alternative language or set of terms might emerge from seeing the landscape as a combustible system, related to a thermodynamic city? DE S I G N I NG F O R CO MBUST IB L E L AND SCAPES This document is a collection of information from other documents, spanning the fields of disturbance ecology, philosophy, and architectural design. A multidisciplinary literature review works to mass the multifaceted idea of a combustible landscape from many perspectives—history, physics, biology, literature, ecology, philosophy, and art—to inform design. Aptly put by Professor Marco Cenzatti, the goal is to "think fire not as fire." The design process is initially prompted by a fire simulation model applied to the Puente Hills, a range located in a 'very high fire risk zone' of Southern California. The simulation is interpreted and scaled to a site located within the area, at a public park in Los Angeles County called Schabarum Regional Park. In exploring how landscape design might work to acknowledge and coopt the fact that the landscape is combustible, a concept for a

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didactic landscape is formed. A design proposal for the Puente Hills works to visualize the combustion process by relating components of a combustible landscape—fuel, wind, dryness, topography, and ignition—to the human experience. The result is a series of constructed moments along a public trail called the Outdoor Museum of Contemporary Combustion. Dimension, material, and program are structured to put landscape, combustion, and the city in dialogue. From the process, a new set of terms is conjured up. For example, while paralleling water and fuel, new terms emerge: an urban combustion system and an urban hillfront. From the research also comes new questions—how will climate change necessitate better-adapted relationships between fire, fuel, and cities of the future? What role can landscape architects play in creatively producing those relationships?


E nd n o t e s

Price, Cedric. Cedric Price. London: Architectural Association, 1984. Print. Works ; 2.

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Kilgore, Bruce M. "Origin and History of Wildland Fire Use in the U.S. National Park System." The George Wright Forum 24.3 (2007): n. pag. Web. 2 May 2016. 11

Blonski, Kenneth S., Cheryl Miller, and Carol Rice. Managing Fire in the Urban Wildland Interface. Point Arena, Calif: Solano Press, c2010. Print.

Agee, James K. Fire Ecology of Pacific Northwest Forests. Island Press, 1996. Print

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Bankoff, Greg, Uwe Lďƒźbken, and Jordan Sand, eds. Flammable Cities: Urban Conflagration and the Making of the Modern World. Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 2012. Print.

Harvey, Harry Thomas, Howard S. Shellhammer, and Ronald E. Stecker. "Giant sequoia ecology. Fire and reproduction." Giant sequoia ecology. Fire and reproduction. (1980).

"Combustion." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 20 Apr. 2016. Wikipedia. Web. 3 May 2016.

Cocking, Matthew I., J. Morgan Varner, and Rosemary L. Sherriff. "California black oak responses to fire severity and native conifer encroachment in the Klamath Mountains." Forest Ecology and Management 270 (2012): 25-34.

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"Fuel Modification Plan Guidelines: A Firewise Landscape Guide for Creating and Maintaining Defensible Space." County of Los Angeles Fire Department. July 2011. Web.

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Bachelard, Gaston. The Flame of a Candle. Dallas [Tex.]: Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, 1989. Print. The Bachelard Translations.

Anderson, M. Kat. Tending the Wild: Native American Knowledge and the Management of California's Natural Resources. Reprint edition. University of California Press, 2013. Print.

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FernďƒĄndez-Galiano, Luis. Fire and Memory: On Architecture and Energy. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 2000. Print. Writing Architecture. 7

Times, Los Angeles. "Conditions Ripe for Explosive Wildfire Season in Southern California." latimes.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 May 2016. 8

Kilgore, Bruce M. "Origin and History of Wildland Fire Use in the U.S. National Park System." The George Wright Forum 24.3 (2007): n. pag. Web. 2 May 2016. 16

17 "Laws of Thermodynamics." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 22 Apr. 2016. Wikipedia. Web. 3 May 2016.

A Portrait of Alan Chadwick, Master Horticulturist. Prod. Linda Maslaw and Timothy Owens. National Video Portrait Library, 1979.

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Minnich, Richard A. "An Integrated Model of Two Fire Regimes." Conservation Biology 15.6 (2001): 1549-1553. Print. 9

Reed, Chris, and Nina-Marie E. Lister, eds. Projective Ecologies. Cambridge, Massachusetts ; New York, New York: Harvard University Graduate School of Design : Actar Publishers, 2014. Print.

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Frelich, Lee E. Forest Dynamics and Disturbance Regimes: Studies from Temperate Evergreen-Deciduous Forests. 1 edition. Cambridge University Press, 2008. Print. 10


INTRODUCTION

Gumprecht, Blake. The Los Angeles River: Its life, death, and possible rebirth. JHU Press, 2001. 20

Moritz, Max A., and Scott L. Stephens. "Fire and sustainability: considerations for California's altered future climate." Climatic Change 87.1 (2008): 265-271. 21

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CHAPTER

2

Literature Review EC OL OGY PHIL OSOPHY DESIGN


LITERATURE

REVIEW

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E C O L O GY “The existing historiography that deals with urban fire purely as an event rather than also as a process fails to recognize its proper significance and the importance of modeling ‘urban fire regimes’ to complement their forest counterpart.” - Bankoff, Lubken, and Sand, Flammable Cities, 2012

At its current state, fire ecology as a process of ecological disturbance and succession has not been very well integrated into the design of urban edge conditions. Oftentimes, development on the urban edge takes on a position of defensibility rather than a proactive approach of designing for safe and ecologically complex territories.1 In disturbance ecology, fire is studied as a cyclical, regenerative force that produces specific ecosystems that are historically adapted to recurring episodes of fire.2 In practice, the use of fire has been, for thousands of years, active in the maintenance and production of meadows in the Sierra Nevada through human management.3 Today, fires are once again being intentionally introduced into the forest and range ecosystems for the benefit of serotonous organisms, early seral stage communities, and to prevent infrequent catastrophic wildfires of high intensity.4 The field of disturbance ecology rejects the idea of ecosystem climax (outside of a conceptual framework) and statis.5 Instead, the study of many ecosystems show that plant and animal communities are specifically adapted to events that are sometimes considered 'catastrophic' by most.6 The idea of catastrophe, how-

ever, corners ecosystem disturbance into not an all-or-nothing event. Rather, disturbances can be measured by their intensity, frequency, and extent. Particular levels of disturbance are necessary to functioning and dynamic ecosystems to produce temporal and spatial heterogeneity.7 Floods, fires, landslides, and the like, at particular intensities, frequencies, and extents lead to regenerative processes of diverse and resilient habitat formation.8 The particular intensity, frequency, and extent of a fire is closely related to what is called 'fire behavior'—how it moves, spreads, and burns. Thus, fires can take on specific characteristics or behaviors in response to specific spatial conditions as defined by fuel, wind, topography, dryness or humidity levels, and the presence of ignition.9 Although fire behavior can be very unpredictable in real time due to readily changing conditions, GIS modeling tools can be used to simulate and gain an understanding of how different conditions might relate to different fire behaviors.10 Using existing tools in fire simulation and modeling are important in understanding possible scenarios given possible environmental conditions. It is especially important to apply accurate, high resolution data to these models for more precise insights into site-specific fire behaviors.11 "The mapping of fuel variability provides the resource manager with additional information for use in predicting potential fire ignitions and fire behavior. The ability to predict fuel loads over broad spatial parameters allows interpretation of fire character-


LITERATURE REVIEW

itcs, i.e., intensity, severity, and risk."12 - USDA, 2005

A major concept behind fire behavior is the quantification and manipulation of fuel loads and fuel structure. Fuel loads are quantified in heat units and are defined as the "total amount of combustible material in a defined space."13 Fuels can also be described by their moisture content in terms of burning-hours, or how many hours "it takes a fuel particle to reach two-thirds of its way to equilibrium with its local environment."14 According to the US Forest Service Wildland Fire Assessment System,15 the following fuel moisture levels have been calculated to respond to the following diameter of debris: 1-hr, less than 1/4" diameter 10-hr, 1/4 to 1" diameter 100-hr, 1 to 3" diameter 1000-hr, 3 to 8" diameter

The mass of surface fuels can be approximated using high resolution imagery and field surveys.16 Fuel structure is determined by the spatial arrangement of the fuels; structure can be defined by vegetation (or material) height, canopy widths, and densities.17 Vertical fuel structure and the vertical continuity of material are qualities of particular interest because they relate to increased fire intensities and spreading behavior. Fuels that provide vertical continuity are called 'ladder fuels' since they help flames

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reach up into tree canopies.18 Remote sensing and LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) systems can be used to approximate fuel height and structure.19 Established laboratories, agencies, and institutions in the private and public realms have worked together over past several decades to study, develop, and apply fire behavior modeling tools and management methods. Ultimately, accurate approximations of fuel characteristics using existing, well-developed sensing and modeling tools common in forest and land management practice can be applied to inform site designs for combustible landscapes. Both the theory and practice of fire and fuel dynamics in the landscape have been well established in the fields of ecology and land management. I believe the resources are available for adaptation and application by landscape design practice to produce intelligent, creative and culturally expressive fire zone sites. On the other hand, many land management publications mention the need for landscape architects to participate in designing for fire-safe landscapes.20 Strategies, however, are often limited to vegetation selection and placement at the scale of the residential yard and homeowner. Oftentimes, these recommendations are communicated by ecologists, not designers.21 In general, the current state of landscape design concepts for wildland urban interface mitigation defaults to measured setbacks from vegetated canopies; designing for combustible landscapes is currently in an underdeveloped state of 'planting zones and management


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prescriptions.'22 There is an unmet potential for interdisciplinary work to integrate fire disturbance theory and practice to the urban-rural edge by way of landscape architecture. This intersection—where combustion, the landscape, and the city meet—is currently in a stagnant state despite the fact that the tools and experience to generate better-adapted wildland urban spaces exist. What's missing? Rapid urbanization, as a more or less modern phenomenon, has incrementally lead to particular adaptations and attitudes between cities and their relationship to fuel and fire. "Conflagration was once far more central a fact of urban life. Preindustrial cities burned frequently, and on a scale rarely seen today. Uncontrolled fires affected every aspect of society in these flammable cities, including the shape of the city itself."23 - Bankoff, Lubken, and Sand, Flammable Cities, 2012

In 1669, the invention of urban street lighting emerged for the first time in Amsterdam. Invented by Dutch inventor, Jan van der Heyden, the system consisted of small oil reserves mounted on 12-foot tall poles; they were lighted manually each evening to provide illumination for pedestrians in the night.24 This 17th century system of urban lamps were are the prototypes for today's electric street lights. Gas lighting was later introduced in 1800 and electric lighting in 1880.25 From a small, flickering and forgotten candle to the blaze of a coal-powered factory, the

presence of domesticated flames in the city necessitated the need for Jan van der Heyden's second invention—the first fire hose and truck, along with squads of firefighters26—to extinguish and control escaped flames. “Firemen created their occupation within the rich social, cultural, and political milieu of American cities, and they found their identities as professionals in a complex relation with the urban built landscape. Firefighters discovered that their workplaces constantly were being reconstructed. New spatial arrangements no only complicated their labor, but also placed firefighters in ever greater danger.”27 - Mark Tebeau, Eating Smoke: Fire in Urban America, 2003

There is a clear record of urban development and fire occurrence going hand in hand. In the book, Flammable Cities, a collection of comprehensive histories are compiled in a series of essays that account for Urban Conflagration and the Making of the Modern World. Cities have informed and have been informed by the combustible landscape since the beginnings of cities. “It may be necessary to reverse relationships along the interface, to see ourselves as fire might see us, and to view the city from the perspective of its flaming fringe... That flaming fringe may, in truth, be the true core.” - Stephen J. Pyne, Flammable Cities, 2012


LITERATURE REVIEW

P H I L O S OPHY Taking a step back at what fire means to cities, I find it an interesting exercise to first define fire as a basic process of combustion and thermal transfer. Fire itself, in scientific terms, is an event—a manifestation of a chemical process, not a process in itself.28 Combustion is an accurate term for the process by which material is transformed, such as wood, through the application of thermal energy, such as mechanical friction or heat from an existing flame.29 Many mundane urban practices require the process of combustion—the combustion engine in a moving car, the natural gas stove that heats a pot of water, the coal-fired electric plant that lights the house by way of miles and miles of transmission line. Looking around, it is nearly impossible not to identify a single object that has not been produced in some way by a combustion process. Brick, steel, and glass are produced from thermal energy transfer worked into domesticated fires, in kilns and furnaces. In Fire and Memory: On Architecture and Energy, architect Luis Fernandez-Galiano makes some fundamental, elemental connections between architecture and material energy.30 Prior to advancements made in the early 1800s in the academies of physics, combustion and heat was considered a purely mechanical and mechanistic product. The book's exploration into the physical and psychoanalytical properties of fire are prefaced with a parable he attributes to architectural critic, Reyner Banham:

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“The tale tells of a primitive tribe that has just come across a clearing in the wood where it plans to spend the night... There are fallen branches and some wood in the clearing. The tribe has a dilemma: whether to use the wood to build a small shelter or as firewood for a bonfire. An entire theory of architecture is encapsulated in this simple question.” - Luis Fernandez-Galiano, translated by Gina Carino, Fire and Memory, 2000

To some extent, any material has a combustible nature and therefore, it is made of embodied energy and can be defined in fluid yet physical terms by the Joule unit, a mechanical equivalent of heat. Not until the late 1800s did the laws of thermodynamics and the conservation of energy emerge to provide a direct relationship between material, heat, and movement by way of energy.31 Today, we take energy for granted and often divorce its products, of kinetic movement and architectural material, from its fundamental relationship to combustion. With the lens of thermal transfer and energy flow by way of combustion as explained by thermodynamics, the physical landscape and its solid elements become as fluid and vaporous as water. It is no coincidence that the subject of combustion naturally lends itself to discourses of shifting, dynamic landscapes. Even beyond the physical realm that combustion manifests, there is a long and intimate history between people and fire as tradition, in language and culture. There are endless examples of symbolisms, idioms, and human expressions that come directly from


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analogies pertaining to fire; fire and its associated properties provide the ultimate analogy for all things human. It is difficult to restrain oneself from recalling them all in a long and hapless list: you're on fire today, I feel burned out, I got fired from my job yesterday, sparks were flying, a warm and friendly personality, it sparked a thought, he was glowing, I have a burning question, fire away, get fired up, caught in the line of fire, etc. Going further, I found a number of relevant connections between the fire of the landscape and the fire of the mind. The works of Gaston Bachelard from the 1950s and 60s draw connections between space and mind, often deriving evidence from literary and psychoanalytical material. Bachelard uses poetic verse to tie images of phenomena in space to the mental experience and internalizations of those phenomena. He constructed an entire book dedicated to fire.32 "The flame carries with it a wealth of metaphors and images into the most diverse realms of meditation. Take it as the subject of one of the verbs which express life and you will see it enlivens that verb... It governs an entire realm of the expressive world... The flame intensifies the pleasure of seeing beyond what is usually seen. It compels us to look. The flame summons us to see for the first time." - Gaston Bachelard, The Flame of a Candle, 1961

Recognizing connections between space and mind is an important step towards producing diction for re-seeing, or seeing for the

first time, a combustible landscape and its far reaching implications. According to landscape architect, Anne Spirn, landscapes are polemic.33 "Landscapes were the first human texts, read before the invention of other signs and symbols... Verbal language reflects landscape. Up and down, in and out—the most basic metaphors of verbal language—stem from experience of landscape... Verbs, nouns, adverbs, adjectives, and their contexts—mirror landscape processes, products, and their modifiers, material, formal, and spatial." - Anne Spirn, The Language of Landscape, 1998

D ESIGN If landscapes and their processes are dynamic, we could say by inference (although it may seem obvious) that language is also dynamic. Landscape architects are equipped with the tools of a flexible language that is predisposed to work at this unique intersection of disciplines. In addition to the general discourse of cities and landscapes as dynamic systems, recent changes in attitudes toward the design of urban waterfronts signals the potential for combustion to also be considered in design practice.34 Oftentimes, the edges of cities in relation to 'wildlands' or unoccupied, vegetated land, are not well understood or examined as places of constant shift. Historic developments along riverfronts offer an evolved narrative. In California and across the United States,


LITERATURE REVIEW

riverfronts were once (and still are) typified by the concrete channelization of water by the Army Corps of Engineers and buildings at the concrete edge.35 Upon experiencing long histories of unfortunate events, including flooding, ecological and cultural loss related to channelization, attitudes have more recently begun to shift in landscape engineering and design. Concrete channels are now being replaced with waterways that embrace their special urban ecologies and conditions by capitalizing on water behaviors such as flooding, sedimentation, and the establishment of vegetation.36 New terms have evolved to include 'urban water systems' and 'urban riverfronts.' Similar to how waterfront design projects creatively address flood risk and dynamic water movements, how can the process and system of combustion and the dynamic condition of fire risk be integrated to reflect a spatial relationship between the built environment and its unique ecological position? To begin to address the question, I will take a brief moment to wander through a recent history of ecological design discourse. In Design with Nature, Ian McHarg describes ecological landscape design through a series of tools: analytical plan and section drawings that layer clearly defined values to build up and define a framework or argument for particular zones and tolerances.37 This process of mapping is a flexible tool that can be adapted for the agency of nearly any agenda. The analytical mapping tools (the precursors to GIS technology) offered by McHarg are effec-

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tive tools for active engagement. "Science is not the only mode of perception—that the poet, painter, playwright, and author can reveal in metaphor that which science is unable to demonstrate." 38 McHarg's scientific expression of objective mapping is clearly driven by his values. Interestingly, his approach is situated by a personal narrative, of history and memories rooted in the English countryside of youth. Positioned between memories of an industrial Glasgow and a wildness of the Western Highlands, McHarg muses: "Canvas and pigments lie in wait, stone, wood, and metal are ready for sculpture, random noise is latent for symphonies, sites are gravid for cities, institutions lie in the wings ready to solve our most intractable problems, parables of moving power remain unformulated and yet, the world is finally unknowable." - Ian McHarg, Design with Nature, 1969

The language and practice of landscape design is flexible in this way; production is multifaceted and can be uniquely informed by both science and art. Positioned in this way, design is employed more or less as a constructed spatial argument or logic that is uniquely valued for both its objective and subjective qualities. The agencies involved as the collective agents of spatial organization are the ones who, half blind, sculpt the sites and the cities. In an essay, The Openness of Open Space, Kevin Lynch questions the major concept of 'open space' and articulates it in useful


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ways.39 Lynch describes dimensional metrics, spatial thresholds, densities, and political territories as meaningful elements in producing open space as vectors for social contact, learning, new stimuli, and imagination. "The open-space system not only makes the city visible, but also the larger natural universe." - Kevin Lynch, The Openness of Open Space, 1965

The works of Anuradha Mathur and Dilip da Cunha, relating the dynamics of water, history, and human experience in the landscape, operates with a new set of influential terms and visualizations—wet theory, aqueous terrain, designing a shifting landscape.40 In quoting the foreword text of their book, Soak, I challenge the reader to concurrently imagine a combustible landscape: "Soak opens up new directions for the science of cities. In the study of urban places, as in the making of Mumbai, there has been a hard edge, dividing the sciences of measurement planning and control from those interpretation, representation, and poetics... The flow of water through the life of Mumbai is not just an ecological fact. It produces an ever shifting medium through which the 'production of locality' is enabled. Soak encourages us to explore some of these lost opportunities, these places of wet theory and urban generativity, which the monsoon both performs and reveal." - Apparadurai and Breckenridge, the foreward for Soak, 2009

In both Soak and Mississippi Floods, Mathur and da Cuhna employ the language and practice particular to landscape architecture to form and employ emergent visions and arguments for "designing a shifting landscape" inherent to hydrological systems.41 Their work extensively documents the stories of the Mumbai's estuary and the Mississippi River with respect to monsoon and flood. In a similar vein, Jane Wolff presents a framework articulating the shifting and complex nature of the urban landscape in reference to New Orleans: "Though design professionals and scholars have made a wide range of interesting proposals that capitalize on landscapes' fluctuating tendencies, there has been much less conversation about the challenge of implementing such ideas... First, the fundamental principles and strategies of its twentieth century infrastructure are at odds with the dynamics of the landscape. Second, predicting and managing the city's hybrid ecological conditions are technically challenging tasks, exacerbated by the uncertainties of climate change. Third, the city and the landscapes it depends on suffer from institutional and governmental fragmentation: policies and administrative structures have not been organized for the synthetic consideration or adaptive management of metropolitan ecology and infrastructure... Finally, because hybrid landscapes like New Orleans do not fall into clear, familiar categories, the city's complexities are not well understood by most of its inhabitants, and their collective decisions about the future do not take into account the landscape's ecological reality." - Jane Wolff, in Projective Ecologies, 2014


LITERATURE REVIEW

Jane Wolff's essay, Cultural Landscapes and Dynamic Ecologies: Lessons from New Orleans, is part of a collection of works in the project, Projective Ecologies, edited by landscape architects, Chris Reed and Nina Marie-Lister.42 The collection, published in 2014, seeks to "articulate the contemporary role and status of ecology across the design and planning disciplines"; it works as a retrospective collection of narratives. In her essay, Wolff succinctly sums up a general dialogue about a perceived gap between the city as infrastructure and the city as landscape. In her work, Bay Lexicon, Wolff uses the argument of language, that landscape is polemic, as a tool to communicate such a gap, between landscape and an evolving volcabulary.43 In addition to recognizing the consequences and potentials of such a gap, however, I'd argue that the space between is critical and in itself very much part of what makes for a complex culture and ecosystem. Mismatches, gaps, fragments, odds and ends: this is the stuff of creative complexity. Given conceptual and practical gaps between science, design, and implementation practices, what can follow and how? Given the history of failed utopias44 as mastered by planners and designers with the omniscient bird's eye, are there examples of spaces which come from the mismatches and cultural complexities made up of conversations and implicit misunderstandings which function collectively to produce an uncommon course? If a top-down approach toward a singular vision is not implied by the acknowledgment of a tremendous gap, then what is? Perhaps the inconsistencies and para-

17

doxes very much present in the language of landscape are related to the unknowable world that Ian McHarg referenced in Design with Nature, and to an extent, the imagination inspired by Kevin Lynch's 'openness of open space.' We are left with a question on the important of gaps, especially pertinent to the paradox of the wildland urban interface. The significance of gaps is considered in Attlee and Le Feuvre's book, Gordon Matta-Clark, The Space Between,44 which positions the work of the architect-artist in the context of design and language: "The word Anarchitecture itself merged two apparently conflicting sets of principles - the planned and the spontaneous, the structures and the fluid, the built and the disassembled—and by joining them together held them in balance, setting up a kind of creative tension. The continual puns the members of the Anarchitecture group made about their name—AN ARK KIT PUNCTURE, ANARCHY TORTURE, AN ARCTIC LECTURE, AN ORCHID TEXTURE, AN ART COLLECTOR etc—were a demonstration of the principle of entropy applied as much to language as to the physical world... The rules that govern language—on the levels of phonetics, semantics, or syntax; the divisions between words that render them legible as signs—this architecture of sound and meaning is written on water not stone. As Duchamp had pointed out, nothing in the universe is at rest." - James Attlee and Lisa Le Feuvre, Gordon Matta-Clark, The Space Between, 2003


18

Although the Anarchitecture Group came out of 1970s New York, the critique offers a useful foil in thinking about how designers can conceive of, speak of, and engage with a combustible or dynamic landscape. The critique is also useful to engage contemporary ideologies on ecological design, technology, and implementation at the current moment—remote sensing, smart cities, coding etc. If a system is to be truly dynamic, there must be space for it to fall apart and decompose, as in an entropic and thermodynamic city. In ecology, material decomposition implies the possibility for spontaneous regeneration. If anything, a multidisciplinary review of literature strongly suggests an opportune moment for landscape architects to facilitate the development of combustion in the landscape and city. Borrowing from disturbance ecology, specifically from fire ecology, it is evident that there is a practical framework for implementing the concept of a shifting landscape as a foundation for landscape design. Making the connection between physical phenomena to the intangible, mental and linguistic manifestations of those phenomena make it possible for a shift in the human being, to begin to see and build space in new terms. The landscape architect or agent of space making is well-equipped to imagine a combustible landscape. Although the translation between ecological sciences, philosophy, and practical space-making is neither smooth nor fitted, gaps in understanding and practices between disciplines can actually function to spark "added value" or an entirely novel code.45 Similarly, as thermal transfer moves between and trans-

forms material, as suggested by the laws of thermodynamics, the linguistic and cultural practice associated with the landscape can be expressed in non-mechanical terms of energy and entropy.


LITERATURE REVIEW

To congeal the vast pool of sources presented in the literature review thus far, I will conclude with a design manifesto written by artist, Agnes Denes, in 1969.46 “working with a paradox defining the elusive visualizing the invisible communicating the incommunicable not accepting the limitations society has accepted seeing in new ways living for a fraction of a second and penetrating light years using intellect and instinct to achieve intuition achieving total self-consciousness and self-awareness being creatively obsessive questioning, reasoning, analysing, dissection and re-examining understanding the finitude of human existence and still striving to create beauty and provocative reasoning finding new concepts, recognising new patterns desiring to know the importance or significance of existence seeing reality and still being able to dream persisting in the eternal search� - Agnes Denes, quoted in Radical Nature, 2009

19


Endnotes

"Fuel Modification Plan Guidelines: A Firewise Landscape Guide for Creating and Maintaining Defensible Space." County of Los Angeles Fire Department. July 2011. Web.

1

Frelich, Lee E. Forest Dynamics and Disturbance Regimes: Studies from Temperate Evergreen-Deciduous Forests. 1 edition. Cambridge University Press, 2008. Print. 2

20

graphic information system." Geographic Information Sciences 1.1 (1995): 9-21. Forghani, Alan, Radke John et al. "Applying fire spread simulation over two study sites in California lessons learned and future plans." Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, 2007. IGARSS 2007. IEEE International. IEEE, 2007.

11

Lentile, Leigh B., et al. "Remote sensing techniques to assess active fire characteristics and post-fire effects." International Journal of Wildland Fire15.3 (2006): 319-345. 12

Anderson, M. Kat. Tending the Wild: Native American Knowledge and the Management of California's Natural Resources. Reprint edition. University of California Press, 2013. Print. 3

13

Kilgore, Bruce M. "Origin and History of Wildland Fire Use in the U.S. National Park System." The George Wright Forum 24.3 (2007): n. pag. Web. 2 May 2016.

"Fuel Load." N.p., n.d. Web. 3 May 2016.

4

Benson, Randall P. "Modeling seasonal variation in the total probability of wildfires." Sixth Symposium on Fire and Forest Meteorology. 2005. 14

7

"Dead Fuel Moisture - NFDRS." USFS Wildland Fire Assessment System. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 May 2016. 16 Mallinis, Georgios, et al. "Local-scale fuel-type mapping and fire behavior prediction by employing high-resolution satellite imagery." Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, IEEE Journal of 1.4 (2008): 230-239.

Stephens, S. L., et al. "Managing forests and fire in changing climates."Science 342.6154 (2013): 41-42.

17 "Stephens, Scott L., et al. "Fire treatment effects on vegetation structure, fuels, and potential fire severity in western US forests." Ecological Applications 19.2 (2009): 305-320.

Sousa, Wayne P. "The role of disturbance in natural communities." Annual review of ecology and systematics 15 (1984): 353-391. 5

Krebs, Patrik, et al. "Fire regime: history and definition of a key concept in disturbance ecology." Theory in Biosciences 129.1 (2010): 53-69. 6

Forman, Richard TT. Land mosaics: the ecology of landscapes and regions. Cambridge university press, 1995. 8

Minnich, Richard A. "An Integrated Model of Two Fire Regimes." Conservation Biology 15.6 (2001): 1549-1553. Print. 9

10

Radke, John. "Modeling urban/wildland interface fire hazards within a geo-

15

18 Menning, Kurt M., and Scott L. Stephens. "Fire climbing in the forest: a semiqualitative, semiquantitative approach to assessing ladder fuel hazards." Western Journal of Applied Forestry 22.2 (2007): 88-93.


LITERATURE REVIEW

Skowronski, Nicholas, et al. "Remotely sensed measurements of forest structure and fuel loads in the Pinelands of New Jersey." Remote Sensing of Environment 108.2 (2007): 123-129. 19

21

Bachelard, Gaston. The Flame of a Candle. Dallas [Tex.]: Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, 1989. Print. The Bachelard Translations. 32

Spirn, Anne Whiston. The language of landscape. Yale University Press, 1998. 33

Blonski, Kenneth S., Cheryl Miller, and Carol Rice. Managing Fire in the Urban Wildland Interface. Point Arena, Calif: Solano Press, c2010. Print. 20

Fisher, Bonnie, and Beth Benson. Remaking the urban waterfront. Urban Land Inst, 2004. 34

Cohen, Jack. "The wildland-urban interface fire problem: A consequence of the fire exclusion paradigm." (2008): 20-26. 21

The Future of the Concrete Channel Conference." University of California, Berkeley. David Brower Center, Berkeley, CA. 23 November 2013.

35-36 "

"Fuel Modification Plan Guidelines: A Firewise Landscape Guide for Creating and Maintaining Defensible Space." County of Los Angeles Fire Department. July 2011. Web. 22

Bankoff, Greg, Uwe Lďƒźbken, and Jordan Sand, eds. Flammable Cities: Urban Conflagration and the Making of the Modern World. Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 2012. Print. 23-26

McHarg, Ian L. Design with Nature. 1st ed. Garden City, N.Y: Published for the American Museum of Natural History [by] the Natural History Press, 1969. Print. 37-38

39

Lynch, Kevin. The openness of open space. 1965.

Mathur, Anuradha, and Dilip da Cunha. Soak: Mumbai in an Estuary. New Delhi: Rupa & Co, 2009. Print.

27

Tebeau, Mark. Eating smoke: Fire in urban America, 1800-1950. JHU Press, 2012.

40

28

"Fire." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 17 Apr. 2016. Wikipedia. Web. 3 May 2016.

41

"Combustion." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 20 Apr. 2016. Wikipedia. Web. 3 May 2016.

Reed, Chris, and Nina-Marie E. Lister, eds. Projective Ecologies. Cambridge, Massachusetts ; New York, New York: Harvard University Graduate School of Design : Actar Publishers, 2014. Print.

29

FernďƒĄndez-Galiano, Luis. Fire and Memory: On Architecture and Energy. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 2000. Print. Writing Architecture.

Mathur, Anuradha, and Dilip da Cunha. Mississippi Floods: Designing a Shifting Landscape. New Haven [Conn.]: Yale University Press, 2001. Print.

42

30

"Laws of Thermodynamics." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 22 Apr. 2016. Wikipedia. Web. 3 May 2016.

Wolff, Jane. "Artwork: Bay Lexicon." Exploratorium. N.p., 5 Apr. 2013. Web. 2 May 2016. 43

31

Cenzatti, Marco. "Heterotopias." University of California, Berkeley. Wurster Hall, Berkeley. Jan-May 2014. Lectures.

44


22

Attlee, James, Lisa Le Feuvre, and Gordon Matta-Clark. Gordon Matta-Clark: The Space between. Tucson, AZ: Nazraeli Press, 2003. Print. 45

Dear, Michael. "Practicing Geohumanities." GeoHumanities 1.1 (2015): 20-35. 45

London Barbican Art Gallery. Radical nature: art and architecture for a changing planet 1969-2009;[... on the occasion of the exhibition Radical Nature-Art and Architecture for a Changing Planet 1969-2009; Barbican Art Gallery, London, 19 June-18 October 2009]. Ed. Francesco Manacorda. Koenig Books, 2009. Print. 46


23

CHAPTER

3

Precedents GA SWORKS PARK T UDE L A- CUL IP RESTORATION PROJEC T WE ST POINT FOUNDRY PRESERV E ST OR M KING ART CENTER


24

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PRECEDENTS

A number of case studies exist that employ landscape design as a means to integrate human habitation and built environments with ecological processes to make for dynamic relationships. The following case studies offer design principles which function in some way to position people within a "larger natural universe"1 while speaking to site-specific phenomena and histories. Each site encompasses acres upon acres of publicly accessible open space traversed on paths. Each site features minimal intervention while producing highly precise, carefully constructed experiences of novel ecological assemblages; they make clear statements departing from their historic situations. Dimensions and scales are referenced from the sites' derivative histories while "seeing in new ways."2 New structures employ the nature of the sites' greater ecological and geological positions, whether bay or prairie, to form spatial dialogues at the landscape scale. Points, lines, and planes assemble together to form open-ended spaces set in these landscapes, neither fully enclosed nor fully open. These case studies help to envision, in one way or another, how an argument for a combustible landscape might form.

25


26

1

2

G A S W O RK S PA RK S e a t t l e , Wa sh i n g t on , USA

TUD EL A-CUL IP R E S T ORA T ION PROJ E CT CAP D E CR EUS NA T U RA L PA RK CadaquĂŠs , Catal o ni a , S p a i n

Novel relationships emerge from unlikely juxtapositions—the gasification plant, ground and water. Elements formerly in opposition rally in harmony and are experienced together to express the precise situation the name, Gasworks Park, suggests. Landscape architect, Richard Haag, uses a minimum variety of material to position water, ground, and industry in conversation.3 What is remarkable is the experience of scale on site. Vastness is experienced yet there is a place for a person to be, to walk, to sit and witness the sublime scene. Gasworks Park transmits a memory of an industrial urban waterfront while positing an emergent vision of a new place. The ground plane offer lines of connection via the horizon. Infrastructure becomes subject and pathways work like a camera track on which a cinematographer might capture movement, between water, ground, and a human past.

Buildings from a former 1960s resort is selectively removed from a rocky landscape and rearranged in such a way that renders an entirely novel conversation between the ground, water, and a built history. Estudi Marti Franch (EMF landscape architecture) positions minimal points of intervention to put people in conversation with the place. In an article, "The Art of Taking Apart," landscape architect Jenifer Cooper emphasizes the role of deconstruction in the design of Cap de Creus Natural Park.4 The geological terrain provides a continuous backdrop while orthogonal masses derived from former buildings 'float' upon the rock. These thin, orthogonal volumes introduce simple lines and planes into the scene. From them, half-contained spaces are created to hold visitors for a moment; they act as subtle guide and frame, open to the sea cliff landscape yet scaled to the human body and in relation to a built history. The design of shelters, paths, sculptural arrangements, and rails come together as a series of carefully constructed, open-ended moments. Minimal structures 'left behind' are used to subtly mediate the scale of the ocean cliff with the scale of the human being. The landscape is experienced and explored by visitors in motion, along a trail.


PRECEDENTS

27

3

4

W E S T P O IN T F O UN DRY PRESER V E C o l d S p r i n g , N ew Y ork, USA

STOR M KING AR T CE N T E R New Winds or , Ne w Yo rk, U S A

Contemporary perspectives toward land use are put into play with the story of the West Point Foundery, bustling in the early 1800s. Mathews Nielson Landscape Architects, in collaboration with C&G Partners, designed a collection of interpretive interventions, consisting of signage posts, paths, and monuments which employ novel forms that reference the site's historic land use as an intensive foundry complex.5 Formal references to steel structure are hybridized with wood and stone material. These structures work in scale to relate to the human experience; they position the human body within the landscape with simple pathways, stairways, platforms, and posts for a didactic experience.

Within a 500-acre site, a network of paths and carefully sited axes situates a world-class collection of sculptures. The sculpture park is an outdoor experience to view modern sculpture set in location. William A. Rutherford's design maintains the vegetated landscapes set of diverse, pastoral texture and scale as the backdrop to the museum.6 The sculptures are therefore experienced in motion, along the paths and in frames at monumental vistas and perspectival axes. Art is situated in the vast landscape to form a unique and ephemeral scene while held to the test of time by way of permanent sculptural elements.

The collection of built structures come together with the surrounding vegetated landscape to tell a story of the site's industrial history in conjunction with contemporary practices and visions of ecological stewardship. C&G creates a wooded open space that is didactic. Interventions inform visitors by referencing old with new along a system of public trails.

Native grass meadows are preserved and maintained in the spring using methods of annual controlled burning.7 The annual burn is considered a special event and has become an iconic site. Burns are made within clear plot boundaries, of sculptural edges, in a series of perspectival overlaps. At these events, museum members are invited to gather, witness, and celebrate the burning. Lines are blurred between art, landscape, and landscape maintenance; they are integrated in experimental and artful ways.


28

1

GASWOR KS PA RK Seattle, Was hi ng to n, U S A Richard Haag, landscape architect 19.1 acres, opened 1975 Images: Stephanie Lin8 December 2015 Keys: vast scale, sublime scene

FIG 1 GASWORKS PARK I


PRECEDENTS

FIG 2 GASWORKS PARK II

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30

2

TU DE LA - C ULIP REST O RA TION PR OJECT C A P DE C REUS N A T URA L PAR K C a d aq u és, Ca t a l on i a , S pain Estudi Mart Franch, landscape architect 222 acres, opened 2010 Images: Mart Franch and Pau Ardvol9 https://www.asla.org/2012awards/365.html Keys: material deconstruction, open-ended moments

FIG 3 TUDELA-CULIP RESTORATION PROJECT I, EMF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE


PRECEDENTS

FIG 4 TUDELA-CULIP RESTORATION PROJECT II, EMF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE

31


32

3

WEST POINT FOUNDRY PRE S E RV E Cold Spr ing, New Y o rk, U S A Mathews Nielson Landscape Architects and C&G Partners 87 acres, opened 2013 Images: Mathews Nielson Landscape Architects10 http://www.landezine.com/index.php/2015/05/west-pointfoundry-preserve-by-mathews-nielsen-landscape-architects/ Keys: didactic material hybrids, choreographed path network

FIG 5 WEST POINT FOUNDRY PRESERVE I, MATHEWS NIELSON LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS


PRECEDENTS

FIG 6 WEST POINT FOUNDRY PRESERVE II, MATHEWS NIELSON LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS

33


34

4

S TO R M KIN G A RT CEN T ER N e w Wi n d sor, N ew Y ork, USA William A. Rutherfor, landscape architect 500 acres, opened 1960 Images: Melodie Meslano11 (left) https://www.flickr.com/photos/melodiemesiano/5779757008 Steven Severinghaus12 (below) https://www.flickr.com/photos/horsepunchkid/8132687363/in/photostream/ Keys: monumental views, ephemeral material

FIG 7 STORM KING ART CENTER - SCULPTURE


PRECEDENTS

FIG 8 STORM KING ART CENTER - PRAIRIE

35


Endnotes

1

Lynch, Kevin. The openness of open space. 1965.

London Barbican Art Gallery. Radical nature: art and architecture for a changing planet 1969-2009;[... on the occasion of the exhibition Radical Nature-Art and Architecture for a Changing Planet 1969-2009; Barbican Art Gallery, London, 19 June-18 October 2009]. Ed. Francesco Manacorda. Koenig Books, 2009. Print.

36

Point Foundry Preserve by Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects. Web. 3 May 2016.

2

Meyer, Elizabeth K. "Seized by sublime sentiments: between terra firma and terra incognita." Richard Haag: bloedel reserve and gas works park. Princeton Architectural Press, New York (1998): 5-28. Print. 3

Cooper, Jennifer. "The Art of Taking Apart." Landscape Architecture Magazine Mar. 2013: 74-85. Print. 4

C&G Partners. West Point Foundry Preserve. N.p.: C&G Partners, 2013. Print. 5

Stern, H. Peter. Earth, Sky and Sculpture: Storm King Art Center. Storm King Art Center, 2000. 6

"Storm King Art Center Membership Brochure." Storm King Art Center. N.p., Apr. 2013. Web. 3 May 2016. 7

8

Gasworks Park, Seattle, Washington. Personal photographs by author. 2015.

Franch, Martďƒ­, and Pau Ardďƒ¨vol. The Viewpoints System. 2012. American Society of Landscape Architects, Tedula-Culip Restoration Project, Cadaques, Catalonia, Spain. ASLA 2012 Professional Awards. Web. 3 May 2016. 9

Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects. West Point Foundry Preserve. 2015. Landzine, West Point Foundry Preserve, Cold Spring, New York. West 10

Meslano, Melodie. Storm King Art Center. 2010. Storm King Art Center, New Windsor, New York. Flickr. Web. 3 May 2016. 11

Severinghaus, Steven. Storm King Fall Colors. 2012. Storm King Art Center, New Windsor, New York. Flickr. Web. 3 May 2016. 12


37

CHAPTER

4

New Terms T H I N K OF FIRE NOT AS FIRE WA T E R AND FUEL PARAL L EL S


NEW

38

TERMS

TH I N K O F F IRE N OT A S F IRE In design, to re-envision space often requires selective rhetoric. Although space is multi-dimensional (to the infinite power) and can consist of layers upon layers of real attributes, it is often the work of the designer to construct a dialectic argument using words and images to make possible the positive reconstruction of space. This process echoes Ian McHarg's thoughts on objective mapping as they are engaged by subjective values.1 Building upon the idea of landscape as language, and design as selective rhetoric, I am prompted to objectively deconstruct and meddle with some words of interest. Beginning with fire, how can one think of fire, not as fire? It's easy to get stuck in assumptions about what fire is, which may in part contribute to the overall stand-still. Nevertheless, I listed words that I associated with fire by default: prevention, protection, management, mitigation, damage, hazard, zone, safety, insurance. Next, I sought to mirror the words with their loose opposites: instigation, exposure, spontaneity, uncertainty, repair, production, ecology, inevitability, recurrence. Could it be possible that fire in relation to a city might provoke the mirrored words? If fire can be mirrored, what is acting as the mirror? The judgment values placed on what fire is or isn't depends on this mirror; the mirror is a flexible perception, a relationship between the phenomenon of combustion in the landscape and the people living in that landscape. Referencing back

to disturbance and fire ecology, I believe it is possible to imagine and substantiate a claim for a positive relationship between a combustible landscape and its residents. An exercise that helped to think of fire not as fire was to parallel fire with flood. The same words mirrored upon fire also work with flood. As landscape architects have shown, water in cities have transformed drastically over time, from conveyors of risk to recreation.2 Could landscape architects also transform a combustible landscape from a conveyor of fire risk to one of positive dynamics? WATER AND FUEL PA RA L L E L S To play with the rhetoric of a combustible landscape, I was prompted to parallel fire with flood, fuel with water, fire zone with riparian zone, the wildland urban interface with the concrete channel, and subsequently imagine an ecological urban hillfront as inspired by an ecological urban waterfront. The derivation of new terms makes possible a positive reconstruction of the combustible landscape and departure from the present situation of the wildland urban interface (Fig. 9). Like water, fuel is necessary for human life. Although fuel as mundane resource is dispensed daily into households from power


NEW TERMS

outlets and stoves, most people don't consider the fact that they are invisibly piped through cities, conveyed, and sourced from far-away sites. Like water, fuel is ubiquitous in the locally-occurring landscape, however, while being often overlooked, removed, or covered up. Like water in the landscape, occurrences of fuel in the landscape is designated by zones. Fire zones experience episodic events related to climate in relation to topography. Ecologically speaking, these zones contain unique communities of plants and animals.3 There are examples of traditional human adaptations to fire zones as well as riparian zones.4 Like water in the concrete channel, fuel at the wildland urban interface is treated mechanistically and is defined by the hard edge of the city. Oftentimes, like channelized water, the combustible landscape of the wildland urban interface is treated as industrial infrastructure, a means to convey power lines between cities.5 Those who live at these edges rely on insurance and emergency aid from agencies such as FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency).6 The interface is rigid and therefore not intended to accommodate a lively dynamic. Like water, taken to be part of an ecological community and flood regime, fuel in the combustible landscape can be treated as a cultural resource, part of recreation and engaged with by artists and designers. With a logic and language to support the idea of a positive relationship between people and the combustible land-

39

scape, designers can envision alternatives; landscape architects can create new statements about the role of fire and fuel in the urban landscape. One can muse at the thought of an ecological urban hillfront. What does it look like? How does it change? How do people live with it? Subsequent re-imaginings will depend on the specifics—site, people, agencies, climate, dynamics, relationships, values, qualities that are unique to a particular place (Fig. 10-12).


40

FIG 9 TABLE: WATER AND FUEL PARALLELS

WATER Chemically defined as H2O Necessary for human life Invisibly piped through cities Dispensed daily from faucets Conveyed and sourced from far-away water collection sites Increasingly a global security issue (scarcity + pollution) City dwellers often alienated from local occurences

RIPARIAN ZONE Geomorphically defined by topography Experienced periodic flooding Flooding caused by storms/climate People traditionally adapted to flood zones

CONCRETE CHANNEL Mechanistically defined by edge of the water Treated as industrial infrastructure as conveyance of water resource Experienced exacerbated flooding via channelization practices Flooding exacerbated by increasingly extreme storms/climate People poorly adapted to flood zones + need FEMA/insurance assistance

FUEL Chemically defined as a reactive material that releases energy Necessary for human life Inivisibly piped through cities Dispensed daily from power outlets and stoves Conveyed and sourced from far-away energy collection and mining sites Increasingly a global security issue (fossil fuel + GHG emissions) City dwellers often alienated from local occurrences

FIRE ZONE Geomorphically defined by topography Experienced periodic fires Fire caused by heat and wind climate People traditionally adapted to fire zones

WILDLAND URBAN INTERFACE Mechanistically defined by edge of the city Treated as industrial infrastructure as conveyance of energy resources Experienced exacerbated fires via fire suppression practices Fires caused by increasingly extreme heat, drought, and wind/climate People poorly adapted to fire zones + need FEMA/insurance assistance

ECOLOGICAL URBAN WATERFRONT

ECOLOGICAL URBAN HILLFRONT

Ecologically defined by habitat and flood regime Treated as a cultural resource via recreational access Experiences periodic flooding Flooding anticipated with climate change People become better-adapted to flood zones

Ecologically defined by habitat and fire regime Treated as a cultural resource via recreational access Experiences periodic fires Fires anticipated with climate change People become better-adapted to fire zones

Co-opted risk with design intervention

Co-opted risk with design intervention


FIG 10 CONCEPTUAL WATERCOLOR I

NEW TERMS

41


FIG 11 CONCEPTUAL WATERCOLOR II

42


FIG 12 CONCEPTUAL WATERCOLOR III

NEW TERMS

43


Endnotes

McHarg, Ian L. Design with Nature. 1st ed. Garden City, N.Y: Published for the American Museum of Natural History [by] the Natural History Press, 1969. Print.

1

The Future of the Concrete Channel Conference." University of California, Berkeley. David Brower Center, Berkeley, CA. 23 November 2013. 2 "

Frelich, Lee E. Forest Dynamics and Disturbance Regimes: Studies from Temperate Evergreen-Deciduous Forests. 1 edition. Cambridge University Press, 2008. Print. 3

Anderson, M. Kat. Tending the Wild: Native American Knowledge and the Management of California's Natural Resources. Reprint edition. University of California Press, 2013. Print. 4

Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project (TRTP). Southern California Edison, 2009. Web. 5

Tebeau, Mark. Eating smoke: Fire in urban America, 1800-1950. JHU Press, 2012. 6

44


45

CHAPTER

5

Place: The Puente Hills WI LD L AND- URB AN GRADIENT P UBLI C POSTS CO M B USTIB L E L ANDSC APES


PLACE:

THE

PUENTE

46

HILLS

W I L D L A N D- URBA N GRA DIENT “Language, myth, and landscape are all entwined in the narratives of the West and of Los Angeles in particular. Recognizing and interpreting contemporary sociospatial patterns require that we first uncover the intentions and perceptions of the historical agents of urban change.”1 - Michael Dear, Rethinking Los Angeles, 1996

Puente means bridge.2 Before rapid urban development in the later 1900s, the Puente Hills area acted as a bridge that was crossed by travelers in order to reach coastal regions to the south, namely Orange County. From the ridge looking south on a clear and crisp winter day, one can see the Pacific Ocean glistening. It's difficult to imagine the Puente Hills and the San Gabriel Valley to the north having existed before the establishment of the current area's network of defining institutions—99 Ranch, Hong Kong Supermarket, H-Mart—before it was legal for Chinese people to immigrate and live there. In 1942, this area was simultaneously shifting—simultaneous to World War II, the Holocaust, Japanese internment, the Chinese Exclusion Act—all perfectly pushing and pulling people in time and space to form what is Rowland Heights now taken at face value.3 Rowland Heights is somewhat of a miracle from the perspective of a 1942 map (Fig. 19-22).4 At that point in time, Diamond Bar (which is now an incorporated suburb) was a geological feature, named after sediment deposits along Brea Creek.5 As was the hills, the heights,

ranches, and creeks—they were parts of the landscape, too, in 1942 (Appendix - Fig. 70-72). The site of interest is located in an unincorporated area of Los Angeles County in the Puente Hills, called Rowland Heights. Being set in Los Angeles County, there are regional complexities and histories that make the site particularly interesting (Fig. 40). In the spirit of thermodynamics, here, urban life is both structured and spontaneous, above and below the stated rules. Rowland Heights, in particular, being an unincorporated area under the loose supervision of Los Angeles County, has a sense of place that is full of gaps and inconsistencies. Most of the people who currently live in Rowland Heights bring with them memories of other places from they've come. The area, its businesses, homes, and people come together in the landscape as an assemblage of diverse languages and codes, many of which do not translate or are unknowable. In this way, Los Angeles County and its future is especially dynamic. The 'language of landscape' in these parts are effectively inconsistent and therefore open to shifting and dynamic terms. The exact study site encompasses an urban wildland interface in proximity to high traffic and housing developments, under the boundaries of Schabarum Regional Park (Fig. 23). The 575-acre park provides locals with access to one of the larger public open spaces in the area for activities including hiking, picnics, horse-


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back riding, and group exercise, to name a few.6 The place is a popular site for wedding photography, which takes advantage of convenient and publicly accessible riparian, grassland, chaparral, and woodland scenes. In general, the park is backdrop for everyday life—birthday parties, barbecues, reunions, and lone walks. It's a beautiful place that signals the seasons; the hills turn rapid swaths of colors throughout the year in response to the climate, from winter green, to spring mustard yellow, summer gold and fall brown. Being extremely accessible, Schabarum Park serves a vast community of people who seek recreation in the San Gabriel Valley and greater Los Angeles area.7 The park mediates a quick transition from an asphalt and concrete plane, an 85-acre shopping mall lot across the street (Fig. 15) to the north and into the hills toward the south (Fig. 16). P U B L I C PO ST S When visiting Rowland Heights, the names of the shopping centers provide hints at claims to the landscape and local identities. The commercial core runs east-west in direction, parallel to the base of the hills on Colima Road. The name, Colima, is related to the meaning, "place where the water bends."8 This corridor is the busiest section of town and houses competitive businesses ranging from big box stores like Macy's to family-run food stalls. The main shopping centers within a mile of Schabarum Park are named: Puente Hills Mall, Puente Hills Town Center, Canyon

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Point Marketplace Shopping Center, Bixby Hacienda Plaza, Diamond Plaza, Pacific Plaza, and Pearl of the East Plaza (Fig. 13). These names reveal the some of the population's reference points, both of local and global place. Restaurants found across the street from Schabarum Park include: Thai Specialty 2, Tokyo Lobby Restaurant, Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot, Shanghailander Palace, El Pollo Loco, Chipotle, Baja Fresh Mexican Grill, Souplantation, TGI Friday's, and Donut King, and more. These establishments are remarkably all located within 500 yards of the park's main entrance on Colima Road. Green corridors, bike lanes, and small roads are not part of the character of this place. Nonetheless, the park exists, and provides quick access to vast open spaces. The main entrance into Schabarum Park is positioned at the northern foothills of the range, rising from about 500 to 1500 feet above sea level (Fig. 37). The vegetation varies in cover, and consists of patches - riparian canopy cover, open annual grassland cover, dense chaparral shrubland cover, and some small areas of tall Eucalyptus trees. Upon entering the park and moving south toward the hills from the car-dominated bustle of Colima Road, visitors witness an array of public activities on the lawns. Every day, there are unofficial exercise groups that meet—taichi, qigong, yoga, stretching, and other callisthenic-type activites (Fig. 27). Seniors gather daily to commune and walk smoothly-paved paths that follow the shaded creek areas. Run-of-themill playgrounds, exercise stations, and concrete benches are


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placed here and there along the paths to encourage public recreation. Further in the park, there is a horse stable and horseback riding service, called Sunshine and Daydreams (Fig. 28). The stables are aptly named; here, an atmospheric shift occurs from the hot, asphalted lowlands to dusty, pastoral uplands of days past. Visitors can take upon eroded dirt paths on foot, on bike, or by horse (Fig. 17). Many of these paths are part of a network of emergency fire roads and maintenance roads (Fig. 18). The Schabarum Park trail system is expansive and connects into regional networks beyond the park's boundaries into adjacent open space systems and neighborhoods (Fig. 24). These hill areas lie under the jurisdiction of various Los Angeles County agencies, including the Department of Parks and Recreation, Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CALFIRE), and Puente Hills Habitat Preservation Authory.9 Beyond the county-run areas of Puente Hills, notable public-private infrastructures are housed, including the largest memorial park in the world (Rose Hills Memorial Park, 1400 acres)10 the largest, recently-active municipal dump in the country (Puente Hills Landfill, 1364 acres)11 and one of the largest wind transmission projects in the country (Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project, 4500 megawatt capacity) (Fig. 14, 25, 26).12 Each part of the hills reflects a piece of Los Angeles County and its intense (metabolic) history. To gauge contemporary meanings of the hills and Schabarum

Park specifically, I scanned public Instagram posts that were designated with the identifying hashtag, #schabarumpark (Fig. 29-31).13 The masses of public photographs and commentary reflected in nearly 2000 posts revealed strong ties between the landscape and its people. It apparent that the park and hills are a place for people to gather, celebrate, memorialize, move, and play. It is useful to reference Kevin Lynch's The Openness of Open Space and to recognize the importance of the park as a place for visitors to access territories as vectors for social contact, learning, new stimuli, and imagination.14 The public posts showed clear examples of people engaging with open space in openly expressive and social ways. With the openness of the park and the hills, people are able to make claims to the territory in their own way. When examining materials at the trailheads, I found small examples of these claims—locks on the gates, tags on the fence posts, and tracks in the mud (Fig. 22, 23). COMB USTIB L E L AN D S CA PE S Los Angeles County is a perfect place to look at combustion in the landscape because the conditions there make for very high fire risks. Those conditions are fuel, wind, topography, dryness, and ignition. The vegetated landscape provides a lot of fuel, which make for a combustible landscape; these areas tend to begin at the back edges of cities. Comparing a 2014 vegetation cover map12 (Fig. 34) of the Los Angeles County area with a


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"Los Angeles Notebook"21 on the nature of the Santa Ana winds:

historic wildfire map, accounting for events between 1950 and 2012,15 reveals a striking resemblance in pattern (Fig. 35). A strong correlation between combustion and landscape through the presence of a vegetative fuels mosaic is apparent. These regional patterns are strongly related to topography; most of the past century's urban development in the Los Angeles County area has formed in the valleys and basins, creating urban edges at the foothills. With topography in the hills, slopes can influence wind flow and work like chimneys to spread fires up the slopes; rates of fire spread roughly doubles every additional 10 degrees in slope.16 Additionally, Los Angeles County is a relatively dry place. In the last two years, the region has experienced some of the worst droughts in recorded history and in the United States, potentially the worst drought in the last 1200 years.17 According to the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association) average temperatures have risen eight degrees Fahrenheit since 1880 (Fig. 38).18 Over the last century, incidence of fire have increased proportionally with population growth in Los Angeles County. The predominant cause of wild fire ignition comes from human activities in conjunction with environmental conditions. There is a strong correlation between population levels and fire incidence in Los Angeles County (Fig. 39).19

"There is something uneasy in the Los Angeles air this afternoon, some unnatural stillness, some tension. What it means is that tonight a Santa Ana will begin to blow, a hot wind from the northeast whining down through the Cajon and San Gorgonio Passes, blowing up sandstorms out along Route 66, drying the hills and the nerves to the flash point. For a few days now we will see smoke back in the canyons, and hear sirens in the night. I have neither heard nor read that a Santa Ana is due, but I know it and almost everyone I have seen today knows it too. We know it because we feel it. The baby frets. The maid sulks..." “The Santa Ana, which is named for one of the canyons it rushes through, is a foehn wind, like the foehn of Austria and Switzerland and the khamsin of Israel. There are a number of persistent malevolent winds, perhaps the best known of which are the mistral of France and the Mediterranean sirocco, but a foehn wind has distinct characteristics: it occurs on the leeward slope of a mountain range and, although the air begins as a cold mass, it is warmed as it comes down the mountain and appears finally as a hot dry wind. In Los Angeles some teachers do not attempt to conduct formal classes during a Santa Ana, because the children become unmanageable.”

Lastly, The Puente Hills area experiences the infamous Santa Ana Winds, which tend to blow warm air during the dry seasons, southwest up against the hills adjacent to housing and commercial development (Fig. 36).20 Joan Didion writes, in an essay,

In her essay, Didion goes on to recount a series of furious highwind days in Los Angeles where winds moved at hurricane speeds of up to 100 miles per hour, for days on end. The result was what she describes as chaotic scenes reaching 'apocalyptic' levels. Typically, Santa Ana winds blow up to sustained speeds

- Joan Didion, “Los Angeles Notebook,” 1968


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of 40 miles per hour and for no more than a couple of few days at a time.22 During the dry season, it is not uncommon to hear about and see fiery blazes in the news.23 The wind is a major factor that affects the spread of fires. Combined with the presence of fuels, dry conditions, and a starting ignition point, fires can quickly blow and spread across landscapes, including urban areas, with sustained winds. Sustained winds make it difficult for firefighters to contain and cut off the spread of fires. Due to a unique combination of climate and fuel conditions in conjunction with urban density, the site is designated as a 'very high fire hazard zone' according to Los Angeles County CalFire,24 which is responsible for monitoring, mitigating, and suppressing local fire risk and events. Historically, fire regimes in this area have been recorded to show relatively frequent events in locations that reflect vegetated land covers. According to LANDFIRE Rapid Assessment Vegetation Models, landscapes across the country have historically experienced regular episodes of wild fire. Typically, California grasslands experience surface fires every two years. In laymen terms, the fire acts like a mower to cut down and maintain grasslands from invasion of competing, non-grass species. Chaparrals have historically experienced stand-replacing fires every 50 years. In the California oak woodlands, 90% of wild fires have occurred every 10 years as surface fires, with the remaining 10% acting as stand-replacement fires every 120+ years.25 Records reveal that in the early 1800s, an estimated 4.5 million acres would burn on average every year;

fire clearly has had a historically profound role in California and Southern California in particular.26 Recently, I attended the 2016 Norcal/Socal Society of American Foresters' joint meeting in Santa Rosa.26 Most of the presentations, given by a mix of university researchers, government agencies, and private industry practitioners, were given by veterans in the field of forestry and fire ecology. About 150 members were present. Nearly every presenter solemnly acknowledged some kind of inevitable loss of the California landscape as a direct outcome of climate change, drought, and fire. Southern California environmental historian, Char Miller, gave the keynote address. In sum, he gave a weather report: "in the state of California, 2015 was the second hottest year on record; 2012-2015 was the driest 4-year period on record; 2015 resulted in about 5% of the average snowpack; California declared a state of emergency in January 2014." Forest ecologists from Southern California presented their losses and perceived risk of forest landscapes due to fire and beetle outbreaks (related to drought and weak trees). The regional ecologist for the Pacific Southwest region of the Forest Service, Hugh Safford, described Southern California as "the crucible." Barney Gyant, a deputy regional forester with the Forest Service emphasized the economic gravity of the situation. In 2016, the national Forest Service budget for fire suppression alone was $1.6 billion. Collectively, they described a 'bleak' future and pleaded the younger generations to act.


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Scott Stephens, a fire ecologist at the University of California, Berkeley, gave a lecture on the history of fire in California, likening the importance and role of fire to soil and water. Combustion is an essential part of the landscape in the Puente Hills in spite of the fact few people talk about fuel, wind, dryness, topography, or ignition. "Paranoia about nature, of course, distract attention for the obvious fact that Los Angeles has deliberately put itself in harm's way... Historic wildfire corridors have been turned into view-lot suburbs, wetland liquefaction zones into marinas, and floodplains into industrial districts and housing tracts... the social construction of "natural" disaster is largely hidden from view by a way of thinking that simultaneously imposes false expectations on the environment and then explains the inevitable disappointments as proof of malign and hostile nature."27 - Mike Davis, Ecology of Fear: Los Angeles and the Imagination of Disaster, 1998

What is an alternative to an 'ecology of fear'; what is an alternative to the understated tragedy of 'inevitable disappointments?' Referencing back to the map of the Puente Hills in 1942 gives some insight into how quickly and unexpected a place and its people can change. Perhaps with hindsight and some tools of foresight, it is clear that what is inevitable is unimaginable change. I have chosen an urban edge site in the Puente Hills, which exhibits some of the most conducive conditions for wild

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fire in California to demonstrate that the only reason a wild fire is considered wild is because it is not expected; here, the combustible nature of the landscape is ever present (Fig. 41).


W I L D L A N D-UR BA N GR A D I E NT FIG 13 LOWLANDS: VIEW TOWARD THE EAST EDGE OF SCHABARUM PARK FROM THE PUENTE HILLS TOWN CENTER; COLIMA ROAD ON THE RIGHT.28

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FIG 14 UPLANDS: VIEW FROM THE PUENTE HILLS RIDGELINE ON THE SCHABARUM-SKYLINE TRAIL LOOKING NORTH; LOS ANGELES COUNTY BELOW.

THIS TRANSMISSION STATION WAS CONSTRUCTED IN 2013 AS PART OF THE LARGEST WIND TRANSMISSION PROJECT IN THE COUNTRY.29

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FIG 15 LOWLANDS: VIEW TOWARD THE NORTH FROM THE ENTRANCE OF SCHABARUM PARK.30

PU ENTE HIL L S M A L L (~8 5 ACR E S )


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SCH A BA RU M PA R K (575 ACR E S)

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FIG 17 SCHABARUM-SKYLINE TRAIL - PUBLIC TRAILS MOVE VISITORS THROUGH THE HILLS31

PU ENTE HILL S FIR E TR A IL S


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FIG 18 FIRE TRAILS SERVE MULTIPLE PURPOSES - FIRE BREAKS, EMERGENCY FIRE-FIGHTING ROUTES, MAINTENANCE ROADS, AND PUBLIC RECREATION32

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FIG 19 1896 MAP, US GEOLOGICAL SURVEY33 - RANGELANDS


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FIG 20 COLLAGE: 1896 MAP OVERLAID WITH 1942 ROADWAYS34

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FIG 21 1974 AERIAL MAP, US GEOLOGICAL SURVEY35 - RAPID SUBURBAN DEVELOPMENT


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FIG 22 COLLAGE: 1894 MAP STITCHED WITH 1974 AERIAL MAP OVERLAID WITH 1942 ROADWAYS

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FIG 23 2016 MAP - SCHABARUM REGIONAL PARK BOUNDARY


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FIG 24 2016 MAP - REGIONAL EQUESTRIAN TRAILS

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FIG 25 2016 MAP - TEHACHAPI RENEWABLE TRANSMISSION PROJECT36


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FIG 26 2016 MAP - TRANSMISSION LINES AND STATION

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P U BL I C POST S FIG 27 LOWLANDS: GROUP EXERCISE AT SCHABARUM PARK37

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FIG 28 UPLANDS: INSTAGRAM POST; HORSEBACK RIDING38


FIG 29 COLLECTION OF QUOTES FROM PUBLIC INSTAGRAM POSTS WITH THE HASHTAG,

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SCHABARUMPARK - ON HIKING AND PLAYING

qu otes f rom publ i c posts at #SCHAB AR UMPARK 39: ON HIKING luxurioustania thischarminggal luxurioustania

Another 5 mile hike! Getting better at this #hiking #lapuente #haciendaheights #schabarumpark I miss it! It's been a while. Let me know when you need a hiking buddy!� Were going every Saturday morning! Join us

latrailhikers mjenn

We posted our #hiking schedule for #november and #december @ www.latrailhikers.com we hike to #mtbaldy #eatoncanyon #schabarumpark #golath #latrailhikers #dtla Schabarum park!! Was just there this morning for a 3 mi jog

fernando_2point0 joanna.mexican_a@fernando_2point0 fernando_2point0 joanna.mexican_a@fernando_2point0

Earlier today #hikingadventures #fitforlife #schabarumpark was this easy to hike? Depends on the person. For me it was kind of easy cuz I've been going a lot..but it all depends. You should give it a try @joanna.mexican_a okay thanks!

kimberlyagrich tanyarice

Bella will be 11 tomorrow. She spent her last day as a 10 year old hiking. I love visiting her. Bodhi couldn't make it since he was with the groomer. #cocker spaniel #cockersofinstagram #americancockerspaniel #hiking #schabarumpark #gooutside #lovelife Happy birthday belle! We love you! The sweetest girl

mona.doll.xo

Got my hike on this a.m. and enjoyed nature! I cannot explain the deep sense of peace I get in nature I love it! #morninghike #schabarumpark #haveanawe someday #blessed #asthmadidntactup #todaywasagoodday #perfectweather

all_things_crystal haitianbond_girl

My mind, body and soul says thank you after I walk the trails. Beautiful day! @haitianbond_girl #trail #trailwalk #schabarumpark #bobmarley #treelife #doseofnature Oh yes

jongjujun

#yonseiuniversity #alumni #hiking at #schabarumpark #trail

ON PLAYING mamasaurus__ quintessential_moments mcmuffinliz

110/365. Jeremiah's first time on the slide and he decided it's more fun running up it rather than sliding down it. #365daysofhappiness #schabarumpark Aww look at that face He's growing so fast!!!

jacks27_

Easter Sunday with family...love watching the kids having fun, BLESSED!! #Sackraces #EasterSunday #SchabarumPark #FamilyFirst

toxicpyxie

Jungle gym! #playground #schabarumpark


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FIG 30 COLLECTION OF QUOTES FROM PUBLIC INSTAGRAM POSTS WITH THE HASHTAG, SCHABARUMPARK - ON OTHER USES AND CLIMATE

ON OTHER USES robertnavarro87

Live mariachi at the park.

vonniereader jaanagrams vonniereader@jaanagrams

Hiking with this gorgeous girl. #hiking #hikingwithfriends #nature #hills #adventure #beautifulscenery #rowlandheights #schabarumpark This is beautiful! Looks like a good place to take a client for shoots! it is so beautiful! It's my new favorite spot. We'll hike together soon so you can see all the various sceneries. There's even horses!

rawflows bicksboogie rawflows@bicksboogie

C I T Y O F A N G L E S #LosAngeles #SchabarumPark #California #CaliLife #LAGraffiti #WestCoast #CaptureLA #PicOfTheDay #Rawtography This ain't LA LA County

dansyndr0me

Taking a breather at #schabarumpark #rowlandheights #ca

dareatlas

They were demo-ing the many tools firefighters use in an emergency. It was pretty cool until that bastard in blue ruined my shot. #EmergencyPreparedness #SchabarumPark #BringsBackMemories

cappuccinocindy

Now this is what I call picnic. #picnic #SoCal #RowlandHeights #schabarumpark #afterwork #grass #sashimi #chirashibowl #MJCafe #sandwich

ON CLIMATE mayj86

Loving the wind were getting #winds #windy #park #schabarumpark #sunnyday #sunny

vonniereader arturobellydance

Beautiful greenery after the rain #hiking #hikingwithmybro #hills #scenery #hikingadventure #stayinghealthy #aftertherain #powdercanyontrail #hikingtrail #schabarumpark #lovingallthegreenery Love the ray of sunlight!

robfu ourmillionmiles robfu@ourmillionmiles

50 shades of green #SchabarumPark 03-20-15 Unfortunately the green will not last long #SchabarumRegionalPark #sangabrielvalley #SGV #LAsmog #modernhiker #socalhiking #socalhiker #LAhiking #rei1440project #52hikechallenge It's pretty amazing how we have access to so much beauty so close to home. Yes! Access to a different world just a short drive away

wugang1984 arinabdaily

Keep Walking! #cali #calilife #trail #trailrunning #rain #rainyday #focus #dedication #sunday #challenge #cadio #rehab #workhardplayhard #workout #schabarumpark Hi can I ask you a question! I'm live hour away so can't really make the drive to check. After all this crazy wind were there still some pink blossoms? If you even were at that part of the park. Thank you!!

anjelly_kah erichskwon

Winter Walk. #winter #solstice #green #park #december #socal #cali #california #schabarumregionalpark #schabarumpark Azusa mountain on fire. Wishing everyone for their safety. #schabarumpark #azusa #glendora #glendoramountainroad


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FIG 31 COLLECTION OF QUOTES FROM PUBLIC INSTAGRAM POSTS WITH THE HASHTAG, SCHABARUMPARK - ON FLORA AND FAUNA

ON FLORA AND FAUNA xlittlexw1ng emankendle xlittlexw1ng@emankendle

Today's lesson: you can't stop a wild flower from growing where it wants. Be more like wild flowers & continue to grow #keepgrowing #tbt #shotsby breezy #schabarumpark #pistol #naturewalk #goodvibes #positiveenergyonly #findyourself #wildflowers #littlecutiepie #photography those little plant things be getting stuck in socks easily don't I know it, my friend. Sock enemies

anjelly_kah

Old California. #california #cali #hills #chapparal #trails #nature #schabarumpark

iamandge celinnerz

wifi is out until monday. so i took a #hike. #natureshit #schabarumpark Watch out for rattlesnakes and mountain lions... I was there a couple days ago

xulia_h

#SchabarumPark #PrettyHorses

alexandrite726

Wildflowers #flowers #wildflowers #nature #lovely #yellowflowers #green #picoftheday #igflowers #ignature #closeup #pretty #schabarumpark #socal

3et0

#ant #bee #insect #schabaraum #schabarumpark

sternenlichtmusic

Spring is definitely here. We came across this lady bug on this morning's hike. #schabarumpark

anubiscoi

Almost stepped on this fellow while out on an afternoon nature walk. What a babe. #GopherSnake #SchabarumPark


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FIG 32 MARKERS AND CLAIMS ALONG SKYLINE TRAIL IN THE PUENTE HILLS40; 1-6

1

3

5

2

4

6

1

LOCKS ON THE SKYLINE TRAILHEAD/FIRE ROAD SHOW ACCESS TO THE LOS ANGELES DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY AND FIRE (CALFIRE) AND THE WATER UTILITY

2 CALFIRE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR FUELS AND FIRE POLICY AND MANAGEMENT ON COUNTY PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LANDS 3 TRAILS ARE DESIGNATED FOR NON-VEHICULAR USES OUTSIDE OF UTILITY AND MANAGEMENT AGENCIES 4 THE TRAILHEAD IS CONNECTED TO A RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBORHOOD IN LA HABRA HEIGHTS AND RUNS ALONG PRIVATE PROPERTY LINES 5 COUNTY DESIGNATION OF TRAILHEAD 6 GRAFFITI TAG AT TRAILHEAD


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FIG 33 MARKERS AND CLAIMS ALONG SKYLINE TRAIL IN THE PUENTE HILLS41; 7-10

7

9

8

10

7 FIRE HYDRANT MARKED OVER THE YEARS 8 OLD STUD ON A DECAYING FENCE POST POTENTIALLY 9 HORSE TRACKS ATOP TIRE TRACKS IN THE MUD 10 SHOE TRACKS UPON SHOE TRACKS IN THE SAND

MARKING PAST RANGELAND DESIGNATIONS

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H I S T O RI C WI LD F I R E S FIG 34 LOS ANGELES COUNTY HISTORIC WILDFIRES: 1950-201242

10 MILES


FUEL

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FIG 35 LOS ANGELES COUNTY VEGETATED FUEL COVER43

10 MILES

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S A N T A AN A WI N D S FIG 36 LOS ANGELES COUNTY SANTA ANA WINDS44

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T O P O G R A P HY FIG 37 PUENTE HILLS - 10' CONTOURS45

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D RY N E S S FIG 38 LOS ANGELES COUNTY - SEVERE DROUGHT46 AND RISING TEMPERATURES47

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IGNITION FIG 39 LOS ANGELES COUNTY - CORRELATION BETWEEN POPULATION AND FIRE FREQUENCY48

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FIG 40 PUENTE HILLS RELIEF MAP49

Los Angeles County

Puente Hills

2000 ft

Orange County


FIG 41 SCHABARUM PARK - SKYLINE

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Endnotes

Dear, Michael, H. Eric Schockman, and Greg Hise. Rethinking Los Angeles. Vol. 2. Sage, 1996. Print.

1

2

"puente." Oxford Dictionaries 2016. Web. 5 May 2016.

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"#schabarumpark - Instagram Photos and Videos." #schabarumpark - Instagram Photos and Videos. Instagram, n.d. Web. 6 May 2016. 13

14

Lynch, Kevin. The openness of open space. 1965.

1942." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 29 Apr. 2016. Wikipedia. Web. 6 May 2016.

"State of California Fire Perimeters: Wildfires 1950-2012." State of California and the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection 2012. Web. 6 May 2016.

Chief of Engineers, U.S. Army. "California Anaheim Quadrangle." N.p. 1942. Web. 15 Minute Series.

Sharples, Jason J., A. Malcolm Gill, and John W. Dold. "The trench effect and eruptive wildfires: lessons from the King's Cross underground disaster." Proceedings AFAC 2010 (2010).

15

3 "

4-5

16

6 "Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation-Parks-Full List of Parks-Peter F. Schabarum Regional Park." Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation. County of Los Angeles, n.d. Web. 06 May 2016.

Griffin, Daniel, and Kevin J. Anchukaitis. "How unusual is the 2012-2014 California drought?" Geophysical Research Letters 41.24 (2014): 9017-9023.

Sister, Chona, John Wilson, and Jennifer Wolch. "15. Park Congestion and Strategies to Increase Park Equity." (2007).

Conner, Glen. History of Weather Observations Los Angeles, California 1847-1948. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2006. Print.

8

"Colima." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 23 Apr. 2016. Wikipedia. Web. 6 May 2016.

Keeley, Jon E., and C. J. Fotheringham. "Historic fire regime in southern California shrublands." Conservation Biology 15.6 (2001): 1536-1548.

West, Amanda C. The Puente Hills Habitat Authority: A Preservation Success Story. Claremont Graduate University, 2006.

Edinger, James G., Roger A. Helvey, and David Baumhefner. Surface wind patterns in the Los Angeles Basin during 'Santa Ana' conditions. California Univ Los Angeles Dept of Meteorology, 1964.

7

9

17

18

19

20

"Chapels & Facilities - Memorial Park - Rose Hills." Rose Hills. Dignity Memorial, n.d. Web. 6 May 2016.

21

Twilley, Geoff Manaugh and Nicola. "Touring the Largest Active Landfill in America." The Atlantic 5 Apr. 2013. The Atlantic. Web. 6 May 2016.

Raphael, M. N. "The santa ana winds of california." Earth Interactions 7.8 (2003): 1-13.

Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project (TRTP). Southern California Edison, 2009. Web.

Times, Los Angeles. "Conditions Ripe for Explosive Wildfire Season in Southern California." latimes.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 May 2016.

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11

12

Didion, Joan. Slouching Towards Bethlehem. Macmillan, 1968. Print

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23


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24

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. "Los Angeles County FHSZ Map." shapefile. N.p. Web. 2 May 2016.

U.S. Geological Survey. "La Habra Quadrangle." N.p. 1976. Web. 9 May 2016. 7.5 Minute Series Orthophotoquad.

Van de Water, Kip M., and Hugh D. Safford. "A summary of fire frequency estimates for California vegetation before Euro-American settlement." Fire Ecology 7.3 (2011): 26-58.

Romanowitz, Hal. "California Tehachapi transmission study." Transmission and Distribution Conference and Exposition, 2008. IEEE/PES. IEEE, 2008.

25

35

36

Schabarum Park - Group Exercise, Rowland Heights, CA. Personal photograph by author. 2015.

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Norcal/Socal SAF Winter Meeting." Society of American Foresters. Fountain Grove Inn, Santa Rosa, CA. 30 January 2016.

26 "

38

Davis, Mike. Ecology of fear: Los Angeles and the imagination of disaster. Macmillan, 1998. Print.

(anchary). "On Sundays we ride..." 2 May 2016. Instagram.

27

Puente Hills Town Center, Rowland Heights, CA. Personal photograph by author. 2015.

"#schabarumpark - Instagram Photos and Videos." #schabarumpark - Instagram Photos and Videos. Instagram, n.d. Web. 6 May 2016. 39

28

Schabarum Park - Transmission Station, Rowland Heights, CA. Personal photograph by author. 2015.

Skyline Trail - Markers and Claims: 1-6, La Habra Heights, CA. Personal photograph by author. 2015. 40

29

Puente Hills Mall on Colima Road, Rowland Heights, CA. Personal photograph by author. 2015.

Skyline Trail - Markers and Claims: 7-10, La Habra Heights, CA. Personal photograph by author. 2015. 41

30

Schabarum-Skyline Trail, Rowland Heights, CA. Personal photograph by author. 2015. 31

"State of California Fire Perimeters: Wildfires 1950-2012." State of California and the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection 2012. Web. 6 May 2016. 42

43

Fire Trail Entrance, Rowland Heights, CA. Personal photograph by author. 2015.

Source: NAIP (National Agricultural Imagery Program) Imagery, 2014.

32

U.S. Geological Survey. "California Anaheim Sheet." N.p. October 1896. Web. 9 May 2016. 33

Edinger, James G., Roger A. Helvey, and David Baumhefner. Surface wind patterns in the Los Angeles Basin during 'Santa Ana' conditions. California Univ Los Angeles Dept of Meteorology, 1964. 44

Source: 10-foot Digital Elevation Model (DEM) - Los Angeles Regional Acquisition Consortium (LAR-IAC), 2006. 45

Chief of Engineers, U.S. Army. "California Anaheim Quadrangle." N.p. 1942. Web. 15 Minute Series. 34


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United States Drought Monitor. "Weekly Drought Update." National Integrated Drought Information System. Web. January 2016. 46

Conner, Glen. History of Weather Observations Los Angeles, California 1847-1948. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2006. Print. 47

Keeley, Jon E., and C. J. Fotheringham. "Historic fire regime in southern California shrublands." Conservation Biology 15.6 (2001): 1536-1548. 48

Source: 10-foot Digital Elevation Model (DEM) - Los Angeles Regional Acquisition Consortium (LAR-IAC), 2006. 49

Skyline Trail - Lone Plastic Tub, La Habra Heights, CA. Personal photograph by author. 2015. 50


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CHAPTER

6

Fire Simulation T H E W EATHER REPORT I N T E RPRETATION AND APPL IC ATION


FIRE

SIMULATION

84

TH E W E A T HER REPORT Using modeling tools to project possible outcomes of conflagration is a useful way of interpreting information in the landscape to support decision-making schemes. The outputs of a model depend strongly on the conditions assumed by the person inputting data into the model. Some assumptions that went into this model for the Puente Hills area included many1: vegetation as the main source of fuel, constant wind speeds, and randomly generated points of ignition. Although the model is not a mirror of reality, it is a way to establish quantifiable reference points for the designer to describe and communicate the landscape in a dynamic way. To inform the site design, I used a publicly accessible fire modeling program called FlamMap 5. The program is able to simulate elements of fire behavior based on data collected through remote sensing, including topography, vegetation cover, with approximated wind direction and speed inputs.2 The vegetation cover is translated into fuel classes based on Los Angeles County LIDAR data, 2014 NAIP (National Agriculture Imagery Program) imagery,2 and the Anderson Fire Behavior Fuel Model (Fig. 42).3 A wind model provided by Professor John Radke (based on the Claremont Canyon in the Berkeley and Oakland Hills) was utilized.4 The data was aggregated and run through FlamMap to output three measures—fire spread rate, flame length, and heat release. "FlamMap fire mapping and analysis system is a PC-based program that describes potential fire behavior for constant environmental conditions (weather and fuel moisture). Fire behavior is

calculated for each pixel within the landscape file independently... FlamMap is widely used by the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, and other federal and state land management agencies in support of fire management activities."5 - US Forest Service, Fire, Fuel, and Smoke Science Program, 2016

The fire simulations were modeled under three wind speeds— zero, ten, and forty miles per hour, which represent the capacity of the Santa Ana winds to blow sustained warm air up to 40 miles per hour.6 The results of the model reflect a range of conditions and fire behaviors. For reference, an average hair blow dryer can blow air speeds of about 30 miles per hour.7 In extreme winds of 40 mph, flame length in this area can reach up to 42 feet and obtain flame spread rates of up to 452 chains per hour or 8 feet per second. For reference, an average walking speed ranges between 4-5 feet per second.8 This means that if there is a particularly strong sustained wind, fire can spread almost twice as fast as a walking person at 480 feet per minute (Fig. 47). Under conditions of zero mph wind speeds, flame length can reach up to 14 feet and obtain flame spread rates of up to 64 chains per hour or 1 foot per second (Fig. 43, 44). According to the model, in zero to forty mph wind conditions, the upper limits of heat produced can reach between 25,000-29,000 kJ/m2 (Fig. 45). In terms of electric utility, that equates to about $370 of energy per square foot.9 There is no wonder the Puente Hills area is considered a 'very high fire risk' zone.10


FIRE SIMULATION

The fire model provides a visualization of what is possible under current climate and vegetation patterns (Fig. 46). If taking into account the changing patterns of warming climates and densification of vegetation in the region however, it is frightening to imagine what is possible without timely intervention. Rather than wait to suppress fires, the Puente Hills and similar communities under high fire risk need to act swiftly to prevent status quo tragedies of loss by wild fire. Instead of accepting a bleak future, there is a role for communities to work with landscape architects and environmental planners to recognize and respect the power of combustion in the landscape. How can fire models be utilized and translated to prompt the necessary conversations around proactive and responsive intervention? I N TE R P R E T A T ION A N D A PPLICATION While dealing with the quantification of landscape measures, I found it was useful to translate the metrics into descriptive comparisons with day-to-day human experiences. When describing the Santa Ana Winds, for example, comparing the force to a hot air blow dryer instilled within others an intuitive sense of what the winds really meant—the feeling of its temperature, its velocity and power.11 Finding descriptive ways to communicate measures of combustibility, including fire spread rate, flame length, and heat release, in a way that is relatable to human experiences is necessary to inspire the imagination. With the possibility of an

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image via the imagination, the public at risk can begin to speak of make plans to change the state of the combustible landscape. Again, through language and culturally-relevant information, the landscape becomes a vector for social contact, learning, new stimuli,12 and imagination; most importantly, a landscape that is activated by the imagination can be more easily manipulated by public agency—any person or group who is compelled to act. The model can be used to inspire appropriate landscape management schemes to deal with fuel structure and type through an objective quantification and subsequent targets for biomass modification. Ecologists and managers can calculate and test target proposed schemes that call for changes in vegetation type, height, and density. The fire simulation not only provides quantifiable measures to assess the combustible nature of an open space; it also provides a way to imagine and tell the story of the landscape through a selective lens of combustion. We can imagine a combustible landscape as designers and residents, and thus treat it as such.


L A N D C OVE R

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FIG 42 FLAMMAP MODEL - VEGETATION LAND COVER

ANDERSON LAND COVER CLASS


RA T E O F F I R E SP R E A D

FIRE SIMULATION

87

FIG 43 FLAMMAP MODEL - RATE OF FIRE SPREAD AT 0 MPH WIND SPEEDS

0

64

CHAINS PER HOUR


F L A M E L E N GT H

88

FIG 44 FLAMMAP MODEL - FLAME LENGTH AT 0 MPH WIND SPEEDS

0

64

FEET


HEAT

FIRE SIMULATION

89

FIG 45 FLAMMAP MODEL - HEAT ENERGY RELEASE AT 0 MPH WIND SPEEDS

0

452

kJ/m2


F I RE S I MULA T I ON SUM M A R Y

90

FIG 46 FLAMMAP MODELS - RESULTS AT 0 MPH WIND SPEEDS

RATE OF FIRE SPREAD

FLAME LENGTH

0

64

HEAT

CHAINS PER HOUR 0

64

FEET 0

452

kJ/m2

FIG 47 COMPARATIVE RATES OF MOVEMENT - RATE OF FIRE SPREAD VERSUS WALKING PERSON IN 60 SECONDS

10

30

40

1.5 FT/S 1.5 FT/S - GREATEST FIRE SPREAD @ 0 MPH WINDS

50

60 SECONDS

90 FEET 10

20

30

40

50

60 SECONDS

4.5 FT/S 4.5 FT/S - AVERAGE WALKING PACE

8.0 FT/S 8 FT/S - GREATEST FIRE SPREAD @ 40 MPH WINDS 8 FT

270 FEET 10

20

30

40

50

60 SECONDS

480 FEET


Endnotes

Finney, Mark A. "An overview of FlamMap fire modeling capabilities." (2006).

1

2

Source: NAIP (National Agricultural Imagery Program) Imagery, 2014.

Anderson, James Richard. A land use and land cover classification system for use with remote sensor data. Vol. 964. US Government Printing Office, 1976. 3

"FlamMap." Fire, Fuel, and Smoke Science Program and the Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory. US Forest Service, n.d. Web. 9 May 2016. 4

Source: Professor John Radke, Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, University of California, Berkeley, 2016. 5

Raphael, M. N. "The santa ana winds of california." Earth Interactions 7.8 (2003): 1-13. 6

"Top 10 Rated Hair Blow Dryers 2015." Best Ceramic And Titanium Flat Iron Reviews. Flat Iron Adviser, n.d. Web. 9 May 2016. 7

TranSafety, Inc. "Study compares older and younger pedestrian walking speeds." Road Management & Engineering Journal (1997). 8

U.S. Energy Information Administration. "2014 Total Electric Industry Average Retail Price (cents/kWh)." Web. 9 May 2016. 9

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. "Los Angeles County FHSZ Map." shapefile. N.p. Web. 2 May 2016. 10

Source: Professor John Radke, Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, University of California, Berkeley, 2016. 11

FIRE SIMULATION

12

Lynch, Kevin. The openness of open space. 1965.

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CHAPTER

6

Scheme M E CHANICAL REMOV AL GR A ZING CO N TROL L ED B URNING P UBLI C AGENC Y


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SCHEME

Given an idea of the potential fire behavior and associated risks provided by the fire simulation, I propose four broad strategies to mitigate fire risk in the Puente Hills—mechanical removal, grazing, controlled burning, and public agency through education (Fig. 48). All proposed tools are purveyed in some capacity under existing Los Angeles County Fire Department fire management schemes. Existing policies outline fire hazard reduction programs and specify five methods for fuel management in over-aged chaparral stands: prescribed fire, mechanical brush removal, hand clearing, biological control, chemical application.1 The mechanisms effectively emulate a disturbance regime by repeatedly metabolizing fuels as an alternative to fire-fighting. This set of strategies can be used to prioritize higher-risk areas using various and appropriate management methods with regards to long-term effectiveness, safety, ecological sense, and feasibility. Ultimately, I believe that the scale of long-term intervention and investment necessary to incorporate combustible landscapes with urban development will rely on the initiation of the public to first understand and then act upon the combustible nature of landscapes. “The chaparral management issue will be driven by the many diverse interests of the public and concerns of resource managers. Fire control agencies who seek ways to reduce fire losses will have significant impact. The livestock industry, which wants to increase the amount and value of forage, has concerns. The wildlife managers who must manage for wildlife habitat diversity

have objectives to be met. Watershed managers want to manage cover to protect water quality and also exercise opportunities to increase water yield. Botanists have concerns for managing threatened and endangered plant species and maintaining species diversity. Consumers who want to harvest the chaparral commodities for energy purposes (heat) will have input. Hunters and recreationists want easy access through chaparral lands where impenetrable thickets now prevail. Many other people will be expressing their personal opinions and concerns for managing chaparral lands.�2 - Robert R. Tyrrel, Chaparral in Southern California, 1981

The hope is that another 35 years or major wild fire wouldn't have already passed by the time any attention and action is pursued.


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M E C H A N IC A L REMO VA L

GR AZING

Based on fuel assessments of the site, I propose that mechanical removal of high-risk ladder fuels be prioritized. Mainly, contiguous stands of tall Eucalyptus trees on site are targeted for removal due to their exceptionally combustible qualities. Although the blue gum, Eucalyptus globulus, groves on site are beautiful and provide trails with shade, they are high in volatile oils and grow extremely tall (Fig. 50).3 These trees increase the risk of fire spread from their canopy heights to nearby neighborhoods. The removal of these stands will call for the emergence of novel environments and provide an opportunity for managers and designers to produce quick, visual, and drastic initial change. The biomass from cut trees can be chipped to mulch the ground surface for erosion mitigation and invasive species establishment. In prior field research assessing FEMA-sponsored blue gum removal in the Berkeley and Oakland Hills in 2009, I found that careful chemical application of Garlon was necessary to keep trees from reproducing more densely from their cut stumps.4 On-site mulching also promoted native vegetation restoration while mitigating for chemical and water runoff.5

The reintroduction of grazing to the historically-grazed rangeland of the Puente Hills can work to rehabilitate native grasslands while reducing fuel biomass in a productive way. Studies show that grazing, at appropriate levels, can work to restore ecological functions since grazing emulates a disturbance regime similar to that of a fire regime. Grazers such as goat, sheep, and cattle, can be moved and rotated upon a landscape similar to the way a fire or lawn mower might work to cut down grasses. Grazing can work to mow down competing non-grass species and effectively maintain the grassland ecotone.

These sites can be used as experimental restoration sites for successional floral recruitment and be presented to the public very intentionally as an investment toward beautiful public open spaces and safer neighborhoods.

Grazing may be suitable for areas that are directly adjacent to dense neighborhoods to maintain low-lying vegetation buffers as fuel breaks (Fig. 49, 51). Experientially, grazing may also add a rich layer of life to the wildland urban interface that contributes to a sense of place.

“Though the range resource is limited in Southern California, livestock often graze on type-converted areas and established fuel breaks in chaparral. Grazing serves a dual purpose; maintaining fuel breaks and type-converted areas, as well as producing red meat for the market. Manipulation of the chaparral vegetation is necessary to maintain habitat and ensure animal and plant diversity.�6 - Robert R. Tyrrel, Chaparral in Southern California, 1981


SCHEME

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C O N TR OLLED BURN IN G

PUB L IC AGENCY

Another method for managing fuels and biomass in the landscape is introducing selective, controlled burns in areas that are less risky during the wet season or appropriate lower-wind, higher-humidity climate conditions. There are a number of known benefits to controlled burns or fire prescriptions including biomass reduction, nutrient recycling, and landscape maintenance.7 In historic fire regimes, grasslands in California would regularly experience low intensity fires. Reintroducing the process in areas that are less risky and manageable can be a way to show residents that the landscape is combustible, in lieu of any past memories of fires in the local landscape.

Lastly, I propose introducing educational platforms to the residents of the Puente Hills area pertaining to the nature of the combustible landscape. Most people who live in the area don't know about the combustible landscape because they are recent immigrants or first generation members of the community. The memory and knowledge of the local landscape dynamic and its relationship to urban development does not effectively exist. Public agency by way of education can be a critical way for communities to engage with the local landscape, for both the prevention of major losses and the production of culturally significant relationships to the place. Through landscape architecture, interpretive spaces can be constructed to tell the story of combustion in the landscape.

Controlled burns should be restricted to grasslands or converted areas that do not pose a major threat to the regeneration of chaparral ecotones or to neighboring developments. Controlled burns in grasslands can result in quick rates of regeneration whereas controlled burns in chaparral tend to be more risky.8 Historically, stand-replacing fires occurred in California chaparral about every 50 years.9 The point of including controlled burns is to provide public demonstration and opportunities for fire management research and innovation to occur rather than to function as a widespread fuels metabolization strategy for the Puente Hills, which largely consists of chaparral.

The role of designers may be most effective in the communication and engagement of community members in facilitating a kind of landscape literacy. In the way museums can showcase creative elements in a collection to emphasize a particular phenomenon or movement deemed significant to human beings, the landscape can be viewed as a venue for didactic experiences. Designers in collaboration with public agents who are committed to reimagining the Puente Hills can make informed proposals to begin a dialogue on what the place means in contemporary life.


INFORMED MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES FUEL S ME TABOLIZ ATION + EDUCATION

1. Mechanical removal of high-risk trees, ie. ring of Eucalytpus 2. Reintroduction of grazing for fuels metabolization to maintain a 50’ wide WUI buffer

3. Selective, controlled burns

4. EDUCATION AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

FIG 48 FIRE ZONE10 MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES

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SCHEME

FIG 49 SCHABARUM REGIONAL PARK - EXISTING SITE EDGES

1:20,000 Hill entry Trail Hill-front

Major road boundaries

Neighborhoods at risk

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FIG 50 EUCALYPTUS GROVES IN THE PUENTE HILLS

100


FIG 51 WILDLAND URBAN INTERFACE IN THE PUENTE HILLS

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Endnotes

"Fire Hazard Reduction Programs." Los Angeles County Fire Department, n.d. Web. 9 May 2016.

1

Tyrrel, Robert R. "Chaparral in Southern California." Proceedings of the symposium on dynamics and management of Mediterranean-type ecosystems, San Diego, California, 22-26 June 1981. 2

Boyd, David. "Eucalyptus globulus." Invasive Plants of California's Wildland. California Invasive Plant Council, n.d. Web. 10 May 2016. 3

Lin, Stephanie. The Restoration of Native Flora following Eucalyptus Globulus Removal in the East Bay Hills of Northern California. Undergraduate thesis. University of California, Berkeley, 2009. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print. 4-5

Tyrrel, Robert R. "Chaparral in Southern California." Proceedings of the symposium on dynamics and management of Mediterranean-type ecosystems, San Diego, California, 22-26 June 1981. 6

Biswell, Harold Hubert. Prescribed burning in California wildlands vegetation management. Univ of California Press, 1999. 7

Moritz, Max A., et al. "Testing a basic assumption of shrubland fire management: how important is fuel age?." Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 2.2 (2004): 67-72. 8

Van de Water, Kip M., and Hugh D. Safford. "A summary of fire frequency estimates for California vegetation before Euro-American settlement." Fire Ecology 7.3 (2011): 26-58. 9

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. "Los Angeles County FHSZ Map." shapefile. N.p. Web. 2 May 2016. 10

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103

CHAPTER

7

Imagined Place DI D A CTIC L ANDSC APE E X P LODED DESIGN C ONC EPT OUT DOOR MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY COMBUS T I O N


IMAGINED

104

PLACE

DI DA C TI C LA N DSCA PE Informed by my research, I imagined a didactic landscape, where people could exchange information about the combustible landscape and its important to daily life in Los Angeles County (Fig. 52-53). The concept of a didactic landscape was largely prompted by the act of interpreting fire modeling results—rate of flame spread, flame length, and heat. These simulated measures were effectively translated to the human scale in a way that could be easily understood. The idea of a 40-foot flame or a fire moving across the landscape as fast as a jogger carries mental and spatial power. The design concept is a simple set of points and fields along a trail; it is inspired by a number of other places—Storm King Art Center, West Point Foundry Preserve, Cap de Creus, Gasworks Park, and the San Francisco Exploratorium, to name a few. These landscapes work as didactic interventions based on their spatial relationships to particular idiosyncratic landscape features. Many of these sites were designed to engage people at the human scale while positioning them to relate to a greater and vast landscape scale using simple yet meticulously arranged details in paths, site lines, and shelters. I propose a set of small shelters and installments articulated along a path sequence to provide a continuous experience in the large landscape (Fig. 54-57, 61-63). The goal of the set of interventions is to position people toward

spatially imagining and understanding combustion by emphasizing the landscape as part of a combustion process and potential as defined by fuel, wind, topography, dryness, and ignition. EXPL OD ED D ESIGN CON CE PT The approach for this design is to take a phenomenon or process as large and as invisible as combustion, and to illustrate it by taking it apart. Similar to an exploded axon and how it is used in a diagrammatic manner by designers and engineers to illustrate how a complex system works, I propose to make visible the important elements of combustion by pulling them apart and featuring them in the landscape one by one, fuel, wind, topography, dryness, and ignition. Each element is isolated and emphasized to illustrate how the particular element can be noticed and measured. The mechanisms by which the nature of the landscape as a system of combustion are arranged to physically and spatially translate to relate with the human scale of the body for human sensing through sight, smell, feel, and sound. A series of conceptual collages were constructed to communicate the idea of the didactic landscape, relating the human experience to the scale of the combustible landscape (Fig. 58-60). In the collage, a group is learning about the Santa Ana winds. A hair blow dryer is positioned in the sky, blowing into the hills and into windmills. Visitors are hiking a trail and watching the wind


105

move up the slopes. A couple is standing in the middle of a dry field of golden grass, surrounded by the dry smell and feeling of it. There is a man in an apron barbecuing over a large grill from which lines of smoke blow up into the vectors of a Santa Ana wind map. At the end, a small outlook tower is positioned at the peak, reflecting back onto the whole series of moments from above. "Situationist cartography, making use of cutups and collages of existing maps, was highly selective, concentrating on revealing the surviving fragments of the city that had escaped the attention of urban planners and retained their original ambiance and excising the rest."1 - James Attlee and Lisa Le Feuvre, Gordon Matta-Clark, The Space Between, 2003

From the conceptual collages, I produced a master plan with a series of moments along a public path which each represent an element of combustion, from fuel to ignition (Fig. 64). Beyond a didactic landscape, the design is intended to also render a place that can be used everyday by the community and contribute to the existing local context. Embedded in the design is a built space that functions as a community gathering space with gallery, cafe, and public seating. The design encompasses what is called the Outdoor Museum of Contemporary Combustion, which tells the story of combustion in the landscape in a series of distinct zones or installments.

OUTD OOR MUSEU M OF CON T E M PORA RY COMB USTION The museum building and point of first entry blurs the inside and outside. The system of rooms, connections, and openings serve the purpose of housing and communicating contemporary stories of fire in the urban landscape. A rotating exhibition incorporates various forms of story-telling, indoor and outdoor—art installation, natural history archives, multimedia, and performance—this place is a true interface to communicate stories, memories, and questions that relate people to the combustible landscape of Los Angeles County. The building is dimensioned to extend toward the hills from the urban lowland (Fig. 65). It is accessible through public transportation and is very near the main commercial drag on Colima Road. The building is one and two stories; the roofs, however, serve as an experimental grazing field with vegetated forage and grazing sheep or goats. The various roof-fields are connected by ramp-fields. The roof system is connected to the ground level by way of a gated ramp specifically made for the grazers to enter the roof-fields. The roofs are angled to respond to the undulation of hills in the background (Fig. 68). “The artist must come out of the isolation of galleries and museums and provide a concrete consciousness for the present as it really exists, and not simply present abstractions or utopias... we should begin with an art education based on relationships to


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specific sites. How we see things and places is not a secondary concern, but primary.�2 - Robert Smithson, quoted in Land Art: A Cultural Ecology Handbook, 2006

In one instance, a fire fighter is telling stories of the Triangle Complex Fire of 20083 on an annual tour for residents. In another instance, students visiting from a nearby elementary school try on fire fighting equipment and attempt to outrun an extreme fire simulation. On Saturdays, the grazing animals present on the rooftops and used to manage vegetation on the grounds are brought into the outdoor gallery of the museum as a temporary petting zoo. A regular tea and coffee house is annexed at the west end of the building, which is open daily and operates under a contract with a local San Gabriel Valley vendor. The purpose of the building is to orient visitors to information and stories about fire in the local landscape that might enrich subsequent experiences down the path (Fig. 66, 67). Permanent installations include interactive displays that explain the landscape as combustible. Most displays are temporary. Visual information on the local climate and chaparral of Schabarum park are crowd-sourced through social and mixed media and archived as part of the museum: pictures, stories, 'selfies,' and movies. Mixed media is also sourced from local educational institutions. For example, photography students from Mt. Sac Community College can display their work in the museum.

The subject of their work can be prompted by the subject of the museum—combustion. Landscape architecture studios from Cal Poly Pomona can present their work in the museum as well. An annual competition may be set up with a small award to call upon local designers and architects to engage with the topic of a combustible landscape. The point of this programming is to jumpstart a conversation and imagination on what it means to the local community to live in a combustible landscape. The museum building is also a flexible space for community gathering. On weekend evenings, galleries can be rented for wedding receptions and special events. The outdoor gallery space at the center of the museum can be used to house local annual fairs and small monthly markets. On normal days, individuals and groups can take advantage of public cafe seating and be near others without needing to spend money or have a specific purpose for being there. FIRE SIMUL ATION To walk beyond the museum into the hills and trails, there is first an introductory walk. This walkway is meant to communicate fire behavior through the movement of the human body. The trail starts immediately upon exiting the museum from the second floor. A straight path, punctuated by a series of ten-foot cubic structures is approximated in distance to represent flame spread


IMAGINED PLACE

rates given three wind conditions. Each structure appears ten feet past the previous one, with each successive structure missing more and more parts. Each structure is numbered to represent the number of seconds it'd take a fire to move past it, given a particular wind speed of zero, ten, and forty miles per hour. The structures resemble a small domestic space or small room, which is 'falling apart and into the ground.' Collectively, the structures effectively 'decay' while the walker advances down the path of Fire Simulation. The participant can compare the time it takes to reach a decayed structure with the number of seconds associated with a particular fire condition. In the case of 40 mph winds, which is the highest sustained speed for the Santa Ana winds, the participant must jog to the last structure, about 480 feet from the start, within 60 seconds to beat a hypothetical fire. In a sense, the Fire Simulation is an enlarged, life-sized infographic constructed along a path. W I N D F I ELD “The consciously planned and purposely built environment that exploits the potential of unevenness of environmental conditioning is likely to become one of the main contributions that architects and planners can make to society.”4 - Cedric Price, Square Book, 1984

The Wind Field visualizes the wind and topography through a field of flags sited along a climbing ridgeline (Fig. 69). The flags

107

are made of a durable white sail material and attached to white powder-coated steel poles. The flags site 30 feet high, ten feet wide, and behave as wind vanes. They are constructed to capture kinetic energy by nervously flapping in the wind. The effect of a field of massive flags flapping above articulates wind speed and force by their kinetic soundings, quick and loud to slow and soft. To emphasize the effect of topography on wind flow and combustion, the flags are aggregated at increased densities with increased elevation upon the ridge. The densification of the flags with the ridge's elevational climb is meant to dramatize the already dramatic potential of the Santa Ana winds. DRYNESS FIEL D “The West begins where the average rainfall drops below twenty inches. Water is important to those who do not have it, and the same is true of control. I tore a poem by Karl Shapiro from a magazine and pinned it on my kitchen wall... It is raining in California, a strain rain Cleaning the heavy oranges on the bough, Filling the gardens till the gardens flow, Shining the olives, tiling the gleaming tile, Waxing the dark camellia leaves more green, Flooding the daylong valleys like the Nile.”5 - Joan Didion, The White Album, 1979


108

To capture the seasonal shifts of the landscape due to changing moisture levels, a simple, continuous set of concrete walls (four feet tall and below) will enclose a triangular field of grasses. The field, part of an effective 'daylong valley' will be framed as a dryness field with a natural indicator for landscape moisture levels: green, yellow, gold, and brown. Within the frame, experimental plots can be established to test vegetation or forage establishment techniques.

imagine their own personal take on the wildland urban interface through the design of their private property. Neighborhoods have incentives to act collectively to effectively deal with wild fire prevention. At the edge of the wildland urban interface here at the west edge of Schabarum Park, a 50-foot buffer has been converted to range land for sheep and goats. They are visible from this community and is visible from the demonstration garden detour.

D E MO N ST R A T I ON GA R D E N DETOUR

IGNITION FIEL D

The path thus far generally parallels the wildland urban interface toward the west. For the most part, the residential development that flanks this interface cannot be seen from the museum or trail, which is somewhat downhill. A detour path can be taken from the Outdoor Museum of Contemporary Combustion trail. The detour veers west toward the interface and connects into a residential street. Near the point of connection, a few residential homes are featured with demonstration gardens that have been designed to embrace a hill frontage while reducing fuel hazards. The important feature is backyard orientation toward the hills in a way that also connects to adjacent backyards to form a sense of openness. Designs include vegetation and material selections appropriate for the climate and character of the neighborhood.

“Why is it that the people who live in the city aren’t trusted? Fire is primal for warmth, cooking, and ambient and focal glow. The steel drum has outgrown the backyard barbecue in these parts; on its side or stood on end, a blaze can be set and the smoking started.�6 - Walter Hood, Urban Diaries, 1997

Demonstration gardens are meant to inspire residents to re-

The ignition field is a series of picnic platforms for barbecuing activity. Five platforms are set along the path. Here, the slope is south facing and during most days, collects heat from the sun. The emphasis for the positioning and programming of the ignition field is on heat generation and exposure. The platforms are thus appropriately sheltered with roofs and arbors to shade inhabitants from the blazing heat. At the same time, picnickers create their own small blazes to cook and feed themselves.


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L O O K O UT T O WE R The lookout tower sits further in the distance and upon a small sub-peak of the hills. The tower is fashioned after a traditional fire lookout tower, designed for long-range views of the landscape. The lookout is an intimate, single square room that visitors can access on the weekends. The room is wrapped with windows for a 360-degree view, looking outward. The room itself is wrapped with a 6-foot deck on the exterior. The path entrance to the lookout is positioned at its south edge and is nearly at grade with the entry doors. Due to the sloped nature of the small peak beneath the tower, the north edge of the lookout is about 10 feet above ground and gives a feeling of being on a lookout without needing to raise a tower up from the ground. The structure is very simple and is meant to provide a human-scaled viewing station with axial views intersecting with the previous installments of the Outdoor Museum of Contemporary Combustion—museum building, fire simulation, wind field, dryness field, demo gardens, grazed buffer zones, and ignition field. From the lookout, visitors can reflect their aggregated experienced of isolated elements, beginning with the stories they heard in the museum building to the fires they tended in the barbecue pits.


FIG 52 OUTDOOR MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY COMBUSTION - SITE CONTEXT

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111

FIG 53 OUTDOOR MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY COMBUSTION - DEFINITIONS

OUTDOOR

MUSEUM

OF

CONTEMPORARY

COMBUSTION

done, situated, or used out of doors

a building in which objects of historical, scientific, artistic, or cultural interest are stored and exhibited.

expressing the relationship between a part and a whole

belonging to or occurring in the present

the process of burning something


FIG 54 HILL STUDY, FACING SOUTH - 10 FT X 10 FT VOLUMES FOR SCALE

112


FIG 55 HILL STUDY, FACING SOUTH - 10 FT X 10 FT VOLUMES AND PEOPLE FOR SCALE

IMAGINED PLACE

113


FIG 56 HILL STUDY, UPON THE HILLS - 10 FT X 10 FT VOLUMES AND PEOPLE FOR SCALE

114


FIG 57 HILL STUDY, BIRD'S EYE - 10 FT X 10 FT VOLUMES AND PEOPLE FOR SCALE

IMAGINED PLACE

115


FIG 58 CONCEPT COLLAGE SERIES I

116


FIG 59 CONCEPT COLLAGE SERIES II

IMAGINED PLACE

117


FIG 60 CONCEPT COLLAGE SERIES III

118


FIG 61 CONCEPTUAL SITE VIGNETTES

IMAGINED PLACE

119


FIG 62 SPRING LANDSCAPE

120


FIG 63 BURNED LANDSCAPE

IMAGINED PLACE

121


FIG 64 MASTER PLAN AND SECTION

museum building w/ fuels metabolization

122

dryness field

wind

field w/ topography

ign it ion fie ld

fire simulator

l o o k o u t t o we r

garden demo N

10 0 F T

M A S TER PL A N + SEC TI O N


FIG 65 MUSEUM, FIRE SIMULATOR, AND WIND FIELD PLAN-SECTION SKETCH

IMAGINED PLACE

123


124

FIG 66 MUSEUM ELEVATION, LOOKING EAST - DAY

rooftop grazing experiments

outdoor gallery and cafe area

to the fire simulator + trails

museum entrance + garden second floor rooftop viewing

M USEU M B U IL DING ELE VATI ON DAY


IMAGINED PLACE

FIG 67 MUSEUM ELEVATION, LOOKING EAST - NIGHT

M USEU M B U IL D IN G EL E VATI O N NI GHT

125


126

FIG 68 MUSEUM PERSPECTIVE - GRAZING ROOF

M USEU M B U IL D IN G B IR D’ S E Y E


FIG 69 WIND FIELD, LOOKING NORTHWEST - PERSPECTIVE

IMAGINED PLACE

V I SUA L IZIN G A N D H A R V E S TIN G THE SA NTA A N A W IN DS

W IN D FIEL D PER SPEC TI V E

127


Endnotes

Attlee, James, Lisa Le Feuvre, and Gordon Matta-Clark. Gordon Matta-Clark: The Space between. Tucson, AZ: Nazraeli Press, 2003. Print.

1

Andrews, Max, ed. Land art: A cultural ecology handbook. RSA, 2006. Print. 2

Shapiro, Larry. "Triangle Complex Fire." FireScenesNet. Web. 13 May 2016. 3

Price, Cedric. Cedric Price. London: Architectural Association, 1984. Print. Works ; 2. 4

5

Didion, Joan. The white album. Macmillan, 1990. Print.

Hood, Walter, and Leah Levy. Walter Hood: urban diaries. Vol. 2. Spacemaker Pr, 1997. Print. 6

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129

CHAPTER

8

Conclusion LO OKING B ACK M OVING FORW ARD


130

CONCLUSION

L O O K I N G BA C K

MOV ING FOR WARD

"Humans had perhaps a million years to get used to fire as a thing and as an idea. Between the time a man got his fingers burned on a lightning-struck tree until another man carried some inside a cave and found it kept him warm, maybe a hundred thousand years, and from there to the blast furnaces of Detroit— how long?"

Engaging communities with their landscapes through information and spatial experience; this can be brought about by designers through the facilitation of open space design. Designers, with multidisciplinary teams, can take into account and even feature the landscape as a combustible and dynamic system that is both powerful and beautiful. In pursuing design, a new set of terms that describes the combustible landscape as an ever-present phenomenon is helpful to move beyond fixed terms of fire as tragedy.

-John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley, 1962

Looking back at the history of fire in the landscape in relation to the human experience puts into perspective the idea of a combustible landscape as a precursor to the city. Evidence from the research suggests that there has always been space for fire in human culture, language, and habitation. Like water, fire and fuel in the process of combustion, plays a significant role in the dayto-day lives of city-dwellers. The question then, is about the role of wild fire in the landscape. The wildness of fires comes out of a lack in ability to control conflagrations, which half-sits on the ability to expect it. How can fire be seen in a way for the benefit of urban ecosystems? How can communities remain safe from wild fire? What role can landscape architects play in creatively producing those relationships?

By experimenting with fire modeling and attempting to apply simulations to inform design, I was able to come up with one iteration of an idea, an Outdoor Museum of Contemporary Combustion. The idea of a didactic landscape was an attempt to communicate the landscape dynamic in new terms. The design strategy of a sequential trail experience was inspired by a number of precedents which worked to materially and spatially echo natural and human histories by employing a system of open space trails and reference points. These design strategies effectively worked to bring visitors closer to idiosyncrasies of a place. In the case of Schabarum Park in the Puente Hills range, the idiosyncrasies came at the intersection of the city and the hills, as an environment created by combustibility. The forces behind combustion—fuel, wind, topography, dryness, and ignition—are opportunities for connection, understanding, and unique stimuli


CONCLUSION

in open spaces that present high severity fire risk. I came to the conclusion that in addition to implementing best practices in terms of hazard fuel reductions and metabolization, interventions must embrace a close relationship between people and the landscape at the human scale. Deep connection, understanding, and buy-in is necessary for residents who live in fire risk zones to take part in acting upon the reality at hand. In Los Angeles County, having experienced the worst period of drought in recorded history in the last two years, the reality is potentially bleak. Beyond Los Angeles, wild fires are taking unsuspecting communities quickly and without warning. This kind of a relationship is not inevitable, and the tools of understanding, planning, and design are available to develop and coordinate multifaceted strategies that is tied to an evolving culture and language that can see an ever-present combustible landscape. The goal of preparing this document was to envision an open space, site-specific design that might provide strategies to re-see and re-engineer a problem into a potential asset. I believe that reaching this goal will take many, many iterations to develop over time. If anything, the first step is to begin the conversation about combustible landscapes in a way that is contemporary and relevant, looking back and moving forward. It is clear that landscape architects can offer creative ways to spatially manifest a vision of a new relationship between people and a combustible landscape; the prospect is exciting.

131


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APPENDIX

FIG 70 1896 USGS MAP - CALIFORNIA ANAHEIM SHEET

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APPENDIX

FIG 71 1942 US ARMY CHIEF OF ENGINEERS

ANAHEIM QUADRANGLE SHEET

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FIG 72 1976 USGS MAP - LA HABRA QUADRANGLE

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Combustible Landscapes  

Masters thesis in landscape architecture

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Masters thesis in landscape architecture

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