In Defense of Crappy Landscapes (Core Tenet #1)

  • Michael A. Urban


Many landscapes abused, degraded, despoiled, or otherwise impacted by people carry the stigma of being somehow unnatural and are overlooked by physical geographers. While some human impacts intentionally reshape environments, other traces result from concussive ripples generated as human forces resonate throughout biophysical systems. An explicit focus on environmental problems associated with the increasing imprint of human agency augments our ability to delineate both historical problems and to manage future challenges. An even more compelling rationale is that these composite environments more accurately represent how most systems function. Acknowledging social and biophysical forces, Critical Physical Geography reorients our science away from the pristine and centralizes the tainted. It reasserts the practical and philosophical importance of “crappy landscapes” to the future of Geography and environmental science.


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael A. Urban
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of MissouriColumbiaUSA

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