An inhabitant approach to designing social landscapes


Commercial spaces can of course be enhanced by natural and cultural additions to the features of any place. Consider this urban, but small town facade of Stockbridge, Massachusetts that retains the scale, functionality and access required for merchants and customers.

design features

Highways, parks, schools, public buildings and easements for utilities or flood control all require private land to be set aside for common purposes.

This is an example of the extent of land use impacts on lakes and wetlands with respect to the urbanization of central Florida from the 1980s to the present.

The typical New England town common preserves natural features that help to define the scale

of adjacent residences and businesses.


Adapted from Ian McHarg's Design with Nature.

Islands development


House plans with an explanation of three features you think are of interest to the class.

Such as:


In this historic home in Key West, Florida, the design is adjusted to the tropics although the materials mimic Nantucket, New England buildings of the same period.

The Porch allows for breezes to cool the home's structure since it is in a wet, humid and hot, island habitat because of the sub-tropical climate.

The home is raised above the elevation of the island to keep the first floor from flooding during heavy rainfall, or tidal surges that accompany hurricanes and tropical storms.



New approaches to the interior and exterior. Old approach to home in Charleston, South Carolina.

Coconut Grove, Miami, 1890s.

In order to minimize water pollution and take advantage of the location's exposure to the sun:

Water re-use lowers electricity use and keeps excessive nutrients from harming fisheries.