The response to dryness in Australia

Raxworthy, Julian R. (2007) The response to dryness in Australia. In Bukman, Bert (Ed.) 'scape. Stichting Lijn in Landschap, The Netherlands, pp. 37-45.

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The drought Australia now faces is leading to shifts in the perception of the continent, of Australians and the world. The ideals of lush green landscapes are making way for landscape designs in which dryness is a quality of the design. On a map of the world, Australia is enormous, and seems empty because development is concentrated around its edges. Its heart must be red, in the cultural projections of the world from images of Uluru, 'the rock', set in a flat desert with no relief. Of course the country is not really all desert - surely? - with low shrubs pretty much throughout. Inhabitation seems to cling to the edges where teh continent feels microclimatic effects from the adjacent oceans and edging mountain ranges, which screen the population from the real state of the environment - dry, harsh, amazing and unique. Australia is rightly proud of this harsh difference from its edges, but prefers the harshness to be 'out there'. At the moment however, the country is pretty much universally in drought, and the contrast between green and brown, that it has celebrated, even built its identity around, is disappearing to become brown throughout. Without the browning of Australia, some areas, such as tropical Queensland, are having their designed public landscapes and gardens revealed as an elaborate mythology, a landscape fraud.

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ID Code: 27996
Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional URLs:
Keywords: landscape architecture, drought, Australia
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-7643-8422-7
ISBN: 9783764384210
ISSN: 1389-742x
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > ARCHITECTURE (120100) > Landscape Architecture (120107)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Past > Schools > School of Design
Copyright Owner: © 2007 Lijn in Landschap Foundation and Birkhäuser Verlag AG
Deposited On: 15 Oct 2009 23:47
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 14:05

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