Every architectural movement has some ideological base. Although we cannot talk about one specific movement during 21 century, there are some common aspects and trends in modern architecture as well. Nowadays in city and landscape architecture very popular concept is urban jungle or miniature urban parks. Here is an explanation of what they are and why are they so meaningful in modern city and landscape architectures.
Those are small green areas in fully urban environment. For example, those can be small parks or gardens on the building roof tops or very small green areas in the middle of the city. There are many variations how to include some trees, grass, flowers and other plants into urban environment, but it is not only about aesthetics and creative ideas of making cities more beautiful.
The idea of it is to fight against the pollution and extinction of many plants. It is believed that the whole idea of it was created by the landscape architect James Corner. He created first urban jungle work on New York’s High Line. After that cities across the globe started to adapt this idea. While some municipalities follow the High Line’s blueprint of re-purposing abandoned rail lines, many others are just planting trees and pathways all around the cities.
So these small green areas are reflection of humans way of thinking. As we all know, one of the major concerns nowadays are of the huge amount of pollution. Cities are becoming bigger and green areas are slowly dispersing. Urban jungle is almost like a form of protest against urbanization. Of course, it also has some practical meaning as well – it brings some life into urban environment and produces some fresh air.
Although those parks are just small green areas into whole urban architecture, they are created by landscape architects, not traditional urban architects. It take some knowledge in gardening and horticulture to create something like that. Actually, creation of urban parks is very common task for landscape architects, although it is really not easy. Not all of the plants are willing to grow into such polluted environment. Landscape architects must find appropriate plants that are not self-rigorous. These plants must grow into polluted area and small soil layer. Beside all of that, the urban junge must look great together and fit in.
Just like renaissance architectural movement was a reflection of changes in humans way of thinking and thirst for freedom and discoveries, urban jungle is reflection of humans desire to live green and healthy. Although it is not one mutual concept that is uses in each and every architectural project, it is a very popular trend that is widely used. It is a mix of urban and landscape architecture that might be one of the aspects that describes architecture of our time.