Book Chapter

Terra Firma: The Narrative of Soils

'Terra Firma' (La. terra: 'earth,' firma: 'solid') addresses the role of storytelling in the interpretation from scientific, professional and academic realms into the public realm, focusing on the meta-narrative - the big picture narrative in which we situate ourselves and our work as architects, landscape architects and urban designers. This narrative must be durable enough to last from generation to generation, while relevant enough to situate our decision making from day to day. The essay brings this framework to bear on soils and the fundamental relevance of terra firma as the dynamic media of interaction between water and geology. Land, not only as territory but as living soil, is the fundamental infrastructure for life – it is the field within which issues of spatial justice are played out in real time, as over geological time.


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