A holistic approach to dike design, St. Norbert Manitoba, a case study and application

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Jones, Andrew M.
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In this century, attempts to control the Red River, and other rivers world-wide, have involved the extensive use of diking systems. Diking systems consist essentially of utilitarian structures with a single temporally-limited purpose. While they fulfill their primary purpose of keeping flood waters away from homes, businesses, and agricultural land, they are typically lacking in visual appeal and often act as intrusive obstacles to the social lives of the communities they protect. Despite the widespread occurrence of dikes, particularly in North America, the role of the landscape architect in reconciling the community's need for protective structures with its social needs is only just beginning to be recognized. The landscape architect, as environmental steward and designer, is trained to seek holistic solutions that are both environmentally appropriate and culturally responsive. The multidisciplinary approach of the landscape architect can productively provide for both human and ecological needs, satisfying social needs within the human community while preserving healthy environments for wildlife and vegetation. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)