Landfill to landmark: unearthing the waste[d] potential of an operational disposal site
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Canada is one of the largest producers of waste in the world, creating approximately 25 million tonnes, or 688 kilograms per person in 2016; much of this waste is destined for landfills (Kaza, et al., 2018). Contemporary landfill design focuses on mitigating the potentially harmful effects of waste on human health and safety, environmental protection, and aesthetics (Kennen and Kirkwood, 2015). Landscape architects have a long history in the design of waste landscapes; this role has primarily been an end-of-life response to a tipping site that has reached capacity. This practicum investigates the role of landscape architecture in the design of landfills to determine whether an alternative design approach to this waste management life-cycle can address environmental issues resulting from human consumption through exposure, visibility, and community engagement. The result of this practicum is a design framework for the Brady Road Resource Management Facility in Winnipeg, Manitoba; it is a direct response to the persistent trend of pushing these landscapes of consumption to the periphery of society’s consciousness. The design proposes a management program that re-frames waste as a land shaping opportunity to build park space in the wake of landfill construction. The specific design intervention is described through four key components: landform + drainage, activities, circulation, and vegetation. The design aims to alter the perception of landfills while generating awareness of the culture of overconsumption in North America by demonstrating how an active waste management site can engage the public.