Landscapes of Retreat

Landscapes of Retreat are portraits of climate adaptation. Retreat is found in the land that is left behind as settlement patterns shift due to a changing climate. The term landscape refers to the earth animated by the aliveness of creatures and organisms, and the term retreat suggests that human patterns are not fixed but might also be enlivened. Taken together, the stories in this book suggest that communities are more likely to adapt to change when the landscape is appreciated, so that retreat can be valued. The results cutacross history, fieldwork, citizenship, and geography in order to rethink and rework “change” as a means toward shared climate futures.

Landscape—The earth animated by multispecies activity, including layers of habitat from foundations to footprints.

Retreat—Habitation patterns that meaningfully engage processes of the landscape from climate dynamics to coastal erosion.

Rosetta S. Elkin is associate professor and academic director of landscape architecture at Pratt Institute, principal of Practice Landscape, and research associate at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University. She is author of Plant Life: The Entangled Politics of Afforestation and Tiny Taxonomy: Individual Plants in Landscape Architecture.