Topography is a Fingerprint

Canyons, mountains, and deserts capture the imagination and transcend cultural differences. Many developers view topographic features as obstacles that need to be removed or minimized. Often times developers bulldoze hills, fill in valleys, or underground streams so that large, uniform developments can be constructed.

The practice of destroying the natural landscape should be avoided because topographic features are fingerprints for the landscape. No two human fingerprints are the same, thus fingerprints are unique identifiers for human beings. No two topographic conditions are the same, thus topographic features are unique identifiers for communities. There is a natural relationship between civic identity and landscape, and the modification of these features is destroying the uniqueness of many areas. Topographical features should be heralded for their beauty and social significance and seen as opportunities for spatial and social experimentation.


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