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  • Landscape of Defense: Military Geographies and Altitudes of Urbanization
    Pierre Bélanger and Alexander S. Arroyo
    MIT Press, 2016
    Pierre Bélanger

Space Coast, aerial view of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and Kennedy Space Center in Florida (1964), currently undergoing change and realignment as a result of the Space Shuttle Program and Constellation Program’s cancellation on April 15, 2010. Courtesy of NASA.

The United States Department of Defense is the largest contractor and land developer in the world. Despite its budget of over 500 billion dollars and a portfolio of nearly 30 million acres of lands and facilities, neither does there exist a clear cartographic inventory of this military-industrial infrastructure, nor has any recent scholarly enterprise been undertaken to visualize and analyze the presence of US military-bases and related industries worldwide. Acknowledging that this footprint can no longer be ignored, this project overcomes a critical deficit of public knowledge through a mapping and research project that visually depicts the sites, networks, and geographies of an emerging, global military-logistical complex.

Pierre Bélanger is a landscape urbanist and associate professor at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design. His academic research and public work focus on the convergence of urbanism, landscape, and ecology in the fields of planning, design, and engineering. He is editor of the forthcoming thirty-fifth edition of Pamphlet Architecture titled Going Live: From Models to Systems, and was guest editor in 2014 for Harvard Design Magazine 39: Wet Matter. His forthcoming book, Landscape of Defense: Military Geographies and Altitudes of Urbanization (MIT Press, 2016) will accompany the Landscape Infrastructures DVD, which he edited in 2009. His most recent articles and essays include "Between Tides of Apartheid" and "The Other 71 Percent" (2015), "The Alvsjo Flatbed" (2015), "Ecology 5.0" (2014), "The Multimedia Language of Models" (2014), "The Strategy of Urbanization" (2013), "Urbanism beyond Engineering" (2012), "Regionalization" (2010), "Redefining Infrastructure" (2010), "Landscape as Infrastructure" (2009), and "Synthetic Surfaces" (2007). He collaborates on a range of publications and projects, with subjects related to military geographies and urban infrastructures, including "Logistics Islands" (2012), "The Agronomic Landscape" (2011), "Power Perestroika" (2009), and "Airspace" (2007). He is academic advisor to the US Army Corps of Engineers, executive board member for the Metis International Garden Festival, and recipient of the Professional Prix de Rome in Architecture, awarded by the Canada Council for the Arts. He is appointed as the national curator of the Canada Pavilion for the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale.