The Third Landscape

contributeur: tradanglaise

The Third Landscape - an undetermined fragment of the Plantary Garden -designates the sum of the space left over by man to  landscape evolution - to nature alone. Included in this category  are left behind (délaissé) urban or rural sites, transitional spaces, neglected land (friches), swamps, moors, peat bogs, but also  roadsides, shores, railroad embankments, etc. To these unattended areas can be added space set aside , reserves in themselves: inaccessible places, mountain summits, non-cultivatable areas, deserts; institutional reserves: national parks, regional parks, nature reserves.

Compared to the territories submitted to the control and exploitation by man, the Third Landscape forms a privileged area of receptivity to biological diversity. Cities, farms and forestry holdings, sites devoted to industry, tourism, human activity, areas of control and decision permit diversity and, at times, totally exclude it. The variety  of species  in a field, cultivated land, or  managed forest is  low in comparison to that  of a neighbouring « unattended » space..

From this point of view, the Third Landscape can be considered as the genetic reservoir of the planet, the space of the future…..

Viewing the Third Landscape as a biological necessity, conditioning the future of living things, modifies the interpretation of territory and enhances areas usually looked upon as negligible. It is up to the political body  to organize ground division  in such a manner as to assume responsibility for these undetermined areas,  tantamount  to concern for the future.

The Third Landscape is of interest to the planning professionals, the designer, led to  include in his project an unorganized space or to designate as  public amenity unattended areas created,  voluntarily or not, by all land use.

The term Third Landscape derives its name from a landscape analysis of the site of Vassivière in the Limousin ordered by the “Centre d’Art et du Paysage of Vassivière” in 2003. The study indicated the binary character of the area: one side in the shade with forestry holdings, essentially Douglas Firs, a landscape under control of the forestry expert; on the other side, light, with cattle and pasture land, principally devoted to cattle fodder, a landscape under the surveillance of an agricultural engineer. Although the shade/light mass apparently covers the entire area, there is a hidden element. An analysis of existing species indicates  that their limited number does not correspond to the average  to be expected in the space analyzed. A third territory in Vassivière , composed of moors, peat bogs, riparian forest, steep embankments, road ditches and shoulders, serves as a receptacle for the varieties chased from the cultivated areas, capable of subsisting in the climate and on the land.

The term Third Landscape does not allude to the Third World, but to the Third Estate. It is a referral to Abbé  Siéyès’ question: « What is the Third Estate? Everything-What role has it played to date? -None-What does it aspire to? -Something ».

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The only sizeable project with an actual  “scenography” (scénographie) of the Third-Landscape is the Matisse Park in Lille where the Ile Derborence, a central rock mass, 7 metres above ground, has been planted over a surface of 3 500 square metres with a” model   forest” in a natural setting. Inaccessible but monitored, the Island serves both as matrix and  guide line for  the most economical management possible of eight hectares of public park.

The “Manifeste du Tiers-Paysage” was published in 2003 by Editions Sujet/Objet.

The only sizeable project with an actual “scenography” (scénographie) of the Third-Landscape is the Matisse Park in Lille where the Ile Derborence, a central rock mass, 7 metres above ground, has been planted over a surface of 3 500 square metres with a” model forest” in a natural setting. Inaccessible but monitored, the Island serves both as matrix and guide line for the most economical management possible of eight hectares of public park. The “Manifeste du Tiers-Paysage” was published in 2003 by Editions Sujet/Objet.