March 2007 Newsletter
New book by Andre Leitao, Joseph Miller, and Jack Ahern – Measuring Landscapes: A Planner's Handbook
by Allegra Bukojemsky, ASLA Paperback ISBN: 1559638990 Pub. Date: August 2006
This book takes Michael Hough and Richard T.T.  Forman’s work one step further by showing how to  use various landscape metrics developed and used  by scientists to measure biodiversity and ecological  health as possible tools for guiding land use planning.  The authors review a variety of metrics including patch  richness, patch density, mean patch size, shape, edge  contrast, nearest neighbor distance, and proximity and  then give examples of using these metrics to evaluate  planning scenarios. While the authors describe the  applications of these metrics for planning as “thinking  outside the box” it is a well-delivered proposal. However,  as the authors state, these metrics are best used for  comparison between possible planning scenarios  rather than seeking an absolute value. I would definitely  recommend this book as an introduction to the principles  of ecological metrics as way to think about landscapes  and landscape patterns in a more value-based manner.  Those without an engineering or scientific mindset may  find the formulas a bit unwieldy.  

Allegra Bukojemsky, ASLA, is Co-founder of DnA Design  in Homer, Alaska. Allegra can be reached at
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