Landscapes of Retreat – NOVEMBER 2022

Rosetta S. Elkin

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. Featuring in-depth field studies from Nijinomatsubara Forest, Japan; El Maule, Chile; Niugtaq, Alaska; Langtang, Nepal; and Gaspésie Peninsula, Québec, the stories in Landscapes of Retreat suggest that communities are more likely to adapt to change when the landscape is appreciated, so that retreat can be valued. The results cut across history, fieldwork, citizenship, and geography in order to rethink and rework “change” as a means toward shared climate futures.

The printed matter publication is accompanied by a free, online publication ( that features additional photography, interviews, audio-visual materials, and an extensive index of additional retreat cases for further study.


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.




Landscapes of Retreat by Rosetta S. Elkin. With guest contributions by Mariel Collard Arias, John Kopek, Sara Pantuliano, and Bernardo Reyes. Edited by Etienne Turpin; graphic design by Ginny Rose Davies.



14 x 21 cm

328 pages (with 4 double-foldout spreads)

Color and b/w images

Softcover, thread stitching

ISBN 978-3-947858-45-3



Forthcoming in Fall 2022 – available for pre-order