Garden of necessity
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People living in the present are the recipients and guardians of two types of inheritance: cultural and natural, both of which must be passed down to future generations if society is to survive. In the built environment, places of cultural significance are managed for their heritage value, often overlooking the value of functional natural systems, which are of equal value. The National Mall is one such landscape, which subordinates natural inheritances to those of cultural significance. This thesis synthesizes theories of heritage and sustainability to support the introduction of a new garden on the Mall that acknowledges and celebrates the critical natural systems that support our culture. This thesis also examines the historic condition of the United States Department of Agriculture grounds and finds evidence that ecological processes were a prominent design feature of the Mall in the nineteenth century.