Landscapes of the Bay Area

About the Map

Throughout Silicon Valley, local and regional interests found expression on the Bay Area landscape through activities deemed the proper use for the land. Landscapes, as Richard White reminds us, are a mix of dynamic cultural and natural systems that create place. Landscapes are physical and mental maps according to preferences and experiences, which affect the environment through the intent and actual use of land. These are what White calls a hybrid landscape.

I argue that these overlapping landscapes—open space, industrial space, residential space, and the natural environment—shaped environmental politics in Silicon Valley. How people thought about the land and its proper use had a profound influence on environmental debates. The map illustrates the physical manifestation of a particular landscape's presence on the San Francisco Peninsula.


Jason A. Heppler, "Landscapes of the Bay Area," interactive map,, 2014.