Urban Ruins and the Neo -Picturesque Landscape


  • Elizabeth Scarbrough Florida International University




ruins, architecture, sublime, picturesque, neo-picturesque


While classical ruins are seen as tourist destinations, contemporary or industrial ruins are dismissed as disused sites. In this paper I argue for the preservation of urban (or contemporary) ruins. I focus on one specific case, that of the Miami Marine Stadium in Miami, Florida USA. Since the 1990s the stadium has been derelict, a canvas for graffiti artists and a home to skateboarders. In 2018 the City of Miami decided to revamp the stadium and reopen it as a concert and sporting venue. The current design-development plan has sanitized this urban ruin, robbing it of its past. I will situate the debate about rehabbing contemporary ruins within the growing literature of the neo-picturesque, specifically neo-picturesque landscape design. I believe that urban ruins such as these have a place in the modern city and will suggest some paths forward for these neo-picturesque ruin beauties.

Author Biography

  • Elizabeth Scarbrough, Florida International University

    Elizabeth Scarbrough is an Assistant Teaching Professor at Florida International University. Her research has focused on the beauty of immovable cultural heritage (including ruins, monuments, and landscapes), and our ethical obligation to cultural heritage. Her interest in ruins has given rise to a related interest in the ethics of travel and tourism, an underdeveloped area of applied ethics. You can find her work in the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Journal of Applied Philosophy, The Philosophers’ Magazine, and more. Website: elizabethscarbrough.com


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2023-08-30 — Updated on 2023-09-01




The Problem of the Building (Philosophy of Architecture)

How to Cite

“Urban Ruins and the Neo -Picturesque Landscape”. (2023) 2023. Aesthetic Investigations 6 (1): 5-18. https://doi.org/10.58519/aesthinv.v6i1.12089.