Interview with Nina-Marie Lister on Ecological Urbanism (via The Dirt)

More from a key academic contributor in the Landscape Urbanism – Landscape Urbanism debate

Interview with Nina-Marie Lister on Ecological Urbanism Nina-Marie Lister, MCIP, RPP, Affiliate ASLA, is Associate Professor of Urban & Regional Planning at Ryerson University, and Visiting Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design (GSD). She is a contributor to "Ecological Urbanism" and co-editor of "The Ecosystem Approach: Complexity, Uncertainty and Managing for Sustainability." Lister recently served as the Professional Advisor to the ARC I … Read More

via The Dirt

Using Nature to Reinvent Cities (via The Dirt)

Another take on the benefits of urban nature

Using Nature to Reinvent Cities Dan Kaplan, who runs the urban design practice for FXFOWLE, argued for integrating innovative green designs into buildings and streets at a session at the National Building Museum. To reinvent cities, planners, landscape architects, and architects can create "regenerative places" that provide multiple benefits. The two major U.S. development models – Orange County, California, and New York City – present two extremes. In terms of carbon dioxide e … Read More

via The Dirt

Bolivia Expected to Protect Rights of Nature (via The Dirt)

While it is encouraging to see the intentions and see them enacted in law – will they be able to protect what they enact?

Bolivia Expected to Protect Rights of Nature Bolivia is expected to pass the world's first comprehensive law to protect the rights of nature, granting all nature equal rights to humans. According to The Guardian, the new "Law of Mother Earth" would lead to "radical new conservation and social measures" designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pollution, and hem in "mega-projects." Nature would get 11 new rights, including the "right to life and to exist; the right to continue vital c … Read More

via The Dirt

The Brave New World of Ecological Restoration via The Dirt

In an article posted on The Dirt the outlines of a new type of ecological regeneration are laid out indicating that simple recreation of pre-development “nature” according to strict biodiversity guidelines such as enforced on Table Mountain in Cape Town,  is unlikely to be sustainable as the entire system has been altered by the effects of prior interventions , be they agriculture, forestry  or urbanization and overuse, nor is cosmetic renovation with generic planting such as is seen in much of the developments around the Cape, rather a new restoration takes the sites context into account and attempts to remedy the natural processes of the site, taking into account the ecosystem, cultural, social and governance aspects of the site  and  andhopefully leading to amore sustainable restoration:

“At a Society for Ecological Restoration (SER) conference entitled, “Brave New World: Working with Emerging Ecosystems,” Jack Sullivan, FASLA, Professor and coordinator of the new landscape architecture program at the University of Maryland College Park, said ongoing deforestation and urbanization is actually a “war on nature.” Furthermore, any attempt to restore nature that has been taken over by development can’t rely on the “natural history of a site” for guidance. These “post-traumatic” landscapes have been altered too much. Ecological restorationists and landscape architects, who are at the “front lines” of the battle and are the “heroes in this brave new world,” must take better advantage of ecological research in order to restore nature. To date, a restoration approach based in ecological research has often come into conflict with the “big D” design approach to a site. The end goal shouldn’t be a place “that could be anywhere so you don’t know where you are.” A restored landscape must reflect a careful examination of the site and its natural history.

One of the front lines of this war for ecological restoration are “novel ecosystems,” which are “ecosystems that have purposefully emerged because of the presence of people,” said Margaret Palmer, Director of the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory and Professor at University of Maryland. Novel ecosystems beg questions: How do they work ecologically? Should we restore them to a more natural state? Maybe they should be left as is?

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