How can we gather and visualize data to better understand the impact of ecosystem services on our urban centers?

Research Project Name

Natural Urbanism

What We Did

We conceptualized a mapping tool to forge a holistic approach to ecological processes in urban centers. While there is a clear benefit to analyzing a specific natural resource or species, we found a dearth of information on processes that are holistic. To address this gap, we developed a methodology that studies a broad range of ecological processes rather than overly focused indicators.

To test our conceptual tool, we conducted a site analysis of a two-block plot formerly developed. Our analysis went well beyond the scope of environmental regulations, and well beyond the site boundaries, considering the site’s context within a 20-block radius to understand how it fits within community-level environmental processes. After aggregating information and experimenting with illustrating methods, we developed an approach to the challenges we face, and a path forward.

In a sense, we need corrective lenses for our approach to urban ecology. We embraced resiliancy for assessing urbanism; we need resilient designs to foster a sustainable environment. Through understanding the environment in which we operate, we can implement progressive design practices.

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Team

Rives Taylor, Ned Dodington, Scott Magnuson, Brandon Hendricks

Year Completed

2016