Ecological Design the Way for the Future

From American School of Landscape Architects

If humanity ever hopes to create a sustainable future we need to create a balance between our ecology and foster biodiversity within our environment. Today’s cities act in contrast to the local ecology. We plant “traditional” greenery with grass, deciduous trees, and other water draining foliage. In this process, we ignore the natural ecology of the landscape, destroying its biodiversity in the process.

However, there has been a recent change in the mindset of planners and landscape designers to begin thinking of better systems that will both provide urban environments the greenery they need and the local ecology the fostering it deserves. Two of these ideas include the Low Impact Development plan and the implementation of the upcycled Walkway.

The Low Impact Development plan is a form of water management design aimed at purifying water runoff before it enters important ecological systems within and outside of our cities. This process includes creating new stormwater drainage sites using vegetation such as native wildflowers, shrubs, etc. along watershed sites. This filters the pollution out as the water drains down into groundwater rather than building up contaminates as the water runs along concrete drainage systems. I would implement this system into the design of a development or city because it prevents the destruction of ecologies and biodiversity that have survived thus far. It is a way of mitigating the impact our cities have been imposing on the environment since their creation.

Another more specific example of fostering ecology and biodiversity in city/development planning is the Upcycled Walkway system being implemented in India. It is a 7km long City forest including a 5.2 km long walking/ jogging track along which over 30,000 native trees and shrubs will be planted. Along the track will be a natural drainage system (similar to the low impact development plan) that will help foster the surrounding ecology. The Upcycled Walkway is a grand example of how humanity can restore their damaged environment rather than just mitigate the city’s effects. It is another design that would tremendously beneficial to any development design that desired to help foster its local ecology rather than destroying it.

For more information:

Low Impact Development- http://www.bwdh2o.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Low_Impact_Development_Manual-2010.pdf

The Upcycled Walkway- https://www.iamrenew.com/environment/a-look-into-restored-chakkarpur-wazirabad-bundh/

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