SS 8
From Studying To Shaping: A Design Charette Bridging Site Analysis To Conceptual Design

Monday, August 11, 2014: 10:15 AM-11:30 AM
Camellia, Sheraton Hotel
Alexander J. Felson, Yale University
Jill Baron, Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, United States Geological Survey
This session provides an educational opportunity for ecologists to develop collaborative activities that build ecological resilience and sustainability principles into urban planning and landscape architecture.  We will target the stage of the design process where designers shift from evaluation to schematic design.  This marks a fundamental shift in intention, from seeking to study a system to understand how it works to shaping a system with the goal of improving it. We will focus on the American River Parkway in Sacramento as a case study.  Ecologists will be asked to evaluate the effectiveness of conceptual design proposals in translating site knowledge and ecological understanding into design. The Parkway faces multiple competing demands for water, flood control, habitat, and recreation.  Blending ecological research and applied ecological understanding with landscape management can inform the design and management of the Parkway for long-term adaptive management. The site evaluation phase and transition to conceptual design within the design process is an underutilized opportunity for applying ecological principles. During site analysis, environmental consultants typically rely on available biological information, rarely applying hypothesis-driven methods. The goal of this case study is for research ecologists and especially students to gain an understanding of how ecological science can be used to shape urban landscapes, and the impact ecologists have on design and planning through site evaluation.

This session is part of the 2014 Earth Stewardship Initiative.

For more information visit

See more of: Special Sessions