Design for People and Ecosystems
Wednesday, August 12, 2015: 1:30 PM-3:00 PM
345, Baltimore Convention Center
Alexander Felson, Yale
Timothy Terway, Yale University
Human altered land is rarely planned to promote ecosystems or biodiversity. The Earth Stewardship Initiative is working to change this through a shift in the role of ecology to include studying and shaping landscapes. This ignite session provides an opportunity for ecologists to hear from designers involved in applying ecological principles and research methods through landscape and urban design. Each speaker will present their approaches and vision for incorporating ecological applications into design. Through the compilation of perspectives ecologists can establish a framework for working at different stages in the design process and with a variety of stakeholders to position scientific questions directly embedded within and relevant to the design and management of the built environment. The presenters will highlight opportunities for experiential, mutual learning and education between practitioners. Mutual learning opportunities precipitate the feedback necessary for win-win solutions that encourage healthy compromises and facilitate necessary tradeoffs for ecological design. As more studies indicate the value of parks, conservation areas and green space for quality of life, microclimate benefits, and water quality benefits, for example, working out partnerships between designers and ecologists will be essential for designing, managing and monitoring designed landscapes. This is especially true give that the impact of urbanization on ecological processes and ecosystem services remains poorly understood. Through our session, we will seek to demonstrate the role of basic research in generating ecological planning solutions that can be designed, studied and monitored to evaluate performance over time, inform adaptation, provide an aesthetic and enhance ecological function.