Ecological Factors in Urban Landscape Design

The decay rate of urban infrastructure demands that we address future issues associated with the ecology of place in present-day planning efforts.
Andrea Gaffney
Habitat Group presentation Enlarge [+]

The Fall 2007 studio Ecological Factors in Urban Landscape Design, taught by Rob Thayer, Michelle Dubin, Joe McBridge, Matt Kondolf and Graduate Student Instructor Andrea Gaffney led graduate students from Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning to propose visions for the future of three watersheds in Contra Costa County along San Pablo Bay. Eight teams of students combined their skills in quantitative spatial analysis and three-dimensional creative synthesis to incorporate ecological processes into a variety of infrastructure vision plans on the following subjects: alternative transportation, municipal-scale renewable energy production, habitat conservation for animal and plant species, urban forestry as a mechanism for community development, creek management proposals for a gradient of development typologies, coastal waterfront planning for urban ecological diversity, human ecology habitat restoration, and watershed trail planning. Each of these visions promotes awareness on a variety of ecological processes, thereby increasing the legibility of the watershed as a sustainable unit of land planning and management.

Andrea Gaffney
Energy Group presentation Enlarge [+]

The Energy Group (Nicholas Curtis, Robert D. Lemon, Francesca Francia, Chris Fullmer, and Tim Mollette-Parks) proposed a framework in which a local municipal utility can meet 100% of the current and future energy demands of the population with renewable energy located in the landscape of the three watersheds.

The Watershed Group (Nathaniel Behrends, Rachel Edmonds, Ben Jackson, Kristen Podolak, Jane Wardani) designed a framework, which transformed the fragmented hydrologic system of Rodeo Creek into a well-functioning, restored system that reconnected the community with this natural system.

The Habitat Group (Christopher Moi, Cliff Sorrell, Nick Glase, Nicole Cousino, Ye Kang Ko) designed a conservation reserve network that enhances biodiversity and associated human land uses for the long-term future of the Pinole, Refugio and Rodeo Creek watersheds.

In the Summer of 2008, The Restoration Design Group presented the studio’s material to the Rodeo community as project ideas associated with the restoration of Rodeo Creek.