Presentation Title

Overcoming Barriers to Ecological Design: The Researcher as Socio-Ecological Coupler

Presenter(s) Information

Nadja Quiroz, GreenWorks P.C.Follow

Abstract

As practitioners within the service sector, landscape architects play an active role in increasing urban ecological services and resilience. However, that role exists within the client/consultant paradigm and is thus constrained by project scope, budget considerations, site boundaries, and client values. Such factors vary greatly from project to project, but all projects share an incrementalist nature of being discreetly tied to “site”. After construction, a project's ecological performance depends on its maintenance regime, presenting further obstacles to success. Unlike the sciences and research-based design fields, the scale of landscape architecture projects is often too large to prototype, thus making each built project its own potential experiment. In the spirit of transdisciplinary work, I will explore opportunities where urban ecologists can couple early-on with designers to leverage research goals in developing research questions that guide the design of experimental “plots”, monitor and collect performance-based data that provides crucial, missing feedback, generate lessons and/or best practices for future design projects and ongoing maintenance, and uncover the evidence necessary for communicating the importance of allocating, if not integrating, habitat and ecosystem services within project sites.

Subjects

Climate Change, Habitat assessment, Land/watershed management, Sustainable development

Persistent Identifier

https://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/33831

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Overcoming Barriers to Ecological Design: The Researcher as Socio-Ecological Coupler

As practitioners within the service sector, landscape architects play an active role in increasing urban ecological services and resilience. However, that role exists within the client/consultant paradigm and is thus constrained by project scope, budget considerations, site boundaries, and client values. Such factors vary greatly from project to project, but all projects share an incrementalist nature of being discreetly tied to “site”. After construction, a project's ecological performance depends on its maintenance regime, presenting further obstacles to success. Unlike the sciences and research-based design fields, the scale of landscape architecture projects is often too large to prototype, thus making each built project its own potential experiment. In the spirit of transdisciplinary work, I will explore opportunities where urban ecologists can couple early-on with designers to leverage research goals in developing research questions that guide the design of experimental “plots”, monitor and collect performance-based data that provides crucial, missing feedback, generate lessons and/or best practices for future design projects and ongoing maintenance, and uncover the evidence necessary for communicating the importance of allocating, if not integrating, habitat and ecosystem services within project sites.