Category Archives: conferences

International Urban Wildlife Conference

In early June I was in San Diego for the 2017 International Urban Wildlife Conference.   This was my first time at this particular conference, and it was fascinating to experience the breadth of ideas, and the urban focus on wildlife.  It’s something that we as designers care about, but struggle with implementation that truly provides actual value.

This is predominately at conference with a science focus,  drawing from government, academia, and NGOs spanning policy, implementation, research, and more. As a participant, I definitely felt like a fish out of water in such a science-focused crowd, however, the opportunity to connect with scientists and researchers provides a unique context and some perspective (both ways) on how we can communicate better.

One highlight for me was the opening plenary by Nancy Grimm, a “Professor of Ecology in the School of Life Sciences and a Senior Sustainability Scientist at Arizona State University” who discussed the work around the Central Arizona-Phoenix Long Term Ecological Research (CAP LTER).

Aside from some of the work, she shared a model of socio-ecological systems, and the shift towards more human influence and impacts in their research.  “Our conceptual model illustrates our understanding of urban socio-ecological systems. In CAPIV we are focusing on urban infrastructure as a bridge between the biophysical and human/social components of the system. Urban infrastructure includes green, blue, turquoise, gray, and human/social infrastructures in the city”  Grimm also called on better collaboration between designers and scientists, which was a great way to kick the conference off.

Another interesting narrative told by a few speakers focused on the presence of large predators in cities, none more photogenic, or shall I say charismatic, megafauna.  The Southern California focus meant more than a few stories about P-22, the mountain lion currently living in Griffith Park in Los Angeles, and the tension between people who embrace urban predators and those that consider them a nuisance.

Multiple tracks included information on large mammals, coyotes, and new approaches to addressing human-wildlife interactions that are not just focused on negatives.  Certainly the theme of what habitat?” came up throughout, as the urban focus meant shared spaces between many species, which has positive benefits but also negatives, and guides much of the research in terms of adequate path size and connectivity and species specific interactions in fragmented urban areas.

This larger discussion were some interesting sessions on habitat connectivity and corridors, which included some interesting wildlife crossings, include a significant new project in Pima County, Arizona , near Tuscson, that took almost 30 years to be realized, showing the need for persistence.  The project included an overpass and underpass, seen under construction below:

The educational aspects and programs also occupied a good amount of the conference, with outreach and wildlife information, educational programs for children and schools, along with tracks on Citizen science, information sharing hubs, and collaboration.

The session I was part of was the final day, and was entitled “Dysfunctional urban biodiversity planning: Take home messages for (and from) ecologists and planners/designers.”  Convened by Mark Hostetler, from University of Florida it drew a multi-disciplinary panel of ecologists, planners, designers with a general focus on better communication, barriers and opportunities for how to achieve greater (and more frequent collaboration) .

In addition to Mark, who shared his online tool “Building for Birds”, speakers include Paige Warren from University of Massachusetts-Amherst, presenting on “Governing for Diversity”,  David Drake from University of Wisconsin-Madison discussing “Proactive Wildlife Management”, David Maddox from The Nature of Cities focusing on “Shared Values”, Jeffrey Brown from Rutgers University discussed “Optimal Sizes of Bird Habitat”.  From the planning side, Steve Hofstetter from Alachua County, Florida, gave perspective on Planning and Ecology, Travis Longcore from USC School of Architecture talked about “Corridors”, Sarah Jack Hinners from University of Utah elaborated on “Ways of Knowing/Doing” in interdisciplinary work, and from Kyushu Institute of Technology in Japan, Keitaro Ito discussed Collaborative Ecological Design.  You can get a feel for the conference as a whole, download the abstracts for more info here.

My talk was entitled “Crossing the Science/Design Divide”, and touched on a variety of topics include experiences working with ecologists, access to research, real vs. boutique outcomes, habitat pros and cons, and novel ecosystems.  The summary included some examples of firms and groups with high levels of integration and collaboration, such as Andropogon Research,  landscape ecology resources for designers, evidence-based design approaches borrowed from healthcare, more ecological integration into rating tools like SITES, and habitat-specific certification via Salmon Safe, to name a few.  I will post on something a bit more detailed about my session and some of the takeaways.

It’s heartening to see the shift to incorporation of social systems into ecological research, a vital component for truly integrated urban wildlife management.  Our session and others highlighted some great opportunities and continuing challenges we face in truly integrated habitat into planning and design in the urban realm.

Campy

Azure Magazine shows off some ideas from Toronto-based Lateral Office on the concept of camp (outdoor, not kitsch) as part of the Chicago Architecture Biennial.  Through simple model, diagram and illustration (which are fabulously monochromatic, btw) they outline a proposal of modern outdoor [not necessarily recreational] living.

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A short description:

“Co-founders Mason White and Lola Sheppard considered architecture at its most basic form – in the wild – to dream up Make Camp, a series of five concepts responding to the particulars of varied terrains. Installed at the Chicago Cultural Center as scale models on a 3.6-by-4.3-metre landform, they display modern ideas for campsites. Ideas presented include zero-footprint, suspended tenting; a high-tech experience; and a completely off-grid style. Each proposal is accompanied by a user manual, which describes the recommended gear, season, territory and camper for the approach.”

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images via Azure

Hidden Hydrology at UERC Conference

I recently gave a talk at the great annual conference Urban Ecology Research Consortium of Portland/Vancouver (UERC), which focuses on ” advance the state of the science of urban ecosystems and improve our understanding of them”.   I was really excited to be chosen to present (i had done a poster presentation in past years), and it seemed a great way to introduce the Hidden Hydrology of Portland and what work has been done to date.

Much of this has been covered on the L+U blog – but there’s new ideas worth exploration, and some new momentum to realize some of the site-specific installations discussed here.  A short visual recap:

Background

My first experience with the concept was stumbling over the ‘Disappearing Streams’ map produced by Metro.  Not sure of the vintage – but I remember seeing this easily in the late 1990s, and it’s stuck with me for years.  Not actual streams but modeled topography generating basins – the concept is pretty simple – show what streams existed, and highlight those buried, piped, channeled in red, which is predominately on the inner east side and downtown.Slide2

A bit of digging yields a great set of maps, the Cadastral Survey of 1852 provides amazing detail of a nascent Portland, with stream corridors like Tanner Creek still intact running through downtown Portland, and other ecological resources (wetlands, lakes) as well as trails and early city grid (seen to the right)

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A few folks share this passion, such as David James Duncan, who talks of disappeared streams in his book ‘My Story as Told by Water’ (2002) and historical account from folks like  fellow Tanner Creek nerd Tracy Prince, who has authored some great accounts of the areas in Goose Hollow and Slabtown, evoking origins of place names, connections to hidden creeks, and tying this together with the rich history of Portland’s development.

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Many layers interact in painting the picture of hidden hydrology. Photos are another great resource – with historic scenes of sewer creating, as well as floods and other historical events.

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Beyond the Cadastral Survey, a wealth of maps exist, ranging from the mid 1850s through today – which paint a temporal portrait of the path of waterways over time – such as Tanner Creek, here shown still in existence in 1866.

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And through an illustrative Aerial Lithograph here in 1870 – again showing the Tanner Creek drainage from the West Hills through the north portion of downtown.

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Map Making

Using these tools we can start to craft maps that take the historical and overlaying information – in this case a composite of Cadastral survey mapping, amended with other information, notes, and annotations – a layered history in map format.  These could easily be hosted online (a future plan) for additional input and integration with stories, photos, experience.

Slide5

The process of extracting this information from the survey – shown here in a few steps – involves 1) referencing the historical layers, 2) adding streams and other water bodies, 3) adding additional info such as wetlands and other topographic featueres, and 4) georeferencing and overlaying the historic with the current day mapping.  A reverse map regression that allows us to create an interesting connection between then and now.

Animation of overlay process – (c) Jason King

Because the Cadastral survey is based on the Public Land Survey System (PLSS) – the township, section, range geometry (see the faint orange lines in the map above allow the historic and modern to overlap with reasonable fidelity through cartographic rectification.  The maps then, overlaid with GIS data – then digitized into shapefiles with linked data – start to allow us to provide some more detailed analysis – such as for instance, correlating basement flooding in proximity to old streams?

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Interventions: Tours

The second part of the talk focused on interventions – as the maps are compelling, but the ability to use them for actions are key, both in terms of expanding the validity of our interventions, but also to connect folks everyday to their hidden nature.

My colleague Matt Burlin and I have been talking about tours of the Hidden Hydrology for some time – so recently took the field maps for Tanner Creek and traced them from up towards the headwaters near Washington Park Zoo, down through the west hills and through downtown.

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There are portions that still exist – albeit in a somewhat degraded form – but the visceral thrill of seeing this stream was compelling – The immersion in the sounds and experiences of these remnants is worth further visits.

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And as you get to the urban sections, the natural remnants make way to a creek completely hidden – save a subtle topographic cue and some cultural interventions of markers and Tanner Springs Park, before getting to the current outfall location in the Willamette, near Centennial Mills.

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Interventions: Art

How do we interact with that which is hidden, bringing lost layers of history back to the surface.  Some great art installations provide inspirations that could be applied to hidden hydrology, for instance the Freen The Billboards project (which used fixed viewfinders to overlay images on billboards)…

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Could be applied in zones to allow one to click through a series of images that show the stages of current, mapping, routing, and location of historical waterways – in this case a simple illustration of how this would work for Tanner Creek.

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Animation of ‘Viewfinder’ slide (c) Jason King

 

And drawing from the functional aspects of utility locates with the community artistry of intersection repair…

Slide19

…one could imagine a meandering Tanner Creek weaving its way through downtown and northwest Portland streets, taking the idea of a couple of markers in the sidewalk to a much higher level of engaging and awareness in the underlying historical systems.

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Image of Tanner Creek – Locate (c) Jason King

 

Thinking beyond a map or a kiosk with some informational interpretation, the array of interventions together provide multiple ways to engage, and coupled with technology could yield self-guided walking tours, vivid sound maps, and immerse multi-media experiences.

Neighborhsheds

On a larger scale, the idea of Hidden Hydrology inspires thinking about community and our connections to each other.  The concept of Neighborsheds, which i coined in the mid 2000s and presented at the ASLA National Conference about – involves using these natural drainages to redefine neighborhood boundaries.  By rethinking political or cultural boundaries defined outside of natural systems, we can reconnect to our place in new ways.  This knowledge is perceptual on one hand – but can engage folks in shared commitment – because if you’re in the neighborshed, all of your actions become innately connected in you cumulative impact downstream.

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Urban Ecology

Finally, for me the concept of the Hidden Hydrology is tied to the larger ecological history.  There is no better project to illustrate this that the Mannahatta Project  (read more on a post here) which in it’s broader incarnation as The Welikia Project, takes the notion of historic mapping and blends field observations of biotic and abiotic factors in a rich and illustrative composite that is both rigorous and compelling.

Slide23

 

My call to action, to create this detailed historical ecology for Portland, blending historical mapping with history, archaeology, anthropology, ecology, and other disciplines to paint a vivid picture of this historical ecology.

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Beyond being fodder for art and culture, defining neighborsheds, or ways of engaging in urban exploration and wayfinding – there are some key opportunities available with this information.  This can be inspiration for design interventions, can guide decisions about habitat, ecology, water, runoff, vegetation, and other factors, not in a general sense but in a block by block, historical watershed and stream basin scale.

The overlay and congruency with the hidden streams and our subsurface pipe systems is no accident – each are governed by system conditions of gravity.  One is surficial and the other is hidden, so opportunities for making adjustments to the gray systems can be augmented with opportunities to use the green systems – with potentials for daylighting, integration of green stormwater infrastructure, and replication of pre-development hydrology.  These decisions aren’t just based on current conditions (i.e. paved, permeable, landcover), but can be guided by understanding and modelling the pre-development hydrology – the best guide to how a particular basin wants to act by referencing how it worked before we altered it.

Finally, the concept of a pre-development metric is used for many things – to set stormwater management goals, to measure runoff in site and basin scales, and to set targets for sustainability for ecodistricts and other planning scale efforts.  The return to the ‘native forest’ is a generalization of the pre-development condition, and also becomes a technological construct.  Rather than pre-development condition, let’s thing of historical ecological function, which begins to not just provide us with numbers to meet, but also blends the vegetated, the ecological, the habitat, the cultural with the historic sounds, smells, textures, and colors the historical places before we forever altered them.

We won’t restore these to their natural state in all but a few selected places, but if we can restore, through metaphor, interaction, and intervention, the experience of these places, blended artfully with what they are now – places to live, shop, play – we reveal these hidden layers of inspiration to the urban experience.

A short video of the presentation is in development – and a longer follow-up, brownbag session is in the works – so look out for details.

GOOD Times in Portland

The recent event for GOOD Ideas for Cities happened last week in Portland, and generated some great dialogue.  I was also on one of the teams that presented.  A short recap.

:: custom notebooks by Scout Books

 “Each team was issued a challenge proposed by a local urban leader. At the event, the creative teams will present their solutions to their assigned challenge, and the urban leaders will join them onstage for a brief Q&A with GOOD Ideas for Cities editor Alissa Walker.”  Teams included international talent from Wieden + Kennedy and Ziba Design, as well as local groups Sincerely Interested, THINK.urban, ADX, and the Official Manufacturing Company, all tackling some pressing (and not so pressing) urban ideas.

The event was held at Ziba’s beautiful new HQ building in the Pearl District, and the sold-out event had some great people and conversations.  As you can see the packed house (including Mayor Sam Adams) is checking out Alissa from GOOD’s intro, and had some great energy for the various groups.
 
:: image via Portland Mercury
My evolving side project THINK.urban, under development as a non-profit with fellow PSU Grad Students Allison Duncan and Katrina Johnston, was one of the teams, as mentioned above.  We’ve been slamming away on ideas for six weeks, and presented our ideas for world-class bike infrastructure, working from a challenge from Bikeportland.org‘s Jonathan Maus).
:: image via Portland Mercury 

As mentioned in a recap by Sarah Mirk from the Portland Mercury (check out the post for all of the ideas) – here’s what we’ve been working on.

“CHALLENGE (from BikePortland.org editor Jonathan Maus): How can we create a major new bikeway that helps make bicycling as visible, safe, convenient, and pleasant for as many people as possible? 

IDEAS (from PSU grad student nonprofit THINK.Urban):  Take a cue from Europe and build two-way cycletracks on Portland’s biggest streets. The two-way lanes would be separated from cars on streets like Sandy, Broadway, and Hawthorne, by a grassy median. “Prioritize bikes on the same level as cars. People are tired of looking at Europe. We want to see these things here now.”

We were really happy with the ideas that were developed, honored to be in such great company, and looking forward to seeing this new bike infrastructure take root.  More on the ideas will be posted at THINK.urban, and I’ll link them back here when they do. 

GOOD times.

Shrinking Cities – Readings

A class this term at Portland State involves a reading and conference on ‘Shrinking Cities’. Led by professor Ellen Bassett, a group of a dozen students from PhD and Masters in Urban Studies and Urban and Regional Planning reading and discussing four diverse texts, along with a range of other writings on the subject. 

  :: Detroit Race Riots – 1967 –  image via Brittanica

Our first book is “The Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race and Inequality in Postwar Detroit” by Thomas Segrue.  Originally published in 1996, this book has won a number of awards for history, and continues to provide an overview of the connections between racial and economic inequality as played out in the post-WWII urban landscape of Detroit.

Other books include Mapping Decline: St. Louis and the Fate of the American City by Colin Gordon, Camden After the Fall: Decline and Renewal in a Post-Industrial City by Howard Gillette, Jr. and Small, Gritty and Green: The Promise of America’s Smaller Industrial Cities in a Low-Carbon World by Catherine Tumber.

This is By no means a comprehensive overview of the subject, but the aim of the group is to discuss the social, economic, political, and spatial phenomena at work in a number of US Shrinking Cities, to better understand this issue.  Stay tuned for some thoughts over coming weeks, and if you have suggested readings to include, that would be very welcome.

What is the Nature of Your City?

Across the world, cities are bringing back nature to help address urban challenges.  We are healthier when we are closer to nature.  We have a greater respect for the environment that sustains us.  We are more adaptable to change when we let nature do its work.   

Join us for a free presentation by Dr. Timothy Beatley, renowned expert in sustainable city planning and author of the book BiophilicCities. Dr. Beatley is the Teresa Heinz Professor of Sustainable Communities, in the Department of Urban and Environmental Planning, School of Architecture at the University of Virginia, where he has taught for the last twenty-five years.  He will share his experience and knowledge of cities across the world that have made strides to integrate nature into our neighborhoods and communities. 
A Presentation on Biophilic Cities with
Dr. Timothy Beatley
January 18th, 2012
6:00-8:00 PM
Portland Northwest College of Art – Swigert Commons
1241 NW Johnson
Portland, OR 97209
This event is free and open to the public.
Sponsored by:
City of Portland’s Environmental Services and
Office of Healthy Working Rivers,
Illahee,
The Intertwine Alliance, and
The Urban Greenspaces Institute

URBAN REALITY: Landscape Urbanism 3 Day Design Challenge

[note: the previous post for LU 72 HR Urban Action has evolved into the following, thus the update at the behest of the organizers]

URBAN REALITY: Landscape Urbanism 3 Day Design Challenge invites teams to design and construct a site in response to a brief in just three days. The challenge aims to bring together creative minds both nationally and internationally to compete in an action packed, hands on, game plan competition that responds to this years state of design festival theme design that moves. Melbourne’s docklands will become the workshop, the camp, the dining room and the party venue for the teams for three entire days with winning teams being awarded with prize money and the pleasure of having a realised project in Melbourne’s public realm.

There are a number of public events available throughout the duration of the 5 days.  A symposium will be held at BMW Edge on Tuesday 26 July. The opening ceremony will take place on Wednesday 27 July at the Docklands. The announcement of the winners will take place at the Docklands on Saturday 30 July.

Various commentary and guides will be occurring throughout the event.  More info @ www.urbanreality.org and via email @ urbanreality@outr.org

RBC: Zeekracht (OMA)

Zeekracht | OMA

A related follow-up to the essay by Koolhaas, this short essay explores Zeekracht, a master plan for the North Sea, driven by it’s “high wind and consistent wind speeds and shallow waters…” making it “…arguably the world’s most suitable area for large-scale wind farming.”  The project master plan (below) outlines the strategy.  “Rather than a fixed spatial plan, proposes a system of catalytic elements, that, although intendted for the present, are optimized for long-term sustainability.” (72)

From an ecological perspective the proposal looks to incorporate elements call ‘Reefs’ which are described as “simulated marine ecologies reinforcing the natural ecosystems (and eco-productivity) of the sea.” (72)

The local implementation is “…designed to be sited, programmed, and phased to meet the evolving demands and plans of North Sea regional development,” fulfilling the potential of the area as “…a major player in global energy production and trade through wind power alone.” Aside from the energy potential, there is the idea thinking of this in tandem with ecological restoration, as “Farms developed along ecological zones and around existing decomissioned platforms create marine remediation areas, new recreational parks, and recreational sea routes.” (72)

The project offers the example mentioned by Koolhaas as a “combination of politics and engineering” (71) that is essential to attain and ecological urbanism, attaining both productivity and remediation: 

images via OMA website
more from the official Zeekracht site

(from Ecological Urbanism, Mostafavi & Doherty, eds. 2010, p.72-77)

The Red Brick Chronicles – ‘Advancement verus Apocalypse’ by Rem Koolhaas

As I mentioned in the recent reckoning of the L+U blog, I wanted to focus on a number of recent texts that I’ve had the chance to delve into (by disconnecting myself from the nefarious teat of the RSS feeder)  Of significance is finally getting around to expanding on the initial readings of the book Ecological Urbanism (check out Intro by Mohsen Mostafavi, ‘Why Ecological Urbanism?  Why Now?, in two parts here and here) which although gigantic, dense and brick-like, is also yielding some engaging content.

Thus in lieu of another option for a book with over 100+ essays and snippets from various authors, I’m going to chronologically post on each one on a mostly, time permitting, daily basis – in some cases just a fragment or two worthy of discussion – sometimes in more length.  Hope you enjoy.  Here’s the first installment – follow by regular installments with the moniker RBC.

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Advancement versus Apocalypse
|  Rem Koolhaas

In this essay, which I gather is a short-form version of a presentation, Koolhaas provides a hybrid chronology of modern progress, focusing on  “…the coexistence of modernity and endlessly improvised, spontaneous conditions that don’t consume much energy or material. For me, a hybrid condition is the condition of the day.” (56)   Through searching history in the framework of ecological urbanism, he finds some precedents in the early indigenous knowledge of people, noting that over 2000 years ago, the basic tents of ecology were known, expressed in the vernacular, utilitarian architecture where people would “…build to be economical, logical, and beautiful.” (57)  This concept and focus on the site and siting of cities was echoed in the Ten Books of Vitruvius, through the Renaissance, and to the Enlightenment, which.”...had a phenomenal effect on reason, in terms of triggering the apparatus of modernity in a surprisingly short time.” (58)

Thus along with the science and technology of modernity can the apocalyptic baggage best expressed by Malthus in the late 18th Century, and continued in more modern times through authors like Paul Ehrlich in the 1970s (Population Bomb) and even into today’s discussions of peak oil and environmental degredation, referenced by James Lovelock (The Revenge of Gaia).

:: Amazon Burning – image via expertsure

Koolhaas mentions an earlier formative experience with the ecological in the late 1960s, mentioning instructors working with tropical architecture that instilled a “respect for the landscape” and the ability to “look at other cities to see how they work , and to look at seemingly nonarchitectural environments.” (60) and expressed in attempts at the time to combine design and science such as Ian McHarg’s ‘Design with Nature’ referred to as “…one of the most subtle manifestos on how culture and nature could coexist.” (62)

Koolhaas expands this with a quote from Frederick Steiner in‘The Ghost of Ian McHarg:

“Almost 40 years ago, Ian McHarg proposed a bold theory and a set of ecologically related planning methods in Design with Nature (1969). While the proatical measures he proposed have been incorporated into subsequent design and planning practices, the theoretical implications have not yet been fully realized. Present-date forms of the model include the amalgam ‘landscape urbanism,’ with its focus on infrastructure an\d urban ecology, a hybrid discipline arguably indebted to McHarg while distinct in its avoidance of the more strenuous effects of his project.” (62)

In addition to McHarg the text mentions contemporary Buckminster Fuller’s focus on the “…combination of nature and network…” expressed in this network diagram of global high voltage transmission networks (62) and also the work of the Club of Rome – Limits to Growth in 1972 (strangely enough a notable reason in Jonathan Franzen’s recent book ‘Freedom’).

:: High Voltage Transmission Network diagram – image via GENI

The environmental intelligence of the 1970s was soon quashed by the market economy, as Koolhaas mentions, “…had a devastating effect on the knowledge that had accumulated at this point.” (65)  The current situation of economics gain over ecological approaches has continued since the 1970s.

Shifting gears a bit, the current focus on ecological urbanism is the role of technology, specifically indicative of the engineering/technology will save us paradigm epitomized by Freeman Dyson – quoted in the NY Times: “…proposed that whatever inflammations that climate was experiencing might be a good thing because carbon dioxide helps plants of all kinds to grow. Then he added the caveat that if CO2 levels soared too high, they could be soothed by the mass cultivation of specially bred ‘carbon-eating trees’…” (66)

In addition to noting these radical technological fixes, Koolhaas also bemoans the current trend of boutique green-was expressed in the application of greenery to buildings, mentioning that, “Embarrassingly, we have been equating responsibility with literal greening.” (69), mentioning specifically the Ann Demeulemeester store in Seoul, the work of Ken Yeang and the recent Renzo Piano design for the California Academy of Sciences building as examples of this travesty of architecture.

:: Ann Demeulemeester Store in Seoul – image via Style Frizz

This confuses me, as while I am not as excited about the green application of vegetation, the inclusion of the specifically bioclimatic architecture of Yeang seems misplaced, as it seems an expression of ecological urbanism.  Instead, Koolhaas finds merit in building new eco-cities in the desert, mentioning Norman Foster’s Masdar zero-carbon city as “serious”, and a step forward from the boutique natural interventions of Yeang and Piano, mentioning:  “…we need to step out of this amalgamation of good intentions and branding in a political direction and a direction of engineering.” (70)

:: Masdar City – image via Menainfra

While a somewhat interesting exploration, it is somewhat circuitous and peppered with Koolhaas’ self-professed doubt in the overall project, mentioning in the intro “I did not assume that anyone in the academic world would ask a practicing architect in the twenty-first century, given the architecture that we collectively produce, to participate in a volume on ecological urbanism…” (56)  This perhaps colors the text somewhat away from individual buildings and more towards the massive, techno-centric solutions from Koolhaas/OMA – such as the large-scale wind energy project in the North Sea mentioned in the end of the essay.

It’s obvious therein lies a distancing from the individual ecological building in the context of these bigger, more significant infrastructural interventions – which marks a distinction, notably with the architecture of Koolhaas being rigorously programmatic, urban-engaged, but typically non-ecological.  Maybe the realization that one building here or there isn’t going to be the solution is valid and worthy of discussion?  Is ecological urbanism about large-scale ecocities or infrastructure, or the aggregation of interventions at a variety of scales – maybe even including buildings?

(from Ecological Urbanism, Mostafavi & Doherty, eds. 2010, p.56-71)

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