As issues of global warming and climate change continue to play a prominent role in planning and political discourse, more cities are looking to nature for its sustainable and restorative qualities. A design competition in southern France called Bordeaux 55,000 challenges five multidisciplinary teams of designers to come up with the most innovative idea of "how best to transform 55,000 hectares (136,000 acres) into natural areas," reports John Thackara.
The teams include specialists in the areas of architecture, landscape, geography and ecology, to name a few, and are focusing their attention on revitalizing the major areas of focus which include "the heart of the city; major adjacent agricultural and forest areas; enhancement of wetlands or flood plains; and various wastelands."
One of the major challenges faced with these sorts of design competitions, writes Thackara, is creating a design that is more than just a pretty idea, but can actually be translated into reality. What sets this competition apart from many others are requirements for the five multidisciplinary teams to integrate the "concept of resilience, and the design principles of permaculture, in developing their proposals."