Celebrating the Botanical Diversity of Cities

The word “ecology” has been co-opted so widely that it has lost real meaning, yet ecological thinking remains a powerful lens for understanding complex adaptive systems. A new book aims for a more rigorous engagement of ecology and design.

April 30, 2014, 8:00 AM PDT

By Places Journal


Places Journal is featuring two chapters from Projective Ecologies, edited by Chris Reed and Nina-Marie Lister and co-published by Actar and the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

In "The Flora of the Future," botanist Peter Del Tredici argues that the native plants movement has got it all wrong: “Landscape architects — and anyone else who works directly with vegetation — need to acknowledge that a wide variety of novel or emergent ecosystems are developing before our eyes.” In an engaging photo survey of ecological niches in the city, Del Tredici makes the case for spontaneous urban plants as flora of the future.

In "Ecology and Design: Parallel Genealogies," the book's editors trace the origins and evolution of the over-extended term "ecology" and explain how contemporary ecological models of “open-endedness, flexibility, resilience and adaptation” can inform design thinking.

Thursday, April 17, 2014 in Places Journal

Brooklyn Redevelopment

Study: Market-Rate Development Filters Into Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing

New research sheds new light on one of the most hotly debated questions in planning and development.

September 15, 2021 - Full Stack Economics

Los Angeles, California

The End of Single-Family Zoning in California

Despite a few high-profile failures, the California State Legislature has approved a steady drumbeat of pro-development reforms that loosen zoning restrictions. The state raised the stakes on its zoning reforms this week.

September 19, 2021 - Office of Governor Gavin Newsom

The city of Siena in Italy, located on a hillside and bathed in Tuscan sunlight.

Building on Jacobs: The City Emergent; Beyond Streets and Buildings

A science of cities reveals the way cities grow, and why.

September 20, 2021 - Fanis Grammenos

New Updates on The Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

New Case Study Posted on HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.