Ecological Urbanism

Terry, the Architecture Tourist, passes along a great article about the ‘ecological urbanism’ of architect Jeanne Gang:

Green Chicago Architect Demolishing Ideas of Frank Lloyd Wright

The piece defines ecological urbanism as a way of thinking about how to build cities amid dwindling natural resources — chief among them, land space. This approach is the opposite of 20th century development style (influence heavily by Wright) in which US metros like Atlanta built over natural ecosystems, seemingly as fast as possible, for the sake of suburban growth.

A quote:

“Urbanization is the huge issue of our time,” she says. “We can’t survive if we can’t solve the problems of population growth, loss of clean air and water and loss of biodiversity.”

Cities are key laboratories, and Gang says they must become denser and more nature-friendly.

I agree. We owe it to ourselves, our environment and future generations to build greener and more compact places, while preserving as much unbuilt space (a.k.a. “mother nature”) as possible.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. If we build more like this:

image

And less like this:

Sprawl

Then we get to keep more of this:

Georgia Farm

Photo of Byron Herbert Reece Farm in Union County, GA by Flickr userUGArdener | Image of McMansion sprawl in Cumming, GA from Bing Maps | Photo of Fairlie-Poplar by me.