Ecological Urbanism: Scale Flow and Design
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Sustainable and ecological discourses of urban design and planning are overwhelming in recent literatures, however, focusing mostly on normative criteria or policy oriented tools. Operational approaches to connecting ecological analysis and urban design are largely unexplored. The book argues for the third ecology proposition, a perspective that cities as a system contains ecological flows. Its approach to urban design articulates urban form and ecological flows to create symbiotic relationship of urban, industrial and natural systems. The distinction between traditional urban design and ecological systems design has been made. Traditional designs tend to be deterministic in form making, while ecosystem approaches to urban design deal with ecological processes that are stochastic. Traditional urban design treats “ecology in cities” as ways of preserving or adding ecological elements such as green spaces to urban environment. Ecological systems design advocates “ecology by design”, an inherently ecology-structured urban system, and sees ecology as a driving force of urban transformation to reconstruct ecosystems compatibility by linking the urban forms and flows of material, energy, water and organism across the system boundaries. The design methodology of ecological urbanism provides a set of organizational principles of ecological urban spaces that are operated based on the measures of ecological performances of urban geometric form, perceptual quality and material surface. They are situated in cross-scale contexts of hierarchical complex systems of cities, and should be considered in temporal dimension, system threshold and stochastic process to manage urban change and make sustainable progress.