What are the key principles of an ecological urbanism? And what role might design and planning play in the process?. Ecological Urbanism, now in an updated edition with over forty new projects, considers Edited by Mohsen Mostafavi, Gareth Doherty, co-published by Harvard. The premise of Ecological Urbanism is that an ecological approach is urgently Edited by Mohsen Mostafavi, Gareth Doherty, co-published by.

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Ecological Urbanism – Edited by Mohsen Mostafavi with Gareth Doherty and Published by Lars Müller

Verso, A while ago, a single issue of The Guardian newspaper in the United Kingdom by chance carried three articles that addressed fundamental questions of sustainability. Instead of implementing laws to control waste production and energy consumption, why not just dump a huge pile of garbage in the middle of the city centre to remind people of their excessive exploitation of natural resources and destruction of the nature?

This is the territory of ecological urbanism. We still cling to the inheritance of an Enlightenment philosophy that, for example, regarded cemeteries in the midst of the city as unhealthy and unhygienic, something be banished to the outskirts at the first possible opportunity. The Architecture of Four Ecologies discovers the logic and the spectacle of this horizontally expanding metropolis.

The aim of the book Ecological Urbanism is to provide that framework—a framework that through the conjoining of ecology and urbanism can provide the knowledge, methods, and clues of what the urban can be in the years to come.

Our approach to the city has become more anesthetized, lacking the sense of wonder and achievement that characterized many urban projects in the past. This condition is often rendered more explicit through the impacts of urban migration.


The urban, as the site of complex relations economic, political, social, and culturalrequires an equally complex range of perspectives and responses that can address both current conditions and future possibilities. This is of course still the case today, but we have become more disconnected from the pleasures of water in our cities, oblivious to either its sources ecologival its distribution.

Three Narratives There is ample evidence all around us of the scope of the challenge we face. While recognizing the significance of agonistic pluralism, the urban will also need to go beyond the mostaffavi political by acknowledging the ethical and the just. Many progressive cities already have active sustainability policies and procedures for the greening of the urban environment. Similarly, the intention behind engaging new subjectivities and collectives through the frameworks of ecological urbanism is to engender greater opportunities for social and spatial democracy.

The network of relations among multiple localities at different scales provides a window onto the ways in which we could reconsider the implications of developments such as sprawl. Harvard University Graduate School of Design, And yet it is relatively easy to imagine a city that is more careful in its use of resources than is currently the norm, more energy efficient in its daily operations—like a hybrid car.

Harvard Design Magazine Issue No. Imagination is an important element for this. More specifically, the blurring of boundaries—real and virtual, as well as urban and rural—implies a greater connection and complementarity between the various parts of a given territory. Notify me of followup comments via e-mail.

Ecological Urbanism

In other words, we need to view the fragility of the planet and its resources as an opportunity for speculative design innovations rather than as a form of technical legitimation for promoting conventional solutions. However, his latter quote of Los Angeles: This is not to imply that ecological urbanism is a totally new and singular mode of design practice. The adaptive urbanism suggested by Andrea Branzi points out that the design should be reversibly evolving and provisory, it should be able to respond to changing needs of society.


Though there are a few criticisms about ecological urbanism, like the high cost of executing, ambiguity in its definitions etc… With the above framewor, hopefully, we would be able to engender greater opportunities for social and spatial democracy, politically and ethically and aesthetically, through unpredictable methods and cooperation among different fields, and eventually move towards a more pleasurable future.

This flexibility is somehow interrelated with the last quality Mohsen covered — openness for disagreement. Given the undulating topography of the city, the promenade affords an ever-changing sectional relationship to its surroundings.

Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. These three stories are all facets of the multiple realities that our individual and group actions shape in the context of the contemporary urban domain. Mohsen Mostafavi, Gareth Doherty eds. What means do we have as designers to address this challenging reality? Sternberg Press and Interros Publishing,95— Like Bateson, Guattari places emphasis on the role that humans play in relation to ecological practices.

In these examples, the site acts as a mnemonic device for the making of the new.