Ontario College of Art & Design

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Urban Landscape Ecology
0.50 Credit(s)
Human settlement patterns around the globe are shifting profoundly. The population of cities is growing as that of rural areas declines. The impact of this shift in human population on the patterns and processes of cities and adjacent areas is explored through this course in Urban Ecology. The focus of the course is the relationship between green design, economics and social justice in the urban environment.
Cities are living labs for the study of biophysical, socio-economic and environmental systems and their interaction. Streets, parks and built form provide a potent interface for the emerging dialogue
between science and design at a human scale. Marshall McLuhan’s dictate, “the medium is the message” resonates in the study of human settlement patterns and processes as significantly as in
the world of communication theory. What this means to design in and of cities is that the form literally is the content.
We will explore how urban eco-systems function economically, socially, ecologically. These systems are so completely fused to the form of a community, that it is only through meaningful expression in design that we can define them. We will investigate the role of urban forests and vegetation communities, biodiversity, storm water and solar energy in urban ecology through the study of landscape and green infrastructure. Course readings will be drawn from a variety of sources, including: F.L Olmstead, H.D.Thoreau, William H. Whyte, Ian McHarg, T.H. Dixon
Course was last updated June 26, 2008 - 1:14 PM