Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 32

GOING WILDER

(See "Community, Care and Complexity in
Sustainable Landscapes", page 20.)
Today, more than two decades after
Nassauer's seminal work, landscape architects
are working to integrate more "wildness"
into orderly, comprehensible urban frames.
This resolve has been supported by research:
complexity in vegetation and groundcover
produces quantifiable benefits to biodiversity
and ecosystem health. However, while there
has been a shift in design thinking, rigid
perceptions of the public and key clients -
especially developers and governing bodies -
have proven more resistant to change.

2

OUR CONNECTION TO
NATURE MAY ATROPHY
AND PERHAPS EVEN
BE LOST UNLESS IT IS
NURTURED.

to optimize the ecosystem services that are
achievable and arguably essential for our
cities. Conversely, sites that better promote
biodiversity and natural capital often have
a messy aesthetic. As a result, they have
become synonymous with lack of care, a
stigma that is difficult to overcome.
As early as 1995, landscape architect Joan
Iverson Nassauer began to propose solutions.
Nassauer, now a professor at the University of
Michigan, argued that if we are to encourage
acceptance of less pristine spaces, "we
must design to frame ecological function
within a recognizable system of form." She
neatly summarized this concept as creating
"orderly frames for messy ecosystems."
32 LANDSCAPES PAYSAGES

THE BIOPHILIA HYPOTHESIS
The Biophilic City offers a framework for
addressing this challenge. This concept builds
on the tenets of biophilia, a term popularized
by Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson in his 1984
book by the same name. Wilson defines
biophilia as "the innately emotional affiliation
of human beings to other living organisms,"
and argues that there are benefits to reap
from upholding and strengthening these
connections. Working with the late Yale
social ecologist Stephen Kellert, he edited
'The Biophilic Hypothesis', a groundbreaking
collection of research and musings, published
in 1993.
Kellert's advocacy was tempered with
forewarning. He saw the human-nature
bond as a tenuous one, suggesting that our
engrained biophilic disposition is a "weak
genetic tendency whose full and functional
development depends on sufficient
experience, learning, and cultural support." In
short, our connection to nature may atrophy
and perhaps even be lost unless it is nurtured.
One of the solutions championed by Kellert
was biophilic design: incorporating nature into
our built environment.
GREEN THE IN-BETWEEN
Tim Beatley, a professor of urban and
environmental planning at the University of
Virginia who leads the Biophilic Cities Project,
shares this perspective and sense of urgency.
Beatley's work promotes opportunities for
reintegrating (and reinvigorating) nature
in our cities. In his words, "A biophilic city
is at its heart a biodiverse city, a city full of
nature, a place where in the normal course
of work and play and life residents feel,
see, and experience rich nature." Among

the smaller steps toward this ideal, he sees
potential to reimagine the "interstices of
the city": the in-between spaces such as
median or curbside strips, side yards, or
other forgotten nooks. The long-established
default has been to plant turfgrass and
maintain obsessive mowing regimes in these
areas. Beatley laments these conventions as
missed opportunities. Instead, he envisions
these as "places for the most creative urban
nature interventions."
MOW IS LESS
A 2015 study from Southeast England
demonstrates the relative ease of new
approaches. Within the small coastal
community of Saltdean, researchers explored
the potential benefits of reduced lawn
mowing in Saltdean Oval, a six-hectare
suburban park. The findings demonstrated
not only an increased abundance of
wildflowers and insects in unmowed areas,
but also indicated that public perceptions
of these spaces improved, yielding a
win-win scenario where human and wildlife
interests aligned.
But there is more to it than peace of mind.
Biophilic proponents cite the psychological
benefits of contact with nature, consistently
supported by a growing body of evidence.
Meanwhile, other researchers remind us to
think big, beyond the six-hectare plot. A
decade-old study from the American Museum
of Natural History illustrates the conservation
value of unmowed power line easements that
could be reframed as gardens or wildflower
meadows for native bees. How much
underutilized space are they talking about?
In the continental United States, power line
rights-of-way occupy a staggering two to
three million hectares, exceeding the total
area of Yellowstone National Park.

2 ARBUTUS CORRIDOR: BIOPHILIC GREENWAY IN
THE MAKING 3 HABITAT ISLAND: A BIODIVERSE,
HUMAN-MADE LANDSCAPE 4 MOLE HILL: FROM
ASPHALT ALLEY TO LIVING LANEWAY
PHOTOS 2 JACK TUPPER 3 PWL PARTNERSHIP
4 CITY OF VANCOUVER



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Landscapes - Summer 2017

TO BEGIN WITH | POUR COMMENCER
COLLABORATORS | COLLABORATEURS
PROLOGUE
ESSAY | ESSAI
Après le désordre vient le beau temps
A Fine Mess
Biophilic City
“I Am the Space Where I Am”
OPINION
Homo the Homogenizer? Do LAs Design Messy Terrain?
Waste-Less in Seattle: How Will This Look When It Gets Dirty?
Beaver the Disruptor Tolerating Disorder in the Heart of Vancouver
Messiness by Intention
CRITIQUE
@landtecanada Taking It With You
THE LAST WORD | LE MOT DE LA FIN
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - intro
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - cover1
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - cover2
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 3
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 4
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 5
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 6
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 7
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - TO BEGIN WITH | POUR COMMENCER
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 9
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - COLLABORATORS | COLLABORATEURS
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 11
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 12
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 13
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - PROLOGUE
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 15
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 16
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 17
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 18
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 19
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - ESSAY | ESSAI
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 21
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 22
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - Après le désordre vient le beau temps
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 24
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 25
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - A Fine Mess
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 27
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 28
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 29
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 30
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - Biophilic City
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 32
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 33
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - “I Am the Space Where I Am”
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 35
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 36
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 37
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 38
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 39
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - OPINION
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 41
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 42
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - Homo the Homogenizer? Do LAs Design Messy Terrain?
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 44
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 45
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 46
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - Waste-Less in Seattle: How Will This Look When It Gets Dirty?
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 48
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 49
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 50
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - Beaver the Disruptor Tolerating Disorder in the Heart of Vancouver
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 52
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 53
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - Messiness by Intention
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 55
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - CRITIQUE
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 57
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - @landtecanada Taking It With You
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 59
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 60
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 61
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 62
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 63
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 64
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 65
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 66
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 67
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 68
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 69
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 70
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 71
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 72
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 73
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - THE LAST WORD | LE MOT DE LA FIN
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - cover3
Landscapes - Summer 2017 - cover4
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