Landscapes - Summer 2017 - 40

URBAN ECO-RESTORATION

| MARY ANNE YOUNG

HABITATS
ARE
MESSY:

DESIGNS TO PLEASE
THE NAYSAYERS

1

FR_ RESUMÉ
LES HABITATS SONT CHAOTIQUES : DES
SOLUTIONS POUR PLAIRE AUX CRITIQUES
Les projets de restauration écologique se
multiplient dans nos villes. Les citadins et
fonctionnaires municipaux qui sont devenus
plus conscients de l'importance de la santé
des écosystèmes sont généralement
ouverts à de tels projets, du moins en
théorie. Pourtant, ces projets soulèvent
des objections prévisibles : pourquoi ces
sites naturalisés doivent-ils paraître si
« anarchiques »? Mary Anne Young examine
les meilleures réponses.

3

40 LANDSCAPES PAYSAGES

EN_
ECOLOGICAL RESTORATION projects are
increasingly coming to our cities. Urbanites
and municipal staff who have become
more aware of the importance of healthy
1
ecosystems generally welcome such projects
- at least in theory. Yet with these projects
come predictable objections: why must these
naturalized sites be so unkempt?
WHY SO MESSY?
Ecological Restoration looks to recreate
natural ecosystems such as forests, wetlands
and prairies in areas that have been disturbed
by human change. These landscapes are
designed to improve ecological functions,
increase biological diversity and enhance the
land's suitability to many forms of wildlife.
Most ecological restoration projects have an
inherently messy design aesthetic: they do
not resemble a conventional city park. The
landscapes are a complex mosaic of trees,

2

shrubs and groundcovers; they incorporate
tangles of coarse woody debris; and the
plant species they feature are those of the
wildlands, not the city garden. Yet such
places are increasingly necessary in our cities,
because ecological restoration requires that
connectivity between habitats be improved,
fragmentation reduced.
For ecological restoration designers, this
presents an ongoing challenge: how to create
an ecologically functional landscape that is
aesthetically acceptable to the public and
the municipality, can be understood by city
staff who maintain it, and is both safe and
budget-friendly. We have learned, first and
foremost, to consider the three most common
objections as the design process begins.
1. "IT'S NOT PRETTY ENOUGH!"
As restoration projects are designed with
ecological function first, aesthetics are
low on the list of design priorities. Also, as
small-sized planting stock is better able to
establish and succeed given the difficult
conditions and limited maintenance of these
projects, they take time to mature into plant
communities which may be more familiar to
users. Because designers are familiar with
this almost inevitable objection, many have
adopted well-known solutions, identified
by Joan Nassauer more than two decades
ago in her article, "Messy Ecosystems,
Orderly Frames" (Landscape Jrnl. 1995).
(See Joan Nassauer's article in this issue,
p 20.) Nassauer's "cues to care" include, for
example, neat edging: ecologically restored
areas with manicured edges suggest that
the land is cared for.



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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