Ecological Urbanism: The Nature of the City asks the questions that are important inside and outside the built environment professions: what are climate change, urbanisation and ecology doing to the theory and practice of urban design? How does Ecological Urbanism figure in this change? What is Ecological Urbanism? In answer, Ecological Urbanism: The Nature of the City is neither definitive – impossible when a subject is still in motion – nor encyclopaedic – equally impossible when so much has been written on almost every aspect of these essays. Instead, it seeks to rebalance the ecological narrative and its embryonic modes of practice with the narratives of urbanism and its older, deeply embedded modes of practice.
It examines the implications for cities and the designers of cities now we are required to again address their metabolic as well as social and formal dimensions, and it explores the extent to which environmental engineering and natural systems design can and should become drivers for the remaking of cities in the 21st century. Above all, it argues that sooner rather than later, urbanism needs to become environmentally literate, and environmental design needs to become culturally literate.
1. Ecological Urbanism
2. A Future Provenance
3. The Garden Essay
4. The Boundary
5. The Continuum
6. The Eco City: A Historical Taxonomy
Susannah Hagan is Professor of Architecture and Head of Research in the School of Architecture, Royal College of Art. Trained at Columbia University and the Architectural Association, her academic work addresses the cultural implications of ecological architecture and urban design. She is also Director of R_E_D (Research into Environment and Design), a multi-disciplinary environmental research consultancy.