ARC252 McHarg’s Strategy, incorporating knowledge from environmental scientists

ARC252 Close Readings in Landscape ArchitectureBhavika Sharma (1003417509)TA: Carlos  1C: Term Essay Urbantransformation, has been rapidly increasing at a global scale as witnessed inthe past century. Crossing the 50th percentile,1the global population is moving towards inhabiting purely urban spaces.  Amid a post-industrial world, it is crucialthe ecological knowledge be applied to building systems to solve urbanenvironmental needs and concerns.

Ian McHarg, in his seminal text Design with Nature, suggests thatlandscape should be the overarching principle that governs urban space2. Theincorporation of green infrastructure such as native vegetation, natural materials,and fabricated soils, into urban spaces is crucial in improving overall humanecology Fredrick Law Olmstead, a figurehead inlandscape architecture, suggested a design for New York City’s Central parkwith human ecology in mind. Using the Victorian English country park as anoutline, he created a green space that negated the hustle and bustle of thepopulous city. The need for such a park was obvious to Olmstead, providing a”refreshment to both mind and nerves.3″Following such a model is Teardrop Park, which successfully acts as both arefuge and restorative addition to New York City. Located in the lowerManhattan region the park was designed by Michael Van Valkenberg.

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 Valkenburgand his team of associates employed McHarg’s Strategy, incorporating knowledgefrom environmental scientists into the plan. Decades long research wascompleted on soil types and non-toxic maintenance for vegetation was used as abasis for the soil selection.4The parks design included the manufacturing of an artificial soil, one createdwithout herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides. Special attention was given tothe soils’ ability to retain water and nutrients, while bearing the live loadof the people on it. The site also boats over 17,000 different species ofplants, all of which being native flora and approximately 4,00 trees.5 Thenative flora and fauna are found in Marsh, as labelled in the diagram. Composedof moisture retaining fabricated soil the area mimics that of a real marsh. A narrowpassage, scaled to child size, connects the marsh to other location on site.

Thevegetation and soil’s similarity to natural landscape encourages open-endedplay for children and unlimited discovery.6              Teardroppark also successfully utilizes natural materials in its construction. The rubberizedplay surface made for children, is composed entirely out of recycled tireswhile the concrete in the toddler park is made from a fly ash additive.7 Thefabricated soil that acts as a base for majority of the park is created from leafcompost and biosolids, which is essentially recycled municipal waste. A watercircuit can be found throughout the park, allowing for children to manuallyturn on and off the water sprinklers. Throughout the planning process it wasestablished that only materials that have no harmful by-product or leave anhazardous residue would be used during construction.

 The unique play surfaces and installationsoffer a more natural alternative to the traditional playground or park.8               Teardroppark situated within a dense metropolis, successfully takes into considerationhuman interaction and in response employs lush vegetation, natural materials,and fabricated soils in order to evoke a natural setting. Overfifty years ago, Ian McHarg’s proposition to consider an urban planning systemrooted in ecology is still valid9. As McHarg prescribed, Urban design should be anendeavour in human ecology. Green space in cities promote physical and mentalhealth, playing a key role in overall environmental satisfaction.       Bibliography Blaustein.

Richard.”Urban Biodiversity Gains New Converts: Cities around the World AreConserving Species and Restoring Habitat.” BioScience 63,no.

2 (2013): 72-77Catherine McAllister, John Lewis, and Stephen Murphy. “The GreenGrass Grew All Around: Rethinking Urban Natural Spaces with Children inMind.” Children, Youth and Environments 22, no. 2 (2012)Tanner, Colby J,Frederick R Adler, Nancy B Grimm, Peter M Goffman, Simon A Levin, JasonMunshi-South, Diane E Pataki, and William G Wilson. “Urban Ecology:Advancing Science and Society.” Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment12, no. 10 (2014)Dunnett,Nigel.

and Wooley, Helen. “Nature, Role and Value of Green Space in Townsand Cities: An Overview.” Built Environment (1978-) 29,no.

2 (2003) Loeffler,Jane Canter. “Open Space, People, and Urban Ecology.” Ekistics 35,no. 208 (1973) Steiner.Fredrick. The Ghost of Ian McHarg. Aftershocks: Generation(s) 2008, pp.

147-151 Fisher, Colin. Nature in the City: UrbanEnvironmental History and Central Park. OAH Magazine of History, Vol. 25, No.

4, Environmental History Revisited (October 2011), pp. 27-31 mental HistoryRevisited (October 2011), pp. 27-311 Blaustein.

Richard. “Urban Biodiversity Gains New Converts: Cities around the WorldAre Conserving Species and Restoring Habitat.” BioScience 63,no. 2 (2013): 72-77 2 Steiner.

Fredrick. The Ghost of Ian McHarg. Aftershocks: Generation(s) 2008, pp. 147-151 3 Fisher,Colin. Nature in the City: Urban Environmental History and Central Park.

OAHMagazine of History, Vol. 25, No. 4, Environmental History Revisited (October2011), pp. 27-31 4 Tanner,Colby J, Frederick R Adler, Nancy B Grimm, Peter M Goffman, Simon A Levin, JasonMunshi-South, Diane E Pataki, and William G Wilson. “Urban Ecology:Advancing Science and Society.” Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment12, no. 10 (2014) 5 Blaustein.

Richard. “Urban Biodiversity Gains New Converts: Cities around the WorldAre Conserving Species and Restoring Habitat.” BioScience 63, no. 2(2013): 72-776 CatherineMcAllister, John Lewis, and Stephen Murphy.

“The Green Grass Grew AllAround: Rethinking Urban Natural Spaces with Children in Mind.” Children,Youth and Environments 22, no. 2 (2012)7 Ibid.8 CatherineMcAllister, John Lewis, and Stephen Murphy. “The Green Grass Grew AllAround: Rethinking Urban Natural Spaces with Children in Mind.” Children,Youth and Environments 22, no. 2 (2012) 9 Steiner.

Fredrick. The Ghost of Ian McHarg. Aftershocks: Generation(s) 2008, pp. 147-151 

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