Urban Nature and Human Design: Renewing the Great Tradition

Anne Whiston Spirn

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Spirn, A. W. (1). Urban Nature and Human Design: Renewing the Great Tradition. Journal of Planning Education and Research, 5(1), 39–51. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0739456X8500500106

The city is part of nature, a fact that has profound implications for how cities are designed, built, and managed For centuries, city designers have exploited nature to promote human purposes The roots of this tradition are as diverse as the many ways in which nature contributes to human health, safety, and welfare An overview of that tradition is outlined here, along with an assessment of existing knowledge and prospects for city design

Main finding
The author contends that an emphasis upon natural processes ( air, land, water, life, and ecosystems), rather than upon the individual features that arise from them, yields a framework for city design that is dynamic rather than static, that highlights the interrelation of issues, actions, and locations, and that facilitates the integration of work at local and regional scales. The case studies in Woodlands (Texas), Platte River Greenway in Denver, and Stuttgart (Germany) find that multiple benefits may be gained through an integrated approach to storm drainage, flood control, sewage treatment, water supply, energy conservation, air quality, and waste disposal.

Description of method used in the article
This article studied three case studies at different scales and in different contexts that emphasize natural processes: Woodland, Texas; Dencer, Colarado; and Stuttgart, Germany.

Theoretically interesting

Organising categories

Other or N/A
Urban Design
Physical types