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The Emerging Field of Urban Ecology and Landscape Architecture

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Earlier this spring studio faculty member Brad Goetz and the students of the Urban Landscape Program attended the Yale Urban Ecosystem Services Symposium held at the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.  Urban Ecology and Landscape Architecture represent an emerging partnership at the nexus of design, research and practice to advance the livability and resilience of cities.

An ecosystem service is a beneficial landscape operation such as the production of food, fresh water, climate regulation, flood mitigation, and recreational and aesthetic use.  Ecosystem services constitute a new metric students learn to evaluate and quantify the economy of landscape.  This is a significant development when assigning value to ecological ‘products’ society takes for granted.  Students learn to asses urban overuse of natural systems, and leverage the by-products of production and wastes of consumption: such as pollutants (heat, heavy metals, hydrocarbons, pesticides, nitrogen and phosphorous, noise, and CO2) as rich opportunities for landscape infrastructures and new urban frameworks.