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Sustainability What can be learnt from for design many questions that are being As the need to incorporate nature into ecosystems and how can this be asked can be answered, such as “how can cities and towns increases, and as an applied to cities? future cities become greener?” and “how ecosystems approach is better understood Ecosystems are complex systems, much like can urban living space be reconnected to and encouraged, knowledge and skills will cites. It is the ability of the ecosystems to nature?” Using the concepts of nature and improve. Ecological engineering has already change, adapt and grow according to forcing ecosystems through the knowledge of started but to reach the targets of no net factors and internal changes that is most ecologists and working with engineering loss of biodiversity by 2020 it is important important. The principle of creating flexible professionals these questions can to further encourage and develop networks with the potential to adapt to be answered. the principles at different scales. Also, new situations is an approach that is needed encouraging ecologists and engineers to for urban environments. This will enable The early design and concept stage is crucial work together to better understand each them to minimise the impact of a future in ensuring that the context of the site is other’s expertise to develop strategies can climate of extremes in hot and cold periods understood. This stage provides the best help achieve greater integration of the two that can cause overheating, flooding, opportunity to design water in using the professions and deliver multiple benefits to drought and subsistence. natural contours and enhance biodiversity the development and society. by developing a network of sites. Also, it is If the environment is considered and the important to connect the site to the local CIRIA is founded on engineering good concepts of ecological engineering are used, context ensuring that habitats and species practice and in more recent years has then this will help achieve an ecosystem are created that are native to the region developed its work in environmental services approach. Ecosystem services are and adaptive to future climate, for example, engineering. Incorporating the defined as services provided by the natural drought resistant plants. environment into design is not a new environment that benefit people (Defra, concept but putting the environment 2007). This approach considers the natural Engineering is important in achieving more at the heart of the design often environment at every level of decision sustainable development as it provides the is. CIRIA has developed a suite of making and puts nature at the heart of technological solutions that are needed guidance based on engineering good economic welfare. It creates a balance that now and in the future for a more adaptive practice where the environment is contributes to the generation of income living environment. fundamental including The SuDS Manual and well-being while preventing damage (C697) Delivering biodiversity benefits that inflicts costs on society. Conclusion through green infrastructure (C711) Ecological engineering brings the concepts and The benefits of large species trees What is the potential for of engineering and the environment in urban landscapes: a costing, design ecological engineering? together to incorporate ecological and management guide (C712). SuDs Previously attempts to control nature have principles into the design of developments. has become an increasingly important been done by engineering solutions to suit The principle encourages the design of issue in environmental engineering and human needs. However, often this has had places that are more resilient to future the recent launch of www.susdrain. disastrous consequences including large changes while also reducing the impact com provides important information, scale floods, and an increase in invasive on the environment. As the pressures factsheets, case studies and a forum species and air and water pollution. By on resources increase and the need to for the industry to further inform the looking to nature to provide inspiration understand the environment develops, industry. Further to this CIRIA’s scoping this approach enables more holistic study on Water Sensitive Urban designs to be created that use a systems- Design (WSUD) incorporates the based approach. principles of ecological engineering as it puts water at the heart of the urban design process (RP976). 18


evolutionwinter2012
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