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Article

Characterizing Regenerative Aspects of Living Root Bridges

1
Professorship for Green Technologies in Landscape Architecture, Faculty of Architecture, Technical University of Munich, Arcisstraße 21, 80333 München, Germany
2
Faculty of Arts and Architecture, Shiraz University, Moaliabad, Shiraz 7188637911, Iran
3
Studio Sanjeev Shankar, House No. 4/4, Second Floor, Sweet Abode, Wheelers Road Extension Cross, Cooke Town, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560084, India
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(8), 3267; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083267
Received: 7 February 2020 / Revised: 6 April 2020 / Accepted: 10 April 2020 / Published: 17 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Socio-Ecological Interactions and Sustainable Development)
Living root bridges (LRBs) are functional load-bearing structures grown from Ficus elastica by rural Khasi and Jaintia communities in Meghalaya (India). Formed without contemporary engineering design tools, they are a unique example of vernacular living architecture. The main objective of this study is to investigate to what extent LRBs can be seen as an example of regenerative design. The term "regenerative" describes processes that renew the resources necessary for their function. Whole systems thinking underpins regenerative design, in which the integration of human and non-human systems improves resilience. We adapted the living environments in natural, social, and economic systems (LENSES) framework (living environments in natural, social, and economic systems) to reflect the holistic, integrated systems present in LRBs. The regenerative / sustainable / degenerative scale provided by LENSES Rubrics is applied to 27 focal points in nine flow groups. Twenty-two of these points come from LENSES directly, while five were created by the authors, as advised by the LENSES framework. Our results show 10 focal points in which LRBs are unambiguously regenerative. One focal point is unambiguously sustainable, while 16 are ambiguous, showing regenerative, sustainable, and degenerative aspects. User perspective determines how some focal points are evaluated. The contrast between a local, indigenous perspective and a global, tourism-focused perspective is demonstrated by the results. View Full-Text
Keywords: regenerative development; regenerative design; living root bridges; LENSES; vernacular architecture; living architecture regenerative development; regenerative design; living root bridges; LENSES; vernacular architecture; living architecture
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MDPI and ACS Style

Middleton, W.; Habibi, A.; Shankar, S.; Ludwig, F. Characterizing Regenerative Aspects of Living Root Bridges. Sustainability 2020, 12, 3267. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083267

AMA Style

Middleton W, Habibi A, Shankar S, Ludwig F. Characterizing Regenerative Aspects of Living Root Bridges. Sustainability. 2020; 12(8):3267. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083267

Chicago/Turabian Style

Middleton, Wilfrid, Amin Habibi, Sanjeev Shankar, and Ferdinand Ludwig. 2020. "Characterizing Regenerative Aspects of Living Root Bridges" Sustainability 12, no. 8: 3267. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083267

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