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Article

Nature-Based Urbanization: Scan Opportunities, Determine Directions and Create Inspiring Ecologies

by 1,2,3,*, 4 and 3
1
Cittaideale, Office for Adaptive Design and Planning, 6706 LC Wageningen, The Netherlands
2
Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University, Parramatta, NSW 2150, Australia
3
School of Natural and Built Environment, Queens University Belfast, Belfast BT9 5AG, Northern Ireland, UK
4
Urban Ecology and Ecocities Lab, Faculty of Architecture, Delft University of Technology, 2628 BL Delft, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Sarel Cilliers and Elizelle Juanee Cilliers
Land 2021, 10(6), 651; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10060651
Received: 10 May 2021 / Revised: 13 June 2021 / Accepted: 15 June 2021 / Published: 18 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reflecting on the Future of the Built Environment)
To base urbanization on nature, inspiring ecologies are necessary. The concept of nature-based solutions (NBS) could be helpful in achieving this goal. State of the art urban planning starts from the aim to realize a (part of) a city, not to improve natural quality or increase biodiversity. The aim of this article is to introduce a planning approach that puts the ecological landscape first, before embedding urban development. This ambition is explored using three NBS frameworks as the input for a series of design workshops, which conceived a regional plan for the Western Sydney Parklands in Australia. From these frameworks, elements were derived at three abstraction levels as the input for the design process: envisioning a long-term future (scanning the opportunities), evaluating the benefits and disadvantages, and identifying a common direction for the design (determining directions), and implementing concrete spatial cross-cutting solutions (creating inspiring ecologies), ultimately resulting in a regional landscape-based plan. The findings of this research demonstrate that, at every abstraction, a specific outcome is found: a mapped ecological landscape showing the options for urbanization, formulating a food-forest strategy as the commonly found direction for the design, and a regional plan that builds from the landscape ecologies adding layers of productive ecologies and urban synergies. By using NBS-frameworks, the potentials of putting the ecological landscape first in the planning process is illuminated, and urbanization can become resilient and nature-inclusive. Future research should emphasize the balance that should be established between the NBS-frameworks and the design approach, as an overly technocratic and all-encompassing framework prevents the freedom of thought that is needed to come to fruitful design propositions. View Full-Text
Keywords: food forestry; landscape first; nature-driven urbanism; nature-based solutions; research by design; Western Sydney food forestry; landscape first; nature-driven urbanism; nature-based solutions; research by design; Western Sydney
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MDPI and ACS Style

Roggema, R.; Tillie, N.; Keeffe, G. Nature-Based Urbanization: Scan Opportunities, Determine Directions and Create Inspiring Ecologies. Land 2021, 10, 651. https://doi.org/10.3390/land10060651

AMA Style

Roggema R, Tillie N, Keeffe G. Nature-Based Urbanization: Scan Opportunities, Determine Directions and Create Inspiring Ecologies. Land. 2021; 10(6):651. https://doi.org/10.3390/land10060651

Chicago/Turabian Style

Roggema, Rob, Nico Tillie, and Greg Keeffe. 2021. "Nature-Based Urbanization: Scan Opportunities, Determine Directions and Create Inspiring Ecologies" Land 10, no. 6: 651. https://doi.org/10.3390/land10060651

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