Faculty: Mehrnaz Amiraslani

TA: Soha Gandhi

Public Space Design, the Ecological Approach

Rapid peripheral urban growth, in the context of concurrent climate change, has decreased the resilience of our cities and exposed them to adverse impacts such as urban floods and increased temperatures. Public spaces, if designed in an ecological manner, are potent urban places that can play a key role in mitigating these challenges. In this studio, we design one such public space by employing ecological drivers to inform design decisions. Here, people and their activities are considered as a part of the urban ecosystem, not apart from it.

Urban designers also operate within existing planning frameworks and larger city networks and need to consider various stakes and diverse, and at times, conflicting dynamics. The studio embeds ecological intention within an existing TP scheme in a peripheral lake as our site. To achieve this, students follow a process of studying and appraising the site ecologically and spatially, bringing them to ecological design in three interdependent scales of masterplan, zone design, and micro space design.

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Studio Unit

Identifying ecological and spatial attributes of public spaces and their interdependencies

Analyzing contextual, social, and ecological layers of site

Macro Responses: Designing masterplan through its programmatic, ecological, regulatory, and social layers

Meso Designs: Implementing masterplan decisions through design strategies

Micro Resolutions: Investigating implementation through detailing