We are interested in the capacity of landscape architecture to regenerate ecosystem health, not simply sustain. There have been too many alterations to natural systems and ecological processes to which John Tillman Lyle (1994) wrote in his brilliant treatise – Regenerative Design for Sustainable Development – that too much of the planet’s natural capital has been, and continues to be lost, to be content with ‘sustaining’. “In order to be sustainable the supply system for energy and materials must be continually self-renewing, or regenerative in their operation. That is, sustainability requires ongoing regeneration”.
Lyle describes several strategies for regenerative design including:
-Letting Nature do the work
-Considering Nature as both model and context
-Aggregating not isolating
-Matching technology to need
-Providing multiple pathways
-Shaping form to guide flow
-Shaping form to manifest process
Kronsberg raingarden, Hanover, Germany
In addition the Society of Building Science Educators (SBSE) modified Malcolm Wells original Wilderness-Based Check-list for Design and Construction into a useful checklist that provides a framework we assess our design ideas with.
We believe that design should first and foremost protect and restore biological diversity and regional ecosystem function. And in that protecting and restoring biological diversity, through design interventions, we are investing in our own well-being.