As I mention in a previous post, there is much appeal to utilizing ecological models and frameworks to understand phenomenon that one might not immediately associate with the field of biological ecology. In this article I outline how the framework of infrastructural ecology can help the analysis and conceptual design for site sustainability and resilience.
It’s undoubtedly a buzzword of sustainable development, but what does it really refer to? I’ve identified two main “schools” of green infrastructure thought: the city-centric school and the natural resource-centric school. These two schools focus on different, yet complementary aspects of sustainable development. In the former, green infrastructure refers to the action of “greening” existing infrastructure that serves cities. The emphasis is on city resource, material, energy, and even economic flows. In the latter school, green infrastructure refers to the the action of “infrastructuring” greenness, or the systematization and rationalization of natural and working open space planning. Here, the emphasis is on acknowledgment and protection of ecological services and natural resources that support humans from outside urban areas.