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Courses

Ecological factors in urban design (LA 201)

This design studio emphasizes effective integration of natural science in environmental design. It is an intensive course, required of all landscape architecture and environmental planning masters students. The course originated in the early 1970s as a class based on McHarg’s regional suitability analysis articulated in the landmark text Design with Nature. In the 1990s, Professor Louise Mozingo reshaped the course to focus on urbanized ecological systems and their restoration. The principal instructor is a landscape architect (Mozingo 1994-2001, Jennifer Brooke 2002- 2005), supported by a riparian ecologist (Joe McBride) and hydrologist (Matt Kondolf), who teach students how to conduct field surveys, analyze and interpret data, and who serve as consultants to the class as the planning and design projects develop.

Because stream restoration in urban areas integrates so many issues and requires an interdisciplinary approach, from 1995-2003 the course focused on restoration of an urban creek in the San Francisco Bay region. The class is organized in three distinct phases: inventory/analysis, planning, and design. Students first measure and record channel form, vegetation, wildlife, human use, and urban context. A large-scale master plan and small-scale site design phase follows. Teams of three or four students (usually consisting of students from different backgrounds) tackle issues of particular interest to them, at the scale of the entire study reach (8-20 km) and often upstream depending on the topic. Themes typically include environmental education, developing an integrated trail system, linking open space along the length of the stream, improving public access, restoring native vegetation, restoring habitat for specific species, and restoring hydrologic processes through stormwater management or modifying operation of upstream dams. Concurrently, students develop individual projects for specific sites that fit within the master plan, to make tangible the overall concepts. Projects from this course have been assembled into reports delivered to city councils and non-profit advocacy groups.

Restoration at UC

Photos

An ecological golf course reveals the path of Marsh Creek (Brentwood, CA). By Robin Stark, 2001.

An ecological golf course reveals the path of Marsh Creek (Brentwood, CA). By Robin Stark, 2001.

Master plan for Marsh Creek 2001

Master plan for Marsh Creek 2001

All students enrolled in Ecological Design participate in group field trips lead by professors as well as local practitioners , designers, and stakeholders.

All students enrolled in Ecological Design participate in group field trips lead by professors as well as local practitioners , designers, and stakeholders.

Last modified: 5/26/2011 8:25 AM by S. Haren

UCR Contact Information

Water Resources Collections and Archives
Tomás Rivera Library, 4th Floor
PO Box 5900
University of California
Riverside, CA 92517-5900

Tel: 951-827-3233    Fax: 951-827-4673    email Email

CSUSB Contact Information

Water Resources Institute, CSUSB
Boykin Witherspoon III, Institute Director
California State University, San Bernardino
PL-401 5500 University Parkway
San Bernardino CA 92407-2318

Tel: 909-537-3685    email Email

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