Ben Roberts

Bachelor of Landscape Architecture

Succession: A system based approach to designing for urban ecologies

The declaration of humans entering the anthropocene era should lead to a revised definition of ‘nature’. McHarg defines ‘nature’ as “process” (p. 7, 1969). Too extend this definition: ‘nature’ is the process of life adapting to the landscape, which humans now control (Marris 2011). Meaning ‘nature’ is never without human intervention. Humans are facing a global ecological crisis (Weller 2014) in which we need to start working within ‘nature’s’ urban systems and processes in order to mitigate our impacts on the environment. 

This project focuses on a revised restoration ecology method. Current ecological restoration projects contrive endemic native vegetation in static managed forms, with large carbon footprints. These practices express human’s anthropocentric perceptions of ‘nature’ and our desires to idealise and construct pure forms of it (Roberts 2016). This project proposes to design with ‘nature’ through working within its systems and processes in an urban context: The Central to Eveleigh Rail Corridor. In which the system based design responds to time’s fluxes. This ecological restoration proposal is entitled: Succession. 

By focusing on a new understanding of urban ecologies and ‘nature’ offered by our emerging understanding of the anthropocene era, the design outcome is a sublime landscape that responds to the Sydney bat population.