Alterra, is a research institute from the Netherlands. Concern for the green living, the association uses an experimental method based on learning by doing. In this study, it tackles with a multidisciplinary approach about urban landscape ecology. bringing together scientific ecological research through data collection with spatial design practice and planning. From the research, multiuse outcomes focus from an ecology point of view should come up. The three main points of the research are: the importance of urban ecosystems, contribution of urban landscapes in conservation of biodiversity, human perceptions of biodiversity.
But first, what does exactly urban landscape ecology mean? It is a new integrated approach to considering urban ecology. It looks for the integration of urban ecology, landscape ecology, spatial planning and architecture disciplines. A viable and realistic approach of ecology to the city is searched. Based on three key points: people -planet - profit, urband landscape ecology focuses are: • not to be influenced by current views on urban nature • unexpected combinations of functions often create opportunities for nature • to think of opportunities from an ecological perspective rather than from existing zoning - function - current use.
Approach Alterra is a research institute associated with a universtiy in the Netherlands. It is concerned with researching a range of enviromental issues through technical analysis. In this publication they focus in urban landscape ecology, a newly developing field of research. Their way of research is very pragmatic; based in learning by doing, a set of four carried out projects are exposed and the outputs analysed, still waiting for long-term results.
The program is based in the realization of four experimental projects based on learning by doing.
•Project 1: is about how peri-urban areas can strengthen animal populations wihin cities. Mapping and simulations to study wildlife population movements within urban areas are used. The idea that a designed peri-urban development could provide opportunities for colonisation that could then spread through the inner urban areas. As an example, butterflies following a particular flower into people´s backyards.
•Project 2: deals with the combination of industustrial activities and wildlife conservation. For instance, industry is rarely linked to nature but actually, a wide range of animal life is there hidden. The aim would be learning from the exsiting condition of spontaneous nature in industrial estates for being able of creating an even better environment for future natural species.The study uses again mapping and modelling software simulators to study diferent parameters such the value of wasteland and pipeline verges.
•Project 3: it explores multifuncional wildlife overpasses: combining ecology, infrastructure and living - expanding upon the ´wildlife overpass´into a multi-functional wildlife overpass - what ecological preconditions are required - applicability: wider use/ feasibiliy/ cost effective - urban version
•Project 4: new housing developments strengthening existing Studying existing ways that wildlife colonise and adapt to urban fabric and looking ways to repeat or expand those existing adaptive measures.
How Scientific Data Collection + Mapping - scientific ecological research of wildlife populations + movement through mapping + data collection, simulations LARCH and SMALLSTEPS - looking at existing occurances of how species have adapted to urban landscapes - particularly for critical species: how you might design using that existing method of colonisation
Scales - mappings of small wildlife species: populations + movement - looking at these mappings in a broader urban context - how peri-urban areas are connected through green spaces in the inner city
Challenges and Opportunities - how other species might adapt to future landscapes - understanding human perceptions of ecology and finding opportunities for expansion and linkeages betweenneeds of wildlife and people
Role of architecture - spatial relationships are really important to biodiversity - role of architects, planners, landscape architects are useful in this study of urban landscape ecology essential in bringing the results of this study into urban areas - ecology will benfit from urban development - understanding of human perception of urban ecology + biodiversity - creating linkeages across urban fabric