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Jericho Hill Village: exploring the spatial design implications of applying ecologically based design… Connery, Kevin James 1994

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JERICHO HILL VILLAGE EXPLORING THE SPATIAL DESIGNIMPLICATIONS OF APPLYING ECOLOGICALLY BASED DESIGNPARAMETERS TO A SUBURBAN COMMUNITY IN THE GREATERVANCOUVER REGIONbyKEVIN JAMES CONNERYBLA, The University Of Oregon, 1987A THESIS SUBMITFED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFMASTER OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTUREinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIESDEPARTMENT OF PLANT SCIENCE(LANDSCAPE ARCHiTECTURE PROGRAMME)We accept this thesis as conformingto the required standardTHE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIAAPRIL, 1994© Kevin James Connery, 1994In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanceddegree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make itfreely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensivecopying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of mydepartment or by his or her representatives, It is understood that copying orpublication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my writtenpermission.(Signature_________________________________OeØ.Department of_________________________The University of British ColumbiaVancouver, CanadaDatecjU3DE-6 (2188)ABSTRACTJERICHO HILL VILLAGE -EXPLORING THE SPATIAL DESIGN IMPLICATIONS OF APPLYINGECOLOGICALLY BASED DESIGN PARAMETERS TO ASUBURBAN COMMUNITY IN THE GREATER VANCOUVER REGIONKevin J ConneryJUNE 1994This thesis begins with an examination of the social and ecological problems related tocontemporary suburban development in North America and recently emerging factors that indicatean alternative approach is not only necessary but already in process. It explores the field of ecologyto better understand how basic ecosystem function might be used to help organize this alternative.With the understanding gained from ecology and the information gleaned from the precedent ofpilot projects and other innovative ecologically based design explorations, a series of ecologicaldesign parameters are developed to assist in the planning and design of a more sustainablesuburban community. The ecological design parameters are then applied to an existing suburbancommunity in the Township of Langley, subject to urban growth pressures to understand thespatial implications and opportunities of an ecologically based design approach.In the process of exploring different design options it becomes clear that ecological features can beembodied in the spatial form of the community, and that their contribution makes the communitymore legible to its residents and develops a stronger “sense of place” than the conventional suburb.A comparative analysis between the proposed Jericho Hill Village and Walnut Grove, a nearbyconventional suburban community also in Langley is provided to illustrate the fundamentaldifferences between the two design approaches. A discussion of the importance of energy andwater to the community’s design is provided. The thesis concludes by noting some of theimpediments posed by the current development process and some of the opportunities that mightchange the status quo.IITABLE OF CONTENTSAbstract 11Table of Contents iiiList of Tables vList of Figures viAcknowledgements viiINTRODUCTION 1Chapter One The Problems With Suburbia 91.1 Suburbia - Historical Background 101.2 The Obsolescence of Suburbia 161.3 Seeds of Change 201.4 A New Way of Looking 231.5 Conclusions 28Chapter Two The Urban System 302.1 Introduction 312.2 The Heterotrophic City 322.3 Ecologically Based Urban Systems 332.4 Conclusions 43Chapter Three Ecological Design Parameters 443.1 Introduction 453.2 The Antecedents of Ecological Design 473.3 Energy 503.4 Water 633.5 Waste 723.6 Vegetation 813.7 Housing 883.8 Spatial Order 94Chapter Four Context 1044.1 Regional Context 1054.2 Local Context - The Township Of Langley 1074.3 The Study Area - Description and Analysis 1134.4 Summary Of Jericho Hill Study Site 124111Chapter Five Concept Plan 1265.1 Goals 1275.2 Program 1275.3 Organizing Structure 1305.4 Design Elements 1345.5 Conclusion 147Chapter Six Comparisons 1496.1 Introduction 1506.2 Walnut Grove - Background 1506.3 Jericho Hill vs. Walnut Grove 1546.4 Conclusions 160Chapter Seven Conclusions 1617.1 Introduction 1627.2 Prime Determinants 1637.3 The Issue of Place 1657.4 Implementation 1687.5 Future Work and Expectations 171Bibliography 174Appendix One - Case Studies 182Appendix Two - Pedestrian Pocket Program 190ivLIST OF TABLESTable 1 - Comparing the conventional paradigm with the sustainable paradigm 26Table 2 - Comparative analysis of conventional and ecological planning and design values 27Table 3 - Willowbrook Community land use designation 121Table 4 - Jericho Hill Village land use program 128Table 5- Land use changes in Walnut Grove, 1979 - 1992 152Table 6 - Comparing land use/design features of Walnut Grove and Jericho Hill Village 156LIST OF FIGURESFigure 1 - Heterotrophic ecosystems 32Figure 2 - Model of an ecosystem 34Figure 3 - Map of the Greater Vancouver Region 105Figure 4- Sensitive Aquifers and Floodplains, Township of Langley 108Figure 5- Rural Plan 109Figure 6- Environmentally Sensitive Areas, Township of Langley 112Figure 7 - Willowbrook Structural Context Map 114Figure 8- Willowbrook Community Land Use Plan 120Figure 9 - Jericho Hill Village Conceptual Organization 130Figure 10 - Solar Gain Potential of Jericho Hill 131Figure 11 - Main Drainage Basins of Jericho Hill 132Figure 12 - Existing Forest Cover and Reforestation Possibilities 132Figure 13 - The Five Minute Rule 133Figure 14- Typical Housing Cluster 134Figure 15 - Jericho Hill Village Concept Plan 135Figure 16 - Grey Water Systems in Jericho Hill 137Figure 17 - Solar Aquatics in Jericho Hill North 139Figure 18 - Solar Aquatics in Jericho Hill South 140Figure 19 - Typical Community Garden 141Figure 20- Circulation Plan 143Figure 21 - Typical Pedestrian Street 144Figure 22- Typical Shared Street 144Figure 23 - Axonometric of Civic Spine 146Figure 24- Mass/Void Study 147Figure 25- Walnut Grove Community Plan, Township of Langley 151Figure 26- Existing Zoning Plan for Neighbourhood 4, Walnut Grove 155vi• AcknowledgmentsThis project could not have happened without the support of many people. First and foremost I amgrateful to my parents, Ann and John Connery, whose unwavering support of my studies allowedme to pursue this thesis. I would like to thank Douglas Paterson, my thesis committee chair,whose constructive criticism and enthusiastic support helped steer this project back on course onnumerous occasions. The other members of the committee -- Hans Schrier, Patrick Condon andPatrick Mooney -- offered invaluable input and to them I am grateful. I am also grateful to MouraQuayle and Darlene Carty for the time they each spent reading and reviewing the thesis. I wouldlike to thank the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation for their generous scholarship thatallowed me to pursue this thesis and remain virtually debt free. Finally I must acknowledge themany people who offered their time and insight into ecological design during my travels throughEurope in 1992.vii“Sustainabiity is inherent in what earlier people - and many people today - holdsacred, and yet, it has been dismissed, ignored, and desecrated by the idea ofprogress. Our vision is that what is sacred is our relation to life and livingprocesses, and that this can be made manifest in the design of our everydayenvironments. We see design not only as the application of science and technologybut as an act of faith in humankind’s wish to survive, adapt, and find a place ofbalance in a world that does not permit domination by one species for very long.”Sim Van der Ryn & Peter Caithorpe, Sustainable CommunitiesIntroductionThe Greater Vancouver Metropolitan Region is among the fastest growing urban areas in NorthAmerica. By 2021 the region’s current population of 1.8 million people is projected to grow to 3million. This immigration is coming to Vancouver from other parts of Canada and from around thePacific Rim at a pace that is exceeding the supply of housing and services, particularly innontradiontional urban areas. To the east of the city of Vancouver municipalities such as Langley,Matsqui, Abbotsford, Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam and the city of Surrey are all expecting theirrespective populations to double if not triple in the next 30 years.Such rapid increases in population are occurring without consideration for the region’s ecologicalconstraints such as its water and energy supply, waste disposal, food production, biologicaldiversity and wildlife habitat. These rarely enter into the evaluation criteria used to judge the meritsof a given project. Similarly, little consideration is given to region’s transportation systems therebyreinforcing patterns of suburban sprawl and automobile dependency. Consequently, the increase inautomobile use and atmospheric emissions has lead to a deterioration in the region’s air quality. Thedistended suburban sprawl has also resulted in the fragmentation of the region’s forest cover, thealteration of natural drainage patterns, rivers, creeks and ground water tables and the loss ofproductive agricultural land to urbanites seeking an arcadian image of home while retaining contactwith the city.1Unfortunately these problems are not unique to Vancouver. Rather they are common to virtually allcities and towns which for centuries have been organised around a few fundamental, yet flawed,assumptions: the limitless supply of developable land; inexhaustible and inexpensive water, andenergy; and, the ability of nature to absorb the waste and byproducts of a rapidly expanding,consumer society. Urbanization in the form of cities, suburbs and towns has been at the expenseof prime agricultural land, local and regional ecosystem integrity, and, perhaps most insidiously,community identity.To begin restructuring our communities towards a more sustainable future our approach mustoperate on many fronts. We must not only encompass the appropriate technical solutions, but wemust also engage the psychological and spiritual components of human settlements. We cannotsimply argue for more energy efficient homes, increased domestic agricultural production, or thereduction of waste and pollution. Our solutions must seek to reconnect our daily experiences withthose natural cycles operating around us. We must recognise that we are part of the ecosystem, notseparate from it. Ekhart Hahn, in a presentation at the 1992 Conference for Central EuropeanMetropolises argued,“It is not enough to seek technical solutions to the problems of pollution, waste andresource depletion. Cycles and environmental relationships must becomeperceptible for the individual...The aim is to make environmental and socialrelationships apparent to the user, to overcome the anonymity and reducedawareness of environmental resources, making sensually perceptible therelationships between the development of technology, its use and the naturalenvironment. The role of humans as responsible partners shaping theirrelationships with nature must again become clear.”(Hahn, 1992, p.4.)The intent of Jericho Hill Village is to explore the spatial implications of applying an alternative,ecologically based design approach to a typical suburban Vancouver community. A communitywhich, if current development patterns continue, will exacerbate the region’s emerging ecologicalproblems.Specifically;It is my contention that sufficient information regarding ecologically based designhas emerged in Northern Europe and North America to allow a series of ecologicaldesign parameters to be synthesised and applied to a growing suburban communityin the Vancouver region, resulting in a more sustainable existence.2• Goals and ObjectivesThe intent of this thesis and the specific design of Jericho Hill Village is guided by two goals and aseries of objectives.Goal 1• To develop a better understanding of ecological design as it is currently being practised and/ordiscussed in North America and Europe.Objectives• To define what is meant by ecologically sustainable community design as it applies primarily, butnot exclusively, to suburban conditions.• To identify current practices and emerging concepts in sustainable urban and suburbandevelopment and ecological design.• To develop a series of ecologically based design parameters which can enhance already acceptedcommunity design principles.Goal 2To apply these ecologically based design ideas to a suburban community under urban growthpressures in an effort to structure the community’s physical form so as to minimise its impact onlocal and regional ecosystems.Objectives• To identify the spatial, social, and ecological problems plaguing typical suburban communitydesign.• To select a site and understand its opportunities and constraints with respect to ecological design.• To use ecological design parameters to organise a community which respects the ecologicalcarrying capacity of the region.• To compare the relative ecologically merit of the ecologically based community with an existingconventional suburban community.3• Scope of StudyJericho Hill Village is a conceptual design enquiry into the implications on the form of a communitywhen ecological design principles are prioritized. It is a physical exploration that reflects myinterests a practising landscape architect in translating conceptual ideas into physical form. I havechosen to limit my focus to those features of ecological design which I believe have direct spatialconsequences. I have not looked extensively at planning policy which might or might not fostermore sustainable communities. This is not intended to dismiss the important role policy makingplays. Official Community Plans and Zoning Ordinances are among the most powerful forcescurrently shaping cities and towns today. I have chosen to defer to other researches who havediscussed the limitations of current planning policy, pointed out many inadequacies and offeredalternatives they believe will foster more sustainable communities. (Calthorpe, 1993; Perks andVan Vliet, 1993; Krieger, 1991)Similarly I have not provided a thorough evaluation of the social and experiential issues related tocreating more sustainable communities as the literature on this subject tends to be quite disparateand vague. This exclusion is not intended to suggest these more illusive concerns are somehowless important than spatial considerations. According to many place theorists (Steele, 1981;Norberg-Schulz, 1980; Relph, 1976) understanding and reconciling the social and psychologicalfeatures of a space is equally important in creating a sense of place. However, for the sake ofbrevity and clarity I have chosen to rely on the knowledge I bring to these social and psychologicalissue as a practising landscape architect with several years of urban design experience rather thanformalize them.Another limitation of this thesis concerns the science of ecology. My background is in landscapearchitecture and horticulture, not ecology. Therefore, when it has been necessary to translateecological concerns into a new approach to design, I have approached the complexities of ecologyfrom three perspectives. The first is the use of design precedent which has incorporated anecological perspective in its development. The second has involved using reports and researchdone by ecologists which begin to touch on ecology’s spatial design implications. Finally, as alandscape architect with a general understanding of biophysical relationships, I have attempted toevaluate design decisions based on their basic ecological qualities.4My research for precedent has been limited to European and North American examples due to thesimilar economic, cultural and political similarities to Canada which allow for an easier transferenceof ideas. Furthermore literature is available in English from these areas as opposed to potentialinitiatives from other parts of the world. This does not imply that examples of ecologicallysustainable design are exclusively eurocentric. Valid examples from other parts of the worldundoubtedly exist. However, they are either poorly documented or poorly translated into Englishwhich excluded them from this design enquiry.Jericho Hill Village is ultimately a conceptual design investigation and is not intended to offer thequintessential definition of what sustainable communities are, nor what they should look like.Sustainable communities are the responsibility of all those who live in them, not a few professionalplanners or designers. These communities will emerge only when an implicit understanding of thelocal and regional ecosystems pervades conscious and subconscious thought of all residents. It is adesign exercise that offers a few possible, conscious steps towards a more ecologically sustainablesuburban community. It is merely one of the many steps which must be taken.• Methodology! Chapter SummaryThe methodology used in this thesis is guided by two questions: Why? and How? For years it hasbeen apparent to me that our current approach to designing communities is flawed and a newapproach essential. What I did not know was why it was wrong and how it might be changed.Therefore this thesis reflects a quest to answer these two questions.The thesis began with an information gathering phase that was followed up by a planning anddesign phase. The specific process can be best described through a review of the individualchapters in the thesis. It is important to note that while the chapters imply a linear process, theprocess proved to be quite iterative as new information surfaced and as the design began to evolve;a process whereby the design informs the research and the research informs the design. These areinterconnected partners with overlapping ideas and issues.5Information GatheringThe first year of this thesis primarily involved searching through books and periodicals, for aclearer definition of ecological design, examples of ecological design and for a better understandingof the problems inherent in our current approach to designing suburban communities. Thesephases are summarized in the first three chapters and account for the bulk of the informationgathered.Chapter One - The Problems With Suburbia summarizes the features of today’s suburb that explainwhy it looks and operates the way it does and why it has the problems it does. The researchfocused on the social and physical characteristics of suburbia to better understand the changes thatwill be necessary if a more sustainable approach to community design is to be realized. These arechanges which affect our general perceptions of our cities, the social and economic systems thathave created them, and the design process which has facilitated their physical form. The researchbehind this chapter was important in answering the “why” of the thesis.The ideas represented in Chapter Two - The Urban System emerged early in the life of this thesisin response to arguments that said a sustainable approach to development is one that works withinthe limitations of the planet’s natural ecosystems. Consequently chapter two looks to ecology andits understanding of natural ecosystem function for clues as to how the urban system might berestructured to better reflect how natural systems operate. It advocates viewing the city, suburb ortown as systems within, and dependent upon, larger natural systems. It describes fourecologically-based organizing principles that help structure a system based approach to communitydesign. Chapter two expands on “why” and gives some indications of “how” a new designapproach might work.Chapter Three - Ecological Design Parameters synthesizes the research on ecological design into aseries of design parameters. A portion of the background information used to formulate theparameters was the result of ten weeks of field research in Europe during the summer of 1992. Theresearch focussed on visiting projects that had incorporated one or more different ecological designfeatures and documenting these features. These were issues related to energy and waterconservation, waste management, transportation systems, community based agriculture, and6vegetation. The site visits and interviews with people involved in the various projects werecombined with information gleaned from the literature searches to create the design parameters.The parameters begin to explain how to design more ecologically sustainable communities. A listof the projects and sites visited can be found in appendix onePlanning and Design PhaseThe planning and design phases formally commenced during the winter of 1992 with the selectionof a specific site. The process of elimination began with identifying possible areas and identifyingregional planning concerns such as the availability of current biophysical information, theproximity to adjacent urban areas, current development pressures and land use, and the potentialfor making a positive contribution to adjacent ecosystems. The is process is briefly described inChapter Four - Context and the reasons for selecting the Willowbrook Community in theTownship of Langley. Included is a review of the Township’s current development plans forWilowbrook and an analysis of those plans from an ecological perspective.Chapter Five - Concept Plan describes the goals, program and design features of Jericho HillVillage that are graphically represented in the chapter’s accompanying drawings. The final conceptplan is the culmination of a process that involved numerous design scenarios, each attempting totest out the ecological design parameters. The first proposal was prepared for a design competitionon ideas for more sustainable communities sponsored by the American Institute of Architects in thespring of 1993. Subsequent designs attempted to reconcile the ecological design parameters withJericho Hill’s specific site issues and its program. This design process was intended to answersome basic questions related to these design parameters: are some more important to spatial formthan others? do the parameters lend themselves to creating a sense of place? are the parameterscurrently to rigid to create a strong sense of community? are there other ecological designparameters that have been missed? Each design was reviewed with the thesis committee todetermine how well the different designs responded to ecological AND place making concerns.Observations on the ecological design parameters and the community that emerged are described inthe final two chapters. Chapter Six - Comparisons explores the differences between Jericho HillVillage and Walnut Grove, a conventional suburban community recently developed within the7Township of Langley. Using Walnut Grove as a bench mark of standard suburban communitydesign allowed quantitative and qualitative comparisons to be made regarding the public realm,accessibility, permeability; energy, water, waste, vegetation and agriculture.Chapter Seven - Conclusions, provides a summation of the thesis and the implications on suburbiaof an ecologically based approach to designing communities. It also includes observations on theability of the ecological design parameters to be implemented and to create a sense of community.The chapter concludes with a discussion on the likely future of ecologically based design and someof the changes that will be required to support it.81.0 - THE PROBLEMSWITH SUBURBIA9We have developed systems that are fragmented. We fragmented the threefundamental functions of any economy: production, use and disposal. We haveseparated the farmer from the kitchen, the power plant from the appliance, theworker from the work place, and eventually, the bank from the depositor and theborrower, and the government from the citizen. Today the average commuter travelsabout twenty to twenty five miles to work; the average kilowatt hour travels abouttwo hundred miles to do its piece of useful work; and the average food moleculetravels about two thousand miles to do its piece of useful work.DavidMorris, “Green Cities: Ecologically Sound Approaches To UrbanSpace”1.1 Suburbia - Historical BackgroundAt the end of the nineteenth century, 51 percent of Americans lived in the city (Hayden, 1984,p.24.). Of the remaining 49 percent most were agriculturally based, living in small ruralcommunities. A small percentage could be found in newly emerging streetcar suburbs, theantecedent of today’s suburb. By 1980, this small percentage had grown dramatically to accountfor approximately 65 percent of all Americans. (Rowe, 1991, p.4) The city and the countrysidehad become net exporters of people to this suburb. This emigration is remarkable in that the suburbas we know it today is a post-World War II phenomenon. Two generations ago its meanderingstreets, low densities, architectural homogeneity, automobile dominance, and segregated land-usesdid not exist.Cities and The Rise Of SuburbiaThe suburb, however, is not a twentieth century phenomenon. Mumford observes “that the suburbbecomes visible almost as early as the city itself.”(Mumford, 1961, p.483) Ur, the greatMesopotamian city of 4000 years ago, supported a burgeoning residential and commercialcommunity outside its city walls. The cities of the Maya 1000 years ago had housing extendingwell beyond the densely populated centre. And the evolution of Paris is notable for the successionof city walls, each enveloping the adjacent suburb, only to see a new suburb develop once againoutside the new walls. (Lozano, 1990)10The earliest suburbs were characterized by agrarian life with peasants living in small houses,tending the farms adjacent to the city. “In biblical times, we find mention of little huts that werebuilt in the midst of the open fields or vineyards.”(Mumford, 1961, pA.83) The vitality of the citywas entirely dependent on the success of these local agricultural practices. Simultaneously thesuburban countryside provided a necessary relief for many urbanites seeking to maintain somerural connections. During medieval times the suburb became home to nonagricultural uses such asmonasteries, and the city’s elite seeking temporary refuge from the city’s heat, noise, and overcrowding.“As early as the thirteenth century... Villani reported that the land for a circle of threemiles around Florence was occupied by rich estates with costly mansions. ..Theprivileges and delights of suburbanism were reserved largely for the upper class; sothat the suburb might almost be described as the collective urban form of thecountry house - the house in a park - as the suburban way of life is so largely aderivative of the relaxed, playful, goods-consuming aristocratic life that developedout of the rough, bellicose, strenuous existence of the feudalstronghold.”(Mumford, 1961, p.484)With the demise of feudalism in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries urban populations grew aspeople discovered other work opportunities than farming existed, particularly in the city. At thestart of the 16th century, Europe had approximately seven cities with a population in excess of100,000 people. By the end of the century this number had doubled. (Funk, 1973, p.148) Citiesof lesser size were also growing, and in all cities this burgeoning population lead to increasinglevels of overcrowding and disease. As the edges of the city expanded, access to the suburbancountryside became less and less immediate for all but the wealthy. “One of the chief penalties forcontinued urban growth was that it put this pleasurable setting at such a distance and confined itmore and more to the ruling class.”(Mumford, 1961, pA.82)In the eighteenth century the urban suburban relationship began to change once again. And theagrarian lifestyle, which some seven millennia earlier had displaced a nomadic social structure, wasnow itself a victim, as the Industrial Revolution established a new set of criteria for commerce andeconomy. The smaller medieval city, whose growth was limited to the carrying capacity of theimmediate landscape, gave way to a larger city based on a new economic system involving regionaland international trade. Industry, mechanization and money exchange superseded life on the farm,small scale village economies and bartering. As industry required concentrations of labour,urbanization inevitably increased at the expense of farmland. Coupled with increased trade, the city11was losing its subsistent relationship with the land. The countryside, which for thousands of yearsdominated the town, would now become dominated by the town.(Bookchin, 1980) Societies thatonce treasured and protectedthe land, and once owed their very survival to fertile agricultural soilnow voraciously consumed it.“All the elements of society begin to change their dimensions. Civic and politicalgigantism parallel industrial and commercial gigantism. The city acquiresdimensions so far removed from the human scale and human control that it ceasesto appear as the shelter of individuality.... Cornered in a sense of isolation that isaccentuated by the massive, unknowing, impersonal crowds that surround theurban dweller, the individual ceases to be gay or even blase, butfearful.”(Bookchin, 1980, p.146-147).The rapidly growing, industhal city created new problems of livability. Factory workers, crowdedinto tenements with minimal sanitary provisions, were plagued with diseases. Industry, based oncoal fired steam energy, blackened the sky with its emissions. Fresh water supplies became scarceas the growing city polluted local supplies. In the process, the role of suburbia as refuge wasstrengthened and offered a permanent escape from the squalor of the city. Thus, with the advent ofrail travel, the middle and late nineteenth century marked the beginning of a permanent exodus tothe suburbs.This new mode of transportation liberated people from preindustrial technology, which forcenturies had restricted urban expansion. Housing opportunities in a psuedo rural setting becameaccessible to urbanites. Travel times of days and weeks were reduced to minutes and hours. Theurban-suburban relationship was transformed and what began slowly with trains and trolleys,would later explode with the arrival of the affordable automobile.An Anti-Urban ReactionThe malaise of the industrial city spawned new ideas of how and where people should live, andstrengthened the image of suburbia as a catharsis. A few, more radical approaches, sought toreplace the city with a new form of development such as Ebenezer Howard’s, “Garden Cities ofTomorrow”. Published in 1898, Howard’s proposal was for small, decentralized communitiesdesigned in such a way as to be self-sufficient. He felt a polynucleic structure of smallercommunities surrounding a larger town, separate from the city, could resolve the city’s inherentsocial and economic problems. Mumford considered Howard’s work to have, “done more than any12single book to guide the modern town planning movement and to alter its objectives.” (Howard,1965, p.29)However the late nineteenth century embrace of suburbia as an alternative to city life has muchdeeper roots than the industhal age. There is evidence an anti-urban, suburban like ideal had beenlying dormant for centuries, repressed by limited personal mobility and no dominant middle class.Jeffrey Hadden, a noted urban sociologist, points to the Old Testament in which the city iscondemned as “an environment of disobedience to God, presumably because the city is an‘unnatural’ setting created by man in defiance of God’s will.”(Masotti, 1973, p.88) Hadden alsocites Matthew of the New Testament,“Jesus Christ’s strongest reproachment of cities...At no point does Jesus speakfavourably about cities. He often retreats to the countryside to teach and pray.Frequently he admonishes typically urban behaviour and life styles. And, in theend, a big-city boss releases him to an unruly urban mob to be crucified.”(Masotti,1973, p.88)Both Plato and Aristotle favoured an agrarian setting for people and the sensibilities it nurtured,over those engendered by the city. (Masotti, 1973) During medieval times Saint Augustine’sinfluential writings on personal salvation and God included a vilification of cities; “The cities ofman, thus, are founded in sin. They manifest demonic forces and serve the epithet ‘city of theDevil’.”(Masotti, l9’73,p.89) Newman and Kenworthy (1989) identify a body of literature fromthe eighteenth and nineteenth century which further points to an anti-urban bias, suggesting therehad been a latent desire for a pastoral home which suburbia helped satisfy.“Despite being a basically urban race we have never really been committed to thecity. We do not have a belief in the city as a positive force for good, a place whereculture can grow and all that is best in the human spirit can thrive.. .In general theEnglish, American and Australian traditions have been to idealise places that arerural...Cities only serve to corrupt the purifying aspects of country life.”(Newmanand Kenworthy, 1989, p.93)The promise of suburbia rested with its ability to reconnect the urbanite with the countryside, toawaken the senses dulled by the problems of city living.“The pastoral representation of the American landscape also reflected the dissonancecreated by urban growth and constituted an effort to resolve the conflict betweenurban and rural values. The mythic figure of the farmer and the poetic map of themiddle ground between wilderness and the city merged into American ideologybecause they resolved a profound conflict between the values of the ‘real genuineAmerica’ and the attraction of the city and its clusters of new technology.”(Masotti,1973, p.95)13Thus as cities failed to provide the basic livability people sought an urban exodus to suburbiaappears to have been inevitable. For Americans, where the contemporary suburb is mostprominent, it marked a natural emigration in pursuit of their ideal image of cities as a bridgebetween the wilderness and urban civilization. The city had become too large, too overcrowded,and too filthy. With the emergence of a dominant middle class and public transportation systems,the late ninteenth century suburb offered a setting closer to that ideal, a utopian existence set in amiddle landscape. (Krieger, 1991; Rowe, 1991; Kelbaugh, 1989)“What gave shape and meaning to this protean growth of the American city was thejuncture of the powerful ideal of rural virtue and the growing vexation with theassertiveness of urban society. The rural ideal promised relief from the ‘rasp andgraze of splintered normality,’ from the ‘clamours of collision.’ Though it was adream more than a little false, the rural ideal recovered the link between pastoral andfamily life whose loss Americans had begun to morn in the 1 830s. Thus themovement outward of the middle class was not simply an escape from the city; itwas more importantly an attempt to find a pleasing context in which to enjoy thenewly discovered pleasures of family life.”(Masotti, 1973, p.106)The Corporate SuburbEarly in the Twentieth century suburban growth was limited to the corridors serviced by therailways and street cars. These new communities developed as clusters adjacent to rail stops, withhomes and services located close to the stations. The streetcar suburbs where generally closer tothe city core where the more manueverable streetcar had an advantgae over rail. Both systemsfostered compact, pedestrian scale neighbourhood units. However, while the popularity of thesecommunities grew they still represented a level of exclusivity. (Hayden, 1984: Mumford, 1961)AfterWorld War II a new settlement pattern emerged in response to war veterans reintroduced tothe work force, industries retooling production for domestic consumption, major governmentexpenditures on road construction and subsidies for family and housing. The old city core wasobsolete in appealing to the new freedom of mobility made available by automobile ownership andthis emerging suburban aesthetic. The new vision was of single family homes set amidst greenfields, separate from the city yet close enough to commute to, and enjoy its cultural amenities;“The dream house replaced the ideal city as the spatial representation of...hopes forthe good life. It not only triumphed over the model town, the dream house alsoprevailed over two other models of housing, one based on an ideal of efficientcollective consumption of scarce resources, the other based on the ideal of themodel neighbourhood.”(Hayden, 1984, p.38)14Don Mills, Ontario marks something of a watershed in the history of Canadian cities. It was here,in 1952, that E. P. Taylor developed Canada’s first significant post World War II suburb, turning avast track of farmland into a sea of single family detached homes. It heralded a new form ofsuburban development, one which would be quickly disseminated throughout the country. DonMills was referred to as Canada’s “first corporate suburb” in recognition of the influence thecorporate world now had over the development of the suburb.(Gerecke, 1991, p.3 1) It parallellsthe development of another corporate suburb, Levittown, in New York State.Collectively the forms of Don Mills and Levittown embodied principles which would come todefine suburbs throughout North America. First, the streets were to be curvilinear, not rectilinear,with no clear sense of hierarchy. This made traffic circulation circuitous, discouraging outsidevehicles from cutting through the neighbourhood. Furthermore, the curvilinear street and cul-desac were perceived to offer more privacy and security.The second principle involved the separation of landuses into discreet areas. Commercial areaswere segregated from institutional uses which in turn were segregated from residential areas. Fewpedestrian connections were provided. Residents depended on their automobile to go from home tothe store to school to the recreation centre to work.The promise of space and access to nature defined the third principle. Single family detachedhomes were evenly spaced on large lots with generous sideyard clearances. Mackim Hancock,planner of Don Mills, believed these spatial qualities offered residents “more contact with theland.” (Gerecke, 1991, p.32) The consequence of these spatial patterns and the ensuing lowdensity was the corporate suburb’s insatiable appetite for land.The final principle defining suburban form involved its implied social structure. The nuclear familywas the main client and in many neighbourhoods, ethnic minorities were prohibited.(Hayden1984) At the centre of the neighbourhood was a school, not to jointly serve as the community hailas was the case in many smaller, rural communities but to serve as the instutionalized educationalepicentre, to the exclusion of community facilities.“The school was to be at the centre of social life - both figuratively andmetaphorically, showing that the important aspect of life was not the present or thepast, but the future as embodied in the children. ..Either culture would come15through some other means (television was then becoming popular) or from someother place(like the city). Thus a very static social structure was programmed infrom the beginning.”(Gerecke, 1991, p33)1.2 The Obsolescence of SuburbiaToday the suburb is being challenged as a viable settlement pattern on the grounds that it is hauntedby social dislocation, economic disadvantage and ecological fragmentation. (Hough, 1991: Rowe,1991; Relph, 1987) What was once seen as a utopian balance between affordability andpastoralism, between the civility of the city and the allure of the wild, has in fact become alandscape of homogeneity, anonymity, and isolation.“The middle and upper classes are abandoning cities to the poor, and large parts ofurban areas are slowly becoming live-in ruins. A majority of the affluent populationhas been resettling in a segregated and dispersed suburbia that is neither urban norrural and commuting daily to work. Suburban life in a dispersed, homogeneousenvironment is expressed in routines devoid of symbolism or spontaneity; here is afunctional simplification that has reduced personal contact and the exchange aspectsof the community and, with them, a sense of belonging.”(Lozano, 1990, p.6)The problems are the consequence of interrelated spatial and social problems. Implied segregationof people and activities, low density sprawl, and automobile dependancy strike at the very heart ofthe surburb’s problems.The Erosion of CommunityOf the problems suburbia suffers from perhaps none is more insidious than the disappearance of acommunity sensibility. Its spatial characteristics have transformed the dynamism of humansettlements into a linear phenomenon (Rowe, 1991; Vale, 1991). Patterns of human nature havebeen simplified into functional, economic characteristics. Sennet (1970) argues the consequence ofsuburban form is the emergence of an ambivalent constituency.“The simplification of the social environment in suburbs is the logical end in thedecline of diverse communities... [for) in the suburb, physical space becomesrigidly divided into functional areas...The desire of people beyond the line ofeconomic scarcity is to live in a functionally separated, internally homogeneousenvironment.”(Lozano, 1990, p. 135)The dispersion and segregation of activities erodes a clear sense of community, leading to whatRowe (1991) claims is an apathetic social structure based on privatised rituals.16“In the end, with so much decentralisation, it is not inefficiency and irrationality thatundermine the suburban metropolitan experience. It is the darker underside of theidea of democracy, where people forget that it involves the common good as well asindividualism.”(Rowe, 1991, p.44)With the construction of wide streets encouraging the movement of automobile traffic anddiscouraging their use by pedestrians, community interaction vanished. With no hierarchy of openspaces, no clearly defined public places, and virtually no public transit, the public realm, vital forits opportunities to meet, converse, watch, sit, laugh and foster a general civicness hasdisappeared. (Moudon, 1987; Hester, 1984)“As soon as the motor car became common, the pedestrian scale of the suburbdisappeared, and with it, most of its individuality and charm. The suburb ceased tobe a neighbourhood unit.”(Mumford, 1961, p.505)Krieger argues that contemporary environments such as the suburb fail to achieve “propinquity,probably the most important criterion for true civility.”(Kreiger, 1991, p.11) In fact suburbiaperpetuates a stereotypical image of the nuclear family. With its rapid growth, large scale, anduniformity of housing the suburb has failed to accommodate the diversity in contemporary society.In the process it has forsaken the essence of community. Seniors and children, who may not haveeasy access to automobiles become dependent on inadequate public transportation and ill-conceivedpedestrian circulation systems to reach distant commercial and social centres. In restricting theirmobility, they become isolated from the larger community. This in turn entrenches both their own,as well as the larger communities’ sense of social dislocation.“The image in the United States of the traditional family - a married couple withyoung children, with an employed husband and a homemaker wife - thatcharacterised the 1950s and 1960s does not match today’s demographic realities.Other types account for nearly 79 percent of the households created since 1980,whereas the traditional married-couple family accounts for only 21 percent.”(Franckand Ahrentzen, 1991, p.xi)Anonymity and PlacelessnessHelping to erode a true sense of community is the physical homogeneity of suburbia. In Relph’s(1976) description of “placeless geography” he outlines five components which manifestplacelessness: 1. Other-directedness in places; 2. Uniformity and standardisation in places; 3.Formlessness and lack of human scale and order in places; 4. Place destruction; and 5.Impermanence and instability of places. (Relph, 1976, p.1 18-119) Each can easily be applied to17suburbia. Its stylized architecture attempts to emulate patterns or forms from “other” idealisedplaces, rarely responding to regional conditions or building traditions. Its streets, houses,commercial strips and malls follow predictable patterns and formulas to such an extent that onesuburb looks like another. Its dependence on the automobile has lead to a scale sympathetic to thecar, not the pedestrian.The suburb transforms large tracks of land into suburban communities so quickly that rarely are thedefming characteristics of the undeveloped place preserved and incorporated. Forests are clearcut,wetlands filled, streams culverted, and topographical features irrevocably altered. Suburbancommunities also rarely engender any sense of permanence. Their architecture appears as static astheir placement on the site. The buildings rarely carry with them an intergenerational presence.“Our new suburbs and new towns.. .seem all begun yesterday and completelyfinished then. There is no crevice through which one can venture back orforth.”(Lynch, 1972, p.60)Characterised by spatial segregation, a lack of hierarchy, and an appropriated architecturaluniformity, the formlessness of suburbia lacks identifiable features, makes orientation difficult andleads to a sense of anonymity and isolation (Newman and Kenworthy, 1992; Krieger, 1991). It iswhat Relph refers to “subtopia:”“a set of randomly located points and areas, each of which serves a single purposeand each of which is isolated from its settings, linked only by roads which arethemselves isolated from the surrounding townscape except for the adjacent stripsof other-directed buildings.”(Relph, 1976, p.109)Job - Housing ImbalanceThe preindustrial city had places of work, commerce, worship, agriculture and housing within itsboundaries. Virtually all activities were within immediate reach. Settlements were compact astransportation was limited to foot or horse travel. Today, the suburb with its exclusionary zoning,segregated land uses, and uninhibited mobility excludes people from living and working within thesame community. It is an imbalance which has simultaneously lead to and reinforced the followingproblem.18Automobile DependenceSuburbia demands its citizens be automobile literate as the car is the datum by which thecommunity is organized and experienced. Yet as a datum the automobile suffers from welldocumented spatial, social, economic and ecological costs. (Cervaro, 1991; Gordon, 1991; Lowe,1990; Newman and Kenworthy, 1989) Land use patterns become appropriated by the automobiletothe exclusion of the pedestrian. (Bookout, 1992: Andersen, 1991; Krieger, 1989; Van der Rynand Caithorpe, 1986) Sthp commercial developments and shopping malls define the commercialpersona of suburbia. Primarily accessible by generous roads these commercial nodes focus onaccommodating the car and develop a palette of bright neon signage directed at the car experience.“Speed blurs details, signs have to be big and bright, land uses can be mixed upand spread out because distance is of no great importance to the driver.”(Relph,1987, p.84.)Socially, a suburbanite dedicates much of the day to sitting in an automobile in a segregated world,driving from home to work, to the day care, to the store, to the recreation centre, and back tohome. In addition to the traditional travel corridor to and from the city centres over “40 percent ofall commute trips are now from suburb to suburb.”(Walter[ed.], 1992 p.28) This is time spentaway from family, or social or recreational opportunities. And as mentioned earlier those who donot have access to automobiles become isolated from the community.The economic disadvantages of depending on automobiles are both explicit and implicit. Theexplicit costs include the obvious expenditures for insurance, gasoline, and maintenance, each ofwhich increases with the length of the commute and the relative isolation of the specificneighbourhood from services. Collectively these and other costs such as car loans, and parkingspaces at the office represent thousands of dollars each automobile owner must annually pay.The implicit costs include the taxes on gasoline for road maintenance and transit systems, new roadconstruction and servicing expanding, low density sprawl. (Gordon, 1992; Hanson, 1992;Newman and Kenworthy, 1989) It is estimated that in typical urban and suburban developmentsover “40% of the initial cost of development is automobile related.”(Walter [ed], 1992, p.214.) Thecommunity also bears the hidden costs related to automobile injuries and deaths, and environmentaldegradation from atmospheric and ground water pollution, and loss of land and forest cover.19Fragmented EcosystemsUrban expansion through the proliferation of suburbs is responsible for the loss of regionalbiodiversity, ecological integrity, and arable land. Suburbia embraces concepts of universalmobility, cheap energy, cheap land and low density developments serviced by cars. The ecologicalconsequences for the regional ecosystems are severe.“The private automobile...exacts an enormous and hidden price from society. Notonly the individual car owner, but every member of society pays the price in termsof air, water, and soil pollution.”(Spirn, 1984, p.238)Sprawling land-use patterns demand vast amounts of land, energy and water, and return these inthe forms of atmospheric pollutants, and tainted water supplies. (Register, 1987; Hough, 1984)“The modern suburban city... .is extremely wasteful in its use of land, resources,energy and human beings. It is a zoned monoculture of huge housing subdivisions,industrial parks, office plazas and shopping malls....imported water, pollutingwaste disposal systems, energy wasting buildings and power grids, and specialisedservice elites...Suburban cities are industrial solutions that sacrifice long-termhealth and sustainability for short term profit and productivity.”(Van der Ryn andCaithorpe, 1986, p.xi)The irony rests with the lure of suburbia since the nineteenth century. It represented a verdant,healthy alternative to the squalor of the city. It now suffers from many of the urban problems theexodus was initially responding to -- air pollution, traffic congestion, and a lack of open greenspace supporting a bounty of wildlife.“The advancing city has often replaced complex natural environments of woods,streams and fields, with biologically sterile man-made landscapes that are neithersocially useful nor visually enriching...There are enormous water, energy andnutrient resources that are the by-product of urban drainage, sewage disposal andother urban processes. Having no perceived value, these contribute instead to thepollution loads of an already overstressed environment”(Hough 1984, p.2).1.3 Seeds of Change“The physical limits of growth in human uses of a finite planet indicate that wecannot sustain our present trajectory. In order to change our trajectory it isimperative that we change our society. If we do not plan ahead and changethoughtfully, nature will force change upon us through pain.”(Milbrath, 1989,p.17)With the social, economic and environmental costs of sprawl development becoming moreapparent, and with yesterday’s suburban bliss being replaced with today’s apprehension, changes20in suburban form are challenging our basic understanding of human settlement patterns. Theassumptions and decisions of the past have proven to exclude ecological consideration, the basisfor all life. Change, for no reason other than self-preservation is inevitable.Today, perhaps as never before, issues are emerging which suggest that support for an alternative,perhaps more sustainable design approach is genuine and more universal than ever before. We nowsee people actively engaged in recycling activities. The media regularly includes, howeversimplified, stories on proactive environmental action, and environmental problems. Morespecifically there are two ‘seeds of change’ which are already influencing the way we think of andbuild our communities.Changing HouseholdsDuring the last three decades household demographics have undergone fundamental change. HansBlumenfeld calculated that in Canada, between 1971 and 1981, the population increased by 13.2percent while households increased by 37.3 percent. By 1981, one-person and two-personhouseholds accounted for approximately 50 percent of Canadian households, with four-person andlarger households representing less than 33 percent.The Canadian nuclear family is disappearing yet housing typologies are not changing in response.While the household unit has shrunk and the number of households multiplyied, the averagedwelling unit size has increased from 5.4 rooms to 5.7. The market is still failing to respond tomainstream demographic needs, preferring to dwell on the construction of larger homes forsmaller, more affluent families. Blumenfeld calls this the “maldistribution” of housing. (Gerecke,1991, p. 197-205)Clare Cooper-Marcus argues that designers, planners and developers should be clear on who theirprojects are for.“This may seem patently obvious; yet, when we look around at new housing, mostis still being built for the traditional nuclear family. Mom, Dad, two kids, a dog,and a station wagon. This, despite the fact that we’re seeing an increasing numberof small and single-person households because of divorce, people marrying later,having fewer children, etc. We’re also getting more and more unconventionalhouseholds: two men sharing with occasional visiting children; a divorced womanplus children renting rooms to students to keep up the mortgage payments: etc. Andyet, we see very little housing currently produced for anything other than the21nuclear family.”(Van der Ryn and Caithorpe, 1986, p.121)The suburb’s preference for single family housing fails to acknowledge these changinghouseholds. Non nuclear families, particularly middle class singles, single parents and seniors aredisenfranchised by the inflexibility of the housing types. It is quite possible that unless morediverse and affordable housing units are provided, the cost of suburban living will price the suburbout of the market for most singles and couples. However, as is the case with free markets systemsruled by supply and demand, the demand for new forms of housing will eventually force change inthe profile of suburban housing.Changing WorkplacesA technological and managerial revolution is rapidly transforming the nature of work andworkplaces in the post industrial age. (Garreau, 1991; Castels, 1985) Business, particularlyservice based industries, are now trying to control the flow of information as much as the flow ofgoods. Mass production and blue-collar jobs are being surpassed by white collar, service niches,with flexibility to adapt to changing markets. In the United States between, 1973 and 1985 “fivemillion blue-collar jobs were lost nationwide while the service and information fields gained from82 to 110 million jobs. This translates into new office complexes, with 1.1 billion square feet ofoffice space constructed. Nationwide, these complexes have moved outside the central cities, withthe percentage of total office in the suburbs shifting from 25 percent in 1970 to 57 percent in1984.”(Kelbaugh, 1989 p. 9)Computers, fax machines, and cellular phones allow universal access to local, national andinternational markets and businesses, without ever leaving the office. The command control andhierarchical management structures of the industrial age is being replaced with more horizontallyintegrated management approaches. The central office, housing all employees, is being replaced bydecentralized satellite operations and “back office” functions located outside the traditional urbancore (Castels, 1989).“Decentralisation of services is taking place on at least three different levels:between regions; from metropolitan to non-metropolitan areas and small cities; frominner cities to the suburbs of metropolitan areas”(Castels, 1989, p.154).22This transformation and the burgeoning interest in telecommuting and home based offices offersopportunities to redirect the job-housing imbalance and the automobile dependency of suburbia.1.4 A New Way of LookingMoreover these “seeds of change” are among many which are enabling us to reflect upon theproblems of current urban development and seek an alternative approach to community design. Thetransformation of households and workplaces change the demands on how and where we can liveand work. The frustration of traffic congestion and gridlock provides further impetus for seekinglocally based, if not home based, employment opportunities. And our general understanding ofenvironmental problems is beginning to influence how we interact with the world.It is a perspective which has gained momentum since the release in 1987 by the World Commissionon Environment and Development, of a report titled “Our Common Future”. It was the culminationof four years of United Nations sponsored research into issues of development, economy, and theenvironment. Chaired by Gro Harlem Bruntland of Norway, the Commission generated numerousrecommendations for addressing environmental degradation and economic inequity. Thecommissioned popularised the phrase, “sustainable development”, defined as a means to address“the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their ownneeds.” (WCED, 1987)While the concept of sustainable development has been criticised as being oxymoronic andambiguous, the notion of living on this planet in a manner which neither endangers our future northat of the planet has lead to some provocative thinking and writing. Many are referring to thisthinking as a “paradigm shift” or change in our world view, and certian elements of the shiftimplicate the design of our communities.The paradigm shift argues, as its central thesis, that a move away from our present ‘I - It’,anthropocentric relationship with nature towards an ‘I - thou’, biocentric approach is essential forprofound change to occur. (Rees and Roseland, 1991; Sale, 1991; Milbraith, 1989; Rees, 1988;Bookchin, 1980) It argues that western society perceives humanity as a separate, distinct23phenomenon from nature. Nature is a third party refered to as the “environment”, hence the I-Itrelationship. The “paradigm shift” involves an alternative perspective based on accepting humansas active participants in the biospheres, wholly dependent upon nature for sustenance. Without ashift away from the status quo towards this new paradigm, it is argued society will collapse as willnatural ecosystems. (Milbrath, 1989; Rees 1988)Comparing Paradigms“Constants of human behaviour, such as the maintenance of individual spacing, andof group territories, the search for identity and the need for orientation and socialstructure must be re-evaluated, and the implications reflected in future architectureand urban development.”(Hahn, 1992, p. 7)Paradigms, or world views, define a society’s collective consciousness, what it knows and values,how it organises itself, and how it lives. To clarify a society’s world view is to understand itsattitudes and expectations. These attitudes and expectations are manifested in the forms cities andtowns, houses and roads, and forests and rivers. To fully understand how a new paradigm mighteffect the spatial qualities of community form it is worth comparing our current world view withthis sustainable paradigm.Western society’s current paradigm can be traced back to the theories and hypothesises of FrancisBacon, Rene Decartes, Isaac Newton and Galileo Galilei during the sixteen hundred’s (Rees, 1991;Berman 1981). These men revolutionized the relationship Renaissance society had with nature.Their enquiries lead to the belief that nature could be compartmentalised; that humans couldseparate themselves from a given phenomenon, observe it, predict it, and ultimately control it. Theconsequence was the emergence of a mechanised view of the world, a separation of humans fromnature. It is a vision which believes the impacts of human activity are benign. The currentparadigm, and its economically driven assumptions, “posed no survival threat to society as long asthe economy was small relative to the scale of the ecosphere.” (Rees, 1991, p.16)The conventional world view has not been without its critics. In 1948 Aldo Leopold published theSand County Almanac in which he argued for a stronger “land ethic”. He claimed modern society24was disenfranchised from the cycles of nature as urban and suburban communities consumedenormous amounts of land and resources. This apparent contempt for the idiosyncrasies andintegrity of natural systems, Leopold argued, would undermine the very existence of thesecommunities. Leopold perceived modernist society as a divisive force between people and land,impairing humanity’s ability to judge the anonymity wrought by the current paradigm’ssegregation.“Perhaps the most serious obstacle impeding the evolution of a land ethic is the factthat our educational and economic system is headed away from, rather than toward,an intense consciousness of land, Your true modem is separated from the land bymany middleman, and by innumerable physical gadgets. He has no vitalrelationship to it; to him it is the space between cities on which crops grow.”(Baronand Junkin, 1977, pL337)However, Leopold’s arguments were marginalized as the United States was emerging from adepression and a war looking optimistically towards a more prosperous future. People wereseeking a more affluent way of life with secure jobs and friendly neighbourhoods. Arguing thatsociety was on a path to self-destruction contradicted the conventional view of the world as abenign place, an “equilibrium-centered view: nature constant.”(Holling, 1978, p. 294)The paradigm shift is a move away from this “nature benign” perspective to one of nature as adynamic interconnected entity. The shift further argues that he truisms and assumptions of the pastare foundering as ecological degradation is becoming increasingly clear. Ecosystems worldwide areunder pressures from rapidly increasing population and an inflexible social and economicorganisation. (Brown, 1981) Rivers, lakes, and estuaries are increasingly polluted while tropicaland temperate rainforests are deforested daily. (World Resources Institute, 1992; Odum, 1989)Simultaneously, disintegration plagues social systems. Inequity in the distribution of wealth hasnever been so extreme while the growing homeless population appears to be systemic. (WorldWatch Institute, 1992; WCED, 1987) Society’s economic system, the very heart of theconventional paradigm, is collapsing under an ever increasing number of bankruptcies,unemployed workers and defaulted loans, and enormous national and provincial debts. (Costanza,1991; Daly & Cobb, 1989)The following table offers a comparison of the fundamental differences between the conventionalworld view and the tenets of the paradigm shift.25TABLE 1 - Comnaring the Conventional Paradigm with the Sustainable ParadigmIssue Conventional!Socioeconomic ParadigmRelationship a. low value/contemptWith Nature b. I - It, human as dominatorc. disassociation with othersd. anthropocenthce. mechanisticSustainable!Environmental Paradigma. high value/ respectb. I - Thou, nature as sustainerc. life interconnectedd. biocentrice. dynamic systemSocial Order a. myopicb. hierarchicalc. individual rightsd. emphasis of jobs foreconomic needse. de-emphasise emotionsf. linear time, no longerdefined by natural cyclesa. intra & intergenerationalb. equalityc. individual responsibilitiesd. emphasis on worker satisfactione. emotions part of lifef. time cyclical and seasonalEconomic a. unlimited potentialGrowth b. inequity inevitablec. competitiond. production and consumptione. large scale, rapid turnoverOrganisation a. command controlb. left-right polarityc. market controlledTechnology a. science & technologyboon to societyb. emphasis on hard technologyc. information poorLand Ethic a. land viewed as commodityb. resource to be exploitedChanging Perspectives in Designa. limited to ecological carrying capacityb. equitable distribution for allc. cooperatived. quality over quantitye. small scale, incrementala. devolution of control; communityempowerment and local controlb. consultativec. emphasis on planning and processa. science & technology not alwaysbeneficialb. emphasis on soft technologyc. information richa. carrying capacity criticalb. conservationThe sustainable paradigm is already at work changing society’s behaviour; in the form of blue boxand newspaper recycling programmes, in energy conservation programs such as B.C. Hydro’s“Power Smart”, and in allotment gardens found in many communities. Change is also occuring inthe planning and design professions. Issues of recyclable building materials, healthy indoor airenvironments which reduce the release of noxious fumes from synthetic materials, passive andactive solar architecture, xeriscape and native habitat design are becoming more accepted. (Walter,1992; Vale, 1991; Van der Ryn and Caithorpe, 1986; Hough, 1984; Spirn, 1984)26What follows is a comparison of the conventional planning and design paradigm with theecologically sustainable design paradigm. Many of these new values have not yet manifestedthemselves into a design model, nor substantially altered the form of cities and towns. Change canhappen, however, as evidenced by such standard practices as ensuring clean air and water, andproducing environmental impact assessments, each of which was at one time a controversialinitiative. It should also be noted that the following information is my synthesis of ideas frommany, sometimes disparate sources, and that I provide it for the purposes of discussion.TABLE 2- Comparative Analysis of Conventional and Ecological Planning and DesignValuesConventional Planning and Design Ecological Planning and DesignValues Values• city perceived as closed system, isolated city perceived as part of largerfrom changes in the outside environmenL interdependent system.• assumes empirical understanding and • accepts and respects limits ofcontrol of natural systems. knowledge pertaining toecosystems.• perceives few physical limits to design. • respects ecological limits ondesign.• water, air, land, energy, abundant - • water, air, land, energy, resourcesno conservation strategies required. scarce - require conservation.• willing to manipulate natural systems for • manipulation of environment onlyperceived economic benefit, as can be sustained by ecosystem.• strives for predictability and stability • regards integrity and persistence asand the elimination of variation, desirable recognizing fluctuationinevitable.• design objectives constrained by • design objectives limited bytechnology and cost, carrying capacity of environment.• considers only short term implications • long-term time horizon,max. 5-10 years. intergenerational.• concerned with the flow of money. • concerned with the flow of energy.• land values determined by market forces • land value and use determinedand economic indices, by ecological indices.• environmental health and social costs • equally concerned with socialof marginal concern relative to and environmental health, andeconomic and political concerns, equitable distribution of wealth.27• project success based on revenues and • evaluates project healtWsuccessexpenditures. based on impacts on biomass,wildlife populations, energy flows.• favours larger scale projects. • projects small scale, incremental.• individual projects occur in isolation. • projects are interrelated, cumulative.• growth patterns tend toward low density, • compact growth patterns withsprawl and scaled for efficient movement of village centre and human scale.machines.• automobile dominates transportation • multimodal transportation,systems. prioritise pedestrian and bikes.• single use zoning, segregation of • mixed use development andperceived land use conflicts diversity essential.• development controlled with • development controlled withprescriptive codes, standards, guidelines, performance based codes, standards,guidelines.• design priorities are primarily economic. • design priorities respect ecosystemintegrity.• investigation into energy conservation • ongoing investigation into energyand reclamation practices are primarily conservation and reclamationpublic initiatives joint private and public initiatives.sources: Calthorpe, 1993; Rowe, 1991; Vale, 1991; Holling, 1987; Van der Ryn and Calthorpe, 1986;Lyle, 1985; Hough, 1984; Spirn, 1984; U.B.C. School of Community and Regional Planning - Planning504 handout.1.5 ConclusionThese two paradigms could hardly be more antithetical even though both are value ladened andboth espouse to know the truth. The conventional paradigm is, without question, more aggressivetowards nature. (Fowler, 1991; Rees 1991) Where it pushes the other withdraws. Furthermore,the conventional paradigm has fostered a society so disassociated from the land it inhabits that littleis known of nature’s qualities and characteristics. Most understanding of ecosystems is throughvicarious means, not direct experience. Western society has become ignorant, if not oblivious, tothe dynamic of natural systems continuously cycling amongst us.This is particularly true of suburbia whose physical form epitomizes the wasteful, exploitive natureinherent in the current paradigm. As discussed earlier in this chapter suburbia consumes land with28a ravenous appethe while simultaneously segregating traditionally interelated concepts of home,work, shopping and play. It dislocates not only the physical community but the social communityas well. (Rowe, 1991; Hough, 1990; Kelbaugh, 1989; Newman and Kenworthy, 1989; Hayden,1984; Relph, 1976) Suburbia has becomea vicious cycle of increasing sprawl, increasingconsumption of resources, and increasing commitments of travel time to reach places of economyand socialisation. An alternative approach, based on the ecologically sustainable paradigm, isneeded. The chapters which follow explore an alternative approach which accepts as itsfoundation, and its point of departure from the status quo, this new sustainable paradigm.“Without self-understanding we cannot hope for enduring solutions toenvironmental problems, which are fundamentally human problems”Yi-Fu Tuan, Topophilia292.0 THE URBAN SYSTEM30“While we are used to thinking of cities as geographically discreet places, most ofthe land ‘occupied’ by their residents lies far beyond their boundaries. The total areaof landrequired to sustain an urban region (its ecological footprint) is typically atleast an order of magnitude greater than that contained within municipal boundariesor the associated built-up area. In effect, through trade and natural flows ofecological goods and services, all urban regions appropriate the carrying capacity ofdistant ‘elsewheres’, creating dependencies that may not be ecologically orgeographically stable or secure”William E. Rees, 19922.1 IntroductionIt has been argued that the earth is a highly dynamic organism, with a complex web ofinterdependent relationships. (Hahn, 1992; Rees and Roseland, 1991; Odum, 1989; Deelstra,1988; Lovelock, 1988; Holling, 1987) These relationships form the web of life and help tomaintain the integrity and viability of life as we know it. Incoming solar energy, the flow of water,the transfer and exchange of resources and materials, biochemical reactions, microbial activity,various plants and organisms, all interdependent, conspire to create a diverse and relatively stableplanet.Within these interrelated systems exist cities and towns, most with rapidly expanding populationsand physical footprints. In 1950, 25 percent of the world’s population lived in urban areas. By1980 this had increased to 41 pecent, with prospects for the year 2000 to be greater than 50percent. (Brown, 1981, p.268) The corresponding growth in the footprint of cities has been at theexpense of forest and farmland, water bodies, marshes, aquifers, and floodplains. These are thevarious landscapes features responsible for basic ecological functions and their loss has hadserious environmental consequences as is evidenced by the litany of polluted watertables, erodedarable land, species extinction, noxious atmospheric emissions, and loss of forest cover --potentially lethal impacts perpetuated by human settlement patterns. (Hahn, 1991; Spirn, 1984)Finding alternative solutions to these human settlement problems depends on our ability totransform our understanding of cities. We need to reject the notion of the urban system as an31autonomous entity, disconnected from regional ecosystem function, and accept that it is a dynamicorganism that must develop the symbiotic patterns and exchanges characteristic of naturalecosystems. This chapter examines the ecology of the urban system to identify opportunities whichmay exist for redesigning the way it operates.2.2 The Heterotrophic CityThe first change involves looking at cities as systems dependent on incoming flows of energy,water, raw materials, products, and people from other places while out of these cities comes aseparate flow of goods, products and wastes (Rees, 1992; Deelstral, 1988; Van der Ryn andCaithorpe, 1986; Hough, 1984; Spirn, 1984). Odum b(1989) understands urban systems asanalogous to certain natural ecosystems which are equally dependent upon the input of externalnourishment. Both these natural “heterotrophic” ecosystems and the urban system require thecontinuous input of various forms of energy, air, water, sunlight, and food for the survival of thesystem.Figure 1 - Heterotrophic ecosystems32“In natural and semi-natural landscapes that contain a variety of ecosystems (eg.,forests, grasslands, farmland, lakes, ponds, streams), autotrophic andheterotrophic activity taken as a whole tends to balance; the organic matter producedis utilised in growth and maintenance over the annual cycle. Sometimes productionexceeds use , in which case organic matter may be stored (as peat in a marsh forexample) or exported to another ecosystem or landscape (as in agriculture). Incontrast, cities (and industhalised landscapes in general) consume much more foodand organic matter than they produce, and are accordingly heterotrophicecosystems... Figure 5 [figure 1] compares an oyster reef, one of nature’sheterotrophic ecosystems, with a city; both must get their food and other energyfrom outside. ..There is nothing wrong or bad about our cities being heterotrophic -so long as they are linked with adequate autotrophic systems that supply the foodand other energy (not to mention the raw materials) required and can also assimilatethe large output of wastes produced by the city.”(Odum, 1989, p.44-4.5)Should the heterotrophic system consume more resources than the autotrophic system can produceand sustain, both systems will ultimately fail. What differentiates the reef from the urban system isthat reef has no mechanisms for appropriating energy from beyond its immediate environment. Itsgrowth is regulated by the energy and nutrients which wash over its surface. The urban system, onthe other hand, has developed extensive infrastructure to ensure the continued appropriation ofresources and materials from distant lands. (Rees and Roseland, 1991; Odum, 1989) Odumdescribes the relationship as that of a host - parasite;“The city is a parasite on the natural and domesticated environments, since it makesno food, cleans no air, and cleans very little water to a point where it could bereused. The larger the city, the greater the need for undeveloped or lightlydeveloped countryside to provide the necessary host for the urban parasite. Whenwe discuss host-parasite relationships later, we will note that a parasite does not livefor very long if it kills or damages its host. The well-adapted parasite not only doesnot destroy its host - it actually develops exchanges or ‘feedbacks’ that benefit bothitself and its host so that both may survive. And so it must be for the well-adapted,sustainable city.” (Odum, 1989, p.17)2.3 Ecologically Based Urban SystemsIf the “well-adapted, sustainable city” is to be realised, it must develop the exchanges with localand regional ecosystems which characterize natural ecosystems. Specifically the urban system mustrecognize and build upon the following concepts of ecological function and sustainable landscapes.(Forman, 1990; Odum, 1989; Holling, 1987)33• Input-Output Flows;• Diversity;• Intergenerational Planning; and• Fabricated, Domesticated and Natural Environments.Each concept is presented in with two components. The first component discusses the idea as itapplies to ecosystem function. The second discusses how the idea relates to the urban ecosystem.• Input-Output FlowsAll ecosystems, be they heterotrophic or autotrophic require some basic inputs such as solar energyto sustain themselves. These inputs provide the necessary energy, food, water, or air to support thesystem’s activities. More often than not these inputs find themselves being transformed byexchange mechanisms developed within the system for better utilization. One of the most importantfeatures of this transformation is that by-products are created that the system may not be able touse. Consequently these by-products or ‘outputs’ leave the system and become necessary inputsfor another system. (Odum, 1989; Rolling, 1987) Odum offers the following organisationalmodel,Figure 2 - Model of an ecosystem“We can label the system. ...and two large funnels that we can label inputenvironment and output environment. Energy is a necessary input. The sun isthe ultimate source for the biosphere, and directly supports most natural ecosystemswithin the biosphere. But there are other energy sources that may be important formany ecosystems, for example, wind, rain, water flow, or fuel (the major sourcefor the modem city). Energy also flows Out in the form of heat and other.34CPUTProcessed energyand materials;emigration of orgarismsIE + S + OE = Ecosystemtransformed or processed forms such as organic matter (e.g., food and wasteproducts) and pollutants. Water, air, and nutrient necessary for life, along with allkinds of other materials, constantly enter and leave the ecosystem. And, of course,organisms and their propagules (seeds and other reproductive stages) enter(immigrate) or leave (emigrate).” (Odum, 1989, p.39).Input and output environments represent the symbiotic exchanges which develop between differentecosystems and which each system ultimately becomes dependent on. It is the absence of thesesymbiotic inputs and outputs which undermines the sustainability of the urban system. Its inputsare indiscriminately taken from other systems, transformed and discharged out of the system in anunusable and often noxious form. Clearly understanding the urban system’s principal inputs andoutputs, and their associated problems, will help define a more ecologically based designapproach.Energy Inputs“Urban-industrial developments (fabricated environments) actually cover a small area ofour landscape, but they are so energy intensive, i.e. they require so much energy and createso much waste heat and pollution, that they have an enormous impact on the (natural anddomesticated) environments. For example, the energy density of an urban-industrial area is1,000 or more times greater than that of a forest.”(Odum, 1989, p.9)The urban system is an energy intensive system based on the input of a cheap and limitless supplyof energy from outside the system. Electrical energy enters along high voltage power lines fromdistant hydroelectric, coal fired or nuclear power plants to illuminate and heat buildings, powermachinery and appliances, and fuel specific transportation systems. Fossil fuels are imported foruse in transportation systems, to heat buildings and for use in the manufacturing sector. Foodenergy enters as imported produce on railcars or trucks. The urban system presumes these energysupplies to be cheap and limitless. It is a critical assumption because the system has little capacityto generate any of its own energy, despite its considerable demands. Yet all of these energy sourcesare either finite in supply and or ecologically destructive in use.Water Inputs“As water is used, it evaporates from vegetation, lakes, and other surfaces,percolates through soil into groundwater, and runs off in streams and rivers to thesea. No matter how water leaves the ecosystem it must eventually be replaced byrain if commerce, agriculture, recreation, or any part of human life is to continue asbefore.”(Odum, 1989, p. 108)35Just as the input of energy is critical to the success of the urban system so is the presence of water.It is used for drinking, washing, flushing toilets, irrigating lawns and gardens, cleaning cals, andin some cases, to heat houses. Industrially and commercially it serves as a coolant and lubricantfor machinery, as an ingredient in the processing and manufacture of goods, and as a heatexchanger in air conditioning systems. Water also supports a variety of recreational activitiesincluding gardening, swimming, boating, snow skiing, skating, and golfing. However, despite itsimportance, the flow of water through the urban system is hidden from view. It mysteriouslyenters either via subsurface pipelines connected to hidden plumbing inside houses, or as surfacerunoff which is quickly diverted to a labyrinth of curbs and gutters, storm and sanitary sewers, andculverted streams. (Hough, 1984; Spirn, 1984) Little connection is made between the waterflushed down the toilet and the water that fills the drinking glass.Urbanization marginalises local water supplies by altering natural drainage patterns, paving soils,draining swamps, marshes and ponds, culverting streams, increasing runoff and decreasinginfiltration. (Walter[ed.] 1992, Odum 1989,Spirn,1984) Aquifers are contaminated by wastewaterand toxic pollutants percolating down from the surface. In general the input of water into the urbansystem undermines the value of water to the local system. It is removed physically from thelandscape, and mentally from the psyche of the resident, despite the importance of water to ourphysical well being.“Water is a source of life, power, comfort, and delight, a universal symbol ofpurification and renewal. Like a primordial magnet, water pulls at a primitive anddeeply rooted part of the human nature. More than any other single element besidestrees and gardens, water has the greatest potential to forge an emotional linkbetween man and nature in the city.”(Spirn, 1984, p.142)Food InputsIn many respects cities owe their existence to agriculture. Without the ability to produce largequantities of food plants and animals, cities could not have developed. Until the industrial agearrived the size of any given city was effectively limited by its local agricultural productivity.(Mumford, 1961) However, as cities began to grow and imported food supplies became available,prime farmland was no longer an essential component of the urban system.36“One of the distinctive characteristics of cities is that they depend on food surplusesproduced elsewhere. In fact urbanization first began with the development ofagricultural surpluses made possible by technical advances such as irrigation andthe use of animals....But whereas in the past cities drew on nearby land for foodsupplies, in the modem world they import from distant countries. Their hinterlandin now worldwide. This reliance on food supplies from distant sources illustratesthe fragility and vulnerability of the urban ecosystem.”(Boyden and Celecia, 1981,p.25)Fowler (1991) argues that the current urban ecosystem is based on an agribusiness whichprioritizes large production and disthbution economies of scales at the expense of localproductivity. The importation of food allows local arable land to be forsaken for urban sprawl.Land and Material InputsThe urban system requires the input of land to grow and accommodate development, roadconstruction, and commercial and industrial activities. The system also requires the input ofconstruction materials to support these activities. Land is cleared of natural vegetation and drainagepatterns are altered to allow imported gravel, wood, masonry, metal, and or plastics to transformthe site. Simultaneously the replacement of existing buildings requires further inputs of materialsand energy. Yet land and materials are finite in supply and appropriating them for use in the urbansystem will inevitably lead to some environmental consequences, albeit removed from the urbansystem.Waste Outputs“The squandering of resources and the contamination of air, earth, water, and life are twofaces of urban waste. Cities are forever short of energy and raw materials and struggleunceasingly to rid themselves of their waste. Waste disposal has been a perennial problemof cities; but the problem is more severe today than ever before.”(Spirn, 1984, p. 231)After the urban ecosystem processes these inputs of energy, water, food, land and materials, mostemerge from the system transformed. Water, no longer clean and potable, exits the system assewage effluent or surface runoff tainted with oil and gas. Food wastes are discharged either assewage effluent or solid waste to be dumped in landfills. These are joined in the landfill by materialwaste such as paper and plastic products, and building materials. The use of fossil fuel energyresults in the release of CO2. SO2,NOx, and other hydrocarbons to the atmosphere as pollutants.Vast amounts of heat are also generated by various activities and released to the atmosphere37resulting not only in the loss of a valuable resource but in the fuelling of the “heat islandeffect.”(Spirn, 1984, P. 52). These are typically one way flows where the output is generally toonoxious for natural ecosystems to assimilate. In extreme cases these outputs are lethal to naturalecosystems.“Every inhabitant of a modern western country. ..generates around 2 tons of rubbish peryear: 1 ton of domestic refuse and 1 ton of factory waste from industrial products we allpurchase”(Girardet, 1991, p.l’72).The indiscriminate handling of waste in the urban system is severely affecting the health of naturalecosystems yet the urban system is well insulated from these problems. The problems associatedwith inputs are generally left in the place where the input was manufactured or harvested and theproblems associated with outputs are moderated by the fact that disposal happens away from theurban system(Rees 1992).Managing Input/Output LevelsThe keys to restructuring the urban ecosystem is to manage these various inputs and outputs asvaluable resources for reuse within the urban system. The urban system must limit its inputs tothose which can be easily converted into a desired product or output, on a sustainable•basis.“Input management of production systems (e.g. agriculture, power plants andmanufacturing) is a practical and economically feasible approach to improving andsustaining the quality of our life-support systems.. ..(the urban system must begin)assessing inputs to the whole system first, then internal dynamics and outputssecond. Applying the concept of wastes means that waste reduction takes precedentover waste disposal.” (Odum, 1989, p.267)The urban system must be organized in such a manner that the dynamics of inputs and outputsmirror the symbiosis found in natural ecosystems. It must balance the productivity of what it useswith what it returns. The current linearity of the urban system must become circular with everyoutput becoming an input and every input an output. (Girardet, 1991) The ecologically sustainableurban system must be designed in ways which make visible the flow of water from the time itenters the urban ecosystem to the time it leaves. It must find ways to enhance local food suppliesand reconnect residents with the importance of local agriculture. It must find ways to become moreself-sufficient in its own energy supply. In general the urban system must be designed to minimizeinputs and the appropriation of distant resources. Furthermore, the outputs that do result must be in38a form that is usable to the recipient. system.• Resiliency and DiversityA second feature of natural ecosystems which is relevant to defining a more sustainable ecosystemis the concept of “creative destruction” and its relationship to diversity. Holling (1987) arguesecosystems are constantly cycling between four general states of organisation: 1. Exploitation;2. Conservation; 3. Creative Destruction; and 4. Renewal.“The full dynamic behaviour of ecosystems at an aggregate level can therefore berepresented by the sequential interaction of four ecosystem functions. ...Theprogression of events is such that these functions dominate at different times: fromexploitation, 1, slowly to conservation, 2, rapidly to creative destruction, 3, rapidlyto renewal, 4, and rapidly back to exploitation. Moreover, this is a process ofslowly increasing organisation or connectedness (1 to 2) accompanied by gradualaccumulation of capital. Stability initially increases, but the system becomes sooverconnected that rapid change is triggered (3 to 4). The stored capital is thenreleased and the degree of resilience is determined by the balance between theprocesses of mobilization and of retention. Two properties are being controlled: thedegree of organization and the amount of capital accumulation and retention. Thespeed and amplitude of this cycle, as indicated earlier, are determined by whetherthe fast, intermediate, or slow variable dominates the timing.”(Holling, 1987,p.307)The main lesson of the creative destruction model is that ecosystems are never static but areconstantly battling the forces of increasing order and forces of entropy. It is a struggle whichactually leads to an ongoing renewal and strengthening of the system. It ensures the system doesnot become homogenous and dominated by a few main features.An old growth forest can serve as a good analogy. At first glance it appears to be a static somewhatuniform entity. However, a closer look at its canopy reveals patches of older, dying forest andyounger, vibrant forest. Here the forest is subject to perturbation from insects, disease, lightening,fire and old age. It is an indication that the system is renweing itself to remain strong and vital. Theplant species that invade the site will eventually give way to the climax species once again but notbefore they have enriched the soil and diversified the landscape. The reason the entire forestecosystem does not collapse all at once is that the majority of the system is actually quite diverseand resists the forces of change which affected the patch. If, however, the forest was ashomogeneous as it at first appears diseases would have a better chance of infecting the whole39forest.Holing argues this process can serve as an analogy for the growth and destruction of cities.“there are strong hints, at least from analysis of institutional organisations, from theperspective of cultural anthropology and technological developments, that functions similarto these four ecosystem functions (exploitation, conservation, creative destruction andrenewal) operate.”(Holling, 1987, p.312)A close examination of the life of cities illustrates this dynamic of growth and atrophy iscommonplace, if not predictable. In Mesopotamia, the Sumerian city of Ur grew to prominence in3,000 B.C. only to collapse 1,000 years later after its local ecosystems collapsed and it lost controlover the more distant ecosystems which were supporting it. Alexandria, Rome, and Athens eachshare similar stories of preeminence and deterioration. Cities in Meso and South America, such asthe Mayan’s Tikal and the Inca’s Cuzco grew and collapsed under the success and failure of theirsocieties. (Ponting, 1990) In eighteenth and nineteenth century England and Eastern NorthAmerica numerous cities enjoyed the prosperity of the industrial revolution only to see theirfortunes evaporate in the post World War II era as their undiversified economies collapsed. Mostrecently the fortunes of cities such as Montreal, Toronto and Boston have withered as the sameeconomic prosperity which fuelled their growth vanished.The process of slowly increasing organization or connectedness, leading to a situation where theecosystem is “overconnected” is applicable to the urban system. For example, as communitiesgrow their demand for basic supplies of food, energy and water increases. Eventually this growthexceeds local supply, forcing the community to look elsewhere for these resources. This was thescenario in the early 1970’s when the oil crisis created chaos for the United States, which founditself overdependent on an imported supply of oil that became scarce. Another example is theongoing battles between Los Angeles and San Francisco for drinking water as both systems areoverextended in their water supply and therefore subject to variations in supply. This process ofoverconnectedness is a process whereby the urban system grows beyond the capacity of the regionto support it economically and ecologically. The system becomes vulnerable to perturbationeconomically, ecologically and socially.“As a particular technology matures, it tends to become more homogeneous andless innovative and adaptive...the technical options worth considering becomenarrower and narrower....What happens is that through its very success a new40technology and its supporting systems constitute a more and more self-containedsocial system, unable to adapt to the changes necessitated by its success.”(Holling,1987, p.313)What the creative destruction model implies for the urban system is that for it to become moresustainable it must reduce, if not eliminate those features which lead to increased levels of social,economic and environmental homogeneity. It must also reduce those features which lead to anincreased dependency on supplies of resources and materials which are appropriated from outsidethe region. These tendencies result in a less resilient and adaptable system.In essence the urban system must diversify itself by prioritizing locally based economic, social andecological features. It should no longer rely on other systems to handle its waste, clean its water,supply it with energy and food. It must construct buildings to be flexible in their use to allow themto adapt to changing demand. It must maximise opportunities for local business and employment.It must develop local patterns which provide energy and food. And it should focus on thosefeatures which are small, diverse and adaptable.Intergenerational PlanningForman (1990) argues that all land use decisions in the sustainable landscape must be made withconcern for the ecological impacts one to two hundred years in the future. This is the time horizonwhich most closely matches the cycles and changes inherent in natural ecosystems. It allowsdecisions to be made based not only on the insight of past successes and transgressions but on thelikely consequences for future ecological and human health. Lynch (1972) considers a clear, long-term understanding of time is essential as it brings with it it a clearer concept of natural rhythms,cycles and change.“The quality of the personal image of time is crucial for individual well-being andalso for our success in managing environmental change, and that the externalenvironment plays a role in building and supporting that image of time.”(Lynch,1972, p.1)Long term planning spanning many generations contrasts the urban system’s current approach togrowth and development which is at best two to three decades long, and more commonly guidedby short term political and economic agendas.41“Perhaps historical analyses of cycles of climatic change, biological evolutionpulses, major technological innovations, and so on, could make the time period ofsustainable development more precise than ‘over human generations’.”(Forman,1990, p.263)Fabricated, Domesticated and Natural EnvironmentsThe final ecological concept relevant to the discussion of urban ecosystems is the distinctionbetween fabricated, domesticated and natural environments. Odum (1989) argues ecosystems canbe broadly divided into three types of environments as most of the planet has been subject to somelevel of alteration due to human activity. These three categories reflect levels of productivity andcharacteristics unique to each environment.Fabricated EnvironmentsThese include cities and their related infrastructure such as transportation and utility corridors.These are “fuel-powered systems” requiring the input of vast amounts of non-solar based energyfrom outside its immediate boundaries. (Odum, 1989, p.9)Domesticated EnvironmentsDomesticated environments sit on the cusp between the natural and fabricated environments and arecharacterised by exiractive resource and agricultural practices. They are considered “subsidisedsolar-powered systems” because they supplement incoming solar energy, with inputs of fuel basedhuman activity, such as labour, and machinery. (Odum, 1989, p.9-10)Natural EnvironmentsNatural Environments are the critical, autotrophic systems from which the fabricated systems drawsupport. They are relatively undisturbed systems considered as “basic solar-powered systems”because their principle energy source is the sun. Consequently they are the only “self-supporting”system of the three. (Odum, 1989, p.10)Odum (1989) argues that it is the combination of natural and domesticated systems which comprisethe earth’s life-support systems. The key to sustainability, therefor, is that the fabricated systemmust not undermine the balance between natural and domesticated systems, either by expanding42activity in local domesticated environments beyond capacity, nor by appropriating the productivityof more distant domesticated environments. The fabricated system must not lead to a net reductionin the productivity of the natural environment.This characterisation is useful because it recognizes that the urban system will never be an entirelyautonomous entity, that as a system it will always require an association with a domesticatedenvironment to supply it with the resources and food it cannot produce on its own. However, thedemands of the association are that the fabricated or urban system can never exceed the carryingcapacity of the natural and domesticated system, therefor the size of the urban system must bedetermined by this balance.2.4 ConclusionsThese ecologically based principles begin to describe the features or qualities the urban systemmust embody if it wishes to survive. By introducing input-output flows into the requirements of alldesign activities the current linearity of the urban system will develop the circular exchangesexhibited by natural ecosystems. By diversifying the urban system’s structure, its landscapepatterns and its building types the system’s homogeneity will disappear, its dependence on externalinputs will be reduced and its ability to adapt to local changes will increase. By incorporating aplanning time line which reflects ecological change rather than political or economic agendas shortterm speculative development will disappear and more ecologically based development willemerge. Finally, if the urban system is to become sustainable its size and shape must be definedand limited by the region’s carrying capacityThese four principles are already affecting change in the way the urban system, and its constituentparts, is organized. Chapter three identifies several projects found in Europe and North Americawhich are directly or indirectly responding to these principles.43443.0 ECOLOGICALDESIGNPARAMETERS3.1 IntroductionVirtually all systems and organisms change through mutual interactions. Few plants reproducewithout pollination by bees and few bees exist without the nutrients they gain from pollination.Similarly the hydrologic cycle is influenced by vegetative cover which in turn is affected by thehydrologic cycle. These are symbiotic, mutually supportive interactions and what distinguishesthem from the urban system is the lack of symbiosis in the latter. As described in chapters one andtwo the urban system is organised by dubious and ultimately predacious planning and designstrategies. However, as the rules of ecology demonstrate quite clearly, without symbioticexchanges such a system will ultimately fail.The intent of this chapter is to identify alternative solutions to the design of the urban system anddevelop a set of ecologically based design parameters. These are parameters that seek to develop amore symbiotic relationship with local and regional ecosystem; that return water from the urbansystem to the natural ecosystem free of pollutants; that reduce dependencies on non-renewable,distant resources; and that transform waste into a resource for other organisms and systems. Thisis the essence of ecologically sustainable design.The parameters address such issues such as water conservation, waste recycling, energy self-sufficiency, food production, mixed uses, and multi modal transportation systems. They werederived from site visits, interviews with project designers and literature searches of a variety ofprojects in Europe and North America which explore the notion of ecologically sustainable design.Once defined, these parameters will be used to guide the design of an alternative, and hopefullymore ecologically sustainable vision for a suburban neighbourhood in Langley.For ease of discussion the information has been organized into the six categories. Thiscategorization is not intended to imply that one operates exclusive of another. Rather, as with mostsymbiotic relationships, these categories represent the building blocks which collectively can shapethe future form of the community.453.3 Energy 3.6 Vegetation• Solar Energy • Urban Forests• Wind Energy • Urban Agriculture• Transportation • Green Roofs3.4 Water 3.7 Housing• Regional Balance • Heights• Surface Runoff • Narrow Buildings• Grey Water • Compact Building WidthsAdaptable Buildings3.5 Waste 3.8 Spatial Organization• Solar Aquatics • Density• Constructed Wetlands • Ecological Streets• Solid Waste • A Network Of PathsInterestingly many projects reflect local, grass roots initiatives rather than governmental impetus.Most tend to be small in scale with modest technical complexity though there are a few whichdemonstrate larger scale applications.The methodology used in selecting the examples was somewhat subjective due to the lack ofconsensus as to what constitutes sustainable design and how one measures it. More important,however, is that the very nature of ecological design eludes the methodological techniques of otherdisciplines. Statistical evaluations are inevitably incomplete since statistics depend upon the abilityto isolate dependent and independent variables, an impossible task within the context of ecology.While the energy savings of a particular building can be quantified it becomes much more difficultto measure the ecological benefits of that conserved energy. Similarly while the number and varietyof tree species can be counted, measuring something as amorphous as the forest’s biodiversity isdifficult.Therefore I relied upon a few basic questions:• Does the project engage a broad spectrum of ecological issues?• Are there measurable savings of energy, water, waste or land?• Does the project produce its own energy or food?• Is waste recycled?• Does the project improve local hydrologic patterns?• Is the project designed with flexibility and adaptability in mind?46• Does the project rely upon local materials and local economy?• Are the technical demands of the project simpler than conventional approaches?• Does the project add to, rather than subtract from, ecological diversity?• How does the project address issues of community?• What are the place making qualities of the project?In the end this assimilation of ecological design features into a list of parameters does not presumeto be a defmitive list. It is simply a list which provides a new direction for design to explore.Christopher Alexander said of his seminal book, A Pattern Language, that “we hope, of course,that many of the people who read, and use the language, will try to improve these patterns - willput their energy to work, in this task of finding more true, more profound invariants.” (Alexander,1977,p.xv) I believe this listing is an elaboration of Alexander’s patterns towards an ecologicaldesign aesthetic.3.2 The Antecedents of Ecological DesignWhile the scope of this thesis is limited to contemporary examples of ecological design, there aremany features embodied in early industrial and preindustrial cities which are relevant to anecologically based design model and worth a brief review. (Kostof, 1992; Alexander, 1977;Cullen, 1961; Mumford, 1961)Compact, Dense, Pedestrian-Oriented FormCities and towns with these forms are ubiquitous in Europe and annually attract tourists captivatedby the character of these compact communities. It is this same compact form, characterised byhigh densities and short distances which can provide valuable lessons in the search for sustainablecommunities. With a reliance on walking, all services and functions are connected by a network ofpedestrian paths. The compact form of community reduces the amount of energy expended ontransportation. At the same time agricultural land is conserved to maintain local food supply.Similarly ecologically sensitive lands such as creeks and marshes are spared due to the difficulty ofdeveloping them. This compact, densely populated form of community results in discreetboundaries and a strong community identity.47Human Scale DesignThe overall scale of the preindustrial city is much less imposing than today’s cities and towns.Road widths accommodate the movement of people and horses, not automobiles. Buildings arenot setback as the conservation of land would not allow such indulgences as exist in today’s singlefamily house. Limited building technology restricted buildings to a maximum of five or sixstories. And locally based economies and small building modules contrast today’s large buildingfloor plates which serve larger companies with national and international interests.Live/Work RelationshipsThe preindustrial city or town is characterised by a mixture of uses. Without modern mobilitypeople lived, worked and shopped in the same neighbourhood. Consequently little time andenergy is spent commuting.Public/Private RealmRow houses and apartment buildings with internal courtyards and strong street related facades helpto clearly define public and private space. Plazas, promenades, public markets and urban parksplay an important role in the public image and accessability of the community as a great deal ofcommunity life occurs in them. Contrasting this is today’s city where the public realm is moreambiguous, where it is subject to corporate influences. (Hough, 1992; Rowe, 1991; Hayden,1984) According to many ecocity planners and designers (Caithorpe, 1993; Hahn, 1992; Deelstra,1991) the presence of this publicness is an important enabling factor in the search for moreecologically sustainable communities.Common WallsAnother benefit of the row house found in cities throughout history is its common wall. In sharingat least two walls and in many cases the ceiling and floor, row housing reduces the exposed wallsper household by a minimum of two and a maximum of four. This means space heat is lost in, onaverage, two or three directions. (Walter, 1992; Brown, 1985). Alternatively the single familyhouse exposes four walls, a floor and a roof to the elements resulting in energy loss in sixdirections, or double to triple the number of surfaces in a typical row house.48Incremental GrowthChange generally happened, and still happens, much more slowly in the preindustrial city than intoday’s city of mercurial transformation. Demolition, reconstruction and renovation were largelymodest in scale, responding to changing family or business needs. (Lozano 1991) This incrementalchange or “piecemeal growth” (Alexander, 1987) unknowingly resulted in an intergenerationalarchitectural legacy which continues through today and which is fundamental in defining theidentity of the community. This legacy and subsequent identity contrasts that of the anonymity ofthe modern city and suburb where rapid change makes it difficult to retain local identity and wherestyles are appropriated from another context. (Hough, 1992; Relph, 1976; Lynch, 1972)From an ecological perspective this incremental change offers the community the opportunity tomonitor the impacts of change more easily and adjust as necessary to better respond to ecosystemfunction. Poor design decisions which are modest in scale are more easily rectified.Self-sufficiencyCities and towns were largely dependent on regional supplies of energy, food, water supplies andbuilding materials as inter-regional trade was limited. In many cases the supplies of theseresources was a limiting factor in the ultimate size of many communities.These are all centuries old responses to limited technology and regional autonomy. All predate therapid technological advances of the last two hundred years and therefore exhibit considerableresource efficiency. In many respects these features are among many older patterns which can offervaluable insight in the search for more sustainable cities and towns. Admittedly certain features ofthese communities were imposed by circumstance, not choice, with many residents living underrepressive government, limited personal wealth and trying sanitary conditions. Nonetheless thecharacteristics exhibited in these earlier communities include features with direct and ancillaryecological benefits. Not surprisingly many of these features are reemerging with the search formore viable forms of community. (Torsted Vest, 1993; Calthorpe, 1993; Hahn, 1992; Krieger,1991; Deelstra, 1991)493.3 ENERGYIntroductionEveiy system and organism on this planet depends on the input of energy to exist. It may be in theform of direct solar energy such as that used in photosynthesis and the hydrologic cycle, or it maybe transformed and embodied energy such as that found in wood or fossil fuels. Ultimately all arethe product of solar energy. Fortunately the supply of solar energy is more bountiful.“The earth receives as much energy from sunlight in 20 days as is believed to be stored inthe earth’s entire reserves of coal, oil, and natural gas...Over 40,000 exajoules (EJ) ofsunlight fall on the US landmass each year, an amount equivalent to 500 times current USenergy consumption.” (Brower, 1992, p. 40)Despite this abundance our society has elected not to utilize solar energy as its principle source ofenergy. In the United States approximately 85 percent of all energy consumption is met directly orindirectly by fossil fuels. (Brower, 1992, p. 5) In Canada, despite large scale hydroelectric powerplants, oil and natural gas account for more than 60 percent of the energy used to heat our homes.(Statistics Canada) This dependence on nonrenewable resources is problematic. The release ofgreenhouse gases associated with burning oil and gas is traumatizing the planet’s forests andacidifying its waters. The use of fossil fuels accounts for 70 percent of all human emissions ofcarbon dioxide, and 55 percent of the atmospheric emissions effecting global change. (Brower,1992, p.10) Oil spills, large and small, contribute to polluted water tables and destroy wildlife andtheir habitat. The extraction of coal, oil and natural gas has left a legacy of denuded landscapescomplete with toxic byproducts.A dependence on fossil fuels raises other problems. What once was thought to be infinite in supplyduring the 1950s and 1960s is proving to be quite limited. Based on 1989 production levels theWorld Resources Institute (WRI) predicts the supply of oil will be virtually extinguished by theyear 2030 (WRI, 1990, p.149) In 1990 the Environmental Protection Agency speculated thatcurrent global consumption of fossil fuels could double by the year 2025 based on current trends,exacerbating supply problems. (Brower, 1992) While these figures may change with the discoveryof new reservoirs and the development of more efficient extraction techniques, it is clear that thesupply of fossil fuels is finite. Yet most cities and towns in the western world assume these fuels to50be in limitless supply and consume them accordingly, in patterns of consumption that can becategorized into three general sectors: (Gordon, 1991; Browning and Lovins, 1989)• Transportation - 28% of total consumption: energy used for transporting people andgoods, of which more than 99% is derived from fossil fuels.• Residential & Commercial - 36% of total consumption; includes heating and electricalrequirements, of which greater than 50% is derived from fossil fuels.• Industrial - 36% of total consumption: includes agriculture and industrial productionand manufacturing, of which approximately 70% is derived from fossil fuels.With anywhere from 50 to 99 percent dependence on finite fossil fuels, change is inevitable.Future, more sustainable energy practices will be based on maximizing passive and active solarenergy, reusing and recovering waste energy, and general conservation practices. (Brower, 1992;Walter, 1992; Daly and Cobb, 1989; Brown, 1981) Many of these changes in energy supply haveimplications well beyond the scope of this thesis. Some, however, directly implicate spatial formand these are the ones which interest this thesis.The emphasis of this section will be on:• Solar Energy• Wind Energy• Transportation EnergyOther energy initiatives such as Biomass Energy and Cogeneration Power Plants have the potentialto supplement a community’s energy supply but their spatial implications are unclear at this timeand therefore will not be discussed in this section.• Solar EnergySolar energy can help a community develop a more autonomous energy supply, one which is notonly ecologically more sustainable but one which provides more local return on investment.Browning and Lovins (1989) have calculated that of every dollar spent on energy in most North51American communities, between 80 and 90 cents leaves the community to subsidize distantsupplies. This investment never returns to the community except to increase dependence on thatexternal energy source. An energy policy based on local solar energy supplies would keep this 80to 90 cents at home and employ people in the community.Within the last decade numerous projects have realised substantial energy savings by adoptingpassive and active solar design criteria. Hahn(1991) notes that ecological urban restructuringprojects in Europe of 18th and 19th century housing stock has resulted in domestic heat andelectrical energy savings of 50 percent. The Rocky Mountain Institute’s head office in Snowmass,Colorado has realised 99 percent savings in space and water heating energy and a 90 percentreduction in domestic electricity by employing comprehensive solar design strategies. Brower(1992) estimates overall energy savings of 30-70 percent are reasonable expectations from a welldesigned passive solar building and that by year 2030, approximately 53 percent of the UnitedStates’ energy consumption could come from renewable sources such as solar, hydropower,biomass, wind, and geothermal. (Brower, 1992, p.45) Van der Ryn and Caithorpe (1986)presented a solar design proposal for Main Solar Village in which they anticipated space andwater heating savings of 80 percent over conventional systems.Amory Lovins, one of the world’s authorities on energy efficiency predicts even higher savingsthan Calthorpe, Van der Ryn or Brower. By combining the right sitting, form, and buildingenvelope including efficient windows, with passive design and extremely efficient equipment heatand electrical energy use can be cut by 75 percent or more. (Lovins 1993) Equally important,Lovins argues, is that the cost of implementing such strategies need not exceed the costs ofconventional systems, and may even result in lower capital costs for the entire project due toreduced reliance on capital intensive heat, ventilation and air conditioning equipment. (Lovins1993)To achieve these savings two basic rules of passive solar design must be followed: orientation andinsulation. These strategies represent an archetypal building pattern, traceable back to a time whenfurnaces and energy utilities did not exist, and society had little choice but to exploit incoming solarradiation as a staple heat source. Ancient Greecian and Roman cities were organised in grid52patterns oriented along the cardinal points which, among other reasons, maximised incoming solarenergy to each building. Socrates wrote,“In houses that look toward the south, the sun penetrates the portico in winter, while insummer the path of the sun is right over our heads and above the roof so that there isshad.”(Solplan, 1993, p.4.)The Romans further enhanced the efficiency of solar gain with the development of windowglazings. (Vale, 1991) In areas with warm summers and cool winters attention to siting, masonryconstruction and the use of overhangs for shading in summer were basic to housing design. Thisis also illustrated by the adobe houses of the Anasazi, in the American Southwest. Buildings weretypically sited within cliff faces to take advantage of the cooling shade provided by overhead rockcanopies during hot summer months. In winter when incoming solar energy was desired the lowerangle of the sun penetrated directly into the houses. Similar design strategies can be seen in thetraditional architecture of the Middle East and Asia.Unfortunately basic passive solar design strategies are rarely incorporated into new buildingconstruction. In particular, suburban communities are often characterized by homes on meanderingstreets that result less from attention to southern orientation and more to maximising the number ofdevelopable lots. Access to inexpensive, nonrenewable energy supplies for heat and electricityhelps to marginalize concerns of orientation, insulation and thermal mass. Brower argues thatcontinuing low prices for conventional energy, “tax codes that are biased against capital-intensivetechnologies, and the failure of markets to account for the environmental impacts of energy use,”(Brower, 1992, p.40) act as disincentives to considering many passive and active solar designstrategies.Similarly, active solar designs have been slow to come to market. Early generation photovoltaic(PV) solar panels were expensive and inefficient, and required significant maintenance. This leadto a general rebuke of the technology which continues today despite significant improvements inPV efficiency, reliability and lower costs. (Brower, 1992) Walter (1992) believes this bias willchange particularly as costs of fossil fuel energy begin to reflect their “true costs”; the cost ofproduction plus the expenses associated with by-products such as acid rain, greenhouse gases, andloss of forest cover. If these costs are taken into account then the cost of solar power could be53“....as much as 60% below a gas burning plant’s costs.” (Walter, 1992, p.192)Two further problems which limit the acceptance of solar energy, particularly active solarstrategies, has been the lack of financial support and impenetrable markets. In the mid-1980s,when supplies of fossil fuels increased and oil and gas prices dropped, the incentive forgovernment to continue funding research and development in solar power vanished. In the UnitedStates, a world leader in solar research, government funding declined to $114.7 million in 1989, ora drop of “almost 90% below the 1980 level, if inflation is taken into account.”(Brower, 1992,p.22) In 1992 less than 10 percent of research and development into energy research in the UnitedStates, went towards renewable sources. (Brower, 1992, p. 28) Difficulties in finding financialsupport has been exacerbated by markets which are unreceptive, local building codes andinspectors who are ill prepared to review alternative energy based projects, and utility companieshave been reluctant to adopt research programmes to improve the efficiency and costs of solarenergy. (Brower, 1992; Walter, 1992)Consequently the price of photovoltaic panels continues to be inflated and demand remainsrelatively flat. This will likely change as fossil fuel supplies diminish and increase in price, andmore money becomes available for research into less expensive and more efficient photovoltaicsystems. When combined active and passive solar design strategies have the potential to allowvirtual energy autonomy. However, as the intent of this thesis is to focus on design strategies inexistence today the emphasis on solar energy design parameters will be on passive solar strategiesand their spatial demands on community form. Active solar design will be discussed only as anancillary energy source.The following passive solar design strategies establish some site planning criteria for developingsolar based communities.OrientationOrientation is the most critical solar design strategy as it directly implicates solar gain. To maximizesolar gain a building’s dominant surface should be perpendicular to, or within 20 degrees either54side of south. Maximum gain occurs between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. with modest gains at other timesof the day. (Crowther, 1992; Brown, 1985) This begins to suggest the preferred building form islong and thin, with the main axis oriented east to west. Knowles refers to this as the “solarenvelope”, and argues that solar envelopes oriented along an east to west axis, “contain the mostbulk.” (Walter, 1992, p.88) Knowles argues that an elongated building oriented within 20 degreesof south can be taller and wider than those beyond 20 degrees because they have the potential togenerate more energy. As buildings move further off the east-west axis they should becomethinner and shorter. Taller buildings should occur along the north side streets and lower ones alongthe south side to admit winter sun and they should generally begin lower at the corners andgradually rise towards a higher mid-block height.By association, an east to west building orientation implies that, where topography allows, gridedstreets oriented to the cardinal points is preferable to meandering streets. Specifically those streetpatterns which form rectangular blocks along an east west axis provide for maximum solar gain. Ithas been argued that this attention to orientation can also enhance a community’s legibility;“Pathways, districts, and directions take on clearer perceptual meaning when the solarenvelope becomes a framework for urban development.”(Walter, 1992, p. 88)Heat energy savings are not the only benefit that comes with improved orientation. An east westorientation allows roof mounted photovoltaic arrays and solar hot water panels to maximize solargain. Daylighting of buildings is also enhanced which, in turn, reduces the amount of energy usedto light rooms through the course of a day. Orientation and solar gain also has the capacity toextend the use of outdoor spaces such as patios, courtyards, porches, decks, balconies, solariumsand glass conservatories during colder months.Therefore the following design parameters can be stated;The long axis of all buildings will be oriented along an east-west axis tomaximise southern exposure and solar gain. Whenever possible thesebuildings should have sloped roofs which incorporate photovoltaic panelsfollowing the same axis to maximise solar gain.If another orientation axis is selected the roofs should be flat to allow forthe placement of photovoltaic panels along an approximate east west axis.55RoofsRoofs are perhaps the most overlooked resource in a community but are among its most pervasive.The area of a city “under roof” is substantial. Consider that on a standard single family residentiallot with a “Floor Area Ratio (FAR)” of approximately 35 to 40 percent of the lot’s total area, theroof will invariably occupy an area equal to, and likely larger than, the FAR. In higher densitylocations, roof coverage may equal 100 percent of the lot’s total area. Depending on densities, 25percent (suburban) to 100 percent (urban) of private land in any given community may be underroofs.Conventional roofs forsake opportunities to generate energy, moderate the local microclimate, andcollect water. Most importantly, conventional roofs eschew the potential energy benefits derivedfrom active and passive solar building techniques, a symbiosis capable of providing most of abuilding’s heat and electrical needs. Current active technology involves two main roof mountedstrategies;• RoofMounted Photovoltaic Cells - transform incoming solar radiation into electricalenergy to be used immediately, stored on site in rechargeable battery cells, or sold back tothe energy utility through the existing grid.• Hot Water Panels - roof mounted panels provide heated water for domestic use or spaceheating.Numerous projects throughout Europe and North America have demonstrated that combiningpassive and active design can provide a minimum of 80 percent domestic heat and hot water, and50 to 70 percent domestic electrical can be saved by using solar design. (Lovins, 1993; Brower,1992; Hahn, 1991; Van der Ryn and Caithorpe, 1986) Certain buildings such as the RockyMountain Institute in Snowmass, Colorado are able to provide 99 percent of the building’s spaceand water heat energy, and 90 percent of its electrical demands.The efficiency of active roof systems depends on the roof’s pitch or at least the pitch of the panelsas well as the building’s orientation to south. As discussed earlier the most efficient buildingenvelope is one that is rectilinear with its long axis oriented east to west, perpendicular to south orwithin 20 degrees of south. The preferred situation is for these buildings to have pitched roofs with56photovoltaic solar collectors mounted along the southern side. The panels must be adjustableupwards to latitude plus fifteen degrees to allow for seasonal changes in the sun’s azimuth.maximize winter solar gain. (Crowther, 1992, p.281) If the building’s long axis moves beyond 20degrees of south then flat roofs are preferred because they would allow the installation ofphotovoltaic panels which could be independently adjusted towards south.Therefore the following parameters can be stated;Sloped roofs should be used on buildings whose long axis can be orientedperpendicular to within 20 degrees of due south. In these cases southfacing pitches should include photovoltaic cells or hot water panels. Northfacing pitches should be planted with xeriscape plants.Building axises beyond twenty degree should result in flat roofs whichinclude PV panels which can be oriented due south and xeriscape plants orvegetable gardens.By combining passive and active solar design strategies buildings become capable of generatingmost of their own energy . Furthermore this more autonomous existence is accomplished withrelatively low levels of technical complexity. This contrasts with modern buildings which rely onelaborate heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, designed to control the interior climate24 hours a day, 365 days of the yeat• Wind EnergyOne of the keys to a sustainable energy policy is to maximise regional energy production andeliminate appropriated energy resources from another region. This ensures the carrying capacity ofa region is not artificially enhanced. While solar energy should constitute the largest proportion of acommunity’s energy budget as it is in greatest supply, other renewable sources can serve assupplemental supply, particularly during periods of low solar energy gain. Wind energy is the mostvisible of these alternative sources.For centuries the wind has been used to pump water, mill grain and, more recently, generateelectricity. In the lowland countries of Northern Europe windmills have become landscape icon57along with farms, hedgerows and irrigation canals. Today 2 percent of Denmark’s national energysupply is derived from the wind with aspirations of 10 to 20 percent in the near future. Similarly inthe Dutch town of Dearsum, the town’s 150 residents own and operate a wind turbine whichsupplies most of their electrical energy, and during times of surplus production provides a smallincome with the sale back to the national utility. Signal lights are mounted on the turbine to indicateto the community demand versus supply, and serves to regulate demand. A green light tells thecommunity the supply of electrical energy from the windmill exceeds domestic use with the surplusbeing sold to the power utility along the existing grid. A yellow light indicates the communitydemand is balanced with supply. A the red light indicates supplemental power is being purchasedfrom the energy utility to meet community demand. Last year the community made a profit of$6,800. (Urban Ecologist, 1993)Wind turbines have been supplying power to Californians since the early 1980s. Between 1981and 1986 15,000 turbines were built as utility grade power generators. During the same periodover 5,000 smaller private wind turbines were constructed elsewhere in the United States.(Brower,1992) Today more than 16,000 turbines contribute approximately 2.8 billion kilowatt-hours ofelectricity annually to California’s electrical grid, enough to supply in excess of four millionpeople.(UPI 1993) In Goldendale, Washington, near the Columbia River Gorge, the PacificNorthwest’s first major wind generating power plant is being built. Consistent high windsthroughout the year make the site an ideal location for wind generated power. By 1996 140 windturbines will be capable of generating 50 megawatts of electricity; capacity sufficient to power9,400 homes.North America possesses vast areas with the consistent winds necessary for viable wind powergeneration. The U.S. Department of Energy has identified 37 states with adequate wind resourcesfor commercial wind powered generation plants. (Walter, 1992) The American Wind EnergyAssociation has estimated that perhaps 20 percent or more of the electrical energy demands of theUnited States could be realistically met by wind power. (Brower, 1992) This calculation includesexclusions of land either too steep, too remote, or environmentally sensitive in nature. In Canadathe potential proportion is equally high, if not higher. Along its coasts, in the vast open plains andalong the ridge lines of the many mountain ranges numerous sites exists which theoretically58possess the necessary conditions for wind generation.Turbines are becoming increasingly more cost effective and have the obvious benefit of beingenvironmentally benign. The technological problems of the past have been solved withimprovements in efficiency and reliability of wind turbines. Wind farms have the added benefit ofbeing relatively mobile, requiring only months to establish versus years and decades for fossil fueland hydro power plants. Simultaneously, turbines have proven to be compatible in sharing landwith other, typically agricultural uses, a claim not made by conventional systems. Turbines can beerected within and along the edges of fields without disruptions to the farmer. Smaller, less costlyturbines have been developed to serve small villages, rural homeowners, and third worldapplications. Capital costs are recovered in a few years and dependency on larger energy utilitiesreduced. When hybridised with photovoltaic systems, wind power can offer virtual autonomyfrom utilities. (Brower, 1992)Until recently wind energy production compared unfavourably with conventional fossil fuel powerplants. Two decades ago the cost of wind power was between 15 and 20 cents/kilowatt hour.Today the direct costs of wind generated energy are now approximately 7 cents per kilowatt hourversus 5 to 6 cents for coal or oil. With lower operating and maintenance costs and no greenhousegas emissions, wind power is actually cheaper than conventional power supplies when true costingis applied.(Walter, 1992) The traditional problems of daily and seasonal variations in wind speed,the nonconformity of peak production with peak demand, and proximity of source generation tosite demand can be mitigated when wind power is used as a supplemental energy source andsufficient battery storage is provided. Therefore the following design parameter can be stated:If consistent winds exist in the vicinity of the community wind turbinesshould be erected in open fields on the windward side of the communityand linked to the community’s power grid.Opportunities to plant new forest cover which might enhance the velocity ofprevailing winds and channel these winds to wind turbines should beexplored whenever denuded forests are being reestablished.59• Transportation EnergyIn North America walking or cycling to work, shops, services, and schools accounts for only 5percent of all trip. In Europe this figure ranges from a 20 to 40 percent. (Newman and Kenworthy,1989) The average North American travels 12,500 kilometres per year by car compared to 5,600kilometres in Europe and 1,800 in Asian. In North America, the average per capita energyconsumption for transportation is 56,383 Mega Joules compared with European consumption of13,280 MJ, and 5,493 MJ in Asia. (Gordon, 1991; Newman and Kenworthy, 1989) These figuresemphasise the scale of automobile dependence and the energy intensity of North America’stransportation systems.One of the keys to developing an ecologically based energy policy and a more sustainable form ofcommunity is to maximize pedestrian and bicycle circulation for local travel, and public transitoptions for regional connections. (Deelstra, 1991; Tolley 1990) Emphasising public transportationoptions and combining integrated land uses makes services and amenities more accessible, reducesenergy consumption, atmospheric emissions and groundwater pollutants, and protects agriculturalland from being consumed by road Construction and development. Multi-modal transportationsystems which link local pedestrian and bicycle systems with regional transit systems offer morepeople more options in travelling to more places. Europe and parts of Asia, where land is scarceand energy expensive, have focused far more attention on issues of public transit than has NorthAmerica.It is for this reason that the example of Almere, the Netherlands serves as a good example of whata multi-modal transit system should and can feature. Almere is a collection of three small cities 25kilometres east of Amsterdam. Construction began in the early 1970s with a mandate to developan integrated community which included housing, employment opportunities, full services, andrecreational facilities. The three cities have a combined population of approximately 70,000 and areexpected to grow to 250,000. The communities are organised around a hierarchical transportationsystem which emphasizes public transit, bicycle paths and pedestrian circulation.60Light RailThe rail system is part of the national rail network, providing regular thirty minute service todowntown Amsterdam. Each of Almere’s communities has a train station at its centre around whicha mix of full service commercial and moderately dense residential neighbourhoods are focussed.The highest housing densities and largest proportion of each community’s population are locatedwithin a 500 meter walk of the station. There is limited surface parking around each station toencourage people utilize the bus lines and discourage driving to the shops.Segregated Bus NetworkAfter the railway lines and general footprints of each community were located, a series ofsegregated bus lines were overlayed to link neighbourhoods with the central train stations. Furtherconnections between each community were also established. Automobiles were the last layer ofinfrastructure located and were fit around the transit lines, housing blocks and community serviceareas. Consequently 90 percent of all residences lie within a 5 minute walk of the train station or400 meters of a bus stop. Traffic lights favouring the bus routes occur wherever intersections withautomobile roads occur to ensure swift travel for the buses.Bicycle and Pedestrian Path NetworkThe network of bicycle and pedestrian paths provide the third and most local transportation option,complementing the rail and bus service. They allow easy access to neighbourhoods, transit stationsand other commercial and recreational amenities throughout Almere. The paths are separated fromroads to avoid possible conflicts with automobiles. In areas of high pedestrian activity the bicyclepaths are segregated and intersections clearly marked. In less congested areas the path is generallyshared. At each train station the cyclist has the option of storing their bike in a secure lock-up ortaking it on the train.There is nothing particularly revolutionary about these three systems. They each exist in a varietyof forms in a number of cities around the world. In Curutiba, Brazil a dedicated bus network wasall the city could afford for public transit. Today it carries 1.5 million passengers per day. (Lerner,1993) In Adelaide, Australia a dedicated bus line was constructed recently to connect the suburbannortheast with the downtown core. While ridership on conventional lines has declined 10 percent,61ridership on the dedicated service has increased 24 percent. (Wayte, 1988)Advocates of Transit Oriented Developments argue that when public transit is properly integratedinto a land use plan that provides for a mix of housing, employment and services within a five toten minute walk automobile trips can be expected to drop by a minimum 50 percent. (Calthorpe,1993; Kelbaugh, 1989) It is essential for all communities aspiring to become ecologicallysustainable that the transit features similar to those found in Almere become standard pratice, andprovides the main link to other communities and throughout the region.(Calthorpe, 1993; Newmanand Kenworthy, 1992) These features form the following transportation design parameters;• The community should be organised around a central transit station whichsits within a 5 to 10 minute walk of most residences and providesconnections throughout the region.• Intraregional travel is best accomplished on bus lines and bicycle trailswhich are either segregated from roads or provided separate travel lanes.• Internal circulation must emphasize pedestrians and cyclists. Automobilecirculation should be controlled by traffic diversions such as woonerfs.623.4 WaterIntroductionWater is an essential component of all living things, a continuum that binds all ecosystems, sculptsthe land and defines plant communities. It is simultaneously global in scale and site specific incharacteristic. Water nurtures the forests which purify the air, creates the streams in which salmonspawn and provides us with water to irrigate our gardens. We are linked to water physicallythrough the hydrologic cycle, physiologically through its dominant presence in our bodies andspiritually through its central role in our collective mythologies. It leaves an indelible stamp on us.Spirn wrote:“Water is a source of life, power, comfort, and delight, a universal symbol of purificationand renewal. Like a primordial magnet, water pulls at a primitive and deeply rooted part ofthe human nature. More than any other single element besides trees and gardens, water hasthe greatest potential to forge an emotional link between man and nature in the city.” (Spirn,1984, p.142)Yet, despite its vital role in all life, city dwellers make little connection between the water they drinkand the water they pollute. It enters homes via hidden pipes, pumps and reservoirs and departsalong a parallel system of concealed pipes and channels. Surface runoff carries away oil andgasoline residues to rivers, lakes and oceans. Natural drainage courses are paved over and orirrevocably altered. In essence the clandestine movement of water throughout the urban systemserves to obscure the understanding of water’s role as an essential component in maintainingregional ecosystem function and ultimately ourselves.This section addresses how water should be handled in an ecologically sustainable community.Specifically three design parameters which will redefine our relationship with water are discussed:• Regional Balance• Surface Drainage• Grey Water• Regional Balance20 million people living in Southern California belies the semiarid nature of the Southern63Californian landscape. The ubiquitous single family houses, lush gardens, swimming poois, golfcourses, and the world’s most intensive agricultural industry all flourish for one simple reason --an abundant supply of water. Southern California is swimming in water -- water it does not have.With an average annual rainfall of between 25 to 50 cm very little of the water supply is derivedlocally. The watershed supplying Los Angeles extends some 2,100 kilometres northeast, to theRocky Mountains and the headwaters of the Colorado River, and 1,000 kilometres north, via theCalifornia Aqueduct to the Sierra Nevadas. (Conniff, 1993)Though Los Angeles represents an extreme example of water appropriation it is by no meansunique. The canals and qanats of Mesopotamia, and Roman aqueducts throughout SouthernEurope attest to the extent to which cities have gone to secure water. What distinguishes LosAngeles and most other metropolitan urban systems is the scale of its growth and its concurrentincreases in water demands. Even in the Greater Vancouver Region with its seemingly abundantrainfall and local water supply, current population trends indicate the current reservoir capacity fortwo million people will be reached before 2010 unless conservation measures are mandated(Stephens, Van der Guilk and Heath, 1992).From an ecological perspective the continued appropriation of water from beyond a region isdestructive. It assumes that water can be withdrawn with impunity from undeveloped watersheds.In reality, any withdrawal from a drainage basin alters the ecological systems in that watershed.Minor withdrawals will generally not profoundly alter the ecological matrix, however, largewithdrawals will place those same stable ecosystems under a great deal of stress with many plantand animal habitats irrevocably altered. North America abounds with altered drainage basins, of allsizes. At some point, however, there will either be no more water to appropriate as all will havebeen spoken for by thirsty urban systems, or few natural drainage basins will remain intact.The stewardship of water is central to the notion of ecological sustainability. The sustainablecommunity must value water as much as other resource, if not more. Its water managementstrategies must relate to the hydrologic characteristics and capacities of local watersheds,. Thesewatersheds represent the building blocks of larger watersheds and are generally alteredincrementally by various disparate group, eventually affecting the larger system.64To date few communities have used a watershed perspective in the development of theircommunity. Most assume the water supply is a right of passage into urbanism. However, inHazelton, British Columbia a watershed approach is being implemented and offers a valuablemodel for other communities to follow. The community published Framework For WatershedStewardship with the goal of placing water management control within the hands of thecommunity and base those controls on the carrying capacity of the watershed.The “Framework” establishes a series of strategies and a process to reach this goal based on themanagement of water and watersheds. The plan involves the creation of a series of watershedauthorities which are responsible for the management of the forests, fish, wildlife, flora, minerals,water, air, and soil” within each designated watershed. (Hazelton, 1991, p. 3) The jurisdictionalboundaries parallel physiographic, not political, boundaries. The specific controls on developmentto protect water resources include (Hazelton, 1991):• Water Quality -Protection of water quality and quantity shall be recognized as a primary necessity in theplanning and implementation of any development or use activity• Potable Water License -Any human use in any watershed supplying potable water to a municipality or other localgovernment shall only occur with permission of the potable water license holder, and aftera comprehensive water management plan has been prepared.• Water Quality Degradation -Any deterioration of water quality caused by human activity in a watershed supplyingpotable water by license shall be remedied at full cost by the party causing the degradation.• Industrial Water License -Industrial water licenses shall be granted only after approvals are obtained from theWatershed Authority. A condition of all industrial water licenses will be a charge forindependent monitoring of volume and quality parameters which guarantee minimalenvironmental impacts.Other covenants and restrictions exist to protect the integrity of the watershed. From these andother basic environmental planning strategies outlined in the Framework For WatershedStewardship a few design parameters can be stated. Inherent in them is the acknowledgement thatwater is a shared resource among all the region’s ecosystems and that the urban ecosystem must65minimize its impact on both the volume and quality of the region’s hydrologic cycle. It mustensure that the regional water supply remains balanced. Therefor the following design parameterscan be stated:Calculate the hydrologic potential of the local watersheds includingseasonal variations and identify the base level that is required to protect thewatershed’s ecosystem. If water withdrawals for urban uses exceed thisbase level water from the urban system, equal in quality must be returnedto the point of withdrawal. In essence there must be a balance between thelevels of water entering and leaving the urban ecosystem to minimisedisruption to other ecosystems.New developments must map out their water supply and return strategiesbefore commencing construction.In existing urbanized areas those features which were fundamental to thewatersheds ecological vitality but were altered must be identified andtargeted for long term acquisition and rehabilitation to restore hydrologicbalance.No new culverting of water courses shall be allowed and a long termstrategy should be established to acquire and daylight existing culvertedstreamsAll subsurface water tables should be mapped and development oversensitive aquifers limited.Surface DrainageThe water management goal of the ecologically sustainable community involves protecting theecological integrity of the region’s hydrologic cycle. The best strategy to accomplish this involvessurface drainage which is defined by:“the use of a system of surface topographic features such as swales, channels, and smallponds to collect and convey stormwater in a manner closely resembling naturalwatersheds.” (Thayer and Westbrook, 1989, p. 154)Surface drainage allows water to follow the more natural drainage patterns of the local hydrologicalcycle. It encourages filtered runoff to flow to small ephemeral creeks which in turn feed largerdendritic stream and river systems. Natural stream courses become an important organizingelement for the community rather than an impediment. When combined with grey water strategiesand reductions in impermeable surfaces surface drainage techniques can dramatically reduce the66impact of a community on regional hydrologic patterns. Open drainage has the added benefit ofmaking the hydrologic cycle a more visible component of the community. It can also be used tocreate amenity spaces for adults and children alike, something subsurface pipes could never do.A distinct advantage of a surface drainage system is the amenity space it can provide. Opportunitiesfor children to play, areas to grow fruit and vegetables, and potential habitat can all be organizedaround an open drainage system. Of equal value is how the system illustrates the hydrologic cycle.Its visible presence helps reconnect the resident with the flows and associated plant communitiesof the regional landscape. It is both a physical feature and a psychological tonic and numerousprojects in Europe and a few in North America have successfully applied surface drainagetechniques.Valdemarsgade Housing ProjectLocated in Slagelse, Denmark the Valdemarsgade Housing Project is a recently renovated olderurban housing block. Among its many ecological design initiatives, the most compelling is thedecision to use surface drainage. Storm water is collected from the housing block’s roofs into aninner courtyard pond where it is either used in the extensive grey water system or recharged intothe ground via a stream and recharge bed. It helps irrigate the housing block’s community gardenand flows along a stream which forms part of the children’s play area.Village HomesLocated in Davis, California, Village Homes is a 32 hectare subdivision organized around an openspace system which serves as both the community’s principle amenity area and its stormwaterdrainage basin. A series of swales and ponds allow water to percolate and recharge the subsurfacewater table. The system provides the community with a variety of open spaces while dispensingwith the traditional subsurface drainage systems. Houses are sited on the property’s high groundwhich defines the site’s internal drainage basins. All precipitation drains away from the houses.Runoff from the community’s interior streets is also handled with surface drainage. The roads aregraded towards perimeter gutters where a series of notches in the curbs allow runoff to passthrough into dry wells and swales. The water collected in the network of swales flows down topercolation areas where reed beds help filter out oil and fuels that may be carried in the runoff. The67entire drainage system is designed to handle a 10 year storm . It remains connected to the publicstorm sewer as a safety measure should the open system be unable to absorb severe stormwaterrunoff. However, to date no runoff has entered the municipal stormwater system. (Thayer andWestbrook, 1989)The WoodlandsWith approximately 7,000 hectares of land The Woodlands, located near Houston, Texas, is aneven larger example of an open drainage system organizing community form. It is a suburbanhousing enclave located in a flat, low lying area with mixed forests and seasonal drainage basinssubject to heavy rains and flooding. To ensure the survival of the local forest ecosystem, minimisedisruption of water tables and drainage patterns, and prevent subsidence open drainage was chosenover conventional subsurface storm sewers.Houses and roads are sited based on a series of landscape tolerance guidelines derived from thesite’s soil and hydrologic conditions. Consequently roads occur along the high ground or overimpermeable surfaces to preserve natural drainage. Curbiess roads were selected over a traditionalcurb, gutter and catch basin systems. The expansive open space includes the community’s threegolf courses and is designed to act as impoundment and recharge areas during heavy flooding.Performance guidelines, called permissible coverage and permissible clearance defined sitecoverage and site clearing based principally on ecological indicators. Consequently the opendrainage system, complete with 100 meter wide drainage easements, 30 meter wide secondarydrainage channels, a network of uninterrupted drainage swales, large impoundment and rechargebeds, restricted impervious surfaces and curbless roads defines the community’s identity.Unfortunately recent developments and new resident expectations has lead to a departure fromopen drainage to conventional subsurface strategies. The ecological implications of this areunknown but it is reasonable to speculate the effects will not be positive.68Nevertheless from these and other projects the following design parameters respecting opendrainage can be stated;The drainage capabilities of local soils should be defined to locatepermeable and impermeable soils, and potential recharge areas.Local drainage characteristics should not be effected by the community’sdevelopment to maintain the continuity of the hydrologic cycle.Existing site runoff should be defined to ensure that its location, qualityand quantity are not altered.General site coverage should not exceed 50 percent and existing levels ofrunoff though altered due to site coverage should be maintained with runofffrom roofs or grey water systems.Roads should avoid the use of catch basins and subsurface drainagesystems with runoff either;- being drained into swales to be carried off to adjacent biofiltrationpercolation beds and natural drainage systems;- be drained by swales to nearest solar aquatic facility;- be channelled into roadside dry wells were oil separators canfilter out oil and gas residues and groundwater recharge canoccur.Porous paving, biofiltration reed beds and subsurface recharge areasshould be standard details in low traffic areas and parking lots. In highertraffic areas if reed bedscannot adequately filter out surface pollutantsswales should carry runoff to nearest treatment facility.Parking lots should be limited in size and designed to act as detentionponds for periods of heavy rains and high runoff.Surface paving should be small round or oblong interlocking payers tomaximize potential percolationBuildings and roads should be located along higher elevations and aboveimpervious soils to minimise disrupting local drainage conditions. In theevent displacement occurs site grading and surface runoff should bedesigned to mitigate any losses to the water volumes flowing through theoriginal systemGreen roofs should be incorporated into all buildings to slow peak runoff69• Grey WaterWater resources are becoming a prized commodity in most urban areas as demand outstrips supplyand water must be imported. Even in the Greater Vancouver Regional District with its seeminglyabundant average rainfall of 1,055 mm/year summer water restrictions are required to balance arapidly expanding population and annual per capita water consumption of approximately 450 litres.Metering water consumption and charging for its use is becoming a more common conservationpractice in major metropolitan areas such as Boston and Los Angeles. Similarly the installation oflow flow faucets and toilets is capable of reducing domestic water usage by 20 to 30 percent (Vale,1991). To this end the City of Vancouver recently passed a bylaw requiring all new housinginclude these fixtures. These are measures generally directed at reducing consumption.A more important strategy involves the reuse of existing water supplies, referred to as “greywater.” In Denmark and The Netherlands where potable water supplies are scarce grey waterplumbing is used extensively to reduce external water demands. A basic grey water systemcollects rainwater from the roof using the eaves and downspouts, and stores the water in a cisterntypically located in the basement. In many applications a planted roof is combined to act as the firstfiltering stage although for most applications this is not required. The water held in the cistern isthen available for use in nonpotable situations such as clothes washing machines, garden irrigationand toilets. The appeal of a grey water system is that, with only five to ten percent of total domesticwater consumption requiring potable water quality grey water has the potential to reduce domesticwater consumption by up to 90 percent. (Vale, 1991)Grey water systems can be applied to any building and are flexible enough to allow water to bestored in exterior ponds as part of an amenity space or as a children’s play space. The new InstituteofAsian Research building on the University of British Columbia campus collects rainwater in asmall pond for use in on site irrigation. In Berlin, Germany Block 103 is an inner-city housingblock with 332 residential units and 41 shops. It was rebuilt in the 1980’s with a grey waterreservoir in the courtyard as the dominant feature of the building. Rain water combines with greywater from sinks and showers into the central pond where a series of biofiltration beds help purifythe water for reuse.70It is because of these examples that the following design parameter can be stated:Grey water systems shall be a compulsory component of all buildings toconserve water. Large reservoir cisterns which can store rain water forfuture use in toilets and cloth washing machines shall be placed either inthe building’s basement or immediately outside the building.In some situations it may be advantageous to store the water in outsideponds and streams to help animate a courtyard or play areas.7135 Waste• IntroductionDealing with the waste byproducts of human activity has always presented a problem. Mumford(1961) notes that in 1388 the English Parliament, in response to increasing pollution of watercourses, passed an act that “forbade the throwing of filth and garbage into ditches, rivers, andwaters.”(Mumford, 1961, p. 290) Cities throughout medieval Europe suffered through plaguesand devastating diseases due, in part, to poor sanitary conditions. Outbreaks of cholera anddysentery were, and still are, linked to water supplies tainted by untreated human waste. Yet, untilthe industrial revolution, waste problems were localized and primarily concerned with the disposalof predominantly organic, sewage and refuse.More recently, however, increased consumerism has created more complex waste production anddisposal problems. Modern society is well ensconsed in patterns of purchasing, using anddiscarding, which creates mounds of waste daily. Waste seems to be an accepted consequence ofprogress. This, despite the contamination of groundwater by leachates percolating down fromlandfills comprised of paper, plastic, petroleum, wood, concrete and metal products; despitethousands of tons of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases discharged into the atmosphere ona daily basis from industrial smoke stacks and automobiles; and, despite large sewage treatmentplants which fail to adequately treat effluent prior to its release into rivers, lakes and oceans.Compared to natural systems, human waste is an anomaly. Natural ecosystems do not generatewaste. The byproducts of one reaction or one organism become the lifeblood for another. Thecyclical exchanges and transfers of converted energy and nutrients are essential for an ecosystem toremain diverse, adaptable and stable. In effect the exchange of ‘waste’ is the adhesive which bindsthe system together. In the urban systekm, however, byproducts are generally too noxious forfurther use and or recycling within any system.In the ecologically sustainable community the concept of waste must be redefined to become part ofthe circular exchanges of reuse, recycle and reconversion of one by-product into another. Waste72must become a valued resource just as air, water, vegetation, land, energy and materials are. Thissection discusses waste management issues with profound spatial impacts on community form;• Solar Aquatics;• Constructed Wetlands; and• Solid Waste.Solar aquatics and constructed wetlands focus on transforming wastewater into an asset for anycommunity. The principle difference between the two systems is spatial. The land requirements forsolar aquatics are considerably less than for constructed wetlands, making them more suitable forcommunities whereland is limited. Solid Waste addresses the waste which currently ends up inlandfills or incinerators. Managing solid waste is about developing appropriate policies andproviding programmes and incentives focussing on reducing consumption and developing onlythose products which can be reused and recycled. In Germany manufacturers are now being heldresponsible for the packaging their products are marketed in, even after the product has been sold.Solar Aquatic SystemsSolar Aquatic wastewater treatment is the brain-child of John Todd. Todd’s goal was to develop atechnologically simple method for treating wastewater to a tertiary level based on observed patternsin nature. He noticed that within natural ecosystems plants and organisms act as filters andpurifiers as their normal biological functions. Solar aquatics borrows these natural filtrationcapabilities and places them in a formal series of treatment stages. It is a 3 stage treatment processwhich takes an average of three to five days to completely treat the effluent. (EEA, 1992- #1)The raw effluent enters preliminary settlement chambers where solids are separated andcomposted. The remaining liquid effluent enters into a greenhouse to be circulated through asuccession of translucent cylinders filled with plants and organism where two principal biologicalreactions take place. The first series of tanks are responsible for breaking down the effluentthrough the solubilization and metabolism of complex organics. Aeration and biological activitybreakdown organic and inorganic compounds in the effluent into simpler, more solublecompounds, biomass, and C02 to be consumed by aerobic and anaerobic activity in downstream73tanks. Plant communities within the first tanks tend to be dominated by willows, water hyacinthsand starwort supplemented by snails.As the effluent is transformed it moves into a different phase of treatment, nitrification and nutrientreduction. In this phase nitrifying bacteria, algae and plant species metabolize ammonia and othernutrients while snails and zooplankton metabolize solids. Some heavy metals are absorbed by theplant species within these tanks. As the treatment of the effluent differs from the early phase sodoes the composition of the plant communities and organisms. In these tanks the plant communityis more diverse including tomatoes, nasturtiums, waterlilies, duckweed and pokeweed. There isalso the addition of small-mouth bass, suckerfish and bivalves to help develop a food chain capableof reducing the nutrient load of the effluent before it enters the final treatment stage.The final phase of effluent treatment involves denitrification and pathogen reduction. The effluententers an engineered marsh where any remaining solids and heavy metals are filtered out, andremaining nitrates and pathogens are consumed by the activity of plants and organisms. Plants areharvested and composted and any pathogens still in the effluent are ingested by organisms, killedby antibiotic releases from plant roots or through the exposure to ultraviolet light. (EEA, 1992-#1)At the end of the process the effluent is virtually potable and can either be reintroduced into thecommunity water supply or released into the regional hydrologic cycle without any adverseimpacts.There are a number of applications of solar aquatics in the United States and Europe operatingunder different circumstances. Some service individual housing developments whiles others servethe larger community. In Harwich, Massachusetts, a plant began operating in April 1990 with acapacity 3,600 U.S. gallons of raw sewage per day which represents the product of approximately50 percent of Harwich’s population. After two years of operation the Harwich Treatment plant isproving the success of solar aquatic systems. It has been monitored by federal and stateenvironmental agencies to ensure the outflow effluent meets acceptable sewage standards. TheHarwich plant offers a compelling alternative to conventional wastewater systems for a variety ofreasons. (Spencer, 1992; Teal and Peterson. 1991)74• Effluent Quality Meets Class 1 Drinking Water Standards• Powered by Solar Energy• Lower Capital and Infrastructural Costs• Compact Facility• Tertiary Quality EffluentIn addition to Harwich the solar aquatic system has been successfully installed in other locationsincluding: Providence, Rhode Island; Waterbury, Vermont; Boyne River School, Ontario; and, inKolding, Denmark. The viability of the Solar Aquatic is proven and allows the following designparameter to be stated:All the community’s waste should be treated in neighbourhood andcommunity based solar aquatic systems unless conditions are right for anengineered wetland to be installed.The facilities can be designed to serve any number of people althoughbelow 50 people it is likely more efficient to install composting toilets.Solar aquatic sewage treatment facilities require approximately 1m2 o fgreenhouse space per person per day to treat. They require full exposure tothe sun and nearby access to a composting area for the solid waste theyproduce.Solar aquatic facilities can also be installed on roof tops of individualbuildings where grey water and domestic waste could be treatedsimultaneously.The facilities should be associated with water reservoirs and ponds tocontribute to the community’s local water supplies.• Constructed WetlandsConstructed wetlands are a viable alternative to solar aquatics for communities with available landor existing wetlands. The treatment processes are similar with wastewater passing through aseries of containment areas where various combinations of plants and organisms process thewaste. The critical differences between the two relate to their spatial requirements and the speedwith which they process waste. To treat similar volumes of wastewater to comparable levels ofquality, solar aquatics require less than 10 percent of the land required for wetlands. This isprimarily a function of the greenhouse enclosure providing a more controlled environment for plantand organism growth. This allows the greenhouse system to treat effluent to a potable level in threeto five days as compared to a constructed wetland which typically takes thirty to sixty days. In75cooler climates this differential can become considerably more as the plants and organisms in theconstructed wetland may become dormant, thereby reducing their filtering abilities.The third difference, and the compelling reason to favour a wetland system over a solar aquaticsystem is the potential wildlife habitat and recreational amenity it can provide. Their configurationis not limited by the walls of the greenhouses; they can be shaped to enhance potential wildlifehabitat.There are different approaches to the design of wetland systems. This thesis presents the two mostpopular; 1. the marsh system as illustrated by Arcata, California’s Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary;and 2. reed fields common to The Netherlands. Generally the marsh system is more land intensivebut offers diverse habitat for wildlife. The reed fields tend to be a more engineered solution and areoften developed in tandem with farms to capture and treat runoff from agricultural fields.Arcata Marsh and Wildlife SanctuaryArcata is a small community of approximately 15,000 people located along Northern California’scoast. The marsh was constructed in the 1980s on a reclaimed garbage dump and old lumber millsite adjacent to Humbolt Bay. The 70 hectare wetland, in addition to acting as the city’s principaltreatment facility, is a designated wildlife sanctuary and recreational amenity. (Stewart, 1988; Price,1987) Raw effluent enters a primary treatment plant where degritting and the removal of solidsoccurs. The effluent then passes through a pair of oxidation ponds, a succession of four differentmarshes, and a chlorination plant before being discharged into the wildlife refuge and the PacificOcean.The marsh treatment facility is proving to have environmental benefits. The treated effluent isvirtually potable. The prized oyster beds into which the effleunt is discharged have not been alteredin any way. Wildlife in the area is thriving and the vegetative growth has the potential to beannually harvested and used to produce a biogass for supplemental fuel in the the city’s fleet ofvehicles.76Horizontal Reed FieldsReed fields or reed beds can be broken down into two categories. The first are horizontal reedfields which appear frequently in The Netherlands where, for approximately twenty years theyhave been treating agricultural wastewater. Reed fields differ from marshes in that their plantcommunities tend to be more homogeneous and they are more efficient at processing effluent,taking about fifteen days, or roughly half the time required for marshs. They are inexpensive tobuild and technologically simple to operate. In the Netherlands they are now being used to treatwastewater in recreational areas. (Deelstra, 1991)Deelstra (1991) and Jones (1991) calculate that the total land base necessary for a reed field capableof handling the waste of 10,000 people would be 7-10 hectares, based on a gross per capita area of7-10 m2 and a net of approximately 5m2. According to Worrall the reed field facility wouldcombine:• Storm-water and pollution incident overflow treatment areas;• Artificial riffles to aid oxygenation of the waste water flow;• Sedimentation in low energy ponds;• Rafted aquatic macrophytes to act as secondary oil traps;• Reed beds of different species types and, management regimes to treat organic waste andother pollutants;• Holding ponds for amenity use;• Clean-water soakaways for aquifer replenishment;• Willow beds for total adsorption. (Worral, 1992-#2, p. 20)Well-drained sediment beds within the reed fields are crucial to the system’s ability to effectivelyremove sediments through oxidization. This can be enhanced by terracing the fields and plantingthe reeds in a gravel bed. Any metals and toxic chemicals not oxidised out of the wastewater in thesubstrate of the beds are absorbed by the reeds and rushes. (Worrall, 1992-#1; Deelstra, 1991) Theadaptability of reeds and rushes to absorb industrial waste is a distinct advantage over engineeredmarshes whose natural equilibrium is more vulnerable to the toxicity of these wastes.Vertical Reed BedsVertical reed beds, also known as downflow beds, have been successfully used in England to treatwastewater. They differ from horizontal reed beds principally in that they are vertically stackedbeds forming a dendritic-like network of beds. The beds are linked by water runnels through77which the effluent flows. The system is more space efficient than horizontal reed fields, requiring abed area of less than 2m2 per person versus the 7 m2 for horizontal beds. The cascading effect ofvertical reed beds is more efficient in reducing the effluent’s biological oxygen demands (BODs)and suspended solids but less effective in reducing ammonia and nitrates which require calmerwaters. Therefore, it is advisable to combine both horizontal and vertical reed beds as is done inOaklands Park, Great Britian to take advantage of each beds filtering properties. For several yearsOaklands Park’s effluent has been treated to higher standards than required by the EuropeanCommunity. (Jones 1991)In most urban areas finding areas large enough for constructed wetlands is unrealistic.The spatialdemands are too great when solar aqautics offer an equally viable alternative on a fraction of theland. However, if the availability of land is not a constraint the following design parameters can bestated:The wetland system involves four phases of treatment;Phase 1 - Settling ponds or tanks to separate solids from liquids. Solids tobe corn posted.Phase 2 - Vertical reed beds at a spatial allowance of 2rn2 per person. Thisphase will reduce biological oxygen demands and suspended solids.Phase 3 - Horizontal reed beds at a spatial allowance of 57m2 per person.This phase will treat ammonia, nitrates and bacterial activity.Note: Bed thickness for phase 2 and 3 should be .5 meters deep and pitchedat 2 percent towards the next pond. The bottom two thirds of the bedshould be limestone aggregate. A 1 cm layer of pea gravel should sit atopthe limestone with the remaining thickness filled with coarse sand.Phase 4 - Lagoon/Marsh Retention Pond for final treatment at 7m2 perperson.• Solid WasteThe accumulation of solid waste in recent years has been dramatic. Between 1980 and 1985 theamount of solid waste generated per person in Canada increased by 21 percent. During that sameperiod, only 2 of the 16 members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and78Development, Germany and Japan, reduced solid waste production. In 1988 the averageAmerican produced 660 kilograms of solid waste. (Brown, 1991, p. 43- 44) Society appears toaccept this waste as inevitable even though most of it can be recycled or reused. On average paper,paperboard products and food wastes account for 50 to 70% of solid waste; metals, glass andtextiles another 20-30 percent; and plastics and other miscellaneous materials the remaining 10-20percent. (Walter, 1992; Brown, 1991; Vale, 1991) If properly managed all of this material has thecapability of being recycled.Central to any strategy for managing solid waste is a change in the community’s policy towardssource reduction, “the only option that eliminates the need for disposal, the extraction andprocessing of virgin materials, and even the reduced energy pollution of recycling.” (Brown,1991, p.47) Source reduction requires, among other educational initiaitves, that the price ofproducts reflect their full ecological impacts during the life of their use. To date most products arepriced without consideration for the polluted and dispoiled land and water which result from theirproduction and disposal.Of equal importanance is to defer responsibility for handling solid waste to the place where most ofit originates, the neighbourhood. Waste generated by a community must be delt with by and withinthe community. No longer can waste be carried off to a distant landfill where it remains “out ofsite, out of mind,” insulating people from the ecological impact of their consumer habits. Localresponsibility would discourage indiscriminant production of waste and encourage the reuse andconservation of materials and resources. To support solid waste reduction at its source theecologically sustainable community should consider two initiatives which will have spatialimplications.Neighbourhood Compost Facilities.Each neighbourhood or block should include a permanent facility jointly managed by thecommunity and local residents where food and garden wastes can be dropped off for composting.The facility would be combined with community gardens so the resulting compost could be used inthe gardens. Residents could also pick up composted soil for home use. Though manyhomeowners have begun composting their own wastes few have the time to do so properly. A79neighbourhood location, actively managed by the community would help return nutrients back intothe local landscape. Little emperical data exists to define apporpriate spatial allowances. However,based on the dimensions of the small compost units now in use in many private homes, anallowance of .2m2 per person should be adequate. This figure will likely decrease as the compostfacility’s size increases due to increased space efficiency which comes with handling a block ofhousing or a neighbourhood’s waste.Neighbourhood Solid Waste Centre.Neighbourhood solid waste centres would handle the non-compostable materials. These would bebrought to the facility by residents for separation and possible reuse within the community, or fordistribution to the appropriate recycler. Similar neighbourhood centres exist in some Japanese citieswhere a range of materials, from metal cans to old appliances, from old furniture to buildingmaterials are brought for reuse by others. The neighbourhood centre would replace local curbsidecollection except for items which are too large to carry. The transfer centre would have to becentrally located within a maximum five minute walk of all residents to ensure its accessibility. Likethe compost facility the spatial requirements for the solid waste centre is difficult to define.However, a minimum of 1m2 per person appears reasonable though this number may also bereduced through efficiency of space when neighbourhood demans are considered neighbourhoodswith populations of 500, 1,000 or even 1,500 people.Therefor the following design parameters can be stated;Compost facilities should be located in every neighbourhood ofapproximately 1,000 to 1,500 people, preferably associated withcommunity gardens. An allowance of .3m2 per person is required.Neighbourhood solid waste centres should also be included in eachneighbourhood at a rate of lmz per person.Both facilities should be no further than a two to three minute walk for allresidents.803.6 Vegetation• IntroductionThe urban system has two significant impacts on local and regional vegetation patterns andecological function. Within the urban system, roads, buildings and a landscape aesthetic of lawnsand ornamental plantings have displaced native plant communities, resulting in fragmentedecosystems and diminished wildlife habitat. On a regional level the continued expansion of urbansystems has placed forests and agricultural land under siege and reduced local and regionalbiodiversity. In general the urban system fails to recognize the vital role vegetation plays in thehydrologic cycle, how its presence can moderate the urban heat island and improve urban airquality, and as habitat for wildlife. (Walter, 1992; Gordon, 1990) Of equal concern is howinfrequently the psychological benefits of the urban forest and green open spaces (Kaplan andKaplan, 1990) effect land use decisions and settlement patterns.Urban vegetation, as it exists today is dictated by appropriated, nonregional images with littleconcern for the impact on local and regional biodiversity and wildlife habitat. (Hough, 1990;Spirn, 1984) In many cases these plants do not adapt to local and regional climatic conditionsresulting in a variety of maintenance measures, such as irrigation systems and herbicideapplications, to ensure survival.“The horticulture tradition and the picturesque garden, together with the aestheticthat created them, found firm root in North America. Imported to a continent wherethe clearing of forests, exploitation of virgin timber and soils, and survival were theprimary motivations in dealing with the land and where a cornucopia of resourceproducts was the basis for the economy, all that could survive was an artisticdoctrine that had no roots in a land ethic. Making gardens was centred on alreadytamed, man-made environments with scientific horticulture providing thetechnology. It was totally dissociated as an aesthetic from land management as abiologically sustainable process based on practical necessity.”(Hough, 1990,p.134-135)In the ecologically sustainable community the role of vegetation must hold the same stature asissues of water, energy and waste. It must support ecological function rather than undermine it.In this section three aspects of vegetation are discussed:81• Urban Forest• Urban Agriculture• Green RoofsOther aspects of urban vegetation which are important such as native plant communities andxeriscape plantings are not discussed in this thesis due to time limitations. They are nonethelessesential if the following strategies are to be successfully implemented.• Urban ForestMoll argues the urban forest can be categorised into four distinct zones, each of which requires adifferent treatment in order for it to thrive(Moll & Ebenreck 1989);Suburban FringeThese forests surround the edges of urban expansion where existing forests are fragmented or“perforated”(Forman, 1990) by small individual or clusters of housing. Because the extent ofdamage is small the indigenous forest, and the ecological function it supports is only partiallydiminished.Suburban ForestThis is the relatively new forest found in most subdivisions. Exotic and ornamental trees vastlyoutnumber natural plantings which remain only as conservation belts or as remnant patches withinthe 5 percent open space requirement. Opportunities for large areas of natural planting exist butmost are planted with lawn and ornamental plants. The middle story and understory plantcommunities of the natural forest are generally removed due to safety concerns even if the forestsremain.Ecosystem function is minimalCity Residential ForestThese are forests in older, established neighbourhoods where plantings have had time to mature.Private yards tend to be more heavily planted than suburban areas. They appear at first glance to belush, productive forests but many are comprised of single species and very few include a middleunderstory layer to maximise the forest’s vertical structure. Ecosystem function is minimal.82City Centre ForestThis forest is characterised by trees set in small pits or in pots within the central business district.The trees are in a state of perpetual stress due to extreme microclimate variations, minimal waterand air, and a scarcity of space and nutrients. This is the shortest lived of the four zones.The design and management strategies for each category will differ since their cultural conditionsare different. In the city centre forest the most important issues relate to the quality of the soil.Providing adequate space, drainage, aeration and organic matter while minimizing compaction areessential. In the city residential forest the challenge is more rehabilitative -- find ways to add morediversity and vertical structure to the existing forest. Layering opportunities exist in the cityresidential forest which cannot be included in the City Centre Forest.Forman (1993, 1990), on the other hand, argues that the evolution of the urban forest is one ofprogressively less connectivity and diversity. Beginning with the initial stages of tree removal, theforest proceeds through a succession of perforations, dissections, and fragmentation eventuallyresulting in shrinkage and attrition. Reducing this atrophy in local and regional ecological functionis the challenge for the urban forest which must establish its objectives based on maintainingecological integrity.Patches & CorridorsUltimately both Moll and Forman seek to improve biological diversity and productivity within theurban forest and between the urban forest and the regional ecosystem. The key to achieving thesegoals rests with the urban forest’s ability to provide a biodiverse network of patches and corridorsthroughout the urban system. (Forman, 1993) This translates into corridors which are largeenough to provide habitat and interior nesting sites for a variety of species. These corridors mustinclude a variety of plant canopies and vertical structure. (Franklin, 1993) For example, a corridorcomprised exclusively of poplars would have a relatively low matrix and minimal habitat value. Ifhowever, middle and understory plantings are included and the corridor is given sufficient widththe potential biological diversity and productivity would be dramatically enhanced.83These corridors must then be linked to larger forest patches which can provide the principalhabitats and nesting sites. These patches must also include a diverse matrix of plant communities toensure the habitat is diverse enough to support resident populations of wildlife. As is the case withcorridors, the more vertical complexity the patch has the more likely the forest will contain viablehabit corridors.Forman (1993) offers a the following process which can act as a set of ecological designparameters;Step 1 - Illustrate existing local and regional patterns and connections including;• all environmentally sensitive lands and vegetation.• unique forests and habitats.• fragmented forest corridors including widths.• patch size and relative isolation.• general connectivity.Step 2 - illustrate how any particular neighbourhood fits within these local and regional patterns.• Is it part of an existing or fragmented corridor? If so is it an open or woodedcomponent?• Is the property within a transition zone?• Is the property in a unique location in terms of natural features andvegetative patterns?Step 3 - Establish the primary goals of the forest related to the characteristics note in step 2.• is there a need to add species richness?• should the forest be part of restoring or protecting local hydrologic cycles• are there special habitat requirements?• should the forest aide in erosion control?• Urban AgricultureAs with issues of energy and water supplies, and the handling of waste byproducts, the ultimategoal of any sustainable community is to generate its own food. While complete autonomy is, formost communities, unrealistic much can be done with existing practices to reduce the dependenceon imported food supplies.“If we are to have sustainable, livable cities in our future, it is necessary to create ametropolis that produces much of its food.” (Van der Ryn and Calthorpe, 1986, p. 150-1)A few local initiatives which can be implemented without major governmental subsidies orexpenditures include.84Community/Allotment gardensThese gardens are a neighbourhood scale agricultural initiative. Though allotment gardens ideawere popularised during World Wars 1 and II with the notion of the “Victory Gardens” foodproducing gardens within the urban fabric date back many millenia. Today most cities have someofficial or unofficial allotment gardens where many urban greenthumbs are able to supplement theirfood requirements. In the suburbs few allotment gardens exist since individual homeowners haveample land on which to garden. In the future however, as communities densify and the cost offood escalates the allotment garden should become an integral feature of the community’s openspace.There are no specific standards or spatial requirements for these allotment gardens. Most occur onvacant property or along utility right-of-ways. They often begin as individual initiatives without theconsent of local government and their size seems determined more by available space then standardsizes. In general the locational requirements of allotment gardens are flexible and can be adapted tothe strangest lot configurations as long as there is access to sunlight and water and they areconvenient. Hough (1984) cites numerous examples of allotment gardens of varying sizes butconcludes little about minimum spatial requirements. Jeavons (1982) on the other hand hascalculated that using intensive gardening techniques, a plot approximately 35m2 is sufficient in sizeto provide one person with their annual supply of vegetables and fruit.Agricultural Urban ForestThe second initiative involves using the urban forest in food production by including fruit and nutbearing trees. The actual proportions of food producing trees has not yet been defined and to do sowould seem arbitrary and restrictive. However, if the community aspires to produce much of itsown food than the proportion of the urban forest under harvest would be relatively high andcoordinated with regional orchard production. To manage the resource the community wouldemploy a full time community gardener who would manage the trees as well as provide input onthe allotment gardens. The produce harvested would either be sold in the local farmers markets oroffered free to local residents in exchange for community service.85Community Supported Agriculture(CSA)The third initiative operates at a larger scale than the allotment gardens and offers opportunities forresidents to ensure a locally controlled supply of organic produce. In the United States, communitysponsored agriculture is emerging as a simple initiative whereby urban residents annually buyshares in local farms in return for a share of the year’s harvest. Any surplus production is generallysold at farmers markets and in local stores. The programme can include greenhouses and coldstorage for year round productivity.The attraction of the CSA is that it is are small scale which it to fit more easily into the urbansystem. Most CSAs are family run and organicwith low energy requirements, an essentialrequirement for sustainable agricultural. (Berry, 1987) CSAs also provide shareholdersopportunities to work on the farm for a few hours each month in lieu of a cash share transaction.An allowance of approximately 30m2 of land per shareholder to supply each person with theequivalent of a years supply of fruits and vegetables is adequate.Between these three strategies the potential exists to supply much of a community’s food demands.(Walter, 1992; Katz, 1986; Hough, 1984) Therefore the following design parameters can be stated;Allotment gardens of a minimum of 30m2 per person should be locatedwithin a five minute walk of any home.Vacant land in the community should be operated as temporary sites of foodproducing.Flat roofs should be used for food production.The urban forest should include a minimum 25 percent active fruit and nutproducing trees.Farms adjacent to the community should be considered as prime candidatesfor community supported agriculture programmes.• Green RoofsThe final feature of this discussion of urban vegetation is the use of green roofs. Conventionalbuildings and roofs replace a site’s original vegetative cover with a surface impervious to water andincapable of exchanging air.. When combined with other hard surfaces such as roads and parking86lots a large portion of the community’s landscape is no longer capable of exchanging CO2 with 02.By replacing these roofs with planted roofs, anywhere from 20 to 60 percent of the community’shard surface area can be returned to some level of ecological function. Green roofs are becoming astandard detail in building construction in many European cities. In the German cities like Berlin,Hanover, Mannheim and Frankfurt which have policies requiring green roofs in a most newconstruction. (Roseland, 1992)Incorporating grass roofs during the design phase is simply a matter of providing structuralallowance and drainage as live and dead loads are considerable. Most green roofs in Europe areplanted with drought tolerant grasses and perennials on flat or slightly sloped roofs, however, thepotential of green roof is much broader than grasses. There exist a number of roof top gardens inNorth America which decades later are still healthy and growing. Dan Kiley’s Oaldand Museumand Arthur Erickson’s Provincial Courthouse incorporate rooftop plantings demonstrate there arefew technical constraints facing roof top construction. The potential for green roofs is almostlimitless if grey water is available and the architecture is designed to accomodate them. They havethe potential to become important agricultural areas in the sustainable community.With these points in mind the following design parameter can be stated;All new construction must provide roofs strong enough to support aminimum of 0.5 meters of soil and drainage materials.Sloped roofs with pitches not facing south shall be planted with acombination of drought tolerant perennial grasses and groundcovers.Flat roofs shall be planted with the same perennial grasses andgroundcovers or if grey water is available, more intensive plantings oftrees, shrubs or agricultural crops.Simply defining the urban forest as a collection of trees along street corridors and patches offorests in parks does not enhance the integrity of the local ecosystem. The definition and role ofthe urban forest in the sustainable community must be expanded to include all vegetation, publicand private. It all constitutes the forests matrix and therefore, if it is to support ecological function,it must be viewed in its entirety. Furthermore, the site specific issue must be viewed within thelocal and regional context to enhance ecosystem function.873.7 Housing“Over 60 percent of Canada’s housing units are single-family detachedunits....Detached houses consume 15 to 67 percent more energy than othercommon ground-oriented housing options and they accommodate 60 percent fewerpeople per net hectare than row houses.”(CMHC, 1992)IntroductionThroughout history the search for secure shelter is basic to human instinct. For most of the last10,000 years this shelter has generally involved multiple families sharing a building or buildingcluster. During this century, however, these patterns have changed dramatically. Today thesuburban house is the dominant housing type in North America, and though it is a very recentphenomenon, it has altered the land more than any other typology before it. No other pattern hasrequired as much energy or water, or displaced as much forest or agricultural land. From theperspective of ecological sustainability it is an anachronism.The intent of this section is to identify those spatial parameters for housing which best respond tothe basic programmatic features of the ecologically sustainable community -- energy self-reliance,relatively high densities, enhanced livability, protection of ecological integrity and human scaledesign. The following parameters take as their point of departure from conventional suburbanhousing, a solar energy mandate. They are not intended to represent a comprehensive discussionof solar architecture, rather they address those features of buildings which affect spatialorganisation.• Building Height• Building Width• Building Length• Adaptable BuildingsOther, less spatial demanding decisions respecting housing exist, however, these are generallybuilding features which operate within the criteria established by these four categories.88• Building HeightDiscussion of energy efficiency in sustainable design has often overlooked the issue of buildingheight. To date most research has focussed on the single family house, (EMR, 1993) which, asalready discussed, is an inappropriate pattern for an ecologically sustainable community. Thereforeif multiple family housing is the only alternative for housing urban populations then it is essentialto determine if there are spatial parameters, particularly height restrictions, which will ensure anecological mandate is met. In A Pattern Language, Alexander argues that buildings should notexceed four stories in height;“High buildings have no genuine advantages, except in speculative gains for banks andland owners. They are not cheaper, they do not help create open space, they destroy thetownscape, they destroy social life, they promote crime, they make life difficult forchildren, they are expensive to maintain, they wreck the open spaces near them, and theydamage light and air and view. But quite apart from all of this, which shows they aren’tvery sensible, empirical evidence shows that they can actually damage people’s minds andfeelings.”(Alexander, 1977, p.1 15)The four story limit dominates most of Europe’s older cities. Alexander describes it as “a deep andinescapable property of a well-formed environment.”(Alexander, 1977,p.xiv) The four story rulealso dominates the higher density housing found in Transit Oriented Developments (Caithorpe,1993; Kelbaugh, 1989) and Traditional Neighbourhood Developments. (Krieger, 1991)Nonetheless, while the ‘Four-Story Limit’ makes a compelling argument for height restrictionsbecause of enhanced livability it does not specifically engage issues of ecological design andenergy efficiency.Upon further examination, however, the four-story limit is also a valid consideration for adiscussion on energy efficient design. Because heat gain is a function of volume, surface area andorientation, the larger a building gets the larger is its potential passive heat gain. Under similarconditions a four story building will gain more heat than a single family house by virtue of itslarger volume and surface area exposed to solar radiation. It would seem logical then that a tenstory building would be preferable to a four story building due to its potential passive heat gain.However, the ten story building is dismissed because of its profound impact on the pedestrianscale on which the ecologically sustainable community is based. It is this disproportion which89Alexander argues makes it difficult for buildings higher than four stories to foster the sense ofcommunity and street life that a four story building does. The four story limit also appears in Vander Ryn and Cakhorpe’s (1986) plan for the Mann Solar Village, a prototypical sustainablecommunity north of San Francisco.Another ecological concern respecting building height deals with a building’s capacity to supplywater and deal with waste on site. Roof area is the prime determinant in defining how much rainwater a can be collected and made available for use within a building. A single story buildingoffers a ratio of roof area to occupants which is four times higher than a four story building, whichin turn has a ratio two-and-one-half times higher than a ten story building. Three and four storybuildings, though not as water efficient as single story buildings can still supply relatively highproportions of general water consumption using on site grey water supplies. Beyond four storiesthe building’s capacity to store rain water and supply for use within the building diminishes.Therefore the following design parameter can be stated;Residential building heights should be between two and four stories.Exceeding four stories results in significant loss in livability and energyself-sufficiency. Less than two stories results in densities which are simplytoo low to make public transit and local commercial ventures viable andresult in more urban sprawl.Non-residential buildings can exceed four stories but must demonstratetheir plans to maximize energy self-sufficiency.Building WidthThe width of a building also effects how ecologically sustainable it can become. Shallowbuildings, 8 to 14 meters deep, improve daylight illumination of individual rooms and increase theheat gain properties of the building envelope compared with buildings in excess of 14 meters wide.The result is a savings on energy used to illuminate and heat interior space. This applies equally toresidential and commercial buildings as is demonstrated by the NMB Bank building in Amsterdam.This large commercial building has a number of ecological design features but the one which mostheavily influenced its physical form was the design parameter requiring each work station to bewithin 7 meters of a window. This strategy effectively restricted the building to a maximum of 1490meters in width. Combined with a high efficiency building envelope the Bank witnessed areduction in the energy consumed by its staff, per square foot of building, by more than 90percent. Natural daylighing is an important energy conservation strategy given that electricity usedfor lighting accounts for approximately 25 percent of all domestic energy use. (Vale, 1991, p.23)Narrow buildings exhibit higher heat gains compared to wider buildings because they increase thevolume to surface area ratio of a building’s mass. This benefit is best illustrated by comparing two15 meter high, 20 meter long buildings built side by side with a southern orientation. The onlydifference between them is that one is 10 meters wide and the other 15 meters. The 10 meter deepbuilding will have an effective volume to heat of 3,000m2 whereas the 15 meter building will havea volume of 4,500m2, or 50 percent more space to heat with the same solar gain. Furthermore,wider buildings generally result in central corridors which while not part of the livable space mustnonetheless be heated. These corridors virtually guarantee that the more northerly units will haveno rooms with any solar gain.Narrow buildings with operable windows can significantly improve a building’s natural ventilationby encouraging cross flow ventilation. A naturally ventilated building has the capacity, in onehour, to completely exchange its interior air three times as frequently as a similar sized airconditioned building. (Hydes, 1994) This improves indoor air quality and allows for morepersonal moderation of interior temperatures. When combined with appropriate landscapeplantings and high insulation values the need for air conditioning can be virtually eliminated.Alexander (1977) argues buildings should not exceed 25 feet in width to offer the bestopportunities for maximizing daylighing. Van der Ryn and Calthorpe (1986) used a building widthof approximately 10 meters in the design of the Mann Solar Village. On the other hand, buildingsless than 8 meters deep results in a building too shallow to adapt to changes in building use.Collectively the benefits of narrow building widths leads to the following parameter:Residential buildings should be between 8 and 12 meters wide. Incommercial buildings which, for specific reasons, may require more floorspace depths 15 meters should be the maximum width.91• Building LengthIn addition to width and height, length is the third spatial component of a building’s mass which isrelevant to this discussion of more sustainable building patterns. It is a discussion concerned lesswith energy efficiency and more with the impact the length has on community design. Historicallylong buildings were limited to governmental and religious institutions. It would appear that the actof land assemblage and speculative development that is responsible for much of today’s large scaledevelopment was limited to a relatively few higher profile cities.Although empirical data is scarce, there appears to be sound reasoning behind this. Large longbuildings are inherently less flexible than those with small floorplates. For small businesses longbuildings are generally too large and expensive to house offices or shops. From a residential andstreet life perspective long buildings generally offer fewer doorways and stoops. These are a fewarchitectural features which can personalize building entries for residents and offer possible ‘porchlike’ social opportunities. From a visual perspective there is good reason to restrict large buildings,particularly buildings with glass curtain walls. Long street oriented facades tend to repeat detailssuch as window spacings and balconies ad nauseam. This detracts from the visual complexity andtexture of the street experience which Jacobs (1961) argues is important for vital streets.Finally, shorter building lengths allow for more incremental growth and individual variety as eachunit consumes modest amounts of land.• Adaptable BuildingsThe final parameter governing building design for ecologically sustainable communities isadaptability. While this does not have direct spatial concerns it implicates the ability of a buildingto adapt to changes in use over time. Considerable amounts of energy and materials are expendedin the construction of any given building. Every time a building is demolished and replacedbecause it can no longer accommodate a desired use the energy embodied in that building iswasted. New materials must be found and new energy spent to construct what often ends up beingan even larger building, occupying more of the site. It is a linear cycle of renewal which presumesa limitless supply of energy and materials.92Natural ecosystems are inherently flexible and adaptable to respond to changing circumstances andcontext. In this respect buildings should exhibit similar characteristics. As family units change andbusinesses expand and retract, buildings must be capable of responding. Unlike most buildings inthe latter half of this century which were conceived as static entities with rigid envelopes, buildingswithin a sustainable community must be dynamic and flexible. For example, a building no longerviable for a growing business must, if no other businesses wish to use the space after a period ofone year, be adapted for another use be it residential, institutional or commercial. Communitiescannot tolerate buildings, or floors in buildings, remaining empty for months or years. Thispractise is wasteful of materials, embodied energy and, if the building requires heating, on goingenergy demands.Adaptable buildings have a better chance of remaining in the community for a longer period oftime. One only needs to walk along the canals of Amsterdam to see how a four hundred year oldbuilding can be adapted to contemporary uses while retaining the cultural legacy of ten generations.Adaptability is not only about conserving materials and energy but about preserving communityidentity. Every time a building is replaced part of the community’s past is changed, and theintergenerational associations disappear.Therefore the following design feature can be stated;All buildings must be designed to allow for at least two different uses. Forexample a building intended for industrial use must be designed andconstructed for future conversion to residential uses.Floor plates of all buildings should be conceived of as temporal, that isthey must be designed in such as way that nonload bearing walls can beshifted to adapt to consumer demand.Modular construction should be used to ensure that adjoining buildingshave the potential to adapt to a common use, such as the growth of a localbusiness.933.8 Spatial Order• IntroductionIn addition to the ecological determinants of energy, water, waste, and vegetation, and theconsideration given to appropriate building forms which respect these determinants, there are a fewother features of community form which require a brief discussion. They include;• Density• Community Size• Streets• A Network of Paths• DensityCities around the world come in all shapes and sizes. At one extreme is Hong Kong, located onsteeply sloped terrain with an average density of 293 people per hectare. It is a city of tallapartment buildings, narrow streets and a crush of pedestrians. Automobiles are expensive to ownand operate which explains why there are only 42 cars per 1,000 people. Consequently publictransit use is high and gasoline consumption very low (1,987 Mega Joules per person). Houston,on the other hand, sits on level ground with an average density of 9 people per hectare. Its broadstreets, endless inner city parking lots and minimal pedestrian activity underscores it as anautomobile dependent city. Vehicle ownership is among the highest in the world (603 per 1,000people) and at 74,510 MJ per person, gasoline consumption is 37 times that of Hong Kong.(Newman and Kenworthy, 1989)Comparing Hong Kong and Houston demonstrates that density and energy consumption areinextricably linked and inversely proportional. (Newman & Kenworthy, 1989) In higher densitycommunities more frequent and diverse services are within walking distances which reducesenergy expended on transportation. Higher density communities also share more building wallswhich reduces overall demand for heat energy.94Another equally important feature of higher density communities relates to the amount of land theyconserve. By definition a denser community houses more people per area of land than a less densecommunity. For example, if a typical suburban community with a density of 25 people per hectaregrew from 500 people and to 2,000 people using the same densities, the amount of land requiredwould also grow, from 20 hectares to 80 hectares, excluding services and roads. However, if thatsame suburban community chose to increase its density to 80 people per hectare the amount of newland would be 5 hectares, a savings of 55 hectares.A more specific look at the issues of heat and transportation energy will help define appropriatedensities.Solar EnergyVan der Ryn and Caithorpe note that solar design strategies can provide most of the heat energyand supplemental electrical energy, for up to 200 people per net hectare. (Van der Ryn andCakhorpe, 1986, p.82) However, once allowances are made for roads, commercial services,neighbourhood parks, wastewater treatment facilities, the urban forest, and other essential servicesa community requires this limit would be approximately 100 people per gross hectare.TransitIt has been argued that the ecologically sustainable community is supported by transit and theautomobile is relegated to a marginal role, yet for transit to be viable densities must be relativelyhigh. Newman and Kenworthy found that when densities drop below 30 people per hectare transitis no longer viable and automobile dependence is assured. (Newman and Kenworthy, 1989,p.131) Furthermore, they noted that even when densities are between 30 and 50 people per hectarepublic transit will still require some financial and are limited in the frequency of service. Thereforeit appears that in order for transit to be viable densities must exceed 50 people per hectare.Historic PerspectiveOne final perspective on density relates to the preindustrial community with its compact, pedestrianbased, structure. It appears most of these communities had densities of between 100 and 200people per hectare. (Newman & Kenworthy, 1989, p.79) These are numbers that would be95immediately rejected today as being far too high yet when one visits these communities their humanscale, the clarity of their public realm, and immediate access to open space afforded by theircompact footprint seems to offset these high densities.Admittedly one cannot determine appropriate densities for a neighbourhood or community withoutconsidering the effects on the life of the community. Increasing densities reduces the proportion ofindividual open space which, if not adequately addressed, can lead to a host of social problems.However, as the scope of this thesis focuses on ecological concerns which effect spatial form thesesocial issues are not addressed in this review of ecological design parameters. Rather these issueswill become criteria during the design application phase of this thesis.Therefore considering issues of solar energy and transit, the following ecological design parametercan be stated:Provide a mix of housing which achieves an overall net density of between60 and 100 people per hectare.To offset this increase in density and an associated loss in individual spacea clearly defined open space system must be accessable to all housingCommunity SizeIf ecologically sustainable communities are relatively dense and organized around a central transitstation the question regarding a preferred size still exists. Alexander (1977) argues that the size of acommunity should not exceed 5,000 to 10,000 people, comprised of identifiable neighbourhoodunits of 500 people. He argues this offers the best size for local governance and neighbourhoodidentity. Beyond 10,000 people, the footprint of the community increases and begins to blur theedges of neighbourhoods and the perimeter of the community. Consequently an individual’sconcept of the community becomes blurred, their relationship with other neighbourhoods begins toerode, and they feel more disenfranchised and less willing to participate in local government.96Sale (1980) notes anthropologic evidence suggesting that prehistoric tribes rarely grew beyond5,000 and 6,000 people. And most cities prior to Christ rarely exceeded 10,000 people. This wastrue not only in the “Middle East, but in India, China, North Africa and Central America.” (Sale,1980, p. 185) Sale also notes that Clarence Perry felt the ideal community was between 3,000 and9,000 people, with an optimum size at 5,000.Curiously enough when one considers that the catchment area for a transit based community isaround 500 meters in radius (5 to 10 minute walk), and that densities supported by solar energyprobably do not exceed 100 to 150 people per gross hectare, in order for a community to provide amix of housing, commerce, employment and open space its highly unlikely its size could exceed5,000 to 10,000 people and still achieve its mandate. Therefore, the following ecological designparameter can be stated:For residents of a community to retain their image of their community andfor that community to respect the ecological constriants placed on it bysolar energy and public transit the community’s population should notexceed 10,000 people and prefererably not 5,000 to 7,000.StreetsDuring the last one hundred years, the street has held a certain fascination with planners anddesigners. Among the many enquiries is Site’s (1889) discussion of the purposefulness ofmedieval streets, Jacobs’ (1961) argument that streets and sidewalks are a city’s most vital organs,Newman’s (1972) focus on safety and defensibility, and Appleyard ‘s (1981) research into thesense of community different street characteristics engender. Most recently two anthologies(Anderson 1991, Moudon 1987) have offered a wide range of testaments on the malaise effectingtoday’s streets and how design can affect positive change in reestablishing their lost vitality. Eachraises important issues respecting the street and its role in supporting a strong sense of community.Unfortunately very few of the enquiries have taken the discussion further and explored what theissues are as they pertain to ecological sustainability. Appleyard (1981) talks about the ecology ofthe street from an anthropocentric perspective but fails to discuss it from a broader ecological97mandate. Both Hough (1984) and Spirn (1984) discusses some atmospheric and vegetativeconsiderations but neither offer ideas on how one might begin detailing the street to accomodateflows of energy or water, or to enhance biodiversity. Finally Jacobs (1993) recent collection ofstreets focusses on the form of notable streets from around the world but does address adjacentuses nor their relative ecological merits. Consequently the followinf information is based less onprecedent, and more on observation and speculation. It is interested in whether there are spatialconsiderations for the street that might maximize solar energy, the movement of water and waste,wildlife habitat enhancement and biodiversity.Fundamental to the discussion is the belief that an ecologically sustainable community is one whichmaximizes circular exchanges of energy and materials, and that the role of the street is to supportthese exchanges. It is analogous to the human circulatory system. Without the network of veins,arteries and capillaries supplying blood to the organs and muscles we could not survive. Similarlystreets are the pathways which allow both human and ecological functions to occur. With this inmind there appears to be a few critical features of the street that relate to ecological sustainability.Solar OrientationTo maximize solar gain a building’s long axis needs to be oriented perpendicular to or within 20degrees of south. As buildings with this orientation become positioned in the landscape they beginto form a strong east/west axis which the street must support. More specifically a rectilinear blockwith its long axis oriented east to west provides the highest potential solar gain to all of thecommmunity’s buildings. This is the grid pattern used by the Greeks and Romans when spaceheating and building illumination were dependent on exposure to the sun. It is a street grid whichhas structured many cities over time. Conversely the meandering suburban street is the leasteffective street orientation for maximizing solar gain. It results in buildings with little regard forsouth.Undoubtedly there are topographical limitations to any grid pattern. Knolls, stream corridors,ravines, steep slopes, and other environmentally sensitive lands all restrict a simple overlay of thegrid. Nonetheless the grid, when the land allows, offers the highest solar potential of any streetorietnation.98Block SpacingAnother energy related issue is the size of development blocks and the on centre spacing of streets.Both Portland, Oregon (Moudon 1987) and Savannah, Georgia( Anderson 1991) offer someinsight into these dimensions from the perspective of the pedestrian. Portland’s 61 meter blockspacing is highly regarded for its walkability because it offers pedestrians four directional choicesevery 61 meters. Harrison noted that combined with generous sidewalk widths and heightrestrictions on buildings there is also an increase in open space and light at the street level.“Downtown Portland has 55 percent open space in its streets and parks, in contrast to 33 percentopen space in downtown Seattle and New York.” (Moudon, 1987, p.182)Savannah, on the other hand is organized by a pattern of square blocks based on a 230 meter grid.However, within each of these blocks is a system of smaller blocks, the most common measuringapproximately 100 meters by 65 meters. These rectangular blocks are oriented with their long axiseast to west. This rectangular organization offers a higher solar gain potential than a square patternsimilar to Portland’s. Like Portland’s block the frequency of intersections in Savannah enhancespedestrian mobility and choice. Recent developments have borrowed some of these spatialcharacteristics in an attempt to make new suburban communities more pedestrian friendly. Blockswithin Duany and Plater Zyberk’s ‘Traditional Neighbourhood Developments’ rarely exceed 70meters by 185 meters and often include mid block pedestrian connections. (Kreiger, 1991)Caithorpe (1993) uses a similar rectangular module in his development of Transit OrientedDevelopments. And Jacobs (1961) notes that the 130 meter grid of Manhattan’s East Side is farmore lively than the 240 meter long blocks on the West Side.When bicycle paths are considered it would appear that the ideal block size is rectangular, orientedeast to west, with a long dimension of between 75 and 100 meters and 60 to 70 meters north tosouth.Permeability and DrainageMoudon calculates that from 30 to 60 percent of urban land is allocated to streets excludingfreeways, connectors and toll roads. (Moudon, 1987, p.l’7). In the city of Vancouver and many ofits suburbs approximately 25 percent of the land is paved over for streets. (City of Vancouver,991992) When considered in conjunction with the land covered by buildings, between 60 and 100percent of the urban system’s surface is impermeable to water. This leads to some severeconsequences: groundwater tables are deprived of water; rivers, creeks and seasonal streams sufferreduced water flows, some to such an extent that associated plant and animal communities aredisplaced; and during heavy rainfall increased runoff threatens low lying areas in communities withflooding, while storm sewers overflow forcing both stormwater and untreated sewage to bypasstreatment facilities and be dumped, untreated, into adjacent rivers, lakes or oceans.New strategies must be found to make the street more permeable. Groundwater recharge bedsunder, and adjacent to street, dry wells and drainage swales must be incorporated. Conventionalsurfaces such as asphalt and concrete should be eliminated in favour of more permeable surfacessuch as cobblestones, loose fitting interlocking payers, and porous aggregate paving.VegetationThe urban forest has many ecological and social responsibilities. It serves as the urban ecosystem’srespiratory system, cleansing particulate matter and greenhouse gases released from automobiles. Itcasts shade across the street which reduces the street’s heat absorbing properties and itscontribution to the heat island effect. The urban forest provides habitat for wildlife, and helpsdefine and create memorable places for people. With the street occupying 25 to 60 percent of thecommunity’s land base, street trees are potentially the largest component of the urban forest.Supporting these street trees depends a great deal on the street’s subgrade. Compacted root zonesand low organic matter lead to poor air infiltration and water percolation. These are the limitingconditions for most urban forests. The profile of the street must be redesigned. Soil trenches with aminimum cross-sectional area of 3 m2 (Moll and Ebenreck, 1989) must run continuously alongsidethe street. In low volume traffic areas the rooting zone and recharge areas should extent wellbeneath the street. Part of the surface runoff entering roadside biofitration swales should beallowed to percolate into the tree’s rooting zone. Direct runoff from streets should be fed to the rootzones via oil interceptors. Planting standards must allow roots to extend beneath pavement andensure soil conditions are matched to the cultural needs of the trees and shrubs. Curbs should be100removed wherever possible to eliminate the problems associated with abrupt elevation changes.(Moll and Ebenreck, 1989)WidthsThere is much discussion regarding the dimensions of the ideal street corridor. (Calthorpe, 1993;Jacobs, 1993; Anderson, 1991; Krieger, 1991; Moudon, 1987) Many have concluded that a two toone ratio of horizontal to vertical psychologically encloses the most comfortable space for people.This would equate to a preferred building height of 10 meters if the street corridor were 20 meterswide from face of building to face of building. While this proportion may create an optimalpsychological space it cannot be used indiscriminately. Ecological requirements such as drainageswales or vegetative corridors may preclude such prescribed design guidelines. Similarly, narrowroad corridors, complete with trees, may restrict solar gain. However, for most communities this2:1 ratio does nor pose any significant problem for ecological function. In those situations wherethe corridor must expand for ecological reasons the presence of large street trees along the corridorcan maintain the ratio.With these considerations in mind the major design parameters for the ecological street are;A rectangular grid is the preferred street pattern, whenever topographyallows, to maximize solar gain and provide a coherent urban formThe preferred on centre spacing of east/west streets should be between 75and 100 meters.The preferred on centre spacing for north/south streets should be 60 to 70meters.• A Network of PathsPedestrian and bicycle circulation need to become the central mode of movement in the ecologicallysustainable community. These are the most energy efficient means of travel and the mostecologically benign. Neither emits green house gases to the atmosphere, nor adds to the pollutionof ground water. Neither requires the dedication of large paved surfaces on which to travel. Neitherexacts a huge financial and social cost to operate. Prioritizing the pedestrian and the cyclist over the101automobile and even over transit should become a fundamental feature of the ecologicalcommunity.While pedestrian based cities have been around for centuries and millennia the integration ofbicycles is a relatively recent consideration. In this regard few countries have done more to supportbicycling than the Dutch. With 14 million people cycling 13 billion kilometres on 12 millionbicycles they have some of the most extensive experience with bicycle paths and how to integratethem into the community. (Deelstra, 1991; Tolley, 1990) They have found:• Path Networks - a dedicated system of paths is the only way to significantly increaseridership. A single pathway is too limiting to encourage use;• Length of Tip - on trips of 5 kilometres or longer cycle use is limited;• Accessibility - clear connections to other bicycle paths increases ridership;• Safety - perceived safety is vital to encourage increased ridership. Dedicated pathsdramatically increase ridership;• Opportunity Costs - if the automobile is perceived as more efficient and costs are evenridership will be low.Deift Bicycle NetworkThe City of Deift, in Holland has one of Europe’s most comprehensive bicycle networks. It is ahierarchical plan with three interdependent networks. Each network is designed to address specificobjectives and serves as a link to the other networks. Deelstra outlines the components:“The city level network consists of a grid of cycle paths situated approximately 500 metersapart. The paths run directly through the city, and are connected with the regional bicycle-path system. The network is designed for the purpose of linking intensive flows of cyclistswith important urban activity centres: schools, university, stations, office and industryareas, sport and recreation areas. Physical barriers (such as canals and railways) call forexpensive infrastructural works to avoid detours.The district level network has two major functions. It connects the various facilities withinthe district (school, shops, etc.) and collects and distributes bicycle traffic to and from thecity level network. The links at this level are spaced 200 - 300 meters apart. The (bicycle)traffic flows on this network are assumed to be less heavy than at the city level and used forshorter distances. The facilities necessary at this level are relatively simple: separatedbicycle lanes, small bridges etc.The sub district level network connects housing areas to local amenities catering for shorttrips. This particular network is often used by children. The sub district level network is afine grain system with links at 100 meter intervals, with a simple structure and provisionswhich can also be used by pedestrians.” (Deelstra, 1991, p. 63)102The bicycle network now accounts for approximately 43 percent of all trips in Delft’s withpedestrians representing 26 percent, cars 26 percent and public transit 5 percent. (Tolley, 1990)The savings of energy expended on transportation is considerable as are the infrastructural costsrelated to new road construction and the provision of parking spaces. In a recent evaluation of thenetwork some more specific observations were made: (Tolley, 1990)• Segregated bicycle paths in busy areas subject to automobile traffic increased ridership by40 percent.• A clearly defined, hierarchical network of paths similar to the three grid layers found inDeIft provides cyclists with increased trip options for local and distant journeys. Thelayered grid in Delft minimizes detours which become disincentives to cyclists.• A clearly defined, hierarchical network of paths improves individual imageability andcognitive mapping. People are able to orient themselves and develop stronger images oftheir community.• Promotion and continued marketing are important in maintaining the profile of the bicyclenetwork among residents.The bicycle network in Deift represents one of the most comprehensive system of paths in eitherEurope or North America. From the experiences learned in designing and managing it thefollowing ecological design parameters can be stated:Develop a network of paths for pedestrians and cyclists based on ahierarchical grid of regional, community and neighbourhood paths.The First Order of the grid should occur every 100 meters to service theneighbourhood. Local roads can be calculated into the network if trafficcalming strategies are used.The Second Order is the community system which occurs every 200 metersand links individual neighbourhoods together. Similar to the neighbourhoodsystem these community paths can be located on traffic calmed streets.However these second order paths must take priority at intersections withneighbourhood paths and roads. Where traffic calming is inappropriate,segregated lanes should be providedThe Third Order is the regional path system which occur every 500 metersand provide links to the larger landscape and other communities. Wheretraffic problems exist the paths should be segregated.On all shared paths bicycle lanes and pedestrian paths should bedistinguished by paving patterns, textures and colours to minimiseconflicts.103IXa1M03OltOTFigure 3 : Map of the Greater Vancouver Region4.1 Regional ContextAs stated in the thesis introduction the second goal of this thesis is:To apply these ecologically based design ideas to a suburban community under urbangrowth pressures in an effort to structure the community’s physical form so as to minimiseits impact on local and regional ecosystems.To evaluate the spatial implications of applying the ecological design principles identified inChapters 2 and 3 a suburban community in the Township of Langley was selected. However, it isworth briefly reviewing the regional context in which Langley resides to better understand theissues affecting its future.Regional ContextIIISI1.._L.._..105The Township of Langley sits within the Greater Vancouver Region, a region defined by its uniquebiophysical setting. It is enclosed to the north and east by mountains, to the west by Georgia Strait,and to the south by its border with the United States. Its mild maritime climate, seeminglyabundant fresh water supplies and productive agricultural land make it one of Canada’s most fertileand most livable regions. The Fraser River runs through the region to join the Pacific Oceanapproximately 30 kilometrres west of Langley. The Fraser serves as one of the world’s mostsignificant fish bearing watersheds and waterfowl habitats. The region is an ecologically rich anddiverse landscape.The Greater Vancouver Region also happens to be one of North America’s fastest growing urbanareas. The Government of British Columbia expects the current population of 1.8 million to exceed3 million by 2021. In excess of 5 ipercent (610,000 people) will likely reside in the region’scurrently underdeveloped eastern municipalities of Langley, Matsqui, Abbotsford and Chilliwackand the Cities of Surrey and Langley. Less than 25 percent would reside in the traditional urbanareas of Vancouver, Burnaby and New Westminster. (GVRD, 1991)The eastward redistribution of the region’s population also translates into considerable increases inhousing development and employment in these eastern locations. The predominantly ruralmunicipalities of Langley, Matsqui, Abbotsford and Chilliwack will be home to 25 percent of theentire region’s new housing. Similarly by 2021 one in every three regional jobs is expected to befound in this eastern conglomeration extending to Chilliwack. (GVRD 1991)Whether these numbers are actually realized by 2021 is less important than the fact that currentgrowth pressures are significant, profoundly effecting the regional landscape. In the last twentyyears increased pressure for housing has lead to the development of thousands of single familyhouses outside the traditional urban areas. These low density developments, with too few residentsto support efficient public transit, are leading to ever increasing levels of automobile dependence.With an average of 12 dwelling units per hectare and .75 commuter vehicles per dwelling unitcommunities in Surrey, Langley, Abbotsford, Maple Ridge and the Coquitlams represent growingcommunter problems compared to the City of Vancouver’s approximately 45 dwelling units per106hectare and .45 commuter vehicles per dwelling unit. (GVRD 1992-#2) Automobile commuting isincreasing twice as quickly as the region’s population, reflecting not only the general populationincreases but also changes in household demographics as nuclear families are being displaced byincreasing numbers of two income, childless and single person households. (GVRD 1992-#2)Suburb to suburb travel is also increasing dramatically, accounting for 62 percent of all automobilecommuting. By 2021 this figure is expected to increase to 72 percent. Simultaneously transit’sshare of the morning commute, currently at 13 percent of all morning peak period trips, is expectedto drop to 11 percent unless current patterns of development change. (GVRD 1992-#2)These expanding populations, low density development patterns and an ever increasingdependency on the automobile are creating significant environmental problems. Noxious emissionsfrom automobiles create severe atmospheric pollution. Increased demand for drinking water relatedto increased housing development is stressing finite water supplies. Mounds of waste accumulatelandfills, while sewage effluent pollutes local water bodies. Biological diversity and ecologicalproductivity are lost as natural vegetation is fragmented by increased road construction andexpanding communities. Agricultural land is displaced by expanding urban growth or theconversion to nonproductive uses such as hobby farms and golf courses. Every community in theregion faces these problems.4.2 Local Context - The Township of LangleyThe problems facing the Township of Langley exemplify those of the region, and thus provide agood study area for this thesis. The Township’s 303 square kilometres sit approximately 50kilometres east of the City of Vancouver. It is bounded to the north by the Fraser River, to the eastby the Municipality of Matsqui, to the south by the United States border and to the west by the Cityof Surrey. The landscape is a rich mosaic of ecologically significant water courses, productiveagricultural lands, remnant forests and cultural resources.An undulating topography of uplands, valleys and ravines is the result of the forces of numerousrivers and streams, many of which originate within the Township’s boundaries. The pervasiveness107_••%_ ,Figure 4- Sensitive Aquifers and Floodplain, Township of Langleyof water is one of Langley’s most defining features. It is in the unique position of being home toseveral significant rivers and creeks including the Nicomeki, Campbell, Anderson, Yorkson , Westand, ostensibly, the Salmon River. These are important fish spawning rivers and serve as importanttributaries to the larger regional drainage system. Underlying the Township are four significant andhighly sensitive aquifers, the Langley, Salmon River, Fort Langley and Aldergrove Aquifer. Theseaquifers provide vital water supplies to many rural residents and moderate dry season streamflows.The rural landscape character is further defined by the predominance of agriculture. Approximately75 percent of the Township’s land lies within the provincially designated Agricultural LandReserve, the majority of which has a soil capability of Class 4 or better. The Township’sagricultural industry is the province’s third most productive rural economy behind Matsqui andChilliwack with a 1986 economic value of $89.8 million. 22 percent of all farms in the VancouverRegion are found in Langley, and are dominated by livestock and poultry farms, fruit and vegetableproduction, turf farms and nurseries. In addition to the traditional agricultural industries, the horseindustry has increased dramatically. Its annual economic impact is estimated to be $40 millionresulting in 320 direct full time jobs and 330 full and part time support jobs. (Langley, 1991)Langley’s rural character also stems from its network of country roads which follow the undulatingterrain, pass by open fields, under forest canopies and along the Fraser River. With the exceptionof a half dozen main arterials, and the TransCanada and Fraser Highways the Township’s roads arenarrow and generally free of shoulders and sidewalks giving them a distinct rural flavour.108Severe Soil £voslonFloodplainEarthquake SenaW,. Soil.AgricultureRegional ParksRural ResidentialUrbanIndustrialFigure 5 - Rural Plan, Township of LangleyThe Township is also blessed with a rich cultural history. For centuries aboriginal communitieslocated along the Fraser River near present day Fort Langley and took advantage of the abundantsalmon and wildlife. A traditional foot trail connected the northern edge of the Township withBoundary Bay along the Nicomeki and Salmon Rivers allowing the aboriginal peoples moreopportunities to trade and hunt. More recently Fort Langley and the farming community of Mimermark two of the earliest white settlements in British Columbia and continue today to serve asimportant legacies in the development of the Lower Mainland. Mimer was home to the HudsonBay Company Farm in middle 1800’s and the Fort was an earlier trading and military encampmentand at one time served as the provincial capitol.Presently the Township of Langley is home to approximately 70,000 people with most of theurbanization occurring along the Township’s west border with the City of Surrey. Its averageannual population increase is 4.3 percent. In the middle of the Township’s urban corridor lies theCity of Langley, which occupies approximately 10 square kilometres and has a population of20,000 people. The City is the dominant urban presence in the area and is targeted by the GreaterVancouver Regional District as a regional town centre. (GVRD 1990) This means that the GVRDand local municipalities will try to focus development into the area.109• Growth ProblemsCollectively the Township and City are experiencing rapid population growth. Between 1986 and1991 the Township of Langley was the third fastest growing municipality in the Greater VancouverRegional District. By 2006 the Township’s population is expected to increase by 50,000 people to121,000 people. (Langley, 1994) Combined with the City’s projected population, in excess of200,000 are expected to be living in the Township and City of Langley by 2021. (GVRD, 1991)With the Township containing some of the largest undeveloped lands in the Greater VancouverRegion urban growth, which is beginning to create serious problems, will only become morepronounced in the coming decade. These problems are diverse and include both environmental andlandscape character concerns. Among the environmental issues are;• Storm water runoff from urban areas and agricultural fields, and leachates from septicfields are creating significant nitrification problems for the Township’s sensitive aquifers,jeopardising Township drinking water.• Continued fragmentation of forest cover by indiscriminate development is leading to aloss in biological connectivity.• Indiscriminate wastewater and solidwaste disposal is undermining local ecologicalintegrity• Development along creeks and streams is resulting in lost forest cover, reducedbuffersand a potential loss in vital fish habitat.• Development on steep slopes subject is increasing the erosion of sensitive soils.• The conversion of traditional agricultural land into hobby farms is reducing agriculturalcapacity.• Langley TomorrowOf equal concern is the loss of Langley’s predominantly rural character. In 1990 the “LangleyTomorrow Program” attempted to identify the community’s values towards the Township and thecharacteristics residents felt should be protected amidst the forces of change. The principalconcerns of the community included: (Langley, 1991)110• The development process should protect the quality of groundwater, streams and rivers;• Environmentally sensitive areas should be designated and protected through restrictivezoning or purchase;• Development should be concentrated in the existing communities leaving green, ruralspaces between the developed areas to maintain the rural character;• Mountain views and rural landscapes should be preserved even if it is at the cost ofpotential development; and• Unique, narrow and winding country roads should be kept as they help preserve the ruralcharacter of the Township.Rural PlanTo clarify how these values, particularly those concerning rural character, could be protected theTownship initiated the “Rural Plan” in 1990. The plan’s goal was to determine ways of:“Retaining and/or enhancing the rural character of those areas of the Township designatedRural Residential! Agricultural in the Official Community Plan. Retention of rural characterconsists of maintaining the economy, lifestyles, landscape and environmental featuresassociated with rural Langley.”(Langley, 1991)The result was a plan which addressed land use policies, economic development, recreationalopportunities, heritage and landscape protection, transportation and servicing as well as theestablishment of special development areas. The “Rural Plan” resulted in a revised “Land UsePlan” which better reflected the current development patterns and concerns than the existing plan.• Environmentally Sensitive Area StudyA particular noteworthy feature of the Rural Plan’s policies was the desire to “protect the naturalenvironment of the rural area and provide general direction on waste management issues in therural area.”(Langley, 1991, p. 9) Included in this section was a call for thecreation of an inventoryto identify environmentally sensitive areas which 95 percent of the residents polled strongly orsomewhat strongly agreed should be designated and protected. Consequently, in 1993 theTownship initiated “An Evaluation of Environmentally Sensitive Areas(ESA) in the Township ofLangley” to inventory those lands which, due to their environmental sensitivity, need to beprotected, conserved and selectively managed.111Figure 6 - Environmentally Sensitive Areas, Township of LangleyThe ESA study established criteria based on abiotic, biotic and cultural features and processes, andanalysed data gathered on biophysical and cultural characteristics throughout the Township. Theresult was that the Township was subdivided into 100 distinct environmentally sensitive units. Theunits were then placed into one of the following three categories:• ESA 1 - Management Areas with the greatest number of ecologically significant featuresand processes• ESA 2 - Management Areas with several important ecological features and processes;• ESA 3 - Management Areas with at least one important ecological feature.The three categories provide a general characterisation of relative sensitivity. According to theStudy approximately;“16,500 ha(45%) of the study area were classified as falling into ESA designation 1, while2230 ha (6%) were designated as ESA designation 2. About 17,500 ha (47%) of the studyarea is within the ESA 3 designation. Only about 110 ha of the Townsite, in the NWindustrial area, was not given an ESA designation.” (Westwater 1993, p.i)ESA 1ESA 2ESA 3LJNDESIGNATEQa I112Since the ESA is the newest of the Townships’s data gathering studies it has yet to be effectivelyincorporated into the planning and policy action. The authors of the study have recommended theESA’s management objectives and recommendations be incorporated into the Official CommunityPlan. The Township is currently exploring ways of incorporating the ESA’s recommendations intothe planning and development process. Nonetheless the information gathered is extremely valuablein understanding Langley’s ecological mosaic.All three of these studies, Langley Tomorrow, Rural Plan and the Environmentally Sensitive AreasStudy provide vital information on the expectations of the community and the capability of theland. The data clearly indicates that residents are concerned that the rural landscape cherish is beingdisplaced by urban expansion. These studies reflect the basic questions that must be asked toaddress these current and future issues. And as a result of the information provided by thesestudies this thesis has been able to explore an alternative design approach that attempts to protectthe Townships’s ecological integrity, its rural character and hopefully provide for a moresustainable future.4.3 The Study Area - Description & Analysis• IntroductionJericho Hill Village is a 140 hectare community on upland terrain in Langley’s Willowbrook districtand serves as the specific study area for this thesis. Willowbrook sits along Langley’s westernborder with Surrey, immediately north of the City of Langley and 1.5 kilometres south of theTransCanada Highway. Its somewhat irregular boundaries are defined by the area serviced by agravity sewer system which links up to a Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage Districtpumping station located at 62nd Avenue and 203rd Street. (Langley, 1991) The OfficialCommunity Plan has designated Willowbrook as an area for urban and industrial growth. Whenconsidered in tandem with the Willoughby district, immediately north ofWillowbrook, collectivelythese lands are among the largest undeveloped lands in the Greater Vancouver Regional DistrictThe majority ofWillowbrook’s 615 hectares is located on upland terrain which provides thebackdrop for the historic farming community of Mimer, the Nicomekl River floodplain and the113JERICHOWiLLOWBROJKA. NORTHcontour interval - 3 metersFigure 7 - Willowbrook Structural Context MapRIVER FLOODPLAIN114City of Langley. The upland section is predominantly rural residential although recent incursionsof single family houses in typical suburban subdivisions portend Willowbrook’s likely future ifdevelopment patterns continue unchallenged.A lowland section, abutting the City of Langley, is developing into a large commercial, office andbusiness park district. It is also home to the Willowbrook Shopping Centre, a regional shoppingcentre at Fraser Highway and 200 Street. This is consistent with development in the City ofLangley and a portion of the City of Surrey adjacent to Willowbrook. An established subdivision islocated at 66th Avenue and 200 Street and a few rural residences remain to the north of 64thAvenue and east of 200th Street.Site AnalysisWiilowbrook possesses numerous features and opportunities which are relevant to the design of anecologically based community. The following section lists these features and the general designresponses they elicit.ESA DesignationWillowbrook carries a designation of 3 in the Environmentally Sensitive Areas Study (ESA),indicating it is among the least environmentally sensitive areas in the Township. This is due to therelative absence of sensitive ecological features. Unlike many of the Township’s urban areas whichlie above sensitive aquifers no aquifers underlie Willowbrook. The few environmentally sensitivefeatures which do exist are generally small and tend to occur at the periphery. Nonetheless certainenvironmental concerns were identified as important to protect:• Moderately steep eastern and southern slopes prone to severe or very severe erosion.• Ephemeral streams which feed into the Nicomeki, Latimer and Yorkson Creeks• Forest cover connecting the headwaters of the Yorkson and Latimer Creeks and NicomekiRiver.Design Response• The proposed community should be located away from the sensitive slopes to minimizesoil erosion and slope instability.115• Ephemeral streams and their riparian vegetation should be protected and enhanced. Thesestream corridors could become part of a reorganized open space system whichWillowbrook currently lacks.• The vegetative connections between the head waters of Latimer Creek and Yorkson Creekand Nicomeki River tributaries are currently fragmented. The proposed design shouldenhance these connections by re-establishing forest corridors.TopographyWillowbrook is divided into a dominant upland section and a lower flatlands section by the erosionprone slopes identified in the ESA Study. The steeper slopes are between 5 and 15 percent with themajority of land varying from between land 3 percent. Most of the upland terrain slopes gently tothe south and southwest giving it an almost ideal solar orientation. A high point near the centre ofthe upland section marks one of the highest points of elevation in the Township. This hill isreferred to as Jericho Hill and sits approximately 80 meters above the Nicomekl floodplain,offering panoramic views over Milner to the southeast and the Cascade Mountain range.The forested eastern slopes are important visual resources in defining the landscape context for thehistoric Milner farming community and the City of Langley. Unfortunately new house constructionis encroaching upon these slopes as developers and residents search for prized and marketableviews. Not only are these patterns jeopardising the integrity of these sensitive slopes but they arebeginning to alter the historically significant landscape character of Mimer.Design Response• The design should take advantage of the site’s southern exposure to maximize solar gain.• The design should minimize encroachment onto the eastern and southern slopes to protectthe landscape context defined by these slopes.Hydrology and Drainage PatternsWillowbrook contains of four small drainage basins which feed the Nicomekl River and Latimerand Yorkson Creeks. The main ridgeline runs roughly northeast to southwest. A secondary ridgeruns from east to west from Jericho Hill towards 200 Street. As noted in the ESA these streamsrequire protection to maintain water quality and seasonal stream flows, and protect wildlife habitat.116These natural drainage patterns are being displaced by suburban drainage strategies associated withthe influx of subdivisions and single family houses. This channeling of runoff and increases inimpermeable surfaces are altering local drainage characteristics and the plant communities theysupport. It is possible that in the near future these changes will be severe enough to irrevocableeliminate water flows to the ephemeral streams, and therefore eliminate the streams themselves.Design Response• The proposed design should employ a surface based drainage strategy, including rechargebeds to maintain natural drainage patterns and their dependent plant communities.• Surface runoff must be filtered using biofiltration beds and oil interceptors to ensuresurface runoff contains no noxious elements typically associated with urban stormwaterrunoff.• Grey water storage systems and planted roofs should be incorporated into all developmentto maintain existing peak period runoff characteristics.Soils and GeologyWillowbrook’s surficial geology consists of fine textured marine and glacial marine material withmoderate subsurface drainage characteristics. These materials are generally stable with theexception of the erosion and earthquake prone eastern and southern slopes identified in the ESA. Interms of the community’s soils the Province of British Columbia’s “Land Capability for AgricultureLangley - Vancouver Map Area - 1985” indicates unimproved class 2, 3 and 4 agricultural soilsdominate with no significant areas of class 1 soils. Many of these soils have the potential to beimproved by one or two classes, depending upon their existing limitations which generally relate toan excessive amount of water. However, improving a class 4 to a class 2 or 3 for use in moreintensive agricultural may actually compromise the role these soils play in the local hydrologiccycle. By retaining water these soils currently moderate storm runoff and reduce peak loading oflocal creeks and ephemeral streams. Improving their drainage may jeopardise the ecological healthof these ephemeral streams.Design Response• Development should not occur on the geologically sensitive eastern and southern slopes.• The concept should take advantage of existing unimproved class 2 soils to promote local117agricultural use.• Class 3 and 4 soils should be disturbed as little as possible as they are important to thelocal hydrologic cycle.VegetationThe presence of vegetation is a prime determinant in creating the Township’s rural character,particularly when it occurs on upland slopes. Unfortunately Willowbrook’s natural vegetation isbeing displaced by an ever increasing collection of ornamental plants associated with theencroaching suburban development. The fragmentation of the natural forest cover has left only afew, isolated patches of second growth and seral stage forests. The remnant forests are comprisedof a mix of deciduous trees with the predominant species being Big Leaf Maple (Acermacrophyllum), Red Alder( Alnus rubra), Poplar (Populus trichocarpa), Birch (Betula papyrifera),and coniferous trees such as Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata), Douglas Fir (Psuedotsugamenziesii) and Western Hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla).The most significant remnant forests occur at Tara Farms along the community’s eastern boundaryand around the headwaters of the Nicomekl, Yorkson and Latimer tributaries. The loss of forestcover along the eastern slopes and the main ridge line which traverses the community is particularlyworrisome as these forests play an essential visual role in defining the Mimer agricultural area.Design Response• The design concept should include strategies which protect ecologically critical stands ofexisting forest.• The concept should seek to re-establish forest cover which is vital as an ecological link toimportant biophysical features such as drainage patterns and geologically sensitive slopes.• Wherever possible the concept should use new plantings to protect and enhance theTownship’s rural character and historic landscape features.Existing InfrastructureMost ofWillowbrook’s circulation occurs along small scale country roads. The exception is 200Street, a divided four lane arterial running north/south through the western half ofWillowbrook,linking the City and the TransCanada Highway. 72nd Avenue is a major, east/west local road118connecting 200 Street and the City of Surrey in the west with Mimer and Glover Road in the east.As it descends the community’s eastern slope towards Mimer, it provides panoramic views ofMount Baker and the North Cascade Mountain range to the southeast.68th Avenue and the southern portions of 202B, 204, 206, 208 and 210 Streets have beenconstructed on the geologically sensitive slopes identified in the ESA as an environmentallysensitive area. A quick site review found no evidence of slope instability nor erosion. However,experience with roads built on top of sensitive slopes elsewhere suggests this remains a distinctpossibility, if not an inevitability, particularly if traffic volumes increase in response to increaseddevelopment.Current water supplies come from the Jericho Hill reservoir near 73A Avenue and 204 Streetswhich is supplied from wells located above the Fort Langley Aquifer, approximately 3 kilometresnortheast of Willowbrook. Currently, sewage is disposed of in septic fields with the exception ofthe industrial and commercial areas which are serviced by sanitary sewers connected to the GreaterVancouver Sewerage and Drainage District system, yet neither service is adequate for the growthexpected over the next decade. Considerable upgrading will be required.While these development costs are generally borne by the developer they ultimately are borne bythe residents who move into the communities. Complicating the development of these systems isthat they tie into the GVRD infrastructure which is already close to capacity, and in the case ofsewage disposal below the environmental levels mandated by the federal and provincialgovernments.Design Response• The construction of new roads should be minimised• Where possible existing roads should be removed, particularly those above geologicallysensitive lands• The concept should offer local solutions to supplying the community’s water and handling itswaste119Existing Land Use/ZoningThe Willowbrook Community Plan, adopted by Council in 1979 and amended most recently in1991, establishes the detailed land use policies, designations and direction for the WillowbrookCommunity within the framework of the Township’s Official Community Plan. The plan calls forthe development of two distinct areas within the Community, upland residential and lowlandcommercial/industrial/office space.______iPThe plan’s primary goal is to develop Willowbrook, “as part of the Langley regional town centre,which also includes the downtown area of the City of Langley and a portion of the City of Surreyalong the Fraser Highway and Highway 10 adjacent to Langley. Retail and service commercialactivities are encouraged to locate in the southern part of the plan area to concentrate commercialactivity and contribute to the development of a regional centre. To reinforce this area as a regionalcentre, further industrial, business and office development is also encouraged in the area east of200 Street.” (Langley, 1991, p.6)Single FamilyResidemial Densiiy BonusMu1 Family OneMulti Family TwoSuburban ResidentialRegional CmeróalNeighbourhood CouuuaeialbdusniaUB ParkBusinesaOf&z ParkInstitutionalConservation AreaI I!tWLiiII.::’4Ill I IIFigure 8 - Willowbrook Community Land Use Plan120TABLE 3: Willowbrook Community Land Use DesignationsHousing Type ofDwelling Mm. Lot Area/Max. DensitySuburban Residential Single Family 1 ,765m2(.44 acre)Single Family Single Family 650m2 (7,000 sq. ft.)Residential Density Bonus Townhouses, Seniors 30 dwelling units/baHousing, Rest HomesMulti-Family One Townhouses, Apartments 44 dwelling units/haSeniors Housing, Rest HomesMulti-Family Two Townhouses, Apartments 74 dwelling units/baSeniors Housing, Rest Homes• Regional Commercial• Neighbourhood Commercial• Business/Office Park• Industrial/Business Park• Institutional• Neighbourhood Park• Community Park• Conservation AreaAlso included are strategies for upgrading the community’s infrastructure. The plan provides fornew roads, upgraded water lines, sanitary sewer lines, and revised storm water drainage systems.Additionally, there are four development permit areas, primarily along 200 Street and adjacent tothe City of Langley. The plan provides for a population of 15,000 people when fully realized.AnalysisFrom the perspective of ecological design the Willowbrook Community Plan fails to address manybasic ecological design issues. These are directly related to the current land use concept whichprovides for a highly segregated plan dominated by single family housing on upland terrain andcommercial, industrial and office development on lowland terrain. The problems, however, are notjust ecological in scale. The decisions embodied in the Willowbrook Community Plan could have aprofoundly negative impact on the landscape character of the Township. More specifically thelikely issues include:Increased Automobile DependenceThis is assured due to segregated land uses, a road network intent on efficiently movingautomobiles rather than pedestrians or cyclists, and densities which are too low to adequately121support an efficient public transit system.Increased Atmospheric PollutionDue in large part to the increased automobile traffic, emissions of carbon dioxide, nitrous oxideand sulphur dioxide emissions will increase and add to an ever growing atmospheric problem inthe Greater Vancouver RegionPolluted Water SystemsStorm water runoff laced with oil and gas residues is an inevitable consequence of an automobiledependent community unless a system of biofiltration ponds and drainage corridors areincorporated into the overall drainage plan. The stormwater plan for Willowbrook does not includeany significant remedial treatment for surface runoff to reduce the impact of these pollutants onlocal water systems.Natural Drainage Patterns AlteredThe spread of single family houses and roads increase the amount of impermeable surfaces,reconfigure topographical features and alter surface and subsurface drainage patterns. Thesechanges in runoff characteristics in turn effect the local plant and animal communities dependent onthe water courses and forest cover.Fragmented Forest CoverThe afready scarce forest cover will likely experience further fragmentation and displacement byincreased single family housing and its related ornamental planting. This loss of biologicalconnectivity reduces wildlife habitat and biodiversity, two critically important features of asustainable landscape. (Forman, 1990)Roads on Sensitive SlopesNew arterial and collectors roads are planned along geologically sensitive southern and easternslopes identified in the Environmentally Sensitive Area Study, increasing the chances for slopeinstability and slumping.122Imported EnergyDespite a prime southern exposure the Willowbrook Community Plan does not include anydirection or provision for exploiting passive and active solar design thereby reducing the amount ofenergy which must be imported to heat and electrify the homes. The plan also requires considerableamounts of energy be spent on transportation to access the various segregated land uses.Imported WaterThe plan presumes that external water supplies are the answer for meeting anticipated waterdemands. It offers no direction regarding water conservation such as grey water systems, meteredwater use and low water usage plumbing fixtures. Unfortunately water supplies in the GreaterVancouver Regional District are close to capacity. If communities such as Willowbrook continue todevelop without developing some level of water self-sufficiency and conservation more large scaleecological damage related to the construction of higher and more frequent dams will occut Thecurrent vision for Willowbrook offers no water conserving incentives or direction.Exported WasteAs was the case with water supplies, the Willowbrook plan relies upon the Greater VancouverRegional District to handle its wastes exports. However not only is the GVRD’s currentinfrastructure close to capacity but it operates in contravention of the effluent quality limitsestablished by the federal and provincial environmental ministries. To upgrade existing facilitieswill requires significant capital expenditures which translates into additional costs for thecommunity. From the perspective of ecological design, waste is considered a resource, not aninevitable consequence of human activity. It should be recycled within the community, not exportedout. The current plan does not provide for this.Fragmented Open SpaceLess than 10 percent of the Willowbrook plan is intended as recreation open space andconservation. This includes those areas immediately adjacent to existing watercourses, which are tobe protected and the requisite community park and local neighbourhood parks. Unfortunately, fewif any connections between these spaces exist. What could give structure to the community’sphysical form and provide a series of greenways throughout the community currently exists in123relative isolation.Eroded Community IdentityThe landscape character values identified in the Langley Tomorrow Study and the Rural Plan canbe directly related to the Willowbrook plan . The rural character and identity will be compromisedby the current Community Plan. Extensive develpment and the proposal to upgraded certain roadsto conventionally engineered dimensions will impact the landscape character of historic Milner andblur the distinction between the limits of the city of Langley and the rural Township. Ifdevelopment trends continue, 200 Street from the city of Langley north to Willowbrook willbecome one long strip development with all the anonymous qualities associated with stripdevelopments.4.4 Summary Of Jericho Hill Study SiteThe 140 hectare Jericho Hill Village Site sits in the middle of Willowbrook’s upland terrain. JerichoHill sets the topographical foundation for the upland terrain and reaches its high point at thenortheast quadrant of the site. The study site is bounded on the west by 200 Street, to the north by74B Avenue, to the east by 208 Street and to the south by the 75 meter contour line. 72nd Avenueruns through the middle of the site. Current land use is predominantly rural residential onminimum 0.4 hectare lots. Single family houses on smaller 650 m2 lots between 202 and 208Streets south of 72nd Avenues are being developed.Jericho Hill was deemed the most appropriate site within Willowbrook for the following reasons:Solar ExposureWith 1 to 4 percent slopes to the south and west Jericho hill posses the best site for solarcommunity design within Willowbrook.Protection of Ephemeral StreamsThe site is far removed from Willowbrook’s ephemeral streams.124Removed from Geologically Sensitive SlopesThe site does not encroach upon the geologically sensitive soils.Re-establishing Forest ConnectivityThe site sits strategically positioned between the remnant forests of Latimer and Yorkson Creeks,Tara Farms and the Nicomekl tributaries. It has the capacity to reconnect these ecologicallyimportant features.Strengthened Community IdentityAs one of the high points in the community, Jericho Hill can provide residents of Willowbrookwith distant views of the region. And by restricting development to a more compact footprint,adjacent land can be returned to the forest and agriculutural uses which define Langley’s character.Proximity to the City of LangleyJericho Hill sits within 1.5 kilometres of the City of Langley and its developing regional towncentre presence. This close proximity could persuade certain businesses that would otherwiselocate within the City to locate in Jericho Hill, within an integrated community. This relationshipwould also allow a densely populated community to be served by a frequent public transit system,thereby reducing dependence on automobiles1255.0 CONCEPT PLAN1265.1 GoalsJericho Hill Village is a mixed use, pedestrian oriented community which begins to demonstratesome of the spatial implications of applying ecological design to a suburban community. The planresponds to site specific environmental concerns as well as the identity issues identified byresidents of Langley which were discussed in Chapter 4. The village plan also embodies many ofthe the ecological principles and parameters discussed in Chapters 2 and 3. In general the villageplan provides housing, employment opportunities and services for approximately 5,500 people on140 hectares of rural residential land currently zoned for urban growth. This is a similar number ofpeople to those projections made by the Township for the area ofWillowbrook north of 64thAvenue and east of 200th Street. However, the actual village footprint requires approximately 20percent of the land required for the Township’s plan, 56 hectares versus 300 hectares.The village plan is organized around the following goals:• The plan should be able to internally supply 80 percent of its heat energy, 75 percent of itselectrical energy and 50 percent of its food.• The plan should result in a 50 percent reduction in transportation energy, 100 percentconversion all of its domestic waste and a 60 percent reduction in water consumption.• Develop a strong sense of community identity by designing distinct neighbourhoods,providing for a clearly defining the public and private realm, providing a range of housingoptions and incorporating community facilities throughout the Village5.2 ProgramBefore the design enquiry could begin a program which could establish the specific land useparameters was needed. After reviewing the Township’s land use plan for Willowbrook, as wellas various programmes for mixed use communities, it was decided that the Pedestrian Pocketprogram developed by Peter Caithorpe and Douglas Kelbaugh (Kelbaugh, 1989) would be used.The pocket transfers well to the Willowbrook context for a number of reasons:• It accommodates 5,000 to 6,000 people which is consistent with the number of people theTownship has projected will live in the area east of 200 Street and north of 68 Avenue.127• The pocket attempts to reduce the heavy burden of commuting by providing a balancedmix of housing, jobs, and services within the community. This allows the community todevelop its own economic base and reduce the need to travel to distant services and jobs.• Willowbrook’s close proximity to the regional town centre emerging in the City ofLangley is consistent with the desire to associate the pocket with a larger urban hub. Indeveloping the program for the pocket, Caithorpe and Kelbaugh recognized that not all theamenities available in a larger urban area could be duplicated within the pocket. Thereforethe pocket needed a strong association with an urban area. An association which could beserviced efficiently with mass transit. These conditions exist in Willowbrook andspecifically in Jericho Hill.Jericho Hill Village covers 140 hectares with a projected population of 5,500 people.Approximately 60 percent (84 ha) of the area is used in reforestation in an effort to restore the areasfragmented ecological systems. The remaining 40 percent (56 ha) accommodates the followinguses;TABLE 4: Jericho Hill Village Land Use Program• RESIDENTIAL -Jericho Hill North 1300 unitsJericho Hill South 485 unitsJericho Hill East 400 units• COMMERCIAL 6,000 m2.• BACK OFFICE/SERVICE 35,000 m2.• CIVIC FACLITIESAuditorium/Meeting Hall 550m2Community School 6,000m2Recreation Cernre I ,200mFire Hall! Medical Clinic/Post Office/Churches 2,500and LibraryDay care 2 per neighbourhood• OPEN SPACEBaseball Diamonds 2Soccer fields - full size 2 to 3Tennis Courts 6Hard Surfaced Courts 3Community Gardens/Allotment Gardens 4 hectares128This program is an adaptation of the Pedestrian Pocket Program (appendix --) in response toWilowbrook’s close relationship to the City of Langley. The first change involved eliminating thelight rail transit station and replacing it with a transit station incorporated into one of the buildingsadjacent to the village commons transit hub. The transit service is proposed to be dedicated buslinks to the city of Langley and the King George Advanced Light Rail Transit stop in Surrey.Second was the reduction of “Back Office” office space by 20,000 m2•• The expectation is that thecity of Langley will continue to develop as a regional town centre and will be in direct competitionfor the same back office functions slowly relocating out of the traditional urban cores.Another revision involved the housing component of the pedestrian pocket. Single family housingwas eliminated as it was deemed inappropriate for a ecologically sustainable community. On asquare meter basis single family houses are the least energy efficient and the most land intensiveforms of housing. Furthermore they can not provide the densities necessary to support an efficienttransit service. Finally with demographic shifts away from the nuclear family the single familyhome cannot adapt to isues of adaptability and affordability.The remaining housing was reprogrammed. Currently the Pedestrian Pocket provides for 1,000units of residential housing varying from single family detached homes to townhouses andduplexes to apartments. In Jericho Hill since all the housing is attached multistory units with anaverage module size of 100m2•. In most cases this is the minimum unit size although some unitswill be as small as 75m2.Modules or portion of modules can be added either vertically, with astairway connection, or horizontally, by adjusting non-load bearing walls, depending upon theneeds of the individual or family.The program was not emphatically applied during the design process. On numerous occasions itwas necessary revisit the program depending on what was learned during a particular phase ofdesign. In certain instances the program was changed to test how it might effect the community’scharacter and its ecological impact. Consequently the program serves more as a general guide ofland use but not a fully detailed one.129Figure 9 - Jericho Hill Village Conceptual Organization5.3 Organizing StructureJericho Hill Village is seen conceptually as a “fabricated” landscape sitting in balance between the“domesticated” and “natural” landscapes. The principal civic spine of the village meeting hall,library, main religious institution, school, commercial and transit hub sits enclosed by theproductive ‘sustainable’ landscape of the community’s main agricultural, and wastewater recoverypresence to the west, and the ‘natural’ successional landscape spine traversing the top of JerichoHill to the east.More specifically this structure is the result of six main planning features. Some are ecological inscope while others are civic minded but collectively they balance the community’s ecologicalmandate with its need to provide a strong sense of place. The features are mutually supportive. Forexample, to protect and enhance natural drainage patterns and forest connectivity the footprint ofthe community must be kept compact. To accomplish this requires clusters of multiple storyhousing blocks. Simultaneously, in order that these moderately dense housing blocks are palatableto people with housing traditions rooted in the single family home there must be immediate accessto an open space system. Consequently achieving ecological goals while enhancing livabilitybecomes a mutually supportive goal.130Low Solar GainMedium Solar GainHigh Solar GainFigure 10- Solar Gain Potential of Jericho HillMaximize Solar EnergyVirtually all of Jericho Hill’s housing units are laid out to maximize solar gain. North of 72ndAvenue, where the terrain slopes gently from east to west, the majority of houses are oriented withthe long axis running east to west and the main facade oriented to within 20 degrees of due south.Building separation from north to south averages 25 meters to preserve each buildings access tosolar energy in the winter when the sun’s azimuth is low while maintaining a desirable level ofenclosure. A few buildings are as close as 12 meters while others are as far apart as 50 meters.This variation in building setback is an attempt to overcome some of the limitations of using solaraccess as an organizational criterion which, if applied exclusively, could result in a regimented siteplan of buildings spaced equal distances apart, absent of the design necessary to develop a sense ofplace.In the two neighbourhoods south of 72nd Avenue the terrain requires the housing blocks be brokenup and staggered. This minimises topographical disturbance while allowing the majority of thebuildings to maintain a dominant facade oriented to within 20 degrees of due south.• Protect Local Water SystemsRespecting the existing drainage patterns is another major force in structuring community form.The community is partitioned into three distinct drainage basins corresponding to the existingwatersheds. The northern housing is oriented to allow surface drainage to feed toward thenortheast and the headwaters of Latimer Creek. The southwest neighbourhood feeds one tributary131YORKSON CREEKLkTIMER CREEKNICOMEKL RIVERRIVERFigure 11 - Main Drainage Basins of Jericho Hillof the Nicomeki while the southeast neighbourhood feeds another. Each neighbourhood isorganized so that its surface runoff feeds into a dominant open space where biofiltration and solaraquatic facilities can purify the runoff. Surface runoff and the dominant open spaces ensure that thehydrologic cycle remains visible within the community.• Enhance Forest ConnectivityThe village’s compact footprint allows for a major reforestation effort to reconnect the remnantforests of Tara Farm, Latimer and Yorkson Creeks and the tributaries of the Nicomeki. In totalapproximately 60 percent of the Jericho Hill site is given over to reforestation. Successional forestsExisting Forest CoverReforestation AreaFigure 12 - Existing Forest Cover andReforestation Possiblities132encircle the community at its western, southern and eastern peripheries. The forest also traversesJericho Hill’s main ridgeline, bisecting the two southern communities. This provides a forestedconnection between the remnant forests along the geologically sensitive southern slopes, over topof Jericho Hill and ultimately connecting up with the headwaters of Yorkson Creek.• Preserving Jericho HillDevelopment is kept off Jericho Hill, its main north/south ridgeline and much of its eastern slope.This ensures a forested hillside continues to provide the background setting for historic Mimer,thereby preserving the rural character.Figure 13 - The Five Minute Rule• The 5-Minute RuleThe Jericho Hill Village is organised to allow most residents to live within a 5 minute walk ofstores, offices and transit service. The five minute rule(Calthorpe 1993, Krieger 1991, Kelbaugh1989) appears to be an average time people are willing to spend walking to some destination.Beyond 5 to 10 minutes people generally chose to drive. The five minute rule translates into acatchment area 1000 meters across. Therefore virtually all housing and services in Jericho Hill arecontained within a 500 meter radius emanating from the town hail.133Figure 14- Typical Housing Cluster• Clustered Housing and Courtyards-Blocks of housing clustered around open space ensures all residents have immediate access to thecommunity’s open space network. Equally important is that clustering around open space extendsones spatial sense of the community and enhances their cognitive mapping. Clustered housing ismore space efficient than other housing forms and reduces the fragmentation of open spaceassociated with detached housing.5.4 Design ElementsWhile these six features are principally responsible for Jericho Hill’s structure other importantelements are incorporated into the plan giving it the next level of detail necessary to accomplish itsgoals.• Energy FlowsAs outlined in the introduction to this chapter the energy goals are to minimize transportationenergy by 50 percent, heat energy by 80 percent and electrical energy by 75 percent. Thetransportation savings are derived simply by providing a form of community which is no longerdependent on the automobile. Shops and services are located in both the village centre and the134.—0_Cl)C—.—.———I4FM•I_0Iz.EaSindividual neighbourhoods to provide choices, flexibility and immediate access. By balancinglive/work opportunities more of the communities residents will have the option of living andworking in the same community. Combined with a strong transit system these measures can reducecommuting by a minimum of 50 percent. (Calthorpe, 1993; Kelbaugh, 1989)The heat and electrical savings result from passive and active solar architectural strategies discussedin Chapter 3. Long buildings, rarely exceeding 12 meters in width and forming interior courtyardshelp maximize natural daylighting to every room, thereby reducing the need for artificial light.Further measures such as efficient building envelopes including spectrally selective“superwindows”, efficient electrical and mechanical systems and appliances, and roof mountedphotovoltaic panels further reduce the amount of imported electrical energy by 75%. (Lovins,1993)Heat savings come from maximizing solar gain and southern exposure, as well as providing forappropriate building envelopes and thermal massing. Additional strategies such as ground sourceheating allow buildings with an excess heat gain, likely the larger mixed office and residentialbuildings, to supplement the heat energy requirements of less efficient buildings such as thosealong a north-south access. In essence the buildings of Jericho Hill become networked and anyexcess heat gain is pooled for redistribution within the village. Given these measures a heat savingsof 80 percent over conventional suburban communities is not unrealistic. (Lovins, 1993; Van derRyn and Cakhorpe, 1986)• WaterOne of the goals of the Jericho Hill Village plan is to realize a minimum 60 percent savings in waterconsumption compared to a conventional suburban community. Approximately 40 percent can beexpected from installing water efficient plumbing fixtures, metering water use and xeriscapelandscaping. (Vale, 1991. Further significant savings could come with the installation of composttoilets if they were more universally accepted. However, in Jericho Hill the extra 20 percent plus ofsavings comes from grey water systems employed in each housing block.136General surface runoff and that collected from roofs provides the majority of the grey watersupply. Roofs cover approximately 110,000 m2 of Jericho Hill, and with an annual precipitationrate of approximately 1,500 millimetres, have the potential to collect 16,500,000 litres of watereach year (1.5m x 1 10,000m2 = 165,000 m3 of rainwater or 16,500,000 litres).After losses of 20 percent due to evaporation and plant uptake on sodded roofs this figure is closerto 13,000,000 litres per annum. In a community of 5,500 where the daily water usage, evenaccounting for water conservation measures, is still likely to be approximately 200 litres,(Duancey, 1992) the annual water demand is 401,500,000 litres. While the amount collected fromroofs can account for only 3 percent of this annual demand it is 10 times greater than daily demand.Therefore the intent of the grey water system, combined with the solar aquatic facilities, is tomaintain a semi-closed loop for nonpotable water supplies.Storm Water OutletWater ReservoirGrey Water Collection System - Housing Courtyard1: 500Figure 16- Grey Water Systems in Jericho Hill Typical Grey Water System137If designed correctly this system, once the reservoirs are to capacity could operate in balance withdemand and meet virtually all the communities nonpotable water needs with only the occasionalreplenishment required from surface runoff feeding into the grey water system to make up for losesto evaporation, ground water recharge and release out of the system. The net lose to the localdrainage system would initially be approximately 7.5 percent until the system is operating and thenvirtually zero there after. A successional forest recharge zone at the northwest corner of the villageprovides an outlet for the release of surplus water from the village’s main water reservoir toLatimer Creek.Other features concerning the flow of water include;• Ground water recharge catch basins in the streets. These operate similar to septic fields andinclude oil interceptors to separate oil and gas residues from runoff.• Surface runoff into drainage swales and biofiltration beds where recharge can occur.• Buildings and roads account for approximately 30 percent of Jericho Hills developed area andapproximately 12 percent of the Villages total 140 hectares. This compares with the city ofVancouver where in excess of 25 percent of its land base is consumed by roads alone. (City ofVancouver, 1992)• Green roofs are incorporated into all buildings to slow peak runoff, and provide thefirst biofiltration stage• Waste FlowsAll of Jericho Hill’s wastewater is recycled within the village in solar aquatic greenhouses locatedat each neighbourhood’s lowest point of elevation and within certain housing developments. InJericho Hill North the greenhouses are located adjacent to the community’s main grey waterreservoir where treated wastewater is stored along with surface runoff for reuse within thecommunity or release to Latimer Creek. Terraced reed beds provide the final stage of filtrationprior to the wastewater and surface runoff entering the reservoir. Adjacent to the greenhouses are138community orchards which are irrigated with the treated water. Compost is transferred to thecommunity farm, community gardens, and courtyard allotment gardens. The 750m2 greenhousesare sized to handle approximately 60 percent of the waste water generated in Jericho Hill North.The other 40 percent is treated in smaller solar aquatic facilities in the certain housing courtyards. Ifspace were readily available courtyard based treatment would be preferable. However somecourtyards would likely be too shaded in the winter to work to capacity therefore these largertreatment facilities are provided.Figure 17 - Solar Aquatics in Jericho Hill NorthIn Jericho Hill South and East solar aquatic greenhouses are located at the lowest elevation points.in each neighbourhood. These facilities treat the majority of neighbourhood wastewater althoughsmaller facilities are located within certain housing blocks where space permits. The two mainfacilities are designed to service approximately 60 percent of each neighbourhood’s wastewater.Axon Solar Aguatics in Jericho Hill North139S.I.Figure 18 - Solar Aquatics in Jericho Hill SouthWhere possible solid waste and composting facilities are located at various points within thecommunity, generally associated with community gardens. This allows compostable material to berecycled within the village. Liquid waste can be sprayed on the successional forests to help itbecome established.FoodJericho Hill incorporates numerous agricultural operations. The community farm immediatelysouth of 72 Avenue is the largest operation at approximately 6.5 hectares. Its location correspondswith the best class 2 soil in the Jericho Hill study area. Approximately 3 hectares of orchards arescattered throughout the community, with the highest concentrations around the solar aquaticfacilities in Jericho Hill North. Five community gardens account for 1 hectare of land. Allotmentgardens within the housing blocks account for a minimum of 2 hectares bringing the totalagricultural presence to 12.5 hectares.•11A’on Solar Apuatics in .Teriyhp Hill Soulti1401 I JI L_1_____ ___Using intensive agricultural techniques such as permaculture, 12.5 hectares of land can beexpected to produce vegetables and fruit for 3100 people based on a per person allowance of 40m2.(Walter, 1992; Wade, 1990; Jeavons, 1982) This represents 56 percent of Jericho Hill’spopulation. The larger agricultural facilities and those not tended by residents would be managedprofessionally by full time employees.• VegetationJericho Hill’s vegetation strategies are to enhance forest connectivity in the hope that biodiversitywill be enhanced while providing the necessary levels of enclosure to define the village. At thelarger community scale the reforestation initiatives discussed in Chapter 4 dedicate over 60 percentof the total study area to reconnecting Willowbrook’s various stream corridors and remnant patchesof forest.Within the village, street tree plantings provide connections through each neighbourhood to thelarger reforestation effort. On north/south streets the trees are generally large specimens, planted onboth sides of the street since their presence will not interfere with solar access. On east/west141Figure 19 - Typical Community Gardenstreets, however, the trees generally occur only on the south side to preserve solar access for northside buildings. The Greater Vancouver region’s mild maritime climate limits its solar potentialrelative to sunnier locations such as the Okanogan, therefore, maximising southern exposure isessential and summer shading from trees is less desirable. Shading of windows can be controlledusing blinds, awnings or shutters.Accompanying many of the street trees are middle and understory plantings in the front yards ofthe housing blocks. These plantings increase the complexity of the urban forest by adding layers tothe forest’s structure which in turn provide more habitat options for wildlife. Further forestconnections are made between courtyard plantings and the urban forest network. Housing blocksat the outer edges of each neighbourhood do not fully enclose their respective courtyards, therebyallowing the urban forest to connect with courtyard plantings.Street trees also cast a shade over the street. In open conditions streets act as heat spongesabsorbing heat during the day and radiating it back into the air at night. During winter monthswhen ambient temperatures are lower this heat pump is a welcome addition to the neighbourhoodmicroclimate. However, during warmer months this condition can lead to uncomfortably high localtemperatures in the evening. The presence of street trees acts as an natural air conditioner andmoderator of local temperatures.One final contribution the street trees make is to provide an enclosing wall and ceiling for the street,thereby strengthening its relationship as a landscape corridor among many landscape rooms. Atmany of the intersections double rows of trees are planted to further define the space. Thesecontribution can not be overemphasised as qualities of openness and enclosure help people gain aclearer image of the neighbourhood and community.• CirculationCirculation in Jericho Hill occurs on a network of paths and streets which promote walking andlimit automobile movement. Pedestrian-only paths and streets account for most of the village’sstreets and paths. They offer places for people to walk and children to play. Their widths vary from142Figure 20 - Circulation Plan - not to scalea maximum of 20 meters along the main civic promenade to a minimum 2 and 3 meters for pathsand sidewalks which weave their way throughout the community. The pedestrian network isloosely organised so that path intersections occur at 60 to 80 meters intervals to maximise thepedesthan’s directional choices. Numerous midspan access points offer even more choices andexperiences. Where the paths or streets cross specific activity nodes and gathering points plazas arelocated to accommodate a variety of related uses.Separated Streets are the second most frequent path and street system and serve as the principalcirculation route for automobiles within the village. They provide vehicular access to the individualneighbourhoods and the subsurface parking garages. They are designed to serve as loop roadswhich carry the automobile from the periphery to the centre and back to the periphery in a mannersimilar to Radburn. Separated streets are two lanes, 6 meters wide with the 2.5 meter wide parallelparking strips on one or both sides. Their narrow width is designed to reduce driving speeds. Theyare designed with a drainage swale along the downhill side rather than a vertical curb, to minimisedisturbance to the root systems of abutting street trees. (Moll, 1989) These swales carry both•- Clrcubllon PIn/ 125—— .___ 0 l•143—11:1_____çKAj 1ifrSection - TvDical Pedestrian ctreetFigure 21 - Typical Pedestrian Street-U--—____-Figure 22- Typical Shared StreetSection - Typical Shared Street0iiLI I illll• 111(11’ i:1i_1i / lii!.1 Ijj1lj144surface runoff and surplus grey water from the housing blocks to the main water treatmentfacilities.Shared Streets and Alleys represent the third component of the street and path network. Theycombine local vehicular traffic with pedestrian circulation to minimize the amount of paved surface.They feature a 4 meter wide drive aisle which also serves as a hard surface play area. In the case ofalleys an additional 2 meter wide apron leads to the garage and provides space to pull into shouldtwo cars be using the alley at the same time. Shared streets extend the 4 meter drive aisle with a 2.5meter wide parking strip on the north side, and 1.5 metre to 2.0 metre pedestrian path beside theparking strip. Paving patterns and tree plantings direct and slow the automobile traffic. Both thealley and shared street sit .15 to .20 meters above the main automobile routes, and are connectedby a small sloped driveway.Civic OrderThe fmal design elements of Jericho Hill relate to the village’s civic order which overlay itsecological systems. The village’s main civic spine, a north/south predominantly pedestriancorridor which runs through the middle of the community, links each neighbourhood to thevillage’s main services. A church/meeting hall and associated public green anchor the northern,southern and eastern ends of the spine. The community’s main meeting hall, the transit hub, acommercial core, post office, library, recreational centre and school punctuate the middle of thespine which is never more than 350 meters away from any home and generally closer than 200meters. Other public facilities such as community gardens and day cares occur throughout whichserves the neighbourhoods. Smaller commercial service centres are located within the southern andeastern neighbourhoods.Each neighbourhood is in fact a collection of sub-neighbourhoods with approximately 500 peoplein each. These sub-neighbourhoods are in turn divided into clusters of housing for between 50 and200 people to foster a sense of community. The housing blocks form a strong urban wall whichhelps define the public realm and enclose more private internal courtyards. This form of housingallows residents a choice145ChurchTransit ItohCommercialFigure 23 - Axonometric of Civic Spine, not to scale146Jericho Hill’s open space system weaves its way into this hierarchical neighbourhood division,ensuring no resident is ever more than 80 meters away from larger features of the system andgenerally closer than 40 meters. In addition to serving as the community’s ecological superstructurethe open space provides for a collection of plazas, playfields, community gardens, meadows, treealleys, orchards, and connections to the regional landscape, each of which attempts to foster astronger sense of community identity and to build a better understanding of the region’s landscape.5.5 ConclusionThe plan for Jericho Hill is an attempt to incorporate an ecological imperative into the fabric of asuburban community with the hope that a more sustainable presence may be realized; a presencewhich reveals the complexities of nature and strengthens the sense of place. Many of Jericho Hill’sFigure 24: Mass/Void Study147virtues can be more easily summarised when compared to a conventional suburban development.In Chapter 6, Jericho Hill is compared with another Township of Langley community, WalnutGrove, which is plagued with many of the suburban problems discussed in Chapter 1.1486tTSNOSHIVJWO3096.1 IntroductionThis thesis began with the premise that ecological design parameters exist today which can bereadily identified. It was also argued that if these parameters were applied to a suburban context adecidedly different form of community would emerge, one which significantly reduced the impacton local and regional ecosystems. I believe Jericho Hill Village is a testament to that premise.The ecological merits of the Jericho Hill Ecological Village are most easily summarized whencompared to a conventional suburban development. The community ofWalnut Grove has beenselected for this comparison for a few reasons. First, Walnut Grove is in the Township of Langley,approximately 1.5 kilometres north of Jericho Hill and shares similar development policies with theWillowbrook Community. Secondly Walnut Grove exhibits many of the suburban problemsdiscussed in chapter 1, problems the design for Jericho Hill attempts to remedy. Finally, I amfamiliar with Walnut Grove from my work assisting the consultant team which recently completedthe Township of Langley’s Environmentally Sensitive Area Study. I was asked to help map landuse changes in Walnut Grove between 1979 and 1992 to determine the rate of land use change andthe extent of environmental degradation.Comparing Jericho Hill Village with Walnut Grove serves another, perhaps even more relevant,purpose: Walnut Grove is a good indicator of Willowbrook’s likely future. Walnut Grove was oncepredominantly agricultural and rural residential, as much ofWillowbrook’s uplands are now.Walnut Grove is dominated by single family residential housing and low multi-family housing. InWillowbrook’s Community Plan the uplands are almost exclusively single family housing. Mostimportantly, Willowbrook is now being developed with the single family homes found in WalnutGrove. In essence, Walnut Grove offers a window on Willowbrook’s future unless, of course,development plans change.6.2 Walnut Grove - BackgroundWalnut Grove is comprised of a Town Centre surrounded by seven neighbourhoods, each withtheir own development plan. The neighbourhoods vary in size and level of services provided butmost are dominated by what the Township classifies as Low Density housing (max. 18 units/ha).150Medium (15 to 40 units/ha) and High (max. 70units/ha) are found primarily around the TownCentre which is Walnut Grove’s commercial heart. 88th Avenue is a major four lane, separatedcollector road which links Walnut Grove with the 200th Street and the TransCanada Highway.Along its western portion is a growing strip commercial development which services not onlyresidents of Langley but Highway 10 travellers as well.The intensity of development is a relatively recent phenomenon. During the early and middle partsof this century Walnut Grove’s landscape was a mix of orchards, field grown agricultural cropsand forests. It was not until the 1970s that development began to transform Walnut Grove into thesuburban community it is today. Since the 1980s growth has been rapid. Between 1986 and 1991the population grew by 132.6 percent, rising from 4,535 to 10,549 residents, placing it among themost rapidly growing communities in the Greater Vancouver region. (Langley, 1994)151TABLE #5: Land use changes in Walnut Grove. 1979 - 1992Land Use Category 1979 1992 Changeha ha haAgriculture 294 72 - 222Grass 28 44 + 16Old Fields 136 126 - 10Shrub 15 16 + 1Deciduous Forest 58 12 - 46Mixed Forest 351 204 - 147Urban Residential 18 306 + 288Rural Residential 128 69 - 59Industrial 69 240 + 171Transportation Routes 68 76 + 8•Total Area Studied 1165 1165source: draft copy of the ESA StudyThe changes to Walnut Grove’s landscape have been profound. Most notable is an increase inurban residential has increased by 1,700 percent (288 hectares) and industrial/commercial by 350percent (171 hectares). More critical, however, is what these changes have meant to theproductivity of the Walnut Grove Landscape;Loss of Agricultural LandIn the thirteen year period covered by the study, 222 hectares of agricultural land were transformedinto residential use, representing a 75% decrease in total available agricultural land. Furthermore,the remaining agricultural land is now more isolated and fragmented into smaller, disconnectedparcels by urban growth pressures. Its conversion into housing undermines the economic viabilityof present and future agriculture, and resigns the community to increased dependence onagricultural imports.152Loss of BiodiversityFifty percent (193 hectares) ofWalnut Grove’s forested land disappeared between 1979 and 1992.The absence of diverse, interconnected, green open spaces within the various housingdevelopments has resulted in isolated, remnant forests; forests which become so fragmented thatbiological productivity and diversity are lost. This condition is exacerbated by urban forestpractices along roads, in parking lots and within institutional developments which are ornamentalin nature and fail to provide adequate corridors to support wildlife migration. The predominance ofornamental, nonnative plantings in residential settings further reduces biodiversity.Loss of Ground Water Recharge CapacityThe result of a 1,700 percent increase in housing is a 1,700% percent in impermeable surfaces andconsequential loss of permeable surfaces and ground water recharge. Individual properties andstrata-title developments have maximized site coverage while minimizing lot line housing,driveways, and wide roadways. Consequently few opportunities exist for percolation andgroundwater recharge. While this may seem to be a rather benign practice the net effect is to reducethe amount of water available to the remnant forests and streams. This problem is particularly acutein the low precipitation months of late summer and early fall when stream flows are supplementedby groundwater discharge.Loss of Community IdentityThe rural character of Langley is defined by its agricultural patterns and forested lands. Yetbetween 1979 and 1992 415 hectares of agricultural and forest land were lost in Walnut Grove.This means that in 13 years one third ofWalnut Grove’s total land base was transformed. Not onlyis the scale of the loss substantial but so is the speed of the transformation.In very general terms the landscape character ofWalnut Grove has become one of anonymity andprivatization. The anonymity comes from the homogeneity of recent development. It has asameness which Lynch describes as “all begun yesterday, and completely finished then. There isno crevice through which one can venture back or forward.”(Lynch, 1972, p.60) The privatizationcomes from the increased construction of housing enclaves that are isolated from the street by largefences. The only public open space system available are the conservation areas around the creeks.1536.3 Jericho Hill vs. Walnut GroveIn many respects comparing Jericho Hill Village with Walnut Grove is like comparing apples withoranges. Walnut Grove covers 550 hectares of land and houses almost 14,000 people with a futurepopulation of approximately 23,000 people. Jericho Hill Village on the other hand occupies an areaof 140 hectares and accommodates 5,500 people. Walnut Grove exhibits classic suburban qualitiesof segregated land uses, wide roads, circuitous pedestrian paths, a housing typology dominated bystreet oriented garage doors and hidden natural systems. In contrast Jericho Hill Village is a mixeduse community prioritizing pedestrian circulation, housing which faces and helps define paths andstreets and, most importantly, ecological system flows.Despite these differences some specific comparisons can be made between Jericho Hill and one ofWalnut Grove’s similar sized neighbourhoods. Neighbourhood 4 was selected for the comparisonas it is of similar size (approximately 68 hectares) and is one of the few neighbourhoods whichincludes medium density housing. It is located in the southeast corner of Walnut Grove and marksthe highest point in the community with gentle slopes to the north and southeast.Comparing specific land uses is difficult without actually measuring the entire site. However, fromsite visits and development information on Walnut Grove provided by the Township some basicland use comparisons can be made. The range of categories is limited due to the lack of similaritiesbetween each community’s respective programmes. For example, there are no provisions withinWalnut Grove’s open space for the production of food or the recycling of water. Its open space islimited in scope, with one area designated as a municipal park and another as a conservation area.Conversely, many of the ecological features found in Jericho Hill take place in the community’sopen spaces such as the water treatment facilities or community gardens. In general the open spacesystem in Jericho Hill serves a much more diverse and complex program than the open spacefound in Walnut Grove. Therefore a general definition of open space was applied whereby allpublic land not used for roads was calculated as open space. Despite these differences ininterpretation the following distributions of land use do begin to illustrate the differences betweenthe two communities.154Figure 26- Existing Zoning Plan for NeighbOurhood 4, WalnUt GroveIp—I155TABLE 5: Comparing Land Use/Design Features of Walnut Grove & Jericho Hill VillageWALNUT GROVE JERICHO FELLResidential• low density - max. 20 units/net ha• medium density - 20 to 44• high density -45 to 80CommercialAgricultureRoadsPublic Open Space(65.5%)38 ha - 749 dwellings6.5 ha - 295 dwellingsnonenonenone14.5 ha (21.3%)9.0 ha (13.2%)(28.5%)nonenone16 ha - 2,185 dwellings1.0 ha (1.8%)12.5 ha (22.3%3.5 ha (6.0%)23ha (41.4%)Total PopulationTotal LandNet Density people/haGross Density people/ha3,10068 ha70465,50056 ha23098Ratio Road Allowance to Open SpaceRoad Allowance per personNumber of Intersections(roads andpedestrian paths)Furtherest Distance to ServicesFurtherest Distance to Open SpacePercent of Lots/Buildings orientedwithin 20° of south1.0 m2 to 0.62 m247 m2approximately 251,300 m650 mapprox. 15%1.0 m2 to 6.5m26.4 m2approximately 125350 m100 mapprox. 80%The differences between the two communities are directly related to one deciding to spread acrossthe land horizontally and the other to conserve the land by growing vertically. There is littlesurprise then that Jericho Hill has three times the net densities of Walnut Grove and twice its grossdensities.AnalysisThe Public Realm and RoadsWhat is interesting to note is each community’s relative proportion of public open space to roads.In Walnut Grove, for every 1m2 of road allowance there is 0.62 m2 of land dedicated for openspace use. Conversely, in Jericho Hill, for every 1m2 of road allowance there is 6.5 m2 dedicatedto the public realm Another related statistic is the road allowance per person: in Walnut Grovethere is 47 m2 versus Jericho Hill where there is 6.4 m2 . These statistics underscore thefundamental differences between the two design approaches. The community which opts for thesingle family house and automobile dependency sacrifices its public realm and creates a host of156ecological and social problems related to its automobile dependency with the public realmbecoming the most visible casualty.AccessibilityTheWalnut Grove neighbourhood plan includes seven ingress-egress points along its 2,200 meterlong periphery with 212 B and 216 Streets, and 88 Avenue. This translates into one entrance forevery 315 meters of perimeter area. Of these only three are clearly dedicated to the pedestrian. Theinternal circulation of the neighbourhood is equally anti-pedestrian as the zoning excludes mid-block and end of cul-de-sac pedestrian connections. Approximately 75 percent of the residents liveat least 100 meters away from the two neighbourhood open spaces with the furthest residentsliving 650 meters away.In Jericho Hill, intersections occur, on average, every 80 meters around the site’s perimeter andcloser to 60 meters within the community. The furthest any one resident is from the open spacesystem is 100 meters with approximately 80 percent of the residents living within 50 meters. Acentral commercial spine and two neighbourhood based service areas provide a shops and servicesare never more than 350 meters away.Comparing relative levels of accessability between the two communities is further illustrated whenone considers the proximity of services. Within Walnut Grove no shops or services are providedand no clear pedestrian connections are made between the neighbourhood and the Town Centre tothe immediate northwest. Consequently no resident lives within 100 meters of the commercial areaand approximately 75 percent of the residents live between 500 and 1,200 meters away resulting ina neighbourhood completely dependent on their automobiles even for local trips. In Jericho HillVillage no resident lives further than 350 meters away from a commercial area with in excess of 50percent living within 200 meters.EnergyWalnut Grove’s predominantly north sloping aspect is a handicap for exploiting solar energy as amajor source of heat and electrical energy. This is further compromised by a road network whichorients approximately 85 percent of the lots and houses beyond twenty degrees of due south. Of157those remaining homes which could take advantage of solar access none are designed with thenecessary passive solar building envelope to do so. Other than the residual heat gain anddaylighting all buildings experience to some degree, the housing in Walnut Grove generates noneof its heat or electrical energy from on site solar energy.In Jericho Hill approximatley 80 percent of the buildings fall within 20 degrees of south with theexpress purpose of maximizing passive solar gain. The remaining 20 percent are designed with flatroofs to allow roof mounted solar panels to be oriented within 20 degrees.In terms of the energy used on transportation it is clear that without any internal services or workopportunities, or close proximity to a larger urban area where employment might be foundresidentsofWalnut Grove consume far more energy for transportation than those people residing in JerichoHill Village, perhaps in excess of twice the amount. (Caithorpe, 1993)PermeabilityThe implications of developing an automobile dependent, single family housing community arefurther revealed when one considers that almost 87 percent (59 hectares) ofWalnut Grove isconsunimed by roads and housing versus 35 percent (19.5 hectares) in Jericho Hill. On average,Walnut Grove’s houses and related hard surfaces cover a minimum 50 percent of their property.When combined with the actual surface area of roads and sidewalks found in the community(approximately 60 percent of the road allowance) than at least 52 percent (35.5 hectares) ofWalnutGrove is paved with impermeable surfaces is. The consequences of this impermeability include asignificant reduction in infiltration and ground water recharge, and the lost contributions made bysubsurface water tables in regulating low flow summer stream conditons.In Jericho Hill, roads, sidewalks and buildings cover approximately 18.7 hectares (33 percent) ofland. However, the net effect of these impermeable surfaces is considerably less due to thesubsurface recharge beds which are located under the roads and the many infiltration areasincorporated into the surface drainage system. The intent of this recharge strategy is to approximatethe site’s natural infiltration patterns and minimze disturbance to subsurface drainage systems.158Wate, Waste and AgricultureJericho Hill is organized to respect local drainage patterns and recycle the flow of water throughoutthe communinty, thereby reducing the community’s need for imported water. The most dominatfeature of this system is the water reservoir in Jericho Hill - North which is fed by treated surfacerunoff and wastewater from the solar aquatic greenhouses. When combined with the grey waterstorage capacity of each building the village has a water reservoir capacity in excess of 16,500,000liters. This represents a storage capacity ten times greater than the community’s daily requirementsand help the village achieve at least a 60 percent reduction in imported water.Jericho Hill Village also provides solar aquatic facilities which allow for all of the wastewatergenerated by village residents to be recycled or composted within the community. In Jericho Hill12.5 hectares of land are dedictaed to agricultural production with a capacity to supply 3,100people with an annual supply of fruit and vegetables.Walnut Grove, on the other hand, provides neither water storage facilities nor waste treatmentfacilities. It is 100 percent dependant on imported water and 100 percent dependent on shipping itswaste out of the community. Additionally there are no facilities dedicated to agriculture despiteWalnut Grove’s traditional role as an important agricultural hub for Langley.VegetationThe final comparison between the two communities lies with the role vegetation plays in therespective communities. In Jericho Hill the vegetation serves as an importnt green connectionthrough the community from one edge to another in support of wildlife habitat and migrationthroughout the region. The urban forest also helps moderate the village’s micro-climate by castingshade across all north south streets to minimize potential heat gain. Finally the forest helps todefine landscape paths and rooms, and unify various parts of the village.In Walnut Grove there has been little if any thought given to the role the vegetation plays. Very littlenative vegetation remains and among the plant material that is planted very little of it has any159relationship with the local or regional patterns. In general the vegetation is devoid of bothecological relevance and regional context.6.4 ConclusionsThe differences between Jericho Hill Village and Walnut Grove are profound. From an ecologicalperspective Walnut Grove is designed without concern for local and regional ecological integrity. Itrepresents the common mistake made in the planning and design off communities during the lastfew hundred years: Cities and towns exist as seperate entities from the larger landscape. It is clearthis is not the case as we have come to learn that cities and towns have enormous impacts on local,regional and global ecosystems.What Jericho Hill Village demonstrates is an approach to organizing a community to minimize itsimpact on the landscape and if possible to develop symbiotic relationships between the village andthe local landscape.160NOISIYDNO30L1917.1 IntroductionJericho Hill Village represents one possible scenario resulting from an ecologically-based,community design process. Its spatial organization has, in its attempt to maximize self-sufficiency,taken on a distinctly different, if not antithetical quality to that of a conventional suburbancommunity. Exploring opportunities to generate heat, conserve water and waste, grow food, andincrease biodiversity has created a community with very few of the features associated with thecontemporary suburb.The most notable and perhaps most controversial difference is the absence of the single familyhome. Early in this thesis it became clear that for a community to achieve basic levels ofsustainability the single family house had to be abandoned as the archetypal housing pattern. Asdiscussed in chapters one and two the social problems spawned by the single family house --live/work imbalances, automobile dependency, anonymity and placelessness -- have also resultedin severe ecological problems such as the reduction in biodiversity, polluted water bodies, lostagricultural production, and increases in atmospheric emissions. Therefore, the single familyhouse has been replaced with a variety of multiple family housing units that, while not satisfyingthose seeking a suburban house, will create the densities necessary to allow many of the otherecological design principles to be realized. Multiple family housing has the added benefit ofproviding affordable housing for the dominant nonnuclear family unit, an illusive virtue for thesingle family house. The conceptual plan for Jericho Hill Village also demonstrates how issues ofenergy and water conservation, waste recycling, urban agriculture and biodiversity can not only beincorporated into a design response but that these can enhance the form, function and image of thecommunity.The specific features of the plan do not profess to be a template for all ecologically basedcommunities. Its grid-like organization, while maximizing solar gain, is realized only as theexisting terrain allows it. The open space network is organized along natural drainage patternsspecific to Jericho Hill. Reforestation is designed to reconnect remnant forests that have beenfragmented by indiscriminate development. Each of these issues respects the design parameters setforth in chapter three, yet each is adapted to the context. In essence Jericho Hill’s form is guided by162design principles but rationalized by site conditions.It is this ability to respond to and embody local context in the shaping of the community that maybe the most important characteristic of an ecologically based design approach. If people canunderstand and respect the idiosyncrasies of local and regional ecosystems, and in particular theirvulnerabilities, possibilities for developing more sustainable communities become real. If oneknows very little about the function and features of local ecosystems, as is the consequence ofcurrent suburban design, the likelihood of ecologically sustainable communities being realized isvirtually nil.7.2 Prime DeterminantsDuring the planning and design of Jericho Hill Village I realized the ecological design parametersdiscussed in chapter three -- energy, water, waste, vegetation, housing, and spatial organization --could not be applied as uniformly as I had originally thought when the parameters were beingdefined. Early on in the design process it became clear that addressing the community’s energyand water flows would have to take priority over other parameters as these two establish thestructure on which other ecological features can operate.EnergyThe use of energy to support the many activities found in a community is inevitable. Energy isessential in heating and lighting our houses, cooking our food and carrying us from one area toanother. What differentiates the conventional community from the ecologically sustainablecommunity is the source of that energy. In the conventional suburb the form of energy is typicallyfossil fuel or hydro electric power, both of which are products of solar energy, but not solar energydirectly.In the ecologically sustainable community direct solar energy is the only renewable source ofenergy that is produced on a daily basis in the quantities necessary to meet the majority of acommunity’s needs. In addition, direct solar energy is the only energy source that is not163appropriated from another system and the only source whose use is free of adverse byproducts.Therefore attempting to maximize solar gain establishes fundamental guidelines for the placementof buildings and streets. The result is that solar energy becomes a prime determinant of thecommunity’s physical form.WaterWater is an equally important, and perhaps more dynamic consideration, in determining spatialform. Though water flows are not bound by the same orientation demands that come withmaximising solar gain, the role of the hydrologic cycle in shaping and supporting local andregional ecosystems is undeniable. In any landscape its presence supports a range of plants andorganisms. In the conventional suburb the understanding of the hydrologic cycle as an importantecological feature is rarely incorporated into the decision making process that determines thecommunity’s layout. This results in the indiscriminate alteration of local drainage patterns, andsurface and subsurface water courses. The consequences may be slow to materialize but eventuallysupplies of potable water become scarce, local plant and wildlife communities disappear and thenatural systems that support human activity are lost.Alternatively the emphasis in the ecologically sustainable community is placed on minimaldisturbance of local surface and subsurface drainage patterns. In the case of Jericho Hill Villagethis lead to the separation of the community into three drainage basins that aligned with the existingdrainage patterns. Subsequent decisions dealing with surface runoff and grey water reinforcedthese strategies and attempted to protect preexisting drainage characteristics. Thus it is the firstresponsibility of the open space system to protect the local hydrologic patterns.In retrospect this revelation that energy and water become prime determinants of community formis consistent with the basic organizing principles structuring natural ecosystems, where the absenceor abundance of solar energy and water define the character of the system. This does not imply theother design parameters discussed in chapter three -- waste, vegetation, housing, and spatial order-- are unimportant determinants of form. Rather they should be understood to be critical inestablishing specific features of the community within the restrictions placed by the response toenergy and water.164A good example of this is a wastewater facility such as a solar aquatic system. Its requirements aresimple: it should be placed downhill from the majority of waste producing sites in a sunny locationand include the appropriate plants and organisms to treat the waste. The system is most effectivewhen it is located within or near the community’s drainage courses to more easily capture and treatwastewater prior to its release into the hydrologic cycle. The siting and spatial requirements of thesolar aquatic facility is determined by and adapted to the community’s basic structure.Another example of this hierarchical relationship between the prime and secondary determinantscan be illustrated by the possibilities offered by urban agriculture. There are endless examples ofpeople fortuitously reclaiming derelict land, easements, rights of ways and even roof tops to growfruits and vegetables. The locational requirements are quite flexible as long as water is available,the site is sunny and the soil is adequate. Small scale allotment gardens and orchards have thecapacity to be adapted to a variety of settings. This flexibility makes the siting of urban agricultureless critical at the outset than maximising solar gain or maintaining local drainage patterns.Understanding the prime determinants is essential for any community design approach aspiring tobe ecologically sustainable. Energy and water represent the inescapable constraints of any givensite and cannot be substituted for. Unfortunately the unwillingness of planners, designers,managers and residents to accept this truism is why the urban system is failing. It is a delusion thathas no basis in ecological reality and is ultimately proving to be self destructive. The conceptualplan for Jericho Hill Village offers an approach to the planning of a suburban community based onthese parameters. And while the solution presented is by no means the quintessential model it doesoffer some legible alternatives to the status quo.7.3 The Issue of PlaceIt is not enough to understand cyclical orientation and participation in purely organisation ortechnical terms. People must be enabled to again experience them personally. This means,ecological urban restructuring is above all a creative task. It is important to get beyond thereduction of functional or aesthetic aspects of the city as the expression of a linear andsectoral understanding of design. Since most of the natural and cyclical relationships ofarchitecture, urban planning and technical systems can no longer be experienced sensually,sensitivity and responsibility wither away and indifference as to what is bad and good inlife rises”Ekhart Hahn, 1992.165The scope of this thesis has been limited to defining ecological design parameters and applyingthem to the design of a suburban community. As has been noted elsewhere a design process thatattends to issues of energy, water, waste and food will fundamentally influence the form of thecommunity. However, it is unlikely that such a process will independently succeed in realizing amore sustainable community unless it can engender a “sense of place” among its residents: unless itcan foster the necessary sensibilities that will lead residents towards a more sustainable existence.The question of how well any design process addresses a “sense of place” is a complex one, wellbeyond the scope of this thesis. However, what can be said about the Jericho Hill Village conceptplan is that it embodies many of the qualities that place theorists have noted as essential in thecreation of place. Norberg-Schulz (1980) argues that place emerges when built form allows peopleto concretize their existential relationship to the landscape they inhabit. Relph (1976) suggests thatthe fundamentals of placemaking lie in the ability of a location’s physical and psychologicalqualities to define that place as a centre of human existence. Heidegger believes that sense of placeemerges when a person is placed in a setting in such a way that it reveals the external bonds of hisexistence and at the same time the depths of his freedom and reality.Jericho Hill Village and the ecological design parameters that organizes it help to reveal localecological features as not only simple functional features but as narratives of the way naturalsystems are integrated with human systems. The ecological design parameters help to concretizethe many natural system flows is such a way that they become apparent and recognizable toresidents. For example, the passage of water through the community not only serves to protect theintegrity of local ecological function but, when skillfully integrated into the fabric of thecommunity, can reinforce a resident’s visceral relationship with the water and the larger systems itis connected to.There are other reasons to suspect the proposed plan for Jericho Hill Village is more likely toengender a sense of place among its residents than a conventional suburban plan. Beyond themixture of uses it offers and the more legible public and private realm defined by its spatial orderdefines, the process envisioned for implementing it includes the following features, eachsupportive of the development of a “sense of place”.166System Based Design ProcessJericho Hill Village is the result of an organic, system based design process. Its organizationmirrors natural ecosystem function and attempts to maximize self-sufficiency in energy, water,waste and food. This is an approach that leads to a design that is diverse, adaptable and intimatelyconnected to local and regional ecological function. Every part of Jericho Hill is part of larger andsmaller systems, interconnected by a series of energy transfers, flows, cycles and networks. Thedesign assimilates inputs and outputs of energy, water, waste, air, and food from the smallest actof building through to the community’s relationship with the region. The system-based designclearly embodies and reveals the local context in its spatial organization.Time and ChangeIf a sense of place is to emerge one must be able to relate to concepts of time and change.With asystem based design approach seasonal changes and cycles of ecosystem function become muchmore apparent. It is a process that helps to relate the influences of time and change upon thelandscape, the community and the resident. Past, present and future concepts of time are reflectedin the ecological systems operating within the community throughout the year, making them morereadily apparent and anticipated. This contrasts with the static concept of time most suburbancommunities embody.Incremental/Small ScaleThe concept plan for Jericho Hill Village illustrates a fully built community of approximately 5,500people. As a plan it does not reflect the inevitable growth and change it will go through as itmatures. In reality it would take years of incremental change to realize the form shown in the plan.Developing ecologically sustainable community must be based on incremental change and growth.It must avoid rapid change as this reduces diversity and adaptability, and erodes the continuitynecessary for a sense of place to emerge. Incremental change allows time to respond and adapt tochanges in context and circumstance in a similar manner found in natural systems.Regional IdentityCreating a sense of place begins with the development of a relationship with the landscape in whichone resides. The more one responds to the local context the more likely it is a sense of place will167emerge. Jericho Hill Village is derived from the application of a number of ecological designparameters to an existing set of local landscape characteristics. The design begins to describe andreinforce the areas context through the flow of water, the reconnection of remnant forests, and thedesign’s response to the area’s rural character. In essence the design for Jericho Hill responds tolocal and regional characteristics, and celebrates the idiosyncrasies of the regions natural systemsand in the process reinforces regional identity.7.4 ImplementationThe observations on the placemaking qualities found in Jericho Hill are, of course, speculative.One cannot be sure that any would actually be realized until the plan is implemented. Thus thequestion of implementation remains. It is one thing to spend two years considering the designfeatures of an ecologically base suburban community. It is, however, a completely differentproblem considering what some of the opportunities and constraints might be in attempting toimplement such a design.Conventional Development ProcessPerhaps the most obvious constraint to implementing such a proposal is the inertia of the currentapproach to developing communities. Suburban communities look, operate and feel the way theydo for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the unwillingnes of planners, designers andresidents to explore alternatives. In the early 1 970s when Michael and Judy Corbett wereproposing to develop Village Homes in Davis, California, the financial institutions anddevelopment bylaws were unprepared for their ideas on energy and water conservation. Thesystem had not seen a similar proposal and therefore created layers of red tape that slowed, andultimately, compromised the final design. It appears little has changed. Many financial institutionsare unwilling to provide a mortgage on alternative construction techniques. Similarly, local buildingcodes and building inspectors are poorly prepared to evaluate subdivision plans and buildings thatdo not conform to their conventional bench marks.168Official Community PlansThe lack of interest in using basic ecological concerns as organizing principles can be traced backto most community planning documents. An example of this is the Willowbrook Community Planproduced by the Township of Langley. The purpose of the plan is to provide:“(a) the basis for long range orderly development of the community;(b) a guide for day-to-day decision making in the development process for the area andinvestment decisions of individuals;(c) the basis for preparation, adoption and amendment of land use regulating bylaws; and,(d) the basis for the preparation and adoption of a capital works program.”The plan goes on to discuss the general concept and offers the following three goals for the plan:“1. To encourage commercial, business, office and industrial uses as well as residentialaccommodation in the Willowbrook area to promote development of a regional centre inconjunction with downtown Langley2. To provide for adequate services and public facilities.3. To provide an aesthetically pleasing environment and protect significant naturalfeatures.”The purpose and goals in the Willowbrook Plan are commonly found in official community plansand neighbourhood plans in other cities and municipalities. These are documents focused entirelyon the development potential of their communities not limitations for development. The plansgenerally speak of “orderly development” without any mention about how the proposals willaddress issues of energy, water, waste, food and vegetation. This is why, from the perspective ofecological sustainability, the development process and the documents guiding it are inherentlyflawed. In falling to recognize that development is ultimately dependent upon local, regional andmore distant resources, and the health of the ecosystems that produce these resources, the currentdevelopment process deludes itself in to believing ecological concerns are subservient todevelopment concerns when the opposite is true.Economic/Cultural ExpectationsAssociated with the constraints of the current approach to development are its underlying economicand cultural expectations. The development of standard suburban subdivision reflects short term,169investment decisions. This speculation on real estate leads to the rapid development and sale ofproperty in an attempt to maximize profits. It is rare that the person developing the land will resideon it and it is even more rare for this development process to result in a thoughtful discussionrespecting the future of the community and its impact on the land. It is a process reinforced, if notperpetuated, by cultural expectations of private property ownership and single family houses. Thusas long as the single family house holds the esteemed position in the human psyche it does,absolved of its adverse impacts on regional ecosystems, proposing more ecologically sustainablealternatives will be an uphill battle.It would seem impossible to reconcile aspirations of ecologically sustainable communities withcurrent approaches to development. Short term investment, either as time or money, does notreflect the influences of time affecting natural ecosystem function. Physical changes to a landscapecan happen quickly but changes in fundamental ecosystem functions are much slower tomaterialize, and when they do become apparent they are often manifested as systemic problemsrather than single issue problems. This is why any and all development must better understand thatany action has a consequence, good and bad, for local and regional ecological function as well ascommunity identity. Until this reality is embodied in the development process and the developmentprocess can look beyond its myopic mandate there is little chance for change.Enabling FactorsUndoubtedly the idiosyncrasies of the status quo represent considerable impediments to anecologically based design approach. However there are a number of emerging factors that suggestan alternative approach might be well received. First the change in family demographics discussedin chapter one, from the traditional nuclear family to a smaller, more diverse family unit isbeginning to undermine the appropriateness and equally important the affordability of the singlefamily house. These disparate family units have different programmatic needs that cannot befuffihled by the traditional suburb.Another important change is the transformation of the work place. Information based industrialdevelopment is not bound by the same locational requirements that conventional industry required.In addition management structures are becoming more flexible, offering people more options to170work at home or in satellite offices closer to their home.Few incentives for finding alternative solutions in the development of communities are morecompelling than the emerging constraints being placed on communities by their water and wastesystems. Rapid population growth, particularly within the Greater Vancouver Region, is stressingthe current infrastructure’s ability to supply potable water and carrying away waste. Many of thesesystems are at or near capacity. Upgrading them with conventional solutions is proving to be tooexpensive for most communities and alternative approaches are being sought.Another important enabling factor has been the increase in environmental regulations during the lastfew years. As people become aware of the many impacts their activities have on ecosystemspolicies are being written that restrict emissions and control certain forms of development. Whilethese are at present incomplete they do establish a necessary precedent of prioritizing ecologicalconcerns above traditional concerns.There are other positive signals that suggest an ecologically based design approach could take rootincluding the ever increasing costs of fossil fuel energy, improved efficiency of building envelopesand photovoltaic panels, and waste recycling opportunities. There are also indications that morepeople are willing to compromise their personal goals to protect their environment and that peopleare generally becoming more sympathetic to environmental issues.7.5 Future Work and ExpectationsBefore an ecologically based community design approach is likely to happen there are a number orareas of study not addressed in this thesis that will likely have to be addressed.Cost ComparisonsThe first involves the development of a series of cost comparisons between a conventionaldevelopment approach and an ecologically based approach. The costing would have to include alife cycle assessment of both to better reflect the complete costs involved. There is no doubt that on171a per unit basis the multiple family housing used throughout Jericho Hill is considerably cheaper toconstruct than single family houses. The increases in densities would also result in fewer roadsbeing required per person and more shared services. Since infrastructural costs can account for upto 40 percent of development costs there is little doubt an ecologically based community can offerconsiderable cost savings during construction and development. The question is how much and towhat extent. These are basic questions which need to be answered if the ecologically based designis to be demystified and more universally accepted.Policy RecommendationsThis thesis does not provide specific policy statements similar to those found in conventionalplanning documents partly to help limit its scope but also in response to my perception that policystatements have only a limited capacity to foster good design. A case in point is that conventionalsuburban development has been subject to a litany of policies and, while the policies may havebeen well intentioned they have failed to generate vibrant communities. Nonetheless, as an interimmeasure, it is likely that specific policies empowering an ecologically based design process must bewritten to help change the status quo. Policies have become the lexicon of the developmentindustry and until that changes they will continue to play an important role in describing what canand cannot be done.Pilot Projects and Financial IncentivesOn an annual basis design competitions and pilot projects are developed throughout Europe to testout new approaches to architecture and community planning. Often these projects are thecollaboration of government and private interests. What they succeed in doing is to provide atangible precedent for an alternative idea that people can walk through, touch, evaluate andimprove. Unfortunately, these competitions and pilot projects are rare in North America,whichexplains why so few innovative ideas on energy efficient design, water conservation, or wasterecycling are disseminated throughout the continent.The absence of these ideas reinforces, and is reinforced by the reluctance of financial institutions,industry and government to sponsor the construction of prototypes. What should occur is the jointsponsorship of pilot projects by public and private interests as well as a provisions for monitoring172the results and integrating what is learned into mainstream practices or more than likely alteringmainstream practices to better support the idea. There are many smaller projects than Jericho HillVillage that could occut For example a stretch of road in an existing community could be rebuiltwith the goal of maximizing ground water recharge and providing the best possible habitat for thestreet trees. Different techniques would be used and evaluated. Another project might include theredevelopment on an urban block into a mixture of uses that maixizes self-sufficiency in energy,water, waste and food.Future DesignAnother area for future study could involve a further evaluation of the ecological design parametersand their influence on physical form. The concept plan for Jericho Hill Village represents apreliminary proposal for an ecologically sustainable community but it requires further refinement.Its exploration into how water, waste and energy can be effect community form is incomplete.There needs to be more attention paid to how well these parameters can engender a sense of placeand the specific design dimensions they require in order that ecosystem function can be supported.Architecturally the challenge is to explore how multiple family housing can become more energyself sufficient while providing the necessary levels of public and private separation. Forcommunity planners and landscape architects the focus should be on how the proposed open spaceenhances local and regional ecosystem function. For engineers there must be new solutions for thecommunity’s infrastructure that protects ecological function.Ultimately, however, the likelihood that ecologically sustainable communities will emerge dependsnot on the design resolution of a few design professionals, but on the acceptance of the idea by thegeneral public. It is the individual resident that must be committed to the idea and responsible forits implementation. 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E.1991. “Reducing Waste, Saving Material”, State Of The World 1991: A World WatchInstitue Report on Progress Towards a Sustainable Society. L. Brown(ed.) New York; W.W. Norton & Co.181Appendix 1 - Case StudiesDuring the research for this thesis numerous projects from Europe and North America providedvaluable information on the spatial implications of ecological design. The lessons learned in theseprojects contributed significantly to the development the ecological design parameters established inchapter three. I had the opportunity to visit most of these sites and for those I was unable to visit Iwas able to acquire good documentation of their features. The following is a brief annotated list ofthe projects.Denmark• Torsted Vest, HorsensLocated along Horsens’ western boundary this new subdivision will eventually provide 700 unitsof housing combined with a mixture of services. The project was begun in 1991 with completiondue in 1999. To date Torsted Vest is the most comprehensive community in exploring ecologicalconsiderations as an organizing tool. The mixture of housing is sited to maximize natural aircirculation and protect lowland areas. There is housing that is autonomous from any communityservices, that explores passive and active solar architecture, and that is adaptable buildings. Otherrelevant features are grey and black water strategies, urban agriculture and a cogeneration system,• Egebjerggard, BallerupA mixed use development of approximately 700 units, 15 kilometers west of Copenhagen. Theproject was started in 1986 and is expected to be complete in 1994. It demonstrates passive andactive solar architecture, clustered housing, grey water techniques, live/work opportunities, a largepercentage of public open space, and urban agriculture.• Valdemarsgade, SlagelseValdemarsgade involved the renewal of a block of derelict buildings in downtown Slagelse in1993. The inner city project integrates a range of ecological design initiatives within 148 residentunits. The project’s main features are passive solar architecture, energy conservation, water andwaste recovery, food production, and wildlife habitat enhancement.182• SlagelseThe original centre of Slagelse has been designated a “green city” (Grøn By) by the DanishGovernment and the European Community. The designation supports green initiatives throughoutthe inner urban core such as a cogeneration plant, solar energy projects, water and wasteconservation, traffic calming and green spaces. Many of these have been realized such as theValdemarsgade project.• CopenhagenThere aie far too many examples of ecological design related strategies in Copenhagen to list here.They include innovative housing strategies that address energy and water concerns, pedestrian andbicycle networks, mixing of uses and human scale design.• FredensgadefHollndervej, KoldingThis inner city renewal of a derelict housing block is notable for its attempt to deal with water andwaste onsite. It includes grey water and solar aquatic facilities as well as passive and active solararchitecture. It is scheduled for completion in 1995.• Blangstedgard, OdenseThis subdivision began as a design competition to provide 600 units of housing in 1987. Theproject provides interesting examples of multiple family housing, many of which include passiveand active solar design features. The circulation system prioritizes pedestrians and cyclists, and theopen space system retains much of the areas rural character.England• LetchworthLetchworth is the only authentic example of Ebenizer Howard’s “garden city”. As such it providesan interesting example of community land trust ownership. Its mixture of uses, clustered housingand active agricultural industry are among its many virtues as a somewhat autonomous community,183• Welwyn Garden CityWelwyn was to have been the second true “garden city’ but due to circumstances it developedwithout the community land trust ownership. Consequently it demonstrates fewer of Howard’sideas than Letchworth. Nonetheless it has a commendable human scale, it is serviced by a regionaltrain and local bus system and provides significant open space for its residents.• Milton KeynesBeyond the separated pedestrian and bicycle path systems from automobile traffic, the naturalizedplantings along easements and some allotment gardens Milton Keynes has few redeeming qualitiesthat can be used as precedent in defining ecologically sustainable communities. As one of GreatBritain’s most notable new towns from the 1950s and 1960s I had expected Milton Keynes to bemore forward looking, yet the automobile dominates this place.Germany• Block 6- South Friedrichstadt, BerlinAn engineered marsh dominates the inner courtyard of an urban renewal housing project. Theproject was intended to treat and recycle grey water from approximately 100 housing units toreduce the project’s water demands on the city. While it has not been as successful as the designershad hoped it is an interesting development with potential for future applications.• Block 103 - Luisenstadt, BerlinBlock 103 is typical inner-city housing block in Luisenstadt Quarter of Berlin. As part of the 1987International Building Exhibition(IBA), the 332 residential units and 41 shops were rehabilitatedusing a broad range of ecological design initiatives. One of its principal water conservationstrategies was to replumb the building to accommodate a grey water system.• Block 70, Luisenstadt, BerlinThis urban infill project of approximately 200 units is organized around a courtyard that is plantedwith native to enhance biodiversity and wildlife.184• BerlinThere are hundreds of projects throughout Berlin which offer a variety of interpretations ofecological design. Many deal with grey water recycling techniques, passive and active solardesign, material recycling and the renewal of old building stock by the residents. The city hasnumerous building codes requiring basic levels of ecological performance and has integrated afairly extensive bicycle path system. The open spaces in Berlin are also noteworthy for thevolunteer succession that is occurring in abandoned and derelict sites.• ErlangenNotable for its extensive bicycle system that was overlayed and integrated into the existing urbanfabric.• HanoverHanover is an important location for passive and active solar architecture in Germany. Numerousbuildings have been developed that explore different energy options.• Documenta Urbanica, KastleThis is a small subdivision in southwest Kastle that serves as a demonstration project for differentpassive and active solar architectural techniques.• MunichMunich offers excellent examples of urban planning that supports pedestrian and bicyclecirculation. It also successfully demonstrates urban growth centres that are linked to each other andthe city core by an extensive public transit system.• SaarbruckenIn 1992 Saarbrucken received an environmental award from the United Nations sponsored RioSummit for their cogeneration power plant that supplies much of their domestic energy as well asthe industry where the power plant is located. It is also notable for some of its open spaceinitiatives and its examples of passive solar architecture.185• StuttgartStuttgart has been purchasing open space throughout the surrounding hills to protect the region’sair circulation. The prevailing winds and outflow of air from the surrounding forests was found toplay an important role in reducing the urban heat island effect and thereby reducing the need for airconditioning and the energy required to power these units.The Netherlands• AlmereAlmere is located east of Amsterdam and provides good examples of new town planning supportedwith a variety of public transportation options. The role of the open space for recreation andecological function is also notable.• BijlmermeerThe notable feature of this apartment building complex located east of Amsterdam is the attempts asnatural plantings. A series of successional planting strategies was used to enhance biodiversity andwildlife habitat.• AmsterdamAmsterdam provides endless examples of adaptive reuse of buildings, human scale design and abicycle path system integrated into the old city fabric.• NMB Bank Building, Amsterdam, The NetherlandsThis 50,000m2 building is home to approximately 2,000 employees. The employees were involvedin the site selection and building design development as required under Dutch law. The buildingdemonstrates that substantial energy savings and improved interior environments can be achievedindependent of building size. The building is oriented along an northwest - southeast axis, anddemonstrates principles of passive solar architecture, daylighting, heat exchange and healthyinterior environments.186• DeiftThe bicycle network in Deift is one of the most extensive in Europe and serves as a good study ofwhat works and how it can be integrated into an existing urban area.• Ecolonia, Aiphen aan den RijnEcolonia is a subdivision of 101 demonstration homes built between 1992 and 1994. All thehouses had to meet a general program for conserving energy and utilizing environmentally awarematerials. The homes were than separated into 9 categories with more specific programmaticobjectives. The development offers some interesting passive and active solar design solutions aswell as water conservation techniques, flexibility and interior air quality.Sweden• Solbyn, DalbySolbyn is a 50 unit housing cooperative built in 1987. The housing units are oriented to maximizesolar gain. The housing development demonstrates passive solar architecture, compost toilets, acommon building, root cellars, allotment gardens and orchards and onsite daycare.• Skarpnack, StockholmThis new town centre includes approximately 3,000 housing units in a suburb south of Stockholm.It offers some interesting examples of courtyard based, four to seven story housing, withlive/work opportunities.• StockholmStockholm serves as a good study of a planning approach that attempts to focus mixed use growthin specific suburban areas that are linked to the city and to one another by public transit. The basicintent is to increase transit use, reduce automobile use and per capita energy consumption, andpreserve regional open space and natural systems.187• Tusenskonan, VasterasThis 70 unit four and five story housing development is organized around an inner courtyard. Theproject demonstrates techniques for grey water recycling complete with a courtyard stream andpond, urban agriculture, domestic waste separation and ventilation and heat recovery systems.United States• Rocky Mountain Institute, Snowmass, ColoradoThis 372m2 building houses 21 employees and is one of the most energy efficient buildings in theworld. Its design demonstrates the potential for passive solar design to achieve energy savings of99 percent savings in space and water heating energy, 90 percent reduction in domestic electricity,and a 50 percent savings in water use.• Village Homes, Davis, CaliforniaThis 32 hectare subdivision is organized around an open space system that is both the community’samenity area and its the stormwater drainage basin. The project, built in the mid 1970s,establishes an important precedent in North America of passive solar architecture combined withsurface drainage, ground water recharge, urban agriculture system and natural vegetation.• The Woodlands, Houston, TexasWoodlands is a suburban housing enclave outside of Houston located in a low lying areasusceptible to seasonal flooding. Ian McHarg was involved in the design which is notable for itsopen drainage system that was chosen over subsurface storm sewers. Houses and roads arelocated along the high ground or impermeable surfaces to preserve natural drainage. Itdemonstrates the potential for surface drainage even within a large scale application.Canada• Boyne River School, Toronto, OntarioBoyne River School serves as an outdoor school! natural science centre for the Toronto SchoolBoard. It sits in a woodland near the Niagara Escarpment. Because of its remote location theschool is designed to be autonomous from municipal services. Attention to passive solar design188techniques allows the building to supply most of its own heat. Photovoltaic panels and a windturbine located on a nearby hill provides most of the electricity. And a solar aquatic wastewatertreatment system occupies a room of 50 m2 within the school building and treats the waste fromapproximately 250 students and teachers.Lebreton Park, OttawaLebreton Park is a .55 hectare park surrounded by medium density housing blocks. At the veryheart of the park sits a stormwater retention pond. When dry the pond’s hard, yet permeablesurface allows for variety of play and community activities to occur. However, during heavy rainswater that does not percolate through the park’s grassed areas drains to the pond. A catch basin andweir control the height of the pond and the rate of percolation. Depending on the volume of watercollected the pond might reach a depth of.5m and remain for up to 3 days(Hough 1984).• 2211 West 4th Avenue, VancouverThis mixed use commercial and residential building is notable for its use of ground source heatrecovery that when combined with basic passive heat gain provides the large building complexwith most of its heat.189Appendix 2 - Pedestrian Pocket ProgramThe following program was used as a guide for programming Jericho Hill Village. It is theprogram established for use in a design competition that took place at the University of Washingtonin March of 1988 (Kelbaugh, 1989). It accommodates 2,500 to 3,000 people or roughly half a fullsized pedestrian pocket.Light Rail Station 10,000 square feet minimumBack Office 500,000 sfService Office 150,000 sfNeighbourhood Retail Facilities 60,000 sfCommercial Parking 1,000 stallsApartments 400 unitsTownhouses/Duplexes 400 unitsSingle Family Detached Houses 50 unitsElderly Congregate Living Facilities 150 unitsDay-Care Facilities 2 @ 7,500 sfCivic Facilities 25,000 sfParks and Recreational Facilities 12 acres190


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