Beyond pastoralism : through community gardens to a model of sustainable design and a metaphor of integration
Author(s)Seitz, John M. (John Martin)
Through community gardens to a model of sustainable design and a metaphor of integration
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Dept. of Architecture.
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This thesis demonstrates the necessity of looking at cities as a component part of "nature." It seeks a common denominator for sustainable design in three simplified principles and outlines a method for evaluating the built environment according to these principles. And it suggests how community gardens may begin to serve as both, a productive metaphor which integrates cities and "nature," and a model for sustainable design. In order to view cities within "nature," it is necessary to discard popular idealizations of "nature." The pastoral ideal is particularly prevalent in America and represents a common mythos which constructs an idealized middle landscape between city and "nature," isolating both. Community gardens present us with a productive way of seeing "nature" and cities together and the gardens gives us a metaphor which can facilitate the sustainable design of our built environment. The criteria and priorities of sustainable design frameworks vary, but they all contain components which can be broadly defined under three interrelated principles. 1) Create environments which sustain ecosystems. 2) Create environments which sustain communities. 3) Create environments which sustain people. Indicators give us a good measure of the extent to which a particular environment is sustainable. Ecological indicators reflect the regenerative processes of ecosystems. Community indicators measure the capability of environments and the processes they engender to sustain human society. Personal indicators reflect the extent to which environments can heal and restore well-being to body and mind. The community gardens in the Dudley Street neighborhood of Roxbury and Dorchester in Boston are evaluated and an outline is presented of how the gardens begin to realize the principles of sustainable design and suggest a new integrated and productive metaphor for building. A sustainable environment can only be achieved through an integrated consideration of ecological systems, social and cultural fabrics and individual human supports.
Thesis (M.S.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, 1993.Includes bibliographical references (p. 135-143).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology Dept. of Architecture.; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture
Massachusetts Institute of Technology