Title page for ETD etd-12292003-105417

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Deshpande, Amol Mukund
Author's Email Address adeshpan@vt.edu
URN etd-12292003-105417
Title Design Process to Integrate Natural and Human Systems
Degree Master of Landscape Architecture
Department Landscape Architecture
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Bryant, Margaret M. Committee Chair
Bork, Dean R. Committee Member
Johnson, Benjamin C. Committee Member
  • sustainable landscape design
  • sustainable design processes
  • ecological landscape design
Date of Defense 2003-08-28
Availability unrestricted
After more than a century, there are very few examples of excellent interdisciplinary work in landscape architecture, like the "Emerald Necklace" designed by Frederick Law Olmsted or Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord by Peter Latz. Most of the projects still have only one purpose: they are either reserved for conservation as are the great national parks, or are planned for recreation or development that ignores natural systems.

"Most...landscape designers are still inspired by and primarily focused on aesthetics; society's other major objectives are secondary for them" (Richard Forman 2002, p: 85).

In 1993, American Society of Landscape Architects defined sustainable development as, "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the future." Thus designers need to understand how natural and human systems work and design for the protection of our environmental as an integral part of any development.

Landscape architects can achieve this by borrowing principles of legendary works like the "Emerald Necklace" and combining those with new technology to meet changing cultural and ecological needs. This thesis asserts that sustainable development should be achieved by reconciling human systems and its effects on the surrounding environment by using and revealing natural systems to spread consciousness and earn attention and care for our environment.

Suitability analysis by Ian McHarg, Bioregionalism by Clair Reiniger, Regenerative design process by Lyle, and Framework for ecological design by Prof. Carl Steinitz are various design processes to create developments, which can respond to both natural and human needs.

The thesis project, Riverside Park and Biomedical Complex in the South Jefferson Redevelopment Area in Roanoke, VA, explores how a design process, consisted of framework for ecological design and principals of eco-revelatory design, can help to plan a sustainable development, which uses and reveals natural systems to reconciling human systems and its effects on the surrounding environment. The project demonstrates how a multidisciplinary approach towards landscape design can help to create a multifunctional design that meets the, ecological and cultural, needs of the present without compromising the future.

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