Seminar 4: Land Use and Biodiversity

Seminar members: Bethany, Alanna, Kristen, Kate S, Emeil, Cedric, Genevieve, Lukas, Allister

Article 1- Tredici,P. Spontaneous Urban Vegetation: Reflections of Change in the Globalized World. Nature and Culture, Volume 5, Number 3, Winter 2010 , pp. 299-315(17)

Image

Usaku. Medical Building Overgrown with Ivy. Flickr. JPG. Posted June 5, 2009.http://www.flickr.com/photos/leliel/3644305419/ (Accessed April 17, 2013)

  • Native species come with the urban environment that cities base upon. In most instances, urban development takes dominance and certain plant species are considered simple hinderances. Most natural areas that are left to grown on their own are often considered to be unkept looking and not suitable for the urban environment and quickly removed. However, native species should in fact be managed and integrated rather than eliminated because they can improve ecological, aesthetic, and social values in urban areas. 

Article 1 Discussion:

  1. Do you think it is better for nature to be left to itself, or should we intervene when it begins to take over? I believe it is best to allow nature to take its course. Once it begins to affects the structural capabilities of buildings (whether it is by uprooting foundations or creeping into interiors) then measures can be taken. Altogether, there should be a balance between the two: nature and urbanism. Green spaces in an urban area serve as a refreshing means to get away from the city life and improves the overall liveability of the area by providing contrast.
  2. Certain plants are seen as weeds in some parts of the world, but in others they are seen as beautiful vegetation, like the reed for example. Why are our views towards plants negative and how can we change these views so that native species can grow as they are intended to? In the case of weeds, certain plants are simply invasive species and affect the growth of other plants by quickly taking over the land. On the other hand, leaving them to cultivate on their own presents a beautiful aesthetic as well – as long as you don’t intend on growing any other plants alongside them.
Image

O’Quinn, Erin. Dandelion Field 660. Erinsromance. JPG. Posted December 28, 2012. http://erinsromance.wordpress.com/2012/12/28/multi-use-plants-and-healing-herbs-in-old-world-ireland/dandelion-field-660/#main (Accessed April 17, 2013)

Article 2- Stokes, D., Hanson, M., Oaks, D., Straub, J., Ponio, A. local land-use planning to conserve biodiversity: planners perspectives on what works. Conserv Biol. 2010 Apr;24(2):450-60.

  • This article concentrates on the importance of biodiversity in local land-use planning, providing rich and highly differential living spaces within cities. By properly educating people on the benefits of biodiversity, be it health and well-being or aesthetic means, the community will opt for it. The development of open green space in cities opens great possibilities for wildlife investigation and floral attributes in a local area, enriching the living conditions of the city as a whole.

Article 2 Questions:

  1. How can planners consider biodiversity as a primary concern instead of an afterthought and care for it before it becomes an issue? The political sector of communities can begin to issue policies or tax breaks for the implementation or upkeep of biodiversity-promoting areas. Also, it should be a requirement for planners to work with the natural biodiversity of the landscape: buildings and architecture should serve to have little to no effects on the surround environment, and maybe even further develop the area in the long run rather than simply be put in place. People need to be properly educated in this way and get this process cemented firmly as a task.
  2. Do you think that every person has a responsibility to protect biodiversity or is it solely the planner’s responsibility to initiate protection?

Altogether, it is an individual responsibility. If the planner decides to protect biodiversity, they serve as an example to the person who partakes in their landscape. If the planner fails in this respect then there must be someone else who must take charge. Biodiversity is an important factor in enriching environments, it cannot be continually ignored. Awareness must be risen and from there more appreciation is developed within the public.

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~ by sbrodick on April 18, 2013.

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