Looking further afield 2

The second edition of Further afield, where we look at some ideas that are perhaps a bit further afield than our usual focus but that can inform our thinking on cities from a broader perspective.

Public Space as Climate Resilience

At Reimagining the Civic Commons, Public Space as Climate Resilience, where they look at 6 resilience practices from cities across the US. San José: Restoring a Historic Orchard for a Changing Climate; Memphis: An Urban Old Growth Forest Stores Carbon and Delivers Nature for All; Lexington: Managing Stormwater in Ways That Engage; Chicago: Creating Climate-resilient, Regenerative Public Space.

Philadelphia: Nature-adapted Design in FDR Park:

The FDR Park Plan calls for a park that balances nature, water, and human activity. The plan is organized into two zones: 1) an Ecological Core that manages water, connects parks users to nature, and provides critical native habitat and wildlife; and 2) an Urban Edge, where new amenities such as signature playgrounds and state-of-the-art athletic fields offer exciting recreational activities that was intertwined with woods, nature trails, and marshes, and meadows.

Detroit: Community Greenspaces that Cool and Connect

Detroit’s Fitzgerald Revitalization Project is an ambitious effort to transform 10 acres of formerly vacant land in the Fitzgerald neighborhood into community assets. To date, 62 vacant lots located a few miles northwest of Downtown Detroit have been reimagined into public spaces to serve the surrounding neighborhood and wider Detroit community. These spaces include a park, a greenway, and meadows blooming with native plants.

Urban Futures — Four Scenarios

Klaus Æ. Mogensen considers four scenarios to bring some light and perspectives on coming challenges for cities. “The challenge lies not just in creating urban living spaces and infrastructure for these extra billions, but also to do so in a way that makes cities liveable, while also addressing climate change, which will heat up cities and increase the risk of flooding from extreme weather and rising sea levels. There are many ways that these challenges can be met — if they are met — and in this article, I will examine four possible urban futures, based on two uncertainties.”

Sustainability Through Being a Good Ancestor

Being a good ancestor is an increasingly popular (and useful) way of considering our individual and collective impact on a much longer timescale than our own lives. How can I be a good ancestor for the people of the next generations? Are the decisions I make today in line with what I want to leave to those generations and how I want to be perceived by them in their future present? I’m not sure where it came into public consciousness recently, but it’s been part of multiple indigenous peoples’ cultures for a long while; think of the seven generations before and after you. Sarah Lazarovic at YES! Magazine looks at Sustainability Through Being a Good Ancestor.

Sustainable stewardship of planet, yes, but also cultivating the humility and awareness necessary to be ever aware of your role as a short-term steward (without letting it freak you out too much). And it’s from this point that you will find whatever work most needs you, in the beautiful life that doesn’t belong to you.

Image: The FDR Park Plan balances water, activity and nature to create a holistic park that meets the needs of its users and the environment. Images courtesy of Fairmount Park Conservancy.