“Urban Ecological Design” has been our motto at the Department of Landscape Architecture-University of Washington for over a decade. During the biennium of 2011-2013, our focus has begun to bear fruit. In 2012, the Green Futures Lab completed the installation of a Biodiversity Green Wall and Edible Green Screen in the Southeastern corner of Gould Hall, supported by the Campus Sustainability Fund. Incorporating rainwater harvesting and solar panels, the project won praise in The Atlantic Cities, as “the coolest green infrastructure you are likely to see.”
Focusing on urban challenges in the Global South, Assistant Professor Ben Spencer led students in developing sustainable solutions for residents in informal settlements in Lima, Peru. Working with local stakeholders, student teams created fog collection devices for water harvesting, as well as classrooms and green schoolyards using traditional techniques. The project received three major awards in 2012, including the SEED Award, EDRA Great Places Design Award, and ASLA Student Honor Award in Community Service.
The recognition for these and many other projects completed by students and faculty marked a milestone for a journey that has deepened our commitment to the cause, and sharpened our focus toward human and environmental health, ecological literacy, sustainable infrastructure, place-based design, and environmental and social justice.