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Biomimicry for regenerative built environments: mapping design strategies for producing ecosystem services

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posted on 28.06.2021, 01:14 by Maibritt Pedersen ZariMaibritt Pedersen Zari, Katarina Hecht
Built environment professionals must solve urgent and complex problems related to mitigating and adapting to climate change and biodiversity loss. Cities require redesign and retrofit so they can become complex systems that create rather than diminish ecological and societal health. One way to do this is to strategically design buildings and cities to generate and provide ecosystem services. This is an aspect of biomimicry, where whole ecosystems and their functions are emulated, in order to positively shift the ecological performance of buildings and urban settings. A small number of methodologies and frameworks for ecosystem services design have been proposed, but their use is not wide spread. A key barrier is the lack of translational work between ecology concepts and practical examples of ecosystem services design for a built environment context. In response, this paper presents research underpinning the creation of a qualitative relational diagram in an online interactive format that relates ecosystem services concepts to design strategies, concepts, technologies, and case studies in a format for use by built environment professionals. The paper concludes that buildings and whole cities should be expected to become active contributors to socio-ecological systems because, as the diagram shows, many strategies and technologies to enable this already exist.


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Pedersen Zari, M. & Hecht, K. (2020). Biomimicry for regenerative built environments: mapping design strategies for producing ecosystem services. Biomimetics.

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