Cities and Natural Process by Michael Hough

By Michael Hough

Cities and common Process is a publication for all occupied with the way forward for our towns, their layout and sustainability, and our caliber of lifestyles inside of them.
Michael Hough describes how fiscal and technological values have squeezed any genuine feel of nature out of the fashionable urban, the ways that this has led to
a divisive separation of geographical region and town, has wasted a lot of the city's assets, and has formed an city aesthetic that is sharply at odds with either typical and social approaches. in contrast is decided another background of ecological values informing confirmed ways to city layout which paintings with^n nature within the city.

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The literature on historical landscapes deals almost exclusively with the development of the artistic philosophies that produced the great parks and gardens of the times, from which much of our urban park tradition can be traced. It ignores the working vernacular landscape of town and country, created out of necessity and poverty, that symbolized the investment in nature and land. But it is these that hold crucial lessons for us today in our search for a relevant basis for urban form. ENERGY LANDSCAPES AND THE CONTEMPORARY CITY The patterns of space in the modern city are the product of market forces, transportation systems and design ideologies that are radically different from the older city building tradition.

The deterioration of Lake Erie, discussed below, is an example of this process. Induced fertilization in thermally stratified lakes of the Canadian Precambrian shield leads to an increased level of phytoplankton, and the onset of high levels of blue-green algae in late summer, and to reduced pH and dissolved oxygen in the deeper waters. Consequently, numerous lakes accumulate growths of planktonic blue-green algae along shore lines that create unpleasant odours when they decompose. Cold-water fish die off owing to reduced oxygen in the lake’s deeper waters.

Finally, perhaps the most striking aspect of the city is the amount of wasted energy and effort that is expended to create and maintain such an unrewarding environment. The wealth of opportunity that exists to create a better one is, in the 1990s, only beginning to be explored. The integration of urbanism and ecology achieved through the design and planning process is our concern here. It establishes links between a local and a larger bio-regional view, and makes connections between disparate elements to reveal possibilities that may not otherwise be apparent.

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