Geography Question

Towards an UrbanEcological Imagination: A Speculative Scenario

1. First a couple of notes about what you have accomplished so far:
During the Midterm:

You developed a critical visual analysis and a mini research of a particular
geography, the conflicts and opportunities embedded in it.

You began to take a critical position, a set of critical observations and this led
you to find existing data, maps, etc., from which your urban ecological
speculations began to be elaborated.

In essencethis experimental approach to observing and diagramming a series
of urban ecological speculations onto existing aerial maps was then expanded by
brief research of existing data, official municipal maps, etc., and all of this
material was the basis for responding to a series of critical questions, that I gave

You researched existing issues, and this led you to take a position about the
problems, but also about imagining what can be done to transform the urban
ecological conditions of the particular siteyou chose. You began to dream about

Now, lets focus on what you will do for the final: To actually write about these

2. The final paper will be composed of:

A. One sketch diagram drawing that summarizes your main idea. This
should be the first thing one sees at the beginning of your paper. This should be
the heading, the intro image.

Dont worry too much! this is single sketch, a creative doodle, a diagram. As I
have indicated before this can be done by handor digitally, etc. But the idea is
that this is a conceptual sketch that proposes general schematic ideas about the
transformation of the geographic zone you have been working with, into an
imaginative, urban ecological diagram. I will give samples in classYou will see it
is not that complicated! It is an opportunity for you to translate your thinking into a
visual tool

B. A super provocative title! This title should not be boring. It should contain
the main ideas, it should be conceptual, projective, future-driven, etc.

C. A 2,000wordcreative piece of writing:

Basicallybased on your findings and your own reflections from the midterm, now
give us a piece of writing that creatively proposes how this geographic zone
should transform! And how through this transformation you are suggesting new
paradigms to reimagine the city, reimagine regions! How should the different
urban ecological conditions, areas, elements, etc., should collaborate, synergize,
perform ecologically, working in more integrated ways.

Many of the issuesconceptsideas we have been discussing in class and the
readings you have engaged should help you, giving you the inspiration to imagine a
a different set of urban ecological conditions and strategies. These include the
many topics of Urban Ecology I have shared with you, from landscape-based
urbanization, to water-based systems and green-infrastructure, to infrastructural-
urbanization, to conservation-climate justice issues, to certain policies, or
programmatic ideas you can speculate about.

This is an opportunity to propose ways to transform areas of the city into more
functional, sustainable, inclusive, and resilient urban environments. Remember,
you can remain very conceptual! We know that for many of you this is the first
time you are doing something like this, so we do not expect expert or accurate
documents, or too many details. But based on the language, the concepts, the
ways of imagining urban ecologies we have discussed in class, you all should be
able to construct scenarios, a set of strategies to propose a series of urban
ecological transformations (remember the way Newton Harrison approaches his
projects? It is all about storytelling!)

These are a few suggestions to construct your essay:

-Begin by summarizing the main urban ecological conflicts, the problems, the
inefficiencies of the existing site, and incrementally begin to move into the
opportunities. As always: begin with understanding the conflicts, take a position
and then move into the opportunities and the ways to transcend and tackle the

-Your observations of the existing site, should be the inspiration for thinking
about urban ecological concepts! let the existing problems organically transform
into possibilities. And let your research and diagrammatic speculations be the
tools to come up with the different strategies.

-Share interesting revelatory moments brought by your visual and data research,

and how this is your point of departure for your speculations

After sharing these early reflections on the problems, and the main critical
issues, then, now you should be able to begin enumerating a set of main urban
ecological strategies, the main possibilities, the way these environments should
transform. Here is where you give life to your earlier sketches and your
observations with your own wordsYou can tell yourselves: “In order to challenge
the existing problems, my project proposes to transform this area into a new
paradigm towards this and that, and explore a series of strategies, that include
the transformation of this and that condition, across a set of ecological strategies
including how to distribute this and that, to avoid this and that, the connectivity
across these elements and boundaries, the permeability of surfaces in order to,
the reconstruction of tree canopy because these reasons, the interface between
this and that, even the cross-institutional collaboration needed to manage this
and fund that, the blurring of boundaries to transgress this and those, the
resilience here and there, the sponge quality of this and that, the way this system
could frame that other, how water should perform here and there, in order to
avoid this and that, and the HOW, etc., etc…”

-Then you can finish your essay with a final statement that tell us how these
ideas amount to a new paradigm, the future depends on the present
reorganization of what? And how, and who, and…

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