"It's amazing what happens below our feet and all around us."
Even while I dreamed I prayed that what I saw was only fear and no foretelling,
for I saw the last known landscape destroyed for the sake
of the objective, the soil bludgeoned, the rock blasted.
Those who had wanted to go home would never get there now.
- Wendell Berry, A Timbered Choir [excerpt]
Geese appear high over us,pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,
as in love or sleep, holds
them to their way, clear
in the ancient faith: what we need
is here. And we pray, not
for new earth or heaven, but to be
quiet in heart, and in eye,
clear. What we need is here.
- Wendell Berry, What We Need Is Here
When despair grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting for their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
- Wendell Berry, The Peace of Wild Things
* * * * * * * * * *
Water Based Green Infrastructure:
Sustainability and Practices
Healthy natural landscapes slows rainfall down, cools it, and filters it back into the ecosystem.
The purposes of water is used as energy to living ecosystems by carrying nutrients to the landscape as a balancing mechanism to living things. This occurs in two ways:
1 - Cycles of Depletion and Renewal
2 - Ground Water Flow Paths: Infiltration of the water into the land as it flows into the water table and back to land surfaces recharging the ground
But Urbanscapes have altered the natural conditions of water hydrology through several mechanisms:
- gray infrastructure - ex: cement
- stormwater management - ex: pavement
- volume redirection - discharge
- detention basins
- restriction of distribution of natural deposits and nutrients
- outflow to streams and away from the land
Results Occur as:
- air and water decline
- environmental impact and decline
- decaying roads
- rising maintenance costs
- loss of recreating social and community well-being
As a result we now have a crumbling gray infrastructure needing repair and maintenance. However, we also have the opportunity to replace, rebuild, replenish, and remodel living human communities back into synchronisation with the natural ecological cycles of the land.
Water Balancing Strategies
- Treat water as a resource
- Keep water local
- Replicate natural hydrology by understanding it
- Replicate natural hydrology by recreating it
- Replicate natural hydrology by lessening the impact of urbanscaping
- By reducing runoff
- By restoring infiltration to the maximum of biodiversity
- By connecting people to water and to living things (biophelia)
*biophelia = a love of live and the living world; the affinity of human beings to be in productive relations with other human beings and nature itself.
What are our water consumption and waste options? To treat and re-use waste water onsite. This will reduce infrastructure and containment transportation.
Types of Water Consumption and Waste Recycling Options:
- Green Roofs which protect and cool building while providing sociological re-creation
- Permeable Pavements to allow the water to be reabsorbed into the ground and travel as groundwaterthrough its various cycles of replenishment and nourishment
- Creation of Bio-Retention ponds and drainage systems as healing gardens
- Rainwater Harvesting and Re-Use
- Waste Water Recycling and Re-Use
Types of Problems?
- Cold weather challenges to porous pavements
- Community promotion and marketing of green/blue infrastructure
- Create tool sets to monitor sustainability targets
Tool Sets for Sustainability Targets
Sustainable Site Initiatives for Land Design and Development:
- USGVC LEED Programs
- Ecosystems Services
- Human Health and Well-Being
- Natural Biophelia Re-scaping of Land
- Living Building Challenges (this has a higher rating system than the LEED standards)
Types of High Performance Green Buildings:
- LEED - Gold certification
- LEED - Platinum certification
Using rainwater redirection as a functional and artful component of the building or campus' landscape by opening up covering drainage pipes to the air and sun as a form of rain-scaping or rainwater gardens. Thus, re-shaping through artful re-creation water courses through rainwater harvesting and bioscaping to living landscapes.
Reasons for Geothermal Heating and Cooling:
- To Obtain Energy Use Efficiencies
- To Decrease of Greenhouse Gas Emissions
- To Decrease Water Use (saves $$)
District Applications and Site Types
- Green Streets Re-creation and Integration through visioning workshops to revitalize gray-scapes through sustainability projects.
- Education and encouragement of the the community to become a transformative part of the process of terra-forming.
- Integrating human use with a pedestrian focus into the project: walking, bicyclists, accessibility to the handicapped, etc.
- Forming a participatory community process for community life strategies.
- By soliciting artful natural landscaping from the public.
- By maximizing public spaces for public usage within natural landscaping.
for further reading ~