Over 7 billion people now inhabit the earth, placing unprecedented pressure on the planet’s soils, waters, forests, and other natural capital.
The majority of the global population lives in urban areas, where their interactions with nature, and the benefits that these interactions provide, commonly occur in small-scale sites and residential settings. Most often, these landscapes are treated as inconsequential, and their full potential to mend humanity’s environmental offenses and improve our quality of life is commonly overlooked.
This course illustrates the importance of creating regenerative and resilient systems that increase the provision of ecosystem services. Site sustainability is defined, and the value of education about sustainability and stewardship toward our built and natural ecosystems is discussed.
The importance of instilling a love of nature in our children is examined, in addition to the monitoring and adaptive management of ecosystems so maintenance practices can be continually adjusted to improve the overall function of the site.
The purpose of this course is to elevate the discussion of sustainability beyond “doing less bad”—attempting to merely slow down environmental degradation—to create regenerative sites that restore ecosystem function and rebuild the earth’s natural capital.
Sustainable Development & Design
Health, Safety and Welfare
At the conclusion of this course, you will be able to:
• Identify the resources and processes provided by ecosystems that sustain and fulfill human life
• Explain what a regenerative system is and discuss its importance for reversing the degradation of the earth’s natural resources
• Define “site sustainability” and discuss the three pillars of sustainability and their relationship to site development: planet, profit, and people
• Discuss the value of education about sustainability and stewardship toward constructed landscapes and natural ecosystems
• Discuss the importance of creating a love for nature in our children
• Describe the process of monitoring and adaptive management and how it can be used to adjust maintenance practices and prove the overall function of the site
Heather L. Venhaus