Coordinators: Professor Alex Felson
Tutors: Colin Chen and Anna Mueller
This subject focuses on urban constructed ecosystems including hydrology, contamination, land use change, cultural history, and suburban ecology. We focus onreal world built and functioning projects as well as conceptual project approaches. We use case studies to provide relevant approaches on how to construct ecosystems. The course recognises the need for creative thinking particularly in the face of climate change, we position design as a component of the class to guide students on how they can contribute to constructing ecosystems. The course focuses on the Darebin Parklands along the Inner-City. Reach of the Yarra (Birrarung) as a post-industrial, infrastructural and remnant ecological parkland in the city. We explore the bioremediation system installed to address leachate leaking from a past land uses of the area first as a quarry and eventually as a tipping hole 1950-1975. A water treatment system serves as part of the parkland (duck ponds and pathway connections) while also bio-remediating captured leachate. The comparison and analysis of this complex constructed system and the adjacent Darebin Creek, which faces its own set of challenges, provides learning opportunities for differentiating across distinct land uses and hydrological systems. The distinction across the Creek and the Bioremediation system reveals different options for design and management. The Parklands also supports a variety of habitats with a rich urban wildlife and innovative restoration and maintenance practices, all illustrating contemporary challenges and ways of managing urban nature.