Re-wilding the Neighborhood: Discovering Ecological Harmony Through Design with Habitats Along the Oak Ridges Trail
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This thesis is a reflection on the impacts of suburban sprawl on ecosystem health and biodiversity in York Region, using a design proposal to repopulate pollinator habitat within the fabric of an existing neighborhood. The key research questions concern both the environmental and social consequences of a monotonous suburban landscape on our collective sense of community and emplacement. Drawing on existing theory from both scientific and poetic disciplines such as the essays of Wendell Berry and Lawrence Halprin, the design seeks to contribute a model of rewilding based on public participation and cooperation with wildlife that has agency in the process. Using the conservation initiatives along the Oak Ridges Trail as a case study, the thesis will first explore the role of site study in the design process, understanding the landscape a living being with a history and future as opposed to a blank slate to be built over. Expanding on this idea, the design proposal will include a main public garden and designs for patches and channels of vegetation that will create a contiguous network. If successful, this proposal will act as a model which could potentially be replicated across multiple neighborhoods to impact at a regional scale.
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Emma Moseley (2021). Re-wilding the Neighborhood: Discovering Ecological Harmony Through Design with Habitats Along the Oak Ridges Trail. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/17713