01 July 2014

Is geoempowerment a word?

Apparently. The latest issue of ArcNews has a great article on Kongjian Yu called "Geoempowering Design." As a landscape architect, Yu finds himself looking at the profession and trying to lead it towards more defensible design solutions that are societally relevant.

Turenscape used geodesign to develop the Shuicheng River and Minhu Wetland Park project. Concrete embankments along the river were removed, and natural vegetation was planted and allowed to thrive. Storm water is no longer diverted away from the river. Water no longer goes to waste. A once polluted waterway is fishable again. People stroll along walkways that wind around terraced ponds. Beautiful orange flowers flourish around the wetland's perimeter.

"Now, it's become a beautiful place," Yu said. "People love it. The biodiversity has increased. It has now become a national wetland."
To me, this represents a transformation in practice. Rapid changes in technology and the exponential growth in available land information have created a new opportunity for GIS to empower landscape architecture to address increasingly important societal problems, from climate change to food supply, while providing design solutions that are more defensible that the intuitive approaches of the past.

Turenscape is one of the most relevant firms out there. Geodesign is a big part of the reason.

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