While presenting, a student is silhouetted against the projection of her project showing a diagram of the productive landscape.

Instructors: Michael Tavel and Marcus Farr

The Ecological Urbanism Studio looks at neighborhoods in north central Denver that have been divided by freeways, railroads, parking lots and more than a century of industrial pollution.  The students propose ways to reconnect and revitalize these neighborhoods.  Ecology is used as a metaphor -- for considering neighborhoods as complex and healthy network of urban life that emerges over time.  And Ecology is explored as a natural fact: how can healthy neighborhoods also support healthy natural ecosystems.  Projects focused on the role that the Platte River waterfront can play in the future livability and sustainability of these Denver neighborhoods.

In the spring of 2013, 27 ENVD juniors participated in this Praxis Semester taught by Michael Tavel and Marcus Farr.  Community partners included City Council District 9, the Community Planning and Development Department of the City of Denver, Denver Parks and Recreation, and Audubon Rockies.

The Ecological Urbanism Seminar overviewed competing design paradigms that all address the emergence of sustainable and ecological urban neighborhoods.

The semester concluded with a final presentation, a volunteer planting project to restore bird, insect, and animal habitat on the river bank, and with the publishing and sharing of the students’ work via the Environmental Design website.