As the global population increases, urban areas are expanding. In built environment, man-made green spaces, such as parks and gardens, have displaced much of the natural environment. However, even though ecological design has a significant role to play in urban design, its methods and viewpoints have been human-centered, focusing on the survival of human beings and human continuity. Ecological design has considered plants as a means to decorate urban spaces and to improve human well-being by reducing air pollution and improving energy efficiency. However, ecological design methods, without a careful understanding of ecology, still cause ecological problems such as habitat fragmentation and biodiversity losses.
Ecological design methods that should be avoided:
– Ecological design preventing the permanent growth of vegetation. (Examples: Planting on thin slabs or on paved surfaces.)
– Ecological design separating vegetation from other plants, animals, and insects, and preventing pollination. (Examples: Green envelopes, such as rooftop gardens and the green façades of high-rise buildings, and indoor gardens in buildings.)
Ecological design should have a balanced viewpoint that incorporates empathy toward plants, animals, and insects, and methods should focus on creating a better environment, not only for human beings, but also for other living things. To create a better environment, architects have cooperated with experts in other fields such as structural engineering and material engineering. Now architects need to work with ecologists and biologists to develop a better understanding of ecology. Human beings are still part of nature, and they will continue to exist as long as nature exists.