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September 27, 2011 / mandyhyj

Reading Cities through the Lens of Ecosystem

Forman and Newman both analyzed architecture, urban planning and land-use by treating the whole site/city/region as a whole ecosystem. Forman explained the principle and terms in ecology using example of neighborhood and communities; Newman more specifically treats cities as ecosystems and also brings in social aspects.

Forman explains the principle of connectivity and circuitry in the diagram below

Connectivity and circuitry determines the flexibility and effectiveness of linkages in a system. This idea is reflected in Newman’s writing as well. Newman believes that in order for a city to be flexible, we should increase civic participation, encourage partnerships and networks, have a decentralized and polycentric structures, and make the decision making process place-based. These policies are all to ensure that there is more connectivity within a community, so that to ensure more effective information flow and as a result social capitals in the community could be used more effectively. Newman applied the principles and brings in more social economical insights.

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