Re-design of Toledo Riverfront : from industrial past to sustainable biodiverse future

University essay from SLU/Dept. of Urban and Rural Development

Abstract: Effects of climate change, urbanization and global homogenization are resulted in the degradation of land and losses of natural habitats. Ecological design integrates nature into urban environment by respecting natural ecological principles and processes and creating resilient urban biotopes which also can be used by local urban communities. The aim of the thesis is to answer the research questions: How ecological design principles can be applied for re-design of Toledo Riverfront (with requirements of the design competition)? and What is the ecological design in landscape architecture? I participated in the USA design competition with the aim to create a vision and redesign of Toledo Riverfront in Ohio State, USA. The site is located in the south point of Lake Erie. As a result of a long industrial activity, riverfront of Toledo had been transformed into inaccessible and abandoned brownfields. In my proposal I applied ecological design principles on three scales: the city of Toledo by reinforcing of ecological connection and creating green corridors along the river; the intermediate scale by suggesting public parks along the river front and on the fine level by proposing detailed design including remediation of the site and use of dredged material. One of the key suggestions was to recreate native ecosystems which are typical for Toledo and Ohio State. The inspiration of my design came from successful case studies in Germany, USA and China.

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