Baltimore Ecosystem Study Institute of Ecosystem Studies

2014 BES Annual Meeting Presentation and Poster Abstracts

Designed Experiments: Bridging Ecology and Community-Based Planning
Felson, Alexander
Co-Authors: Alex Felson and Isaac Hametz

Abstract: As urbanization continues, and human action continues to modify land, novel ecosystems are likely to proliferate. It becomes important therefore to understand how these systems perform and if these systems persist and if they perform their intended functions. These projects often have unintended consequences, failing to supply the ecosystem services they were designed to provide. ‘Designed Experiments,’ embed research experiments within the urban landscape as a means to meld scientific experimentation with urban planning and design (Felson and Pickett 2005). Designed experimentation advocates collaboration between ecologists and designers where the participants facilitate one another as they make contributions from their own disciplines. That is, ecologists inform the design with their ecological knowledge and designers use their training to help to situate the ecologists’ experiment within an urban design or infrastructure project. The collaboration results in a proactive approach to shaping and designing cities through adaptive management.