Ecological + Master Planning

The Center’s master planning approach is based on ecoBalance: the sourcing of any commodity must account for its sustainable re-sourcing. For example, air, water, food, energy and materials that are spatially allocated for their use phase (e.g., flora for oxygen, surfaces for water harvesting) must also have spatial allocations for their replenishment (e.g., vegetative area for the conversion of CO2 back to oxygen, contaminated water harvested to be treated by ecological treatment methods to make clean water again). The result is an integrated land use master planning process that provides a client with figures that represent the land’s baseline holding capacity relative to the number of people the land is able to support. We often couple our master planning projects with architectural design, enabling the planning phase to inform architectural decisions.

Seaholm EcoDistrict

In 2012, the Seaholm District was selected as one of ten projects in North America to participate in EcoDistricts’1 Pilot Program. To further advance this work, the City of Austin’s Office of Sustainability contracted the Center to engage with diverse public, private, and non-profit sector stakeholders with an objective to identify quantitative and qualitative opportunities and benefits, articulate the project’s sustainability vision, goals, and process, develop an action agenda, and explore how emerging tools such as ecoBalance and Visible Green can add value to the EcoDistrict framework.

Verano Sustainable Development

Verano is a planned community utilizing the SmartCode, LEED for New Development, and the Congress for New Urbanism’s approach to transects. As we looked at the lists of procedures, we realized that the very concept of life regenerating itself was not possible; the cycles were not there. We intervened by deciding to take what is required by the SmartCode and LEED into a cyclical rather than a linear list.


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