ELD 3740 Urban Natural Systems (2007)

Course instructor: Dr. Carmela Canzonieri


This course examines the challenges and potentials of incorporating ecological factors in urban environments. Lectures, research, fieldtrips, readings and discussion provide the framework for the interpretation and understanding of natural processes and cultural patterns and practices in the urban landscape. Natural and cultural contexts are examined as a source of design as inspiration and expression. Different types of urban environments and design projects provide a framework of inquiry, criticism, and interpretations

Prerequisites: None


Paper readings are in a folder in the reception area of the office. Other readings are linked. Please let me know if you have any problems:

Purpose and Objectives of the Course

The purpose of this course is to examine natural factors in the particular condition of being related to urban contexts. Urban biophysical environments will be approached specifically from the perspective of landscape ecology, landscape architecture and environmental planning and design.

Specific objectives of the course are:
1. to recognize the presence of natural factors within the urban context
2. to identify biophysical processes which affect or are affected by processes of urbanization
3. to provide a review of approaches to urban natural systems
4. to examine a variety of case studies in order to evaluate and develop different paths for action



The grade for the course will be based on the following percentages:

Assignment 1: 20% Students are to prepare a 3 page proposal for the term project outlining the topic the project will refer to, the site chosen the material available such as maps, photos, literature, etc., and the proposed outcome. Due two classes before reading week ( January 31, 2007)

Participation: 20%
Participation grade will be based on your contributions to discussions, awareness of issues in required readings, and ability to bring new material to the attention of the course.

Final Project: 60% Student will choose a place to analyze according to the specific objective of the course. Student will prepare a Powerpoint presentation for the last class and will hand in a CD with the presentation, and a written and illustrated report of their case study


Home course description and basic information.

Urban Nature News: a weblog of current events and resources related to urban nature.

Schedule - short form schedule and lecture notes.

Assignments - what you have to do and dates for completion.

Readings - weekly readings and lecture notes.

Projects - student work archive.

Links/resources - further internet information related to course work.

Contact - Office hours and other class contact information.