Ecological architecture: Redefining the American organic tradition
Rosebro, William Crabtree
Master of Architecture
A true ecological architecture acts comprehensively, on all scales, from urban form to building materials. While suburbia is the urban form most destructive to the natural environment as well as to diverse human culture, it persists in the collective American desire. Present proposals exist to turn new suburban development into tight pedestrian communities, but the question remains what to do with the deteriorating fabric of American cities. Medium density, mixed-use urban infill that carefully plans for multiple types of transportation while providing some of the attractive aspects of suburbia, such as personal privacy and security, offers an escape from auto-centric existence. When augmented with the selection of local, non-toxic building materials from renewable resources, passive heating and cooling techniques, and provisions for usable open green-space, mixed-use infill will allow our cities to avoid utopian social engineering on the way to ecological soundness.