Designed Experiments: New Approaches to Studying Urban Ecosystems

Journal or Book Title: Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment

Keywords: Landscaping; Mosaics; Urban environments; Wetlands

Volume/Issue: 3/10

Page Number(s): 549-556

Year Published: 2005


Although ecologists want to conduct research in urban systems, cultural constraints, spatial complexity, and institutional agendas limit the establishment of ecological experiments. Recent approaches using household landscaping have begun to tackle these obstacles; others, including adaptive management, restoration, reclamation, and wetland construction, reveal overlaps between ecological experiments and urban design. “Designed experiments” propose going beyond current strategies to partner with urban designers, landscape architects, and architects to insert architecturally designed experiments into the urban mosaic. The interdisciplinary approach of designed experiments exploits the aesthetics and functions of urban design, balancing ecological goals with important design factors such as context, public amenities, and safety. Designed experiments represent a novel way for ecologists to help improve urban environments by providing a means with which to work with urban designers in creating attractive, practical, and replicated experimental designs that generate quality ecological data from metropolitan sites.

DOI: 10.1890/1540-9295(2005)003[0549:DENATS]2.0.CO;2

Type of Publication: Journal Article