Three experts spoke about landscape architecture projects designed to support and regenerate the surrounding environment. Participants gained unique insights into different planning processes that focused on responsible construction initiatives along the water.

Fokko van der Goot

Fokko spoke about the principle of building with nature, and an application in Demak, Indonesia where traditional farming methods led to ground subsidence, flooding and erosion. The solution combined mangrove restoration and training of local farmers in sustainable aquaculture of fish and shrimp ponds. The project thus incorporated coastal engineering methods with a social-educational approach in a successful collaboration between local, national and international partners. The result: shoreline stabilization, higher quantity and quality of local sea produce, and a threefold increase in farmers’ income.

Fokko van der Goot, Senior Environmental Engineer at Boskalis, a maritime infrastructure company, and Programme Manager at environmental engineering company EcoShape.

See Fokko’s recorded presentation on YouTube ->

Edmundo Colón Izquierdo

Edmundo presented on advocacy as a tool for raising environmental awareness, building coalitions and implementing responsible design. Two major hurricanes hit Puerto Rico in 2017, releasing funds for the completion of unfinished infrastructure projects. One such project is a decades-old plan of the Río Piedras by the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Edmundo partnered with other locals to form the Alianza por la Cuenca del Río Piedras: a network of professionals providing both information and technical assistance to local communities, stakeholders and the USACE project team.

Edmundo Colón Izquierdo is the principal and co-founder of multidisciplinary company Eco, He is an architect, a landscape architect and associate professor at the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico’s Landscape Architecture Graduate Program and Architecture School.

See Edmundo’s recorded presentation on YouTube ->

Gena Wirth

Gena spoke about design for invertebrates. While small and seemingly insignificant, invertebrates are crucial to the survival of human life on Earth. They aid in pivotal biological processes such as pollination, pest control, and medicine and research. Planning and construction projects often overlook invertebrate habitats, putting a vast percentage of their populations at risk. However, landscape design that supports invertebrates is possible. Gena showcased several projects integrating healthy invertebrate environments into the overall design. One such project proposed that landowners devote 30% of their back yard to diverse insect habitats.

Gena Wirth, Design Principal at SCAPE Landscape Architecture, is an advocate for ecological systems design, and the translation of research into practice

See Gina’s recorded presentation on YouTube ->

Keep learning with another webinar we hosted in October about Challenges and Innovations in Coastal Protection

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