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Urban Ecology

2015-2016 | Masters in Urban Design Course
Adjunct Faculty, School of Architecture, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA | website

In 2015 I designed and taught the graduate course of Urban Ecology as part of the Masters program in Urban Design at the School of Architecture of Carnegie Mellon University for two consecutive years. It was a lecture-based course, but was integrated with the graduate studio curriculum. The course presented key principles of urban ecology, with a focus on those that are especially relevant to urban design. It addressed the causes and consequences of biological patterns and processes in urban environments and illustrated how ecological principles can be used in planning and design projects.


Through the course, students were introduced to ways of examining the implications of urban design decisions on the health and sustainability of urban communities. In the beginning of the course, students studied a wide range of theoretical concepts from urban metabolism, ecosystems, and regenerative cycles, and as time went by, they delved into the details of decentralized systems of food and energy production and waste and water managament. Throughout the semester, students were asked to hone their theoretical, discursive, written, and design skills. Along the course students kept an online blog as an ongoing diary and a way to document learnings for future students and beyond. The course's blog can be found here, with information on the students' work and the course's syllabus.

As a result of this course, I worked in collaboration with three of the graduate students to develop a short publication of the course's resources and case studies collected over the two years. The publication can be found here.


*Display of selected work from the projects of Marantha Putu Dawkins, Raksha Srinivasan, Abhishek Bodkay, Ashley Cox, Andrea Salomon, Keertana Lingamaneni, Nicholas Fazio, Smriti Chauhan, Anushree Nallapaneni & Abhishikta Pal

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