07 May 2007

More on Urban Greening Through a Systems Approach

While floating around the internet looking for more information on designing a Systems Approach to Urban Greening I ran across the University of Washington Center for Forest Resources website. The site contained a rather tangible breakdown of how systems theory can be applied in an ecological setting and broke the systems approach into four major concepts.
  • Specialization: A system is divided into smaller components allowing more specialized concentration on each component.
  • Grouping: To avoid generating greater complexity with increasing specialization, it becomes necessary to group related disciplines or sub-disciplines.
  • Coordination: As the components and subcomponents of a system are grouped, it is necessary to coordinate the interactions among groups.
  • Emergent properties: Dividing a system into subsystems (groups of component parts within the system), requires recognizing and understanding the "emergent properties" of a system; that is, recognizing why the system as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts. For example, two forest stands may contain the same tree species, but the spatial arrangement and size structure of the individual trees will create different habitats for wildlife species. In this case, an emergent property of each stand is the wildlife habitat.
There was also a Landscape Management System (LMS) which I will be testing out over the next few days to see what applications it might have to Urban Greening.

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