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Finding Nature in the City

A Case Study of Ecological Restoration in an Urban Environment
by

Stephanie Sattler

on 29 August 2013

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Transcript of Finding Nature in the City

PRESENTED BY
COMMITTEE
CONTEXT
A CASE STUDY OF ECOLOGIAL RESTORATION IN AN URBAN PARK

Elizabeth Kocs, PhD Candidate
Can people experience nature in a
built
environment?
Dissertation Committee:
William Kornblum (advisor)
Roger Hart
Joseph Glick



RESEARCH QUESTIONS
What
values
do park users derive from or associate with the ecologically restored park areas in Lincoln Park? Which values are
most important
to them?



a. ER can contribute to “morally sound” relationships with nature (Light, 2000)

b. Dichotomy based on dualistic human-nature philosophy (Jordan, 2000)

c. Nature-identities may play a role in fostering consciousness of environmental issues
FUTURE RESEARCH
a.
Elaboration on and theorization of nature-identity theme
FINDING NATURE IN THE CITY:
Research Context
Lincoln Park, Chicago:
4
5
LINCOLN PARK HISTORY
6
DEFINING ECOLOGICAL RESTORATION
7, 8
Site of four ecological restoration projects from late 1990s to the early 2000s
Do park users perceive the Lincoln Park
ecological restorations
as opportunities to experience or be in
contact with nature
and why?
US Forest Service Post Occupancy (POE) of Lincoln Park restoration sites
UIC City Design Center asked to assist
Dissertation Research conducted in parallel with POE
a.
Restored areas reflect history of landscape design


c.
1989: Lincoln Park Steering Committee formed
b.
Naturalist and Prairie Schools particularly influential
i. Swain Nelson
ii. Olaf Benson
iii. Alfred Caldwell
No canonical definitions

Two elements:




Definition:
Case Study Methodology


12
Grounded Theory Method
(GTM)
18
INTERVIEW RESULTS
21
SAMPLE SIZE
19
20
OBSERVATION FINDINGS
Education

b.
Relationship between natural/built dichotomy and ecological restoration
26
25
RESULTS
1
2
3
Mixed-methods methodology
Case study framework
Modified Grounded Theory Method (GTM) approach
Quantitative and Qualitative data collected
RESEARCH
METHODS & DESIGN
Ecological restoration
is a process that creates as a product a historically representative natural ecosystem within a defined space that achieve indigenous ecological integrity and repairs elements within that space that have been damaged, degraded, or destroyed by human activity.
4
ENVIRONMENTS
13 14 15
16
MONTROSE POINT BIRD SANCTUARY
NORTH POND NATURE SANCTUARY
BILL JARVIS MIGRATORY BIRD SANCTUARY
1
3
4
2
ALFRED CALDWELL LILY POOL
Nature in built environment as refuge from city life
Nature-identities formed/reinforced through ecological restoration of urban parks
Income
Reason for Use
Reflecting on the natural/built dichotomy, ecological restoration, and nature-identities:
Values
Issues
Ecological integrity
Historical fidelity
22
24
23
How can an artificial process/environment enhance natural, intrinsic values?
Can human-caused damage be reversed?
Is ecological restoration possible?
Nature for personal enrichment
Camps
Nature intrinsically valuable
OF APPRECIATION
City dwellers relish natural features in urban areas
Urban parks are built environments that offer contact with nature
Ecological Restoration– Can it bring nature to the city?
Can humans really restore nature? Ongoing debate:

1.
Elliot (1982): restoration to art forgery

2.
Katz (2000): human intervention fundamentally changes the meaning and value of a natural entity and alters the course of a natural system.

3.
Light (2000): ecological restoration is more like art restoration than art forgery.



Dissertation:
assumes that ecological restoration of urban parks
is
possible. Lincoln Park was restored to conditions that resembled previous stages of its history, and intended to bring users closer to nature.
“ecosystem approaches”
“the complex interaction between physical, biological, and social aspects of landscape planning and design, and necessitate interdisciplinary involvement from such diverse perspectives as landscape ecology, restoration ecology, landscape architecture, and historic preservation. Ecosystem approaches offer the potential for large urban parks to be more than aesthetic symbols of nature—such parks can contribute to local and regional biodiversity . . . and bring nature education experiences in close proximity to millions of people.” (Gobster, 2001, p. 36)
Urban restoration project: opportunities for park users to be in contact with nature.

Cairns (1995): humans depend on nature.

Jordan (2000), Light (2000, 2002): ecological restoration can enhance human relationship with nature.

Gobster (2001): distinct but sometimes overlapping “visions” of nature; contact with nature aligned with visions of nature/values associated with nature



9
10
ECOLOGICAL RESTORATION
and the human-nature relationship
Informed by Gobster (2001) work on visions of and values associated with experiencing nature
11
VALUES

associated with ecological restoration in urban parks
10.
Tourism
9.
Public life
8.
Community/civic identity
7.
Native habitat restoration/
preservation
6.
Contact with nature
5.
Health
4.
Recreation
3.
Tranquility
2.
Solitude
1.
Beauty
1930s, designed by Caldwell to reflect Prairie School philosophy

Natural “rooms” for broad view, openings for long view

Magic Hedge of honeysuckle and other vegetation became icon for bird watchers as Lake Michigan shore is on major bird migration routes

Design process described by Gobster (2002b) as “tournament of values”

Ultimate restoration design reflected balance of aesthetic with bird-watching interests
Developed in 1920s as supplement to Lincoln Park Zoo

Closed during WWII but revived in 1960s by birding enthusiast Bill Jarvis, Lincoln Park neighborhood resident

Neighborhood volunteers key in implementing Framework Plan

Humans prohibited from entering main area, keeping it “for the birds”

Gobster (2002b) calls in “nature as refuge”

Fifteen-acre area created in 1894

Has had a refectory, café, and now a nature museum and casting pier (wood replaced by concrete in 1947)

Restoration involved native prairie plantings (150 native species now there), riparian zone improvement

Gobster (2002b): “nature as foreground-nature as background”

Original lily pool opened in 1889 (Carl Stromback, designer) replaced because incompatibility of lilies and other tropical plants with harsh environment

1930s, redesigned by Caldwell to reflect headwaters of prairie stream with stratified limestone formations and native plants

Taken over by LP Zoo in 1950s as bird breeding area (“Rookery”) until 1997

Caldwell’s design restored; council ring, limestone viewing pavilions built; Prairie School-style gate and sign erected

43%
57%
Ten Values
(analyzed quantitatively & qualitatively)
“In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.”
Aristotle

18%
16%
14%
24%
23%
17%
Adults
Interview instruments
Behavioral /trace observation
Dissertation added forced-choice values question and open-ended explanations of responses by park users
FINAL REFLECTIONS
17
Map of Lincoln Park Restoration Areas
15 Interviews
35 Interviews
15 Interviews
15 Interviews
1,042 Observations
80 Total Interviews
Montrose Point
Bird Santuary
North Pond
Lily Pond
Outside Readers:
Anja Claus, Center for Humans & Environment
Edmund Miller, The Joyce Foundation

Montrose Point
Bird Sanctuary
North Pond
Lily Pond
Benefits of Ecological Restoration in Urban Parks:
expand and improve natural elements in urban areas
mitigates loss of biodiversity
increases access to nature for urban dwellers



Gobster’s ecosystem approach (2001)
contribute to biodiversity
educate public about nature

a.
Modified GTM
b.
Qualitative coding analysis
c.
Emerging themes
ANALYSIS of values-related responses
Community identity, public life, tourism not highly correlated with ecological restorations
Contact with nature and habitat restoration
highest valued features
Health and recreation
(more commonly associated with urban parks)
second-most valued features

“…the fact that you can come out here and it feels like you’re out in the middle of nowhere.” -MP

“I like the ruggedness of nature, and the wildlife and birds you see.” -MP
“Like you’re in the woods or near the birds and just quiet.” - BS
“They improved the wild . . . I would say the landscaping.” - NP
“And it’s … nice to be able to … enter an area that … seems more natural.” - LP

Tournament of values:
No objections to Magic Hedge
Nature as refuge for wildlife
Nature more as
foreground than background
Seclusion and tranquility
“Living in the city there’s not very many places where you see trees and grass that are natural. You know, it’s all these landscaped things. . . . This is the most natural area around here.” -LP
“It just gives you a sense of, like, you’re in two different worlds, where you can relax. Like you’re in the woods or near the birds and, you know, just quiet, and then all of a sudden you turn around the corner and there you are in the city again.” -BS


“That [habitat restoration] seems to be the most important to the future, to keep it healthy.” -NP
Emerging Themes

1. Nature-identity - contact with
nature as most important value


Natural environments (good)
vs. built environments (bad)

ER melds natural and built
2. Ecological restoration and natural/built dichotomy

Forest Service/City Design Center POE
Walking
Bird/Animal Watching
Working
Interiority
Exteriority
Habitat restorations - harmony with the world
at large or intrinsic value of environment
Beauty, tranquility, or solitude - inner
harmony or personal enrichment
Full transcript