Campus & Community

Barcelona works

2 min read

Forman helps region make plans for the future

A pioneer in his field, Richard forman has helped forge the basic concepts of landscape ecology, a science that sees the surface of the Earth as a complex mosaic linked by movements of people, animals, water, energy, nutrients, and other elements. It is a vision that goes well beyond urban planning in that, for example, it views cities as embedded in and dependent on natural processes. It also goes beyond traditional ecology in that it includes humans and their needs as very much part of the picture. “If ecological principles only apply to wilderness, then they’re not very robust,” said Forman, a professor at the Graduate School of Design who also teaches in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Environmental Science and Public Policy Program. Forman recently used his ecological principles to prepare a land-use study for Barcelona, Spain. The study was finished in early 2003, and a Spanish translation, “Mosaico territorial para la region metropolitana de Barcelona” has recently been published. “There are resources out there, places that people need for fresh food, clean water, and recreation. We want those resources within the urban region to improve over the next 10 and 50 years, despite growth and development. In the process, fish and wildlife movement and biodiversity can be enhanced.”