Regenerating Outdoor Public Spaces on the St. Mary’s Campus. A Design Approach to Building Community and Ecological Wellbeing

Authors: Rowan Limbach*, St. Mary's College of Maryland
Topics: Landscape, Social Geography, Environment
Keywords: regenerative design, Human centered design, permaculture, public space, landscape design, social capital, ecology
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 5:00 PM / 6:40 PM
Room: Taylor, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The design of outdoor public spaces has important environmental and social implications. Not only does the process of altering landscapes for human use require construction and maintenance that directly impacts local people and ecosystems, but it also changes the physical context in which important social and ecological functions take place. This research applies the theory of regenerative and human centered design in order to create plans for a garden space that will build social and ecological capital on the St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM) campus. By conducting informational interviews with relevant exerts and administrators; an online survey of the student body; and a series of planning charrettes; my project identifies strengths and weaknesses in current landscape designs and answers questions about the ways in which people and ecosystems currently interact and share space. This information builds on the findings of past and current SMCM student projects to offer a comprehensive view of the specific social, ecological and administrative priorities that influence landscape design on campus. Drawing on theory from regenerative and permaculture design, I propose a practical application of my findings to create a new kind of public outdoor space that will better serve the interests of both human and non-human stakeholders.

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