Toward a restorative community
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The intent of this thesis is to explore the implications of using elements of landscape ecology, conservation and ecological restoration in the design of a restorative community. A restorative community is one that generates and sustains both cultural and ecological health. Landscape ecology maintains that landscape choices are the result of cultural processes, and that social practices and ideas must be incorporated to understand and affect ecological function. Conservation and ecological restoration can serve as an application of landscape ecology as they reflect both ecological and cultural health. Upon looking at specific case studies and examples where certain elements from each theory have been applied, the overarching principles are extracted as they relate to creating a community that perpetuates the health of a people and place. These principles are then applied to a design strategy for Chattanooga, Tennessee’s downtown districts, already undergoing a progressive process of redevelopment and renewal.