Ecological Planning
Ian McHarg


Ian McHarg, 1984

©Monica Pidgeon

My subject is ecological planning. Indeed it's alleged that I invented ecological planning. It's a very very simple method, the purpose of which is to describe any region under study as an interracting biophysical and social model so one can in— terpret this for planning purposes. The method I use is quite‘independent of the problem, whether it be the location of a new capital for Nigeria, the design of a new town, the design of 10,000 square miles of North West Colorado, or the plan— ning of a new system of national parks for Taiwan. In every simgle case the method proceeds using the oldest evidence_initially and proceeding to more recent evidence.


Maps: Geology

©Ian McHarg & The Department Of Landscape Architecture & Regional Planning, University Of Pennsylvania

In the beginning I always hire a geologist and instruct that geologist to identify the geological phenomena of the region under study, to do which he has of course to undertake a study of evolutionary geology, which he proceeds to do, at the end of which he then identifies the phenomena of the region as a consequence of the operation of laws and time. I then ask such a geologist to not only identify the phenomena but also to identify their dynamics, particularly those which have im- Vplications for human health and well—being.

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