Associate // BrightView Design Group
Founder // IDEArc Studio
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Lecture Title
Regenerative Ecological Urbanism on Compacted Grounds: Resilient Approach to Climate Change Mitigation in the American Southwest Desert Region.

Urban areas of Southwestern US arid region are facing environmental degradation at the forefront of Climate Change to become uninhabitable by 2050, with increasing temperature and water shortage. Regenerative Ecological Urbanism is a resilient approach of mitigation on compacted grounds, by restoring the environmental ecosystem and reconnecting community to the green infrastructures and productive landscape cultivation with economic benefits. Focusing on Phoenix Metro AZ, the Valley of the Sun has a long history of agriculture from pre-Columbian era in 300 BC, where Hohokam Tribe built extensive and ingenious canal network as the most advanced agricultural practice, irrigating thousands of acres of farmland. Rio Salado has been undergoing extensive hydro-morphological alteration ever since the urbanized areas and population grow exponentially. With insurmountable need of water, multiple dams were constructed in 1900s that have reduced it to barren river bed in urban areas. This exemplifies the characteristics of achievements that are compounded by equally great failures, with continuous history of anthropogenic disturbance and intervention, thus requires mitigation by means of social equity, justice, and reciprocity. 


Our project proposal, called RIO ECO2 Campus as a case study of Regenerative Ecological Urbanism approach on compacted ground, is the winner of Rio Reimagined Competition held by AIA Phoenix Metro AZ, ULI AZ, and AZ Forward in 2018. We presented the project as case study at the ASLA National Convention 2019 in San Diego. We envision the Rio Salado environmental restoration efforts through four layers of landscape ecological interventions: Constructed ephemeral wetlands to support hydrological ecosystems; Afforestation to create multifunctional urban forest using desert native tree species; Phytotechnology for landfill remediation using native desert phreatophyte species to clean the groundwater and the contaminated soil of the industrial areas; and conversion of underutilized land into productive and regenerative landscape through sustainable urban farming practices using hydroponic and aquaponic technology. ECO2 Campus consists of self-sustaining buildings showcasing the GrowHaus that are designed to encourage creative pursuits in the innovation of research and scientific advancement for transformative agricultural practices, offering a high quality of livable district that weaves into the fabric of larger regional plan for Rio Salado.