By Harvé Dhillon
Whilst I was bored and attempting to read, I came across an interesting documentary which presents a quite fundamental but usually forgotten issue for urban designers and planners. Human Planet, looks at ‘Surviving the Urban Jungle’ on BBC iPlayer. The documentary looks at how we as humans in cities today cope with animals that can be nuisances and create particular problems in our urban environments. This is an increasingly important as more than half the world’s population now live in cities and suggests that there is a battle to survive between humans and animals in cities.
What is striking is that in a contemporary city like Dubai there is a major issue of pigeon’s excrement ruining important historical buildings. Despite having visited Dubai several times I have not been aware of such issues. Even more interesting is the methodology used as a solution to these problems which I am sure you all will find intriguing. This opens a wide scope for discussion and a platform in able to solve such issues in the near future as designers. Another interesting aspect was that New York’s skyscraper rooftops are being utilised as urban gardens for beekeeping, although until 2010, this was banned. The idea of urban gardens and sustainable food production is one of the many possibilities for our future communities.
I think this is something that I personally have not given much thought, but maybe beneficial in our Sustainable Communities Module and also for those who are thinking of looking at ecological management, conservation and preservation for their thesis topics. To watch click on the link below!