human presence
in the world

"In many ways, the environmental crisis is a design crisis," Sim Van Der Ryn and Stuart Cowan say in the book, Ecological Design. "It is a consequence of how things are made, buildings are constructed, and landscapes are used...We have used design cleverly in the service of narrowly defined human interests but have neglected its relationship with our fellow creatures. Such myopic design cannot fail to degrade the living world, and, by extension, our own health."

The great challenge of this new century, then, will be to harmonize human activity with the earth's fragile biosphere. We will all have to create new lives based on ecological principles.

In the Ecological Design section our Web site, we invite you to explore new ways of designing cities, neighborhoods, buildings, industry, food systems, and other areas of human activity. The section also includes an extensive discussion of sustainability topics.

This is creative, exciting work. Join in!


This site has not been updated since 2006. EcoCity Cleveland merged with the Cleveland Museum of Natural History to form the GreenCityBlueLake Institute. For up-to-date sustainability news in Northeast Ohio, log on to GreenCityBlueLake's web site

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EcoCity Cleveland
3500 Lorain Avenue, Suite 301, Cleveland OH 44113
Cuyahoga Bioregion
(216) 961-5020
Copyright 2002-2003



Ecological design sections
What cities can do
Cleveland EcoVillage
Green building
BLUE Project
Green landscape design

Declarations of ecological design
Big Sur Declaration
Hannover Principles
The Earth Charter

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Ecological design can be defined as 'any form of design that minimizes environmentally destructive impacts by integrating itself with living processes.' This integration implies that the design respects species diversity, minimizes resource depletion, preserves nutrient and water cycles, maintains habitat quality, and attends to all the other preconditions of human and ecosystem health.
from Ecological Design by Sim Van Der Ryn and Stuart Cowan

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