A framework for integrating phytoremediation into the landscape architectural design process

Pilz, Christina Stefanie
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University of Guelph

The redevelopment of brownfields, sites having real or perceived contamination from previous uses, is becoming a popular method of tackling urban renewal/infill projects. Current methods of remediating the soil on these sites are costly and damage the integrity of the soil. In the last ten to fifteen years there has been a significant surge of research done on a technique called 'phytoremediation', which involves the use of plants to extract, stabilize, or volatilize contaminants in soil, air or water. This method offers a cost effective way of controlling and/or removing contaminants 'in situ', thereby retaining the integrity of the soil. The purpose of this thesis is to Integrate the scientific research into a framework that can assist a landscape architect in the design of brownfields to be remediated using phytoremediation. To create this framework the current literature on phytoremediation was reviewed and critically analyzed in order to identify the steps necessary for a successful phytoremediation program. These steps were then organized sequentially, in the form of a decision tree, to ensure that all pertinent information be integrated into the landscape architectural design process. The framework was applied to a case study to demonstrate its utility for landscape architects and implications for the use of phytoremediation in landscape architecture are discussed.

phytoremediation, landscape architectural design process, integrating, soil, brownfields