Ethical Urbanism: Cultivating Compassion to Drive the Development of Sustainable Urban Landscapes

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Garwood, Susan
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University of Guelph

Addressing anthropogenic climate change requires grand political, economic, and societal reforms but to make meaningful change, it must start with compassion and the realization it is humanity’s ethical duty to do so. By preserving natural features, establishing community, and integrating a sustainable food system, Ethical Urbanism is a new ecological design approach that cultivates compassion for the environment and all living beings to address climate change. Three ecologically-driven case studies were examined to mitigate issues that would arise in the development of an ethical community. These lessons then guided the design exploration of a 338 hectare site in Guelph, Ontario. The redevelopment of Guelph’s York Lands site establishes a mixed-use mid-density eco-community that provides valuable space for both humans and non-humans in an urban setting. Ethical Urbanism, established in this thesis, rejects the commodification of living beings. It strives to exist not to the detriment of others and the environment.

landscape architecture, urban design, ecological design, environment, community, vegan, ecological urbanism