Natural processes in settlement design
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Transcripts - Natural processes in settlement design
Not just beck only,
Not just the water-
The stones flow also,
Wide cataracts of rock
Pour off the fellside,
Throw up a spume
Of gravel and scree
To eddy and sink.
As the growth of coral,
is the climb
of a column.
The falling water
Hangs steady as stone,
But the solid rock
is a whirlpool of motion.
- Adapted from Poetry of Norman Nicholson, 1981
Global Continental Shelf
Indian Continental Shelf
stalagmite and stalactites
Nature and Process
• Nature is a process, it has to abide by laws,
interact with its environment, and changed
whenever it is demanded too. But nature is
not without its problems. Sometimes nature
presents its own problems that we as human
beings must over come.
• Example - in coastal areas is to hold back the
sea storms that humans have to do.
• Dunes and dikes hold back the storm from a
• The Dutch, don’t completely stop the waves, but
try to lesson them.
• They try to reduce the amount of damage they
can inflict by absorbing some of that energy.
• They do this by creating flexible dunes that flex at
the force of a wave, using grass and masonry.
Existing ‘Design with Nature’
MCHARG’S METHOD OF
McHarg’s method involved superimposing layers of geographical data
(e.g. environmental and social factors) so that their spatial intersection
(relationships) can be used in making decisions. This core idea, McHarg’s
planning methodology, lead to the development of Geographic
Information System (GIS) software tools.
Landslides – Vulnerable Area
Overlay List for Natural Dimensions
• Geology (including rock type and geological formations)
• Relief (Hypsography - the height of land)
• Slope (areas of different gradient)
• Pedology (different soil types, such as podsols, krasnosems, paddy
• Natural hydrological features on Surface (features such as streams,
rivers, ponds and lakes)
• Vegetation types (including all types of vegetation from grassland,
scrub, forest and afforest plantations);
• Ecological habitats (areas of different ecological type and value)
• Wildlife habitats;
• Tidal Inundation; and
• Water Table (groundwater levels)
Mimicking Nature - Bio mimicry
• Vortex Spirals - Conical geometry of snail
shells, or the funnel shape of cyclones.
• Drain the water out of bath tub, the water
• Austrian forest warden and researcher Viktor
Schauberger to discover that vortexes in water
lead to self-purification
Vortex – Wastewater Treatment System
Dimensions of Settlement (Landscape)
• Visual/ Aesthetic
In addition there is also a dimension that is a
product of the above influences.
This is termed "genius loci", or what may be termed
"sense of place" or "landscape character"
Striving for Sense of Place
• The correlation of following features lead to
character of place or sense of place
Diversity of land-use
Presence of water
Degree of naturalness
Quite what causes specific places to possess a
specific character is not entirely clear and is that
which we designers aim for….