Catchmentscape: a proposal for a novel hierarchical spatial planning unit
Since the publication of McHarg’s Design with Nature in 1969, there has been increasing interest in urban ecological systems and development strategies that need to search for alternative approaches to respond to potential environmental impacts in cities. Terms such as ‘green infrastructure’ and ‘nature-based solutions’, and ‘water sensitive designs’ reflect these alternative strategies integrated into urban land use to harness and pursue ecological objectives. Integration of these strategies often demonstrates ecological concerns and the need for a holistic methodological framework for integrating spatial planning.
This research proposes a novel hierarchical spatial planning unit called ‘catchmentscape’ that is inspired by working within hydrological (catchment) constraints, characterised by networks of ecological systems and processes to design and develop land-use planning. The catchmentscape aims to integrate nature and human settlements to enhance urban ecosystems and maximise the quality and resilience of urban environments.