Traditionally landscape planning and masterplanning is founded on the principle of integrating socio-economic issues within the context of ecological processes. Effective masterplanning, at minimum, maintains functional ecosystems, and at best enhances these ecosystems, while achieving development objectives. As clients and the design profession seek to achieve more sustainable planning outcomes, the masterplanning process has begun to embrace a wider spectrum of sometimes competing parameters focused on key sustainability principles such as intergenerational equity. As such, the issues facing the design team have expanded to include such issues as climate risk and adaptation, energy efficiency and low carbon planning as well as livability, health and well-being. In reality, the pretext ‘sustainable’ should not be required to describe good masterplanning as, by its very nature, good masterplanning is focused on a more sustainable future. However in order to differentiate the two approaches during this transition period, the term ‘sustainable masterplanning’ is used to describe a process that systematically considers a wider range of performance criteria against a ‘traditional’ baseline approach with the aim of lifting the benchmark higher towards achieving a more sustainable outcome.
Environmental Ethos adopts a multidisciplinary systematic approach to sustainable masterplanning, using rigorous spatial analysis and impact assessment to establish baselines and development options that enable informed decision making. This process can include highly complex and often contested environments where multiple values need to be considered. Environmental Ethos utilizes expertise in spatial modeling, complex spatial datasets, interdisciplinary policy frameworks and visualization of information, to produce effective plans that are clearly communicated to stakeholders. In addition, Environmental Ethos is pioneering the development of low carbon planning, combing expertise in life cycle impact assessment as part of the design process.
Our sustainable masterplanning services include the following:
- Land use planning
- Landscape sensitivity studies
- Green infrastructure, open space, recreation and access planning
- Landscape strategies and design guides
- Sustainable masterplanning and performance monitoring