Positive development – designing for net positive impacts

This note was reviewed as up to date and leading edge for time of publication by Author in September 2018 with update not applicable.

This paper challenges the prevalent 'green building' design approach that treats nature as a resource rather than a living ecosystem(s), and aims only to minimise the net negative impacts on the environment. It argues that buildings and cities could increase the ecological base as well as improve the economic and social health of surrounding regions. Genuine sustainability would require the eco-retrofitting of existing development to provide the infrastructure and space to improve ecosystem health and increase natural capital. The good news is that this can be done without sacrificing space for human functions, amenity and life quality. However, it would require a very different kind of environmental management, planning and design.

note summary
  1. Introduction
  2. What is the ecological base?
  3. How could design for eco-services increase the ecological base?
  4. How can we increase ecological carrying capacity?
  5. Are there net positive technologies that go beyond remediation?
  6. How is positive development different?
  7. Best practice green buildings
  8. Offsets
  9. Achieving a sustainability standard
  10. Development and ecological improvement
  11. Ecological space
  12. Incentives to positive development
  13. Trading schemes for ecological space
  14. Conclusion