What is Geodesign? How to Rethink Design for Resilient Communities

Geodesign

Last Updated: June 19, 2019

Geodesign incorporates design and GIS

Geodesign is an up and coming field of study that combines geography with design.

Design shapes our world by addressing the needs of people. It’s imaginative and envisions what the world could be.

But the flaw with just practicing design is that it doesn’t consider the consequences of actions.

And it’s not until recently, that these two disciplines have been completely separated from each other.

Similarities and differences between GIS and design

Both design and GIS have a spatial aspect to them. For example, design rethinks how we inhabit the world. Simply, it makes things work in geographic space.

Similarly, GIS emphasizes geographic location. But the key difference is its power in analysis, visualization and data analytics.

Both design and GIS have temporal aspects intrinsic to them. For instance, design constructs a place that is ideal for future purpose.

But GIS best understands the past and present. It takes existing data and uncovers spatial patterns. Then, decision makers use these patterns to solve a particular issue.

Geodesign for an extinction-proof environment

Design imagines what the world could be. It accomplishes this by addressing the immediate needs of people. But by putting people’s needs at top priority, it doesn’t look at consequences of actions.

So geodesign imagines cities by incorporating the environment, distant populations and future generations. Instead of considering what’s best for now, it considers what’s best down the road.

For example, we fragment forest, pollute the air and oceans which impact ecosystems. But the end of the century, scientists project that half of all species will face extinction.

Geodesign makes design decisions with renewable energy, zero carbon without disrupting the food and water supply. So when design can incorporate GIS, it can enrich architectural design that is diverse to withstand shifts in climate.

Rethinking design for more resilient communities

World population is the biggest stress. As we approach 8 billion people on the planet, geodesign enables us to see the local and global consequences for design decisions.

It helps us rethink how we inhabit the planet and use our finite resources more consciously. For example, real time data can enrich our abilities to make decisions.

GIS is best at understanding spatial patterns and construct qualitative solutions. This holistic approach can help us prolong our ability to sustain ourselves and build resilient communities.

2 Comments

  1. This is good insight. Not only urban plans, all developmental plans should work in holistic with past and present geographic information to ensure sustainable environment and create resilient community against different future natural and man made hazards.

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