Joshua tree sustainability

How can architects make green surfaces truly sustainable?

By Mirco Pegoraro

I always have deeply respected people as my father who even initially not having any means available create value by building something “real”. For this reason, I think that the purpose of my work is to continue this and make sure it continues even after me. We can call this commitment sustainability.

The ecosystem can be compared to a company. It can be exploited, but it must also be maintained to give those who come after us the possibility to continue enjoying it. The biggest mistake is to think that sustainability is to achieve something green or to love nature. Sustainability is much more. Sustainability is the ability to create a life cycle for man and nature which can be repeated indefinitely over time. For this reason, I do not particularly like to talk about sustainability, because I consider it too abstract and now too much linked to the concept of green.

If we start changing terminology we will probably get better results and maybe we will not talk any more about how to fill cities with vegetation, and start thinking about how to live with plants and how to host them in our urban environments.

Continuity: it is a more accurate term to which a designer needs to inspire to design and solve many questions such as:
– How can a garden be irrigated and drained throughout the year?
– How can vegetation find the necessary nourishment over time?
– How can manage water back to its natural cycle?
– How much energy is spent to maintain a garden in an urban setting?
– Can we use clean energy to managing our green areas?
– How do we manage our waste?

These and many others may be the questions an architect and engineer need to ask to be able to contribute to our survival.

Today there are many technologies, but what is lacking is regulation which conditions everybody to build for sustainability. In the mean time, I hope above questions are answered individually by architects and engineers in their designs.