Monday, October 15, 2012

Biocentric Cities: constructed (sewage treatment) wetlands

In my first semester Ecology and Environment text book, this picture of John Todd's "neighborhood sewage treatment facility" is an incredible design for a biocentric city.  I love that it's shown right against a sidewalk in between pedestrians and the street.

The description reads: "Water trickling through the containers of aquatic plants is cleaned and purified by biological processes.  Under optimal conditions, both odours and costs are minimal."  John Todd and his partner Nancy Jack Todd run Ocean Arks International.  Some of their other design concepts show how these systems "harnesses the biological processes that operate in nature within the form of an engineered treatment system to successfully meet discharge standards and permitting requirements"  and they are easily integrated into cityscapes.  Follow the link to see the concepts: "sustainable water management".

Here's an article on these living eco- machines: "Clean Green Waste-water Recycling" from Inhabit:
"Converting sewer sludge to fresh water is no easy job; traditional treatment plants consume massive amounts of money, energy, and resources. John Todd’s innovative solutions for waste-water management re-envision the process as an eco-conscious endeavor, conserving water and reducing overall treatment costs with minimal sludge disposal, water purchases, sewer surcharges, and chemical use."

D & C's Biocentric Cities post is a monthly post that features options for energy and heating systems that would reduce our demand on natural and non-renewable resources outside the city (or in this one case - save energy).  A city's consumption is many times its city limit size and impacts nature that we don't even see. My hope is that a city can produce its own energy, heat and clean water within its city boundaries.

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