Urban Planning in the Anthropocene: A Case for Citywide Biodiversity Policy


School of Architecture | Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment •
Student | Duane Martinez •
Faculty | Eve Baron, Bethany Bingham •

This project offers an experiential take on the topic of air pollution. The first part of the design is a personal air filter Working from a broad range of research, students in the Summer 2021 Green Infrastructure Design-Build Studio Earth have entered the Anthropocene–a geologic epoch defined by humans’ disruption of biophysical systems. An international scientific consensus warns that human activity, particularly land-use change, threatens one million species and subsequently Earth’s ability to provide necessary ecosystem services to humans. This disruption calls into question the relationship between urban planning and biodiversity. Through qualitative analysis and the development of a heuristic, this Fall 2020 MS in City and Regional Planning thesis explores a new orientation for planning in the Anthropocene.

A diagram showing the proposed Anthropocene planning model
A model for urban planning in the Anthropocene.
A color-coded table showing a framework for planning for biodiversity.
Qualitative Analysis Thematic Framework. The biodiversity initiatives of San Francisco, CA and Toronto, ON were analyzed utilizing emergent themes in the policy documents and semi-structured interviews.