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

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

Earth has 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 thesis explores a new orientation for planning in the Anthropocene.

A model for urban planning in the Anthropocene.
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.