We believe that to design truly great environments we must first understand the social, economic, and environmental systems in place. Once appropriately considered, these linked systems enhance where we live, work and play. Recently, STUDIO tla has taken a closer look at where we work. Well really, it’s outside of where we work; our front lawn. Yes, like most it’s a beautiful, well-tended space with thoughtfully placed shrubs, perennials, trees and hardscape elements, but we asked ourselves, could it be more? and more importantly, could it do more? The answer was a resounding yes.
Like many “green” urban spaces we found our lawn to be under-utilized and under-performing, specifically when examining the ecological value of the space. To change this, we will eagerly join the efforts as outlined by the City of Toronto‘s, “Pollinator Protection Strategy”, (to be finalised by the end of this year), to help to protect the vital pollinators found within our city. We are committed to designing an environment that will not only be aesthetically pleasing, but will also provide an effective habitat for the 360 species of bees and 112 species of butterflies found within the GTA. The information gained through this transformation will be used, when appropriate, to provide ecological design solutions that can be easily applied to a variety of situations in each of our projects.
As landscape architects and design professionals we must advocate for this change. We must identify the surface parking lots, medians and other under-performing tracts of land found throughout our urban environment to create a network of suitable pollinator habitats, assist in supporting pollinator population growth, and mitigate the risk of further decline.