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Paul Downton,  Adelaide

Cities are ecosystems of people, nature, and infrastructure
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  • Paul Downton

    Paul Downton

    Architect, Writer, Urban Evolutionary
    Prize-winning architect, writer, international speaker, green building and ecocity pioneer and early advocate for action on climate change. Paul Downton is DeTao Master of Ecological Urban Design with the DeTao Masters Academy in Shanghai and Chief Consultant with Green World Solutions (Beijing) Ltd. His projects include keynote green buildings for Adelaide Zoo and the ANU and the internationally awarded Christie Walk development. Founder of Urban Ecology Australia (in 1991), his vision of ecological cities is supported by years of working with communities. In 1989 Paul founded Australia’s first community organisation focused on climate change and was 2008 South Australian finalist for Australian of the Year. With a doctorate in environmental studies and 30 years teaching architecture, Paul is acknowledged as a world leader in sustainable city making and theory and has been called an Australian icon of sustainable development and a ‘neighbourhood pioneer’. His book ‘Ecopolis: Architecture and Cities for a Changing Climate’ was published in 2009. He is currently working on a series of books about ecocities.

    March 23, 2016

    Respect Graffiti_Bogota_2015_PhotoDavidMaddox(feature)
    Graffiti and street art can be controversial, but can also be a medium for voices of social change, protest, or expressions of community desire. What, how, and where are examples of graffiti as a positive force in communities?
    Pauline Bullen, Harare
    Paul Downton, Adelaide
    Emilio Fantin, Milan
    Ganzeer, Los Angeles
    Germán Gomez, Bogotá
    Sidd Joag, New York City
    Patrick Lydon, San Jose & Seoul
    David Maddox, New York City
    Patrice Milillo, Los Angeles
    Laura Shillington, Managua & Montreal

    23 Comment(s)
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    February 1, 2016

    Viaduc des arts street 30cm 72dpi
    Ecodesign is for Citizens and Nature, not for Consumers
    Paul Downton, Adelaide

    A review of Ecodesign for Cities and Suburbs, by Jonathan Barnett and Larry Beasley. 2015. ISBN: 9781610913393. Island Press, Washington. 280 pages. Buy the book. This book has an unashamedly strong emphasis on the city of Vancouver as a model—a city...

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    January 20, 2016

    Save the environment_Bogota_2015_PhotoDavidMaddox
    Creative Place-Making—This is The Nature of Graffiti
    David Maddox, New York City
    Pippin Anderson, Cape Town
    Paul Downton, Adelaide
    Emilio Fantin, Milan
    Germán Gomez, Bogotá
    Julie Goodness, Stockholm
    Mike Houck, Portland
    Todd Lester, Säo Paulo
    Patrick Lydon, San Jose & Seoul
    Patrice Milillo, Los Angeles
    Laura Shillington, Managua & Montreal

    Nature is all around us. Plants, animals, soil, air and water inhabit and animate our daily lives, whether you live in the country or in the city. We are invigorated by nature. We are inspired by its creatures, their beauty,...

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    December 14, 2015

    3
    Sowing the Seeds of Green Urbanism: ‘Spring is Here and the Time is Right for Planting in the Streets’
    Paul Downton, Adelaide

    A review of The Revolutionary Urbanism of Street Farm: Eco-Anarchism, Architecture and Alternative Technology in the 1970s, by Stephen E. Hunt. 2014. ISBN 978-1-906477-44-8. Tangent Books, Bristol. 246 pages, including 16 pages of illustrations. Visions of cities draped in vegetation...

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    October 4, 2015

    14 Eden Project domes
    Why We Need Design Guidelines for Urban Non-Humans
    Paul Downton, Adelaide

    Earlier this year I had the good fortune to be invited to speak at a remarkable ‘Global Conference’ in Chantilly, France. The title of the session I was to contribute to was translated into English as ‘An urbanism built on...

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    April 1, 2015

    SandCastlesWashingAwayPhoto--PaulDowntonFEATURE
    Signals and Snapshots from Semaphore: Musings on Design Guidelines for Urban Fractals
    Paul Downton, Adelaide

    The fractal idea revisited in an attempt to make the concept clearer on a day-to-day, more visceral basis. In my first blog for TNOC I outlined my concept of an ‘urban fractal’ and noted my fascination with the idea that...

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    September 17, 2014

    Born to be Wild IMAGE DowntonFeature
    Born to be Wild (Sort of)
    Paul Downton, Adelaide

    “Civilisation; it’s all about knives and forks.” —David Byrne As a child I was not nature-deprived. I lived in small towns and villages in rural Somerset in England, and enjoyed nature study in primary school but I know that I’ve never...

    6 Comment(s)
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    March 9, 2014

    Dull grey boring wall transformed by ‘commissioned’ graffiti for The People’s Market  at West Lakes Shore, South Australia. Photo: Paul Downton
    Graffiti on the Path and the Nature of Public Space
    Paul Downton, Adelaide

    The nature of cities is inextricably tied to the nature of public space and this blog is about just a small part of that ‘nature’. It was inspired by what appeared to be graffiti on a public footpath that runs...

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    January 6, 2014

    Drawing by Paul Downton
    Should programs in architecture, urban design, and landscape architecture require a certain minimum level of learning about the fundamentals of ecology? Why?
    Paul Downton, Adelaide
    Barbara Deutsch, Washington, DC
    Martha Fajardo, Bogota
    Noboru Kawashima, Bogota
    Norbert Mueller, Erfurt
    Kaveh Samiei, Tehran

    24 Comment(s)
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    August 21, 2013

    Urban ‘renewal’ Swansea, South Wales 1977 Drawing: Paul Downton
    Form, Function, and Cultural Memory: Recalling the Nature of Cities
    Paul Downton, Adelaide

    Yesterday upon the stair I met a man who wasn’t there He wasn’t there again today Oh, how I wish he’d go away        — William Hughes Mearns 1922 Learning to forget When the early settlers headed west...

    8 Comment(s)
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    March 31, 2013

    IMAGE 3 Downton TNOC2 Wheatfield
    Straw Polls, Dodos and the Value of Landscape
    Paul Downton, Adelaide

    The premises on which we build our cities and construct civilisation, and the extent and means by which we include nature in our cities depends on what values we choose to adopt. Our capacity to engage with the processes of...

    9 Comment(s)
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    October 17, 2012

    South Village
    Neighborhoods and Urban Fractals—The Building Blocks of Sustainable Cities
    Paul Downton, Adelaide

    Urbanisation is spreading across the face of the planet at an unprecedented rate. Most of it is opportunistic; ad hoc development and shanty towns rather than master plans. Virtually none of it, planned or otherwise, incorporates the elements of natural...

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