Living on the Edge: Reinventing the amphibiotic habitat of the Mesopotamian Marshlands

Sally Al-Badry, Cesar Cheng, Sebastian Lundberg, Yorgos Berdos

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

The Mesopotamian Marshlands form one of the first landscapes where people started to transform and manipulate the natural environment in order to sustain human habitation. For thousands of years, people have transformed natural ecosystems into agricultural fields, residential clusters and other agglomerated environments to sustain long-term settlement. In this way, the development of human society has been intricately linked to the extraction, processing and consumption of natural resources. The Mesopotamian Marshlands, located in one of the hottest and most arid areas on the planet, formed a unique wetlands ecosystem, which apart from millions of people, sustained a very high number of wildlife and endemic species. Several historical, political, social and climatic changes, which densely occurred during the past century, completely destroyed the unique civilisation of the area, made all the wild flora and fauna disappear and forced hundreds of thousands of people to migrate. During the last decade, many efforts have been made to restore the marshlands. However, these efforts are lacking a comprehensive design strategy, coherent goals and deep understanding of the complex current geopolitical situation, making the restoration process an extremely difficult task. This work aims at providing strategies for recovering the Mesopotamian Marshlands, organising productive functions in order to sustain the local population and design a new inhabitation model, using advanced computational tools while taking into account the extreme climatic conditions and several unique cultural aspects. Part of the aim of this work is to advance the use of computation and explore the opportunities that digital tools afford in helping find solutions to complex design problems where various design variables need to be coordinated to satisfy the design goals. Today, advanced computation enables designers to use population consumption demands, ecological processes and environmental inputs as design parameters to develop more robust and resilient regional planning strategies. This work has the double aim of first, presenting a framework for re-inhabiting the Marshlands of Mesopotamia. Second, the work suggests a design methodology based on computer-aided design for developing and organising productive functions and patterns of human occupation in wetland environments.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the eighth International Conference of the Arab Society for Computer Aided Architectural Design ASCAAD 2016
EditorsAghlab Al-Attili, Anastasia Karandinou, Ben Daley
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
PublisherImperial House Publishers
Pages513-526
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print) 978-0-9955691-0-2
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventThe eighth International Conference of the Arab Society for Computer Aided Architectural Design - http://www.ascaad.org/conference/2016/, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 7 Nov 20169 Nov 2016
http://www.ascaad.org/conference/2016/

Conference

ConferenceThe eighth International Conference of the Arab Society for Computer Aided Architectural Design
Abbreviated titleASCAAD 2016
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityLondon
Period7/11/169/11/16
Internet address

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    Cite this

    Al-Badry, S., Cheng, C., Lundberg, S., & Berdos, Y. (2016). Living on the Edge: Reinventing the amphibiotic habitat of the Mesopotamian Marshlands . In A. Al-Attili, A. Karandinou, & B. Daley (Eds.), Proceedings of the eighth International Conference of the Arab Society for Computer Aided Architectural Design ASCAAD 2016 (pp. 513-526). Imperial House Publishers.