At the scale of the Community, the work of Nelson Byrd Woltz engages system-wide cultural and ecological processes within standard urban archetypes: infrastructure networks, university campuses, and neighborhood master plans. NBW’s landscape interventions tell stories about a site’s local history and ecological context, and enrich familiar urban forms: a sidewalk becomes a native arboretum; a stormwater drainage system becomes a public garden. Environmental issues, such as managing water and enhancing wildlife habitat, are addressed and intertwined with the civic and the social, creating functioning eco-cultural systems.
NBW negotiates ecological edges through the insertion of architectural, infrastructural and landscape programs to minimize disturbance while fully engaging ecological performance and public experience. Design is informed by local and regional cultural influences while demonstrating the aesthetic beauty of water conservation. Developing such compelling connections between a community and its ecological territory ties the community to a regional identity and inspires long-term engagement with a place.