The teaching resource will make use of a series of new teaching methods that will improve the engagement of the students with the landscape project as they will be experiencing a real life problem and relating to different clients/subjects, having to act as mediators among them, and they will be required to find compromises between the needs and priorities of multiple subjects.
The main aim of the guidelines is to offer best practice examples of how to improve the environmental quality and the energy efficiency of in between and abandoned spaces in the city by operating permanent/semi-permanent or temporary interventions that benefit the environment and the community. The students will interact with the real life actors and work on a concrete project promoted by the Municipality or by a private business. By promoting the cooperation with private stakeholders, who can invest in renovation and extension projects, private investments and projects can contribute to the community and the environment
In the first stage (2 hrs. lecture) the students will be instructed on the concrete case study of an abandoned or neglected area - private or public - (Annex 6 - CASE STUDY EXAMPLES); they will be informed about the climatic, biophysical, legal and social context. At the end of the lecture they will receive handouts in the form of a pdf summary description report and digital drawings of the area. The first phase will be concluded with a site visit and some fieldwork to collect additional information on the site.
In the second stage (approx. 5 hrs.) the students will be divided into 4 groups (5-10 students per group), each group will represents one of the stakeholders involved in the project:
- Private stakeholder (ex. Owner of a commercial activity close to the project area) meet with the stakeholders
- Local authority member (representing standards and regulations and public interest)
- Local Non-Governmental Organization representative (organized around specific issues relevant to the project such as, environment or health.
- Residents (individual or organized in a consortium)
Each group of students will meet with the stakeholder they represent and gather information about the needs and the requirements of the respective stakeholder. At the end of the meeting they will discuss and elaborate a list of priorities based on the ones highlighted during the meeting with the stakeholder. The priorities will be grouped under the headings: Environmental – Functional – Economic – Aesthetic. (Annex 2 - PRIORITIES TABLE_template)
The next step will be sharing the list of design priorities and the information with the other groups. This will be done in class through a group presentation and a discussion/comparison of the list of priorities (approx. 3 hours). This open discussion will expose the groups to other points of view and make them start evaluating the complexity and conflicts of interest in design issues and sustainability.
At the end of the Phase 3 session the students will define a list of objectives, a list of performance requirements and provide recommendations and design strategies for a sustainable landscape project (Annex 3 - PERFROMANCE REQUIREMENTS-OBJECTIVES-RECOMMENDATIONS_LIST).
The rest of the term (approx. 4 weeks of class) will be dedicated to the development of concept Projects with the definition of multiple options in terms of vegetation cover, paving systems, furniture elements and materials. The project will also include a cost estimate and a report on how the project will be built and maintained (assigning also the responsibility of maintenance), where the materials come from etc. Since it will be a temporary intervention the report should also explain how the structures will be eventually disassembled and the materials reused or recycled (Annex 5 - DRAWINGS LAYOUT_explanation). During this stage the students will receive a manual with guidelines for temporary landscape interventions , with a set of general indications and case studies. The students will also need to comply with the Local Policy Framework.
At the end of the term the students will present the proposals on the project site where all the stakeholders will be invited to participate and vote for their favourite option. A round table will follow up where all the subjects will interact with the project and express their opinion. (Annex 4 – ROUND-TABLE_handout)
The most successful project might be implemented and become a pilot project that will serve to perfect and classify design guidelines for similar interventions in the future.
 DESIGN GUIDELINES/MANUAL for the students will be elaborated and adapted to the Local Policy Framework (an example can be found at http://pavementtoparks.sfplanning.org/parklets.html#parkletmanual - Copyright: Pavement to Parks, City of San Francisco)