Landscape architect David Fletcher's work operates across scales—from the micro, such as a residential biopool that creates a small habitat in a Zurich backyard, to the macro, such as the project Making the Connections, an ambitious scheme for alternative transportation planning in downtown Los Angeles. "All the projects have a really strong desire to create a mashup of urban ecology and people," he explains. "My work has been associated with landscape urbanism, so I am very much interested in process, in time, and in an ethical commitment to design." For Fletcher, who teaches in the architecture departments at the Southern California Institute of Architecture in Los Angeles and at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco, sustainable design is less about the morals of environmentalism than it is about not wasting the opportunities that buildings and sitework create.
In the case of Making the Connections (above), this means reworking the streets in Los Angeles' Lincoln/Cypress and Ann Street neighborhoods to encourage walking and biking to nearby Metro Gold Line stations. (The red lines and dashes denote a proposed bicycle network.) The plan ties into housing development spurred by the new transit hub, a revitalization plan for the Los Angeles River, and the Los Angeles State Historic Park. By paying attention to details like street trees, green medians, and sidewalk plantings, Fletcher is able to control urban ecology issues such as how stormwater percolates back into the watershed.