Campus Landscape design based on resilience approach and water shortage(case study: Campus of Malayer University)

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Academic Member of Landscape Engineering Department, Faculty of Natural Resources and Environment, Malayer University

2 Assistant Professor of Environmental Design, Facultyof Environment, University of Tehran


Water shortage is a crucial challenge that threatens future of landscape development in Iran. Naturally it intensifies by climate change that will be led to water stress of ecosystems. The water stress have confronted universities campus landscape with serious challenges especially those that located in arid and semi-arid areas such as center of Iran. Malayer University has had serious challenges due to water shortage in green space development in spite of fast growth. Local adaptation and mitigation actions have a high priority in dry context.
 Successful adaptation and mitigation need to increase ecological resilience and provide appropriate water resources without threaten the other places and species to meet their needs. Adoption strategies emphasis on ecological resilience and mitigation strategy stress on not only improvement of ecological function against climate change but also reduction the intensifying climate change factors such as greenhouse gases(GHG). Thus ecological resilience improvement will assist the continuum of ecosystems functions and will support mitigation movements. Therefore it is an essential and vital role of planning to cope with wicked problems due to climate changes.
 Climate change has faced our society with complex problems simultaneously increasing uncertainty. Resilience is an ideal option in access to cope uncertainty that try to recover systems from disruption. As Friend &Moench(2013) pointed the goals of develop is resilience or “an aspect of what development is”. But resilience here defined as ability of absorb shocks and increasing system ability to cope with challenges and conserve the system integrity and sustainably, although may it pass from one situation to new once. It does not mean as bouncing back the system. The emphasis is on sustainability continuum of ecological structure and functions. Although system could be experience some changes.
Iran has experienced great dryness challenges. Thereupon water shortage change into an ongoing threat of a dry country and it is a sign of wide spread crises through the country in near future. Malayer University that founded in 2005 has been developed rapidly. It tackled with water limitations for all kind of uses. Water limitation is a main obstacle in green landscape design of university campus too. The article tried to review resilience concept in water shortage conditions and present solutions for water deficit by rain harvest and reuse of gray water in campus landscape design from one side and increase water use efficiency by wise and ecological planting and reduce the water needs by selection of planet species with low water requirement from another side.
Method and materials:
University of Malayer located at county as same name (Malayer) and in North West of Hamadan province. The area has a semi dry climate. The area receives about 300 mm rain annually in average. The average of minimum temperature is -4 and the average of maximum temperature is 34.7 degree of centigrade. Total area of campus is about 55 hectare that has been built in 2005.Total built area is about 46000 square meters up to now. Slope of campus fluctuate between 3 to 7 percent. 70 percent of 55 hectares is in cult. Soil tests indicated the presence of clay soils in combination with organic materials. The soil salinity is low and without restrictions. The existing vegetation cover can be divided into two categories:
1-Herbaceousspecies, mainly in under developed parts of campus, Characteristics of those species are: wild plant, seasonal growth and short growing period. Plants are drying by beginning of warm season and increase water stress. These plants include species such as: Peganumharmala, Achilleamillefolium, Descurainia Sophia, Gundeliatournefortii and Fritillaria sp.
2-plantingtrees and shrubs that include limit species such as: black pine, cedar and cypress, sycamore, mulberry, willow usual, walnuts, grapes, Cotoneasternummularia, Crataegusaronia, differenttypes of roses, lavender, Rosemary.
The main problems of campus green space are: Planting sensitive vegetable to drought, water resources shortage and low efficiency in water irrigation systems.
This research has been done based on ecological design principles that expressed by Van der Ryn and Cowan in 1996. The study tries to use the ecological resilience based on global warming trend and water shortage in order to design more effective green landscape.
Result and discussion:
This section includes four steps:
1-      Analyses of water resources in campus
2-      Analyses of water irrigation efficiency
3-      Analyses of plane species resilience against water shortage, ecological diversity and diversity in ecological functions.
The result shows area could store about 19000 cubic meters water from rain annually. This volume is enough to irrigation of green space during the year. Moreover harvest runoff is possible from pedestrians and streets. We could access to 90000 cubic meters water by construction of primary waste water treatment systems.
In addition change of traditional irrigation system is necessary that will increase irrigation efficiency. Meanwhile mulching can reduce surface evaporation and decrease water needs. Main and dominant plant species flexibility has been analyzed based on Hunter Model (2008). As a result vulnerable species identified, from anther hand new and native species was chose. The native species were selected that have following characteristics: Resistance against water stress, adopted by ecosystem conditions, diversity in ecological function, quality of growth and reproductive and less water requirement. Finally campus landscape has been design based on rain harvest and reuse of gray water (Fig. 1).
Fig. 1.Strategic design of campus green space based onrain harvest and reuse of gray water
Landscape design is an alternative and additional tool for climate change and global warming. Landscape design could apply ecological principles in order to cope with climate change threats especially in dry regions. Campus landscapes of Malayer as sample chose to examine ability of ecological design. The result showed, green space of campus could be developed by utilize of potential water resources. Campus landscape could be improved by wise selection of planning species. The species should be resistance against water stress and climate changes. As result ecosystem service will be improved by wise develop of campus landscape through ecological design principles. Is this experiment applicable in more complicated places such as urban landscape? Simultaneously other approaches such as carbon sequestration are applicable? These two questions are new subjects for further practical research especially in the arid areas that faced with climate changes threats.


Main Subjects

بمانیان، م،. متوسلی، م. م.، حبیب‌پور، ع. 1387. بررسی ضرورت‌ها و اهداف ایجاد سامانه‌‌های آبرسانی و آبیاری فضای سبز شهری با آب خام، شهرداری‌ها، شمارۀ 27، صص 329- 334.
بینواپور، م. 1386. امکان‌سنجی استفادۀ مجدد از پساب تصفیه‌خانۀ بیمارستان آتیه‌سازان همدان برای آبیاری فضای سبز، آب و فاضلاب، شمارۀ 64، صص 83- 87.
دستورانی، م. 1387. ارزیابی روش‌های نوین و پایدار در تأمین آب برای توسعۀ فضای سبز، شهرداری‌ها، شمارۀ 27، صص 318- 328.
سازمان شهرداری‌ها و دهیاری‌های کل کشور. 1388. ابلاغیه و دستور‌العمل جداسازی شبکۀ آبیاری فضای سبز از آب شرب شهری.
سعیدی، الف. 1392. روش‌‌های نوین تأمین آب برای توسعۀ فضای سبز در دانشگاه ملایر، هفتمین کنفرانس ملی روز جهانی محیط‌زیست.
سعیدی، الف.، کافی، م.، ارشادی، م. 1387. پهنه‌بندی شاخص‌های تأثیرگذار بر مدیریت کیفی آب غیرشرب در آبیاری فضاهای سبز، دومین کنفرانس ملی روز جهانی محیط‌زیست.
Alberti, M. 2005. The effects of urban patterns on ecosystem function, International Regional Science Review, No. 28 , pp 168–192.
Al-Hamaiedeh, H., Bino, M. 2010.Effect of treated grey water reuse in irrigation on soil and plants. Desalination, No 256, pp. 115–119
Amede, T., Awulachew, S., Matti Bancy., Yitayew M. 2014.Managing Rainwater for Resilient Dry land Systems in Sub-Saharan Africa: Review of Evidences.Springer, pp.517-540.
Brand, F. 2009. Critical natural capital revisited: Ecological resilience and sustainable development. Ecological Economics, No, 68, pp. 605–612.
Carpenter, S., Westley, F., Turner, M. G. 2005. Surrogates for resilience of social-ecological systems. Ecosystems, No, 8, pp. 941–944.
CSIRO. 1999. Urban stormwater: best practice environmental management guidelines, Melbourne, CSIRO Publishing.
Charmantier, A., McCleery, R., Cole, R., Perrins, C. and Sheldon, B. 2008.Adaptive phenotypic plasticity in response to climate change in a wild bird population. Science, No, 320, pp. 800–803.
Chown, S., Charlene, J., and Hans, P. 2007. Phenotypic plasticity mediates climate change responses among invasive and indigenous arthropods. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, No, 274, pp. 2531–537.
Crossman, N D., Connor, J D., Bryan, B A., Summers, D M and Ginnivan, J. 2010. Reconfiguring an irrigation landscape to improve provision of ecosystem services. Ecological Economics, No, 69, pp. 1031–1042.
Dang, XL., Huang, Y and Yu, N. 2006. Status quo and existing problems of water saving irrigation in protected field of Liaoning province. Water Saving Irrigation, No, 5, pp. 57–59
Edenhofer, O., Wallacher, J., Reder, M., & Müller, J. 2012.Climate Change, Justice and Sustainability, Linking Climate and Development Policy Springer, Springer.
Elmqvist, T., Folke, C., Nystrom, M., Peterson, G., Bengtsson, J., Walker, B. and Norberg, J. 2003.Response diversity, ecosystem change, and resilience. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, No, 9, pp. 488–494.
Folke, C.2006. Resilience: the emergence of a perspective for social-ecological systems analyses. Global Environmental Change, No, 16, pp. 253–267
Friend, R., andMoench, M. 2013. What is the purpose of urban climate resilience? Implications for addressing poverty and vulnerability, Urban Climate,No, 6, pp. 98-113.
Gibbs, M.T.2009. Resilience: What is it and what does it mean for marine policymakers. Marine Policy, N0, 33, pp. 322–331
Gould, S J. 1997. An evolutionary perspective on strengths, fallacies and confusions in the concept of native plants. In Nature and Ideology: Nature and Garden Design in the Twentieth Century, Dumbarton Oaks
Guan, P.2004. Analysis of the efficiency of water-saving irrigation and project benefit of the secondly irrigation district in Jingdian. Water Saving Irrigation, No, 5, pp. 68–71
Gunderson, L.H., Holling, C.S. 2002. Panarchy: Understanding transformations in Human and Natural systems. Island Press.
Hitchmough, J., 2011. Exotic plants and plantings in the sustainable, designed urban landscape, Landscape and Urban Planning, 100,380–382.
Holling, C.S., 1986. The resilience of terrestrial ecosystems: local surprise and global change. In: Clark, W.C., Munn, R.E.(Eds.), Sustainable Development of the Biosphere. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, pp. 292–317.
Holling, C.S., 2001. Understanding the complexity of economic, ecological and social systems. Ecosystem, No4, pp. 390–405.
Holling,C.S., 1973. Resilience and Stability of Ecological Systems. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, No 4, pp. 1-23.
Hunter, MC. 2011.Using Ecological Theory to Guide Urban Planting Design: An adaptation strategy for climate change. Landscape, No, 30, pp. 173-193.
Kaspersson, J.X., Kaspersson, R.E.(Eds.), 2001. Global Environmental Risk.United Nations University, Science No, 279, pp. 491–496.
Krishna, H. J. 2007. Rainwater harvesting potential and water quality guidelines in Texas. Proc. of the American Rainwater Catchment System Association Conference, pp 76-85.
Lancaster, B. 2006. Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands, Guiding principles to welcome rain into your life and landscape, Rainsource Press, Vol, 1.
Lawton, J.H., Brown, V. 1993. Redundancy in ecosystems. In Biodiversity and Ecosystem Function, Springer, No, 157, pp. 255–270.
Levin, S., Barrett, S., Aniyar, S., Baumol, W., Bliss, C., Bolin, B., Dasgupta, P., Ehrlich, P., Folke, C., Gren, I.-M., Holling, C.S.,Jansson, A.M., Jansson, B.-O.,Martin,D.,Maeler,K.-G., Perrings, C., Sheshinsky, E., 1998. Resilience in natural and socioeconomic systems. Environ. Develop. Econ, No, 3, pp. 222–235.
Li, G., Fu, G., Li, T.N.1998. Current water-saving irrigation patterns and economic benefits. Science and Technology of Water Conservancy, No, l, pp. 15–17
Loё, R., Kreutzwiser, R., Moraru, L. 2001. Adaptation options for the near term: climate change and the Canadian water sectorGlobal Environmental Change, No, 11, pp.231–245.
Lubchenco, J. 1998. Entering the century of the environment: a new social contract for science. Science, No, 279, pp. 491–496.
Ma, C L.1989. The energy-saving critical lift of spray and pipes irrigation. J Irrig Drain, No 12, pp. 63–64
Ma, LJ. Feng, M.2006. The development of water saving irrigation is a way out of agriculture. Water Conservancy Science and Technology and Economy, No, 12, pp. 394
May RM. 1973.Stability and complexity in model ecosystems. Princeton (NJ): Princeton University.
MacArthur RH. 1955. Fluctuations of animal populations and a measure of community stability. Ecology 36:533–6.Macdonald D. 1985. The encyclopedia of mammals, New York:Facts On File.
Mushtaq, S., Dawe, D., Lin, H. 2006. An assessment of the role of ponds in the adoption of water-saving irrigation practices in the Zhanghe Irrigation System, China. Agr Water Manage, No, 83, pp.100–110
Otti, V. 2011.Economic advantage of rainwater harvesting over water borehole. International Journal of Water Resources and Environmental Engineering, Vol. 3, No, 4, pp. 73-76.
Pahl-Wostl, C., Möltgen, J., Sendzimir, J.And Kabat, P. 2005. New methods for adaptivewater management under uncertainty: The newater project. EWRA 141A, Proc. 6th Intl.Conf.European Water Resources Management, EWRA2005.
Pereira, L S., Oweis, T., Zarii, A. 2002. Irrigation Management Under Water Scarcity. Agricultural Water Management, No 57, pp.175-206.
Pescod, M.B. 1992. Wastewater Treatment and Use in Agriculture, FAO Irrigation and Drainage, paper No 47,pp. 115- 125.
Peterson, G. D., Allen, C. R., Holling, C. S.1998. Ecological resilience, biodiversity, and scale. Ecosystems, No, 11, pp. 6–18.
Rockstrom, J. 2003. Resilience building and water demand management for drought mitigation. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, No, 2, pp. 869–877.
Rossiter, M. 1996. The incidence and consequences of inherited environmental effects. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, no, 27, pp. 451–476.
Ryn, V D.,Cowan, S. 2007.Ecological Design, Island Press.
Tilman D. 1996. Biodiversity: population versus ecosystem stability.Ecology, 77:350–63.
Vitousek, P.M., Ehrlich, P.R., Ehrlich, A.H., Matson, P.A., 1986. Human appropriation of the products of photosynthesis. BioScience, No, 36, pp. 368–373.
Walker, B., Carpenter, S.2002. Resilience Management in Social-ecological Systems: a Working Hypothesis for a Participatory Approach. Conservation Ecology , No 6, pp 7-14.
Walker, B., Salt, D. 2006. Resilience Thinking: Sustaining ecosystems and people in a changing world, Island Press.
Wang, C H., Blackmore, J., Wang, X., Yum K,K., Zhou, M., Diaper, C., mcgregor, G., Anticev, J. 2009. Overview of resilience concepts with application to water resource systems.Ewater Technical Report. September 2009.
Warren, C R. 2007. Perspectives on the alien versus native species debate: a critique of concepts, language, and practice. Progress in Human Geography, No, 31, pp. 427–446.
Worm, J., Hattum, T, 2006.Rainwater harvesting for domestic use, Agrodok, No, 43, pp. 0-82.
Xiaoxia, Z., Li, Y. 2012. How water saving irrigation contributes to climate change resilience: a case study of practices in China. Mitig Adapt Strateg Glob Change, No, 17, pp. 111–132.
Yachi, S., Michel, L. 1999. Biodiversity and ecosystem productivity in a fluctuating environment: The insurance hypothesis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, No, 96, pp. 1463–1468.