International projects provide Conway students with a broader understanding of cultural, climatic, and historical influences on land use. This balance of international and local projects serves to illustrate the universal applicability of Conway’s analysis-based design process. Recent projects include a range of international clients in Central and South America and Europe. We continue to expand the ways for Conway to address global environmental challenges.
A Bridge for Biodiversity, Azuero Peninsula, Panama
Cattle grazing and farming has fragmented forest remnants and habitat connectivity in this southern Panama region of rolling hills and river valleys. Connecting the remaining biological patches to provide wildlife corridors will support migration and genetic exchange. This project explores strategies and methodologies used in other Central and South American countries to reduce the impact of farming on natural communities while protecting an agricultural economy. A series of nine conservation principles, organized according to ecology, scale and stakeholder participation, guide corridor design across the peninsula.
Green Infrastructure for Cauquenes, Chile (English)
The natural resources surrounding Cauquenes are abundant, and support a growing organic wine industry. The multiple rivers and wetlands provide both recreational and environmental amenities. But water quality is compromised, in part because of agricultural and industrial runoff. Young people are leaving the region in search of jobs. There is no infrastructure in place to support tourism. Using the San Joaquin Valley of California as a case study, the student team illustrated the hazards of proceeding with conventional agriculture in this dry climate, resulting in depleted resources. The project’s recommended green infrastructure allows natural resource conservation, economic development, and agricultural production to coexist to the benefit of all.
Infrastructura Verde por Cauquenes, Chile (en castellano)
Avenida Jose Vasconcelos, Corridor in Transition (English/Castellano)
“Imagine a San Pedro where the main transportation corridor is woven with green. A corridor where people move safely through the streets on foot, by bike, or by bus under a canopy of trees. People of San Pedro use the street to meet each other, get exercise, and take part in the community. The street is safe for school children, tourists come to stroll the shaded avenue and patronize local businesses. The corridor is a cleaner, healthier, and more vibrant city than today, without flooding or pollution problems.”
Homegrown in Tuscany, A Food System, Spannocchia, Tuscany, Italy
The current food system in the Val di Merse region of Tuscany reflects the growing commodification of food produced, moving toward single export crops such as grapes and olives rather than the historically more diverse crops. Land cover analyses revealed that although much of this rural landscape was abandoned in the later half of the twentieth century, farmland and woodlands still dominate the landscape. These lands might return to the intensely productive state that they were farmed under for thousands of years. However, in order for local agriculture to again become a reality in the Val di Merse region, the participants of the food system must work together to identify the obstacles to local agriculture and opportunities for bridging the gaps within the system.