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    D²PC-to reboot the earth

    by David Ehrenreich 09/11/2019 01:00 PM BST

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          The data driven plant compositor enables planners, farmers, private & governmental land owners/users and to get a function-based plant composition for effective and sustainable land uses. Based on existing data, this tool aims to gather, categorise and process available plant data and generate a working planting plan for a specific georeferenced plot and customizable sustainability-targets. Existing datasets will be complemented by user generated data, citizen science and research partners, while the tool aims to identify research gaps. It allows the specific and complex know-how to be accessed by everyone who takes care of land in a very easy manner and can be expanded and modified very easily. Possible Sustainability-targets are binding CO2 through biomass, sustainable food,fuel & lumber production, drought effect mitigation, water retention, heat mitigation, soil enrichment. 

          implementable plant functions

          Binding of Co2 in Biomass --> partly extrapolatable with know grow rate/weight of dry plant matter

          local cooling through transpiration

          cleaning and storing water through plant metabolism and in soil 

          fixing, improving and developing fertile soil 

          supply of materials and foods

          provide living environment for species X

          improve drought resistance of plant community

          guard plant community against certain pests

          Where to plant what?

          The ecosystem provides specialised plants for the specific situation, but the needs, outputs and attributes like nutrient intake, needs (in substrate or environmental design…) are a considerable mass of data. This data is not structured in a way that it can be used by a non-botanist (or some landscape architects) in an early design phase of City development plans, densification processes or even single buildings with living elements. The process of designing new urban places and structures can be greatly improved, if planning can access and use a tool, that allows to integrate verified plant data in the design process. While it is not always possible to collaborate with botanist on the specific need of a space, an open-source-tool can enable everyone, not only experts, to develop algorithmic created suggestions for the fauna-design of a Space. This tool would gather the information about plants that can be potentially used (preferably all  plants, in the future) for applications like Co2-sequestration, Air quality improvement or nitrogen soil enrichment. The database needs to have a clear structure, which allows citizen science and formal science to work hand in hand to feed this tool with as much data as possible. Structuring the knowledge of interactions, synergies and conflicts of different species allows for the automated output of possible plant combinations. 

          Depending of the task this can be a staggered plant phases, for example: 

          1. stabilise ground - 
          2. Binding chemicals - remove plants
          3. Enrich soil

          4: (sensible) final plant phase (Co2 binding, removing of particulate matter) 

          All phases can be a combination of different plants ecosystems that interact and provide benefits to each other. Complex biological solution can help to combat a wide array of problems in the built environment, but are often overlooked or never considered. This tool would allow open access to the powerful connection of a database of the specific plant-data with an algorithm to calculate different approaches, considering all relevant factors and provides a data-based projection of the impact on the task (lowering of level soil contamination by a specific value). 

          The precise adjustment of values and goals as well as the possibility to input a great variety of local data can give a custom plan for each space. The use of the (anonymised) data of the participants provides further data concerning the demand and use of the tool in defined areas. If users can be motivated to keep entering the data of the applicated plant plant over time, this can improve the precision of the tool.

          What the tool needs to do:

          • Input: 

              • Space data (soil status, sunlight, location, local climate data, etc.)
              • Design goals (optical goals, restrictions (build and legal))
              • environmental functions/goals: Water retention (with timing of events), Air pollution reduction (preferably with air quality data), Sonic dampening

          • Output:

            • procedurally generated possible plant combination and arrangement.
            • a preview of the expected nutrient and water flows and the plant ecosystem
            • a data-based estimation of the development of these spaces over time.

          Co-authors to your solution

          Leonard Kunzmann, HCU

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