What was Manhattan like 400 years ago?Posted: May 28, 2011 Filed under: Genius of Place | Tags: ecosystem performance specifications, genius of place, historical ecology Leave a comment
The Welikia Project traces the historical ecology of New York. It is an incredible, and ambitious project that is exquisitely executed. The result of which is a google map of Manhattan 400 years ago (Mannahatta as it was known through the indigenous Lenape people). You can even enter in specific locations to learn what natural ecosystem likely existed 400 years before. Warning: this can be oddly addictive, and there is an enormous amount of content available.
and… now what?
The Biomimicry Group and I are currently speaking with the creator to explore the possibility of adding a biomimicry layer to the google map. Imagine a local architect, urban planner, or environmental engineer being able to click on a specific location and discover what Ecosystem Performance Services existed on that site 400 years ago! This could be an incredible resource for existing practitioners, as well as a template for future projects. Imagine this as a google map of the world (ambitious goal) that you could explore.
In the mean time I thoroughly recommend the book, full of incredible images and gorgeous stories, along with an early vision of New York in another 400 years.