2. Ecocity Berkeley


2. Ecocity Berkeley


Ecocity Berkeley was written to demonstrate key urban design concepts by examining how one might re-envision the city of Berkeley 125 years into the future. By applying ecological principles to determine a future urban form, Register then integrated architectural detail to optimize energy efficiency and social interaction.

Building on the evolutionary and ecological principles of philosopher Teilhard de Chardin and architect Paolo Soleri, and influenced by Berkeley’s 1979 Integral Urban House, Register began exploring a scenario for future healthy cities. In drawings and text he examined shifting infrastructure from car-dependent “scatterization” to compact pedestrian, bicycle and transit systems. City centers, district centers and neighborhood centers could become ecocities, ecotowns and ecovillages while nature allowing agriculture and natural landscapes to return to newly uninhabited land.

While much of Ecocity Berkeley explored urban design at regional and city scale, drawings in the book featured fine-grained architectural concepts based on solar gain, mixed-use buildings, and social interaction -- always with an eye toward eliminating sprawl-promoting automobiles and creating wildlife corridors and zones. Rejecting Corbusien housing blocks and parks, Register sought to maximize integrated uses (housing, commercial, industrial, agricultural and recreational) while optimizing views, renewable energy production and the pleasures of the city.


Richard Register


Environmental Design Library