Phyto-Technologies Practicum: Resources for Site Remediation and Landscape Design

GSD 6335 is a research seminar, speculative in nature and broad in scope that requires students to take part in a joint exploration with the instructors on the topic of plant based contaminate cleanup.
This course will build a current view of phyto-technology and the use of sustainable plant-based approaches to site remediation and rebuilding through new research on hyper-accumulator vegetation, potential opportunities and conversely limitations of phyto-technology, and investigations into productive site design utilizing a range of natural cleanup technologies. The ambition of the course is to bridge the critical science and engineering associated with phyto-technology site applications and its effective design use in the field. Phyto-technologies have the capacity to play a significant role in transforming contaminated urban land providing a more sustainable choice for land planning. They can also be used to help buffer the non-contaminated site, where the risk of pollution could be possible, create fuel as biomass renewable energy and participate in ensuring food crop safety. However, the science that lies behind phyto-technology has been found to be cryptic and difficult to implement. The intent of this seminar is to translate the research and field studies into a format useful for the design practitioner. The first half of the course will delve briefly into the science around phyto-technology, and the second will focus on an applied workshop practicum and case studies to understand particular site typologies and consider the potential environmental, spatial, cultural and aesthetic qualities of this productive type of vegetation.