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Research Lab on Urban Landscapes and Architecture

Toronto Botanical Garden

Dembroski Centre and the TGB

If we disregard the fact that the Toronto Botanical Gardens lies in between naturally tailored habitat and a cemented parking lot there is high potential for a system that is giving back rather than trampling on natural habitat. The environment is thriving due to the systemic interrelationship between the cistern that collects rainwater that connects back into the irrigation and nourishes the organisms at the surface. This cyclical pattern is an example of eco-effectiveness, acting like the cherry tree in Cradle to Cradle, by enriching the resources that are essential for its survival through a production and waste pattern. TBG is eco-effective in this way because the water collection and distribution method is creating a dynamic living environment for plants, insects and animals.

The TGB allows an industrial environ to become an ecosystem for a dynamic blend of organisms. It is apparent that in an industry driven system such as the industrial symbiosis in Klaundborg in Denmark the cyclical relationship is inclined towards eco-efficiency by C2C terms rather than a more thriving system like eco-effectiveness. The exchange of water waste is managing one aspect of waste and working towards reducing emissions to be “less bad” but still the companies must remain productive. Kaldunborg produces waste that is reduced to a different form, like downcycling the wastewater takes on a different construct but the nutrients from the element are further and further reduced till there is little left. The wastewater that is reused acts like paper moving through the recycling system. The paper pulp fibers get shorter and less strong eventually ending their life in a dump. TGB uses it resources in a different way by taking the water and feeding it back into a rich system that makes the water into nutrients by feeding the cycle.

A better example of “collocate companies” that Kalundborg is modeling is the systematic nutrient flow of a forest. This is similar to the cherry tree but on a larger scale and in richly dynamic ecosystem where every waste becomes a nutrient that feeds the forest and the creatures that survive within. TBG is essentially replicating the effectiveness of the forest by absorbing nutrients and releasing back into the environment. The cycle benefits the soil and the organisms on land that are drawn in to create a dynamic environment.

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