Perspectives 02.13.2020

Rapprochement Urbanism: 5 Key Takeaways

After growing up in Galveston, Texas, moving to Jackson, Mississippi for college, and then on to Seattle for his career, West Pierce developed a keen interest in the confluence of rural, suburban, and urban environments.

Now a designer in our Seattle studio, West is focusing his interests on research around the concept of “rapprochement urbanism.” Here, he shares five key aspects:

  1. Rapprochement urbanism uses this definition of wilderness: land supporting fully functioning habitat with the requisite balance of species serving the spectrum of flora and fauna through predatory species and ultimately human life.
  2. A rapprochement urban design relies on habitat and spatial requirements for key apex predator species as well as key zoning ordinances for human population density and connectivity.
  3. The success of rapprochement urbanism is determined through its ability to address these constraints in a wholistic, sustainable way – in comparison to adjacent functional habitats and with reference to future urban development trajectories.
  4. With rapprochement urbanism, cities can foster and nurture ecological systems that exist around and within them through specific articulation of the transitional spaces between human and animal populations.
  5. In rapprochement urbanism, boundaries are not mere divisions but stitched edges, facilitating the constant interplay of human and animal spatial priorities allowing for new experiences within them.


See West's research, published by the ARCC Journal of Architectural Research