Digital and Dynamic Atlas of Ecological Cooperation and Peace

This project is is the pioneering idea of IEDS Fellow, Dr. Anna Grichting, a landscape architect and environmental planner based in Geneva, Switzerland. The spark for this project came during the the course of Anna Grichting’s doctoral research at the Harvard School of Design, by a publication entitled Zones of Conflict. An Atlas of Future Wars published by John Keegan and Andrew Wheatcroft in 1986, which maps out areas of future clashes and wars. As an alternative, the proposed atlas maps out areas along political borders that could be transformed into zones of cooperation. The atlas would be in digital form to allow for dynamic mapping and focus on such zones that are currently being planned, researched and/or negotiated in existing zones of conflict, as well as possible future Peace Parks that could be implemented as preventive measures to future conflicts.

The Atlas considers functional ecosystems as units of analysis for geographic demarcation rather than human-imposed geopolitical boundaries and will be aimed at challenging conventional perceptions of borders at multiple levels of political and social discourse. It is both intended to provide constructive guidance on rehabilitating conflict zones at the level of landscape architecture, and as an instrument to inform and inspire peace builders all over the globe from various disciplinary fields, ranging in expertise from ecology and biodiversity, to environmental law, to spatial planning and design. The prototype for the atlas was developed using the Cyrpus Green Line as a central case in October 2010. Further updates about the prototype development can be found at the National Geographic Global Action Atlas page where the project has been featured.