To commence ecopuncture, we need a grasp of systems thinking. Nature is many interacting systems coming together to form complex wholes. The whole cannot be explained as an aggregate of parts; it is greater than the sum of. A developmental approach that does not see wholes will invariably fragment, pulling apart the flows and exchanges that bind all living things.

Here, form is an instrument of transformative change. Attributes of form — configuration and shape, compactness and fragmentation, proximity and juxtaposition, overlapping and layering, centrality and diffusion — make some outcomes more likely than others.


  • New elements and surfaces, often envelope-affixed, engage in the production of energy or food. Architectural features such as decks, balconies, double-skin façades, and double roofs expand the space that is available to these systems.

  • Form is porous and fragmented, elevated and layered; it channels energy, water, wind, and light.

  • The roof and, in particular, the ground assume new significance, offering a surface for urban greenery or energy production. The ground connects a building with wider urban and ecological networks, seeking reciprocity.

  • Space that is occupied by one system often overlaps with another; water, community space, and greenery are colocated.

  • Materiality becomes an instrument for community participation and impact reduction.

  • Ecosystem services are used as a framework for describing flows and processes.

  • Recovery of brownfield sites is carried out where needed, including the renaturalisation of once-engineered elements.

  • Urban mobility systems, such as roads, rail, and service lines, are colocated and integrated. These are sometimes elevated or buried to prioritise public space, pedestrian movement, pathways, and patches for biodiversity.

  • Water networks are restored where they have been fragmented or polluted. Surface flows are slowed down to increase groundwater recharge. Edges of waterways are designed to accommodate floods.

  • There is action on the conservation of existing habitats and pathways for species movement, and the creation of new patches and corridors. These systems, even in urban situations, are deemed networks in their own right.

  • Systems overlap and interact, optimising land use. Water, public space, food production, and greenery are often colocated.