The Lezhbadini Quarry includes alluvial floodplain areas and upland conditions. The current condition of the quarry includes excavated areas and spoils stockpiles. Excavated areas retain water and can potentially provide habitat for a diversity of species and improve water quality.  Our project will test an economical method to rehabilitate riverbed mining sites using 3D modeling software to increase biodiversity and improve water quality. This process will be refined and optimized to meet the requirements of Heidelberg's on-site equipment.Our project builds on research from previous QLA projects in wetland design including: "OPTIMISING WETLAND FUNCTIONS TO LOCAL CONDITIONS IN CONNECTION TO QUARRIES" (QLA 2016). Using "off the shelf" 3D terrain and parametric modeling software: Rhino (https://www.rhino3d.com/ ) and Grasshopper (https://bit.ly/3G4PMHT) we will analyze and optimize the existing, inactive excavations. The operations include "relaxing" the vertical profile of pits, increasing the irregularity of the water-land borders to increase surface area, and redistributing excavation spoils.  With both drone imagery and fieldwork, we will monitor the evolution of the modified excavations over time and publish the results. The project will be led by landscape architects (Ruderal LLC)  involved in Georgian ecological rehabilitation projects and will include a team of students in architecture and environmental science. 

Further Research: Restoration in Dynamic Contexts

The dynamic qualities of riparian systems challenge traditional conceptions of restoration. Because the baseline condition of our site is constant change, restoration is a process of amplifying geomorphological diversity rather than attempting to return the river to a specific state. Our design intent is to guide disturbance from flooding and mining interventions to increase the diversity of habitat zones within the extraction zone. The next steps of our research beyond this project will...

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15sep

Designed Landscapes as Frameworks for Interpretation

The project approaches the design of landscape through two lenses: geomorphological diversity and interpretation of biodiversity by visitors to the site. The protocol for iterating public landscape that this project proposes creates a landscape experience in which geomorphological diversity is organized and perceived along every pedestrian path. Landscape architects use compositional rules of landscape photography and painting to give meaning and order to this perceived landscape.

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15sep

Developing a “Geomorphological Toolkit”

We analyzed the landscape patterns of spoil pile fields and began to build digital modeling tools to rapidly visualize possible berm configurations. The tool simultaneously estimates the scale of resources necessary to construct each design -- in this case in cubic meters and truckloads. Animations demonstrating the tools can be found here: https://bit.ly/3Ug9IPi

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15sep

Exploring Early Successional Habitats on the Site

After speaking with Dr. Řehounková, the role of early successional sites became more important to our project. This blog post investigates the biodiversity of early-successional sites, which can be bolstered by guiding the disturbance caused by mining and flooding on the site. Sub-zones of the overall site that are mined or flooded every two or three years can contribute to the geodiversity and biodiversity of the site significantly.

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15sep

Combining Early and Late Succession in Geomorphologically Diverse Habitats

Our site visit with Klára Řehounková opened up new insights into the role of geodiversity and geomorphological diversity in early successional habitats and to the overall biodiversity of the site. We were able to take a much closer look at the biodiversity already developing on the site, and saw more clearly the connections between early and late successional habitats. Rather than focusing on developing large patches of late-succession bosques, we propose a mosaic of habitats in different...

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15sep

Landscape Interpretation: Geomorphology and Succession on the Lezhbadini Site

After our latest site visit, the Ruderal team interpreted imagery collected through smartphones, drones, and satellites to draw connections between varying landscape types and the underlying geological diversity. After identifying these connections, we can design with a better understanding of how geomorphological diversity can support biodiversity in this dynamic site.

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08sep

Damba Dynamics

Architecture students from the Free University in Tbilisi analyzed the geomorphological qualities of the Lezhbadini Gravel Quarry to identify a diversity of available habitats.

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07juin

Bringing the Ballast

Our team of designers and students visits the Lezhbadini Quarry and learns about the mechanics of the extraction processes.

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02mar