Maggie MacKinnon

Regenerative urban habitats

Maggie photo

Growing up surrounded by the beautiful Acadian forests and coastlines of Atlantic Canada instilled in me a passionate interest in biodiversity. After completing my BSc in Biology, I was deeply concerned by the destruction and degradation of natural environments as a result of urbanization. This led me to switch fields and complete a MArch so I could learn about regenerative building practices. My PhD research is driven by a desire to improve how built and natural environments relate to each other so we can better protect the amazing diversity of life we share this planet with.

The lack of habitat for non-human species in urban environments is a driver of biodiversity loss, has detrimental health and well-being impacts for humans, and contributes to climate change. How can we better share our urban space with non-human biodiversity? How do we integrate natural habitat into densifying cities? My research will investigate regenerative design strategies that blur the boundaries separating built and natural environments. I will focus on techniques that green our buildings and infrastructure, such as living walls and roofs, and have multispecies habitat provision goals. The contribution of my research will be processes and products for creating regenerative urban habitats that can increase urban biodiversity, improve human well-being, and enhance the resilience of cities and species to climate change.


Professor Daniel Brown and Associate Professor Maibritt Pedersen-Zari, AUT