We share our planet with animals.
As humans have evolved from the natural environment so we could not take away nature from our dwellings. As natural environments gradually evolved into cities, we found ourselves sharing the same with companion animals.
But are we seriously sharing spaces with them or are they seen as intruding our society?
To nature, each form of life is equally important. Animals and humans have co-existed for centuries, sharing urban space and beyond. But somewhere along civilization, we started to consider ourselves superior and animals were seen not to be worthy enough of sharing spaces with us.
Being an animal lover and an architect, I have always been deeply inclined to find the real answers of the paradox presence of animals in human settlements. I firmly believe every creature along with humans has its share on earth. We are not alone in the urban jungles or cities! This question has always bothered me about how can we include animals in city planning. The focus is primarily on urban dogs and cats here, being the keystone species; but later can be applied to other animals as well.
So the question arises, can we include the animal community in our approach to city planning and what are the ways?
We can apply animal considerate community planning approach or at least we can modify our built environment so as to accommodate them with little respect.
When we talk about sustainable designs, all we think of are green structures, renewable energy, waste management and solar panels, etc. but I believe there is a lot more to this term. We should also focus on building structures that make urban areas friendlier places for city dwelling animals that co-exist in harmony.
We can and must assist governments, municipalities, other organizations and individuals to understand and appreciate a more productive relationship between built environment and biological systems to ensure animals are an inclusion in our neighborhood design
With these ways, hopefully, we can co-exist with animals in harmony, thus living the way the larger forces of nature would like us to.