Rabbitville: Reclaiming Green Spaces Through Microhabitat Reconstruction
Over the previous century, there has been widespread habitat loss due to urbanization that has decimated non-human populations. This has manifested into a human-centered environment dominating every other species' right to mobility.
I designed a microhabitat centered around the needs of the urban cottontail rabbit and allocated space for other wildlife to flourish within our urban parks.
This reclaiming of land aims to allow coexistence between humans and wildlife in urban green spaces.
The urban rabbit is the unofficial mascot of the city of Chicago.
They are found throughout the city, from the lakefront to local parks, to the UIC campus. Cottontail rabbits forage in open areas, brush piles, burrows, and dens. A woody coverage is extremely important for their survival. The problem is they do not dig their own dens but use burrows dug by other species.
Chicago has designated nature reserves and sanctuaries but they are typically large-scale and spread out throughout the city.
Palmer Square Park, located in the Logan Square neighborhood of the city of Chicago was used as the site in this case study.
Neighbors interviewed stated the large presence of rabbits throughout their gardens and backyards. The rabbits ate up the garden vegetation causing a financial and emotional nuisance.
It is common for homeowners to try to poison these rabbits to prevent future damage.
The addition of the vertical towers invites other local populations of birds, insects, and mammals to forage, nest, and eat in a safe space. The usage of native plants adds to the preservation of biodiversity in our city.