Environmental Structure Research Group
What is the ESRG?

It is a "research coordination network" -- an international association of researchers and research-practitioners, facilitated by Portland, Oregon-based Sustasis Foundation (a USA Public Benefit Corporation with 501(C)(3) status).  The coordinator is Michael Mehaffy, Executive Director of Sustasis (CV here).   The ESRG was an outgrowth of a 2006 project at the Center for Environmental Structure, funded by The Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment in London, UK (where Michael Mehaffy was Director of Education).  Currently, a number of members are working on several different collaborative projects.  Updates on these are given in periodic newsletters, and through occasional symposia and meetings. The next meeting is tentatively planned for London in February 2015.

Mission Statement
The Environmental Structure Research Group is an interdisciplinary, international partnership of basic and applied researchers and practitioners in the fields of the built and natural environments, and the fields with which they interact.
The purpose of the organisation is to create additional opportunities for the collaborative development and dissemination of research into best practice.

Our research focus is on collaborative structure-generating processes in the human environment.
We work to understand and further develop structure-generating methodologies (e.g. design codes, peer-to-peer tools and collaborative processes) which result in more adaptive, more optimal, and more ecologically stable environmental structure, in both human and non-human ecological systems.
The working hypothesis is that important work remains to be done to understand the relation between the structure of the environment – including the built human structures within it – and human and natural ecological health and well-being; and that more work is needed to develop new standards of best practice, and new methodologies to achieve them. To meet the challenge, this work must be inter-disciplinary, and must combine theory and practice.
Fields of Collaboration:
Built Environment: Architecture, Planning, Urban Design, Landscape Architecture, Engineering, Construction
Natural Environment: Biology, Ecology, Climatology
Other:  Medicine (Environmental Health), Environmental Psychology, Anthropology, Sociology, Economics, Mathematics, Physics, Computer Science, Business Management, Finance, Government Policy
Founding Members

Christopher Alexander, Ph.D. (International practitioner, researcher, author)
    Emeritus Professor, University of California, Berkeley
    Centre for Environmental Structure – Europe (UK)
David Brain, Ph.D. (Sociology)
    New College Florida (US)
Stuart Cowan, Ph.D. (Sustainable systems)
    Sustainable Systems Design, Portland, OR (US)
Ward Cunningham, MSc. (Computer scientist, developer of “Wiki”)
    Eclipse Foundation (US)
Howard Davis (Professor, author of The Culture of Building)
    University of Oregon (US)
Andres Duany (International practitioner, researcher, author)
    Principal, Duany Plater-Zyberk, Miami (US)
Jan Gehl (International practitioner, researcher, author)
    Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts
    Gehl Architects, Copenhagen (DK)
Herbert Girardet (Ecology)
    Schumacher Society (UK)
Brian Goodwin, Ph.D. (Professor of biology)
    Schumacher College (UK)
Besim Hakim (Scholar on historic and modern design codes, practitioner)
    Independent scholar and consultant, Albuquerque, NM (US)
Brian Hanson, Ph.D. (Architectural/urban historian and theorist)
    Birkbeck College, University of London (UK)
Bill Hillier, DSc. (Professor of urban morphology)
    University College London (UK)
Richard J. Jackson, MD, MPH (Environmental health)
    University of California Berkeley (US)
Roderick J. Lawrence (Human ecology, epidemiology)
    University of Geneva (CH)
Bernard Lietaer (Economics, complex systems integration)
    Research Fellow, University of California Berkeley (US)
Stephen Marshall, Ph.D. (Planning, complexity in urbanism)
   University College London (UK)
Michael Mehaffy (Architectural/urban theorist and practitioner)
    Sustasis Foundation, Centre for Environmental Structure - Europe (US)
Maggie Moore Alexander (Organizational consultant)
    Centre for Environmental Structure - Europe (UK)
Paul Murrain (Urban design, collaborative design tools)
   The Prince’s Foundation (UK)
Hajo Neis (Professor of architecture and urbanism, theorist, practitioner)
   University of Oregon (US)
Ernesto Philibert, Ph.D.(Architecture, urban networks)
    TEC de Monterrey Queretaro (MX)
Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, MArch. (Dean, Professor of Architecture)
    University of Miami, Miami, FL (US)
Yodan Rofe, Ph.D.
    Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (Architecture, pattern languages) (IL)
Nikos Salingaros, Ph.D. (Mathematician, physicist, architectural/urban theorist)
    University of Texas at San Antonio (US)
Bankoku Sasagawa (Architect, craftsman)
    Centre for Environmental Structure - Europe (UK)
Lucien Steil (Architect, educator, practitioner)
    University of Notre Dame (US)
Emily Talen, Ph.D. (Planning)
    University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (US)
Roger Ulrich, Ph.D.  (Environmental Psychology)
    TAMU/Bartlett School of Architecture (US))
Marcel Vellinga, Ph.D.  (Anthropology of Architecture)
    Oxford Brookes, International Vernacular Architecture Unit (UK)
John Worthington  (International architectural practice)
    Formerly DEGW Architects (UK)

Additional Members

Michael Batty, Ph.D. (Complex adaptive systems)
   Center for Advances Statial Analysis, University College London (UK)
John Bywater (Software)
   Appropriate Software Foundation (UK)
Jaap Dawson (Architecture)
   Delft University of Technology (NL)
Andy van den Dobbelsteen, Ph.D. (Architecture and construction)
   Delft University of Technology (NL)
Bruce Donnelly (Planning, architecture, complex systems)
   Center for Applied Transect Studies (US)
Douglas Duany (Architecture, vernacular design)
   University of Notre Dame (UK)
Audun Engh (Legal requirements, social change)
   INTBAU Scandinavia, Oslo (NO)
Carlotta Fontana (Architecture, biourbanism)
   Politecnico di Milano (IT)
Denis Hector, Associate Dean (Architecture)
   University of Miami
Yulia Kryazheva (Design theory)
   Yulia Ink, Amsterdam (NL)
Ngoc Nguyen Hong, Ph.D. (Planning, generative codes)
   University of Danag, (VN)
Stephen Kellert, Ph.D. (Ecology, biophilia)
   Yale University
Kathryn Langstaff (Architecture)
   Autopoiesis Inc., Portland, OR
Roderick J. Lawrence, Ph.D. (Vernacular construction)
   University of Geneva
David Miet (Legal and planning systems)
   (Formerly) Government of France, Paris
Hiro Nakani (Architecture)
   Tokyo, Japan
Lora Nicolaiou (Architecture)
   University of Greenwich (UK)
Delle Odeleye, Ph.D. (Architecture)
   Anglia Ruskin University (UK)
Pietro Pagliardini (Social housing)
   Pagliardini, Rupi, Andreoni & Gazzabin (IT)
Wayne Parsons, Ph.D. (Public policy)
   University of London (UK)
Ombretta Romice, Ph.D. (Architecture)
   University of Strathclyde (UK)
Kyriakos Pontikis, Ph.D. (Architecture, pattern languages)
   California State University (US)
Sergio Porta, Ph.D. (Urban morphology, morphometrics)
   University of Strathclyde (UK)
David Seamon, Ph.D. (Philosophy of planning, phenomenology)
   Kansas State University (US)
Sandy Sorlien (Codes, social change)
  Center for Applied Transect Studies (US)
Renato Troncon, Ph.D. (Philosophy of design and aesthetics)
   University of Trento (IT)
Yodan Rofe, Ph.D. (Pattern languages, qualitative tools)
   University of the Negev (IL)
Marcel Vellinga, Ph.D. (Vernacular settlements and morphologies)
   Oxford Brookes University
Dominique Vermeulen (Architecture)
   Dominique Vermeulen Design, Delft (NL)
James Wise, Ph.D. (Environmental psychology)
   Washington State University (US)

Associated Institutions

The Bartlett School of Planning, University College London
    London, UK
    Host Institution for Inaugural Symposium, November 2006
The University of Strathclyde, School of Architecture
     Glasgow UK    
Tecnologico de Monterrey, Department of Architecture
     Queretaro, Mexico
The University of Miami, Department of Architecture
     Miami, Florida
The University of Oregon
    Portland, Oregon
Centre for Environmental Structure
   Arundel, UK

            Supplemental working group symposia and task meetings 
            Periodic newsletters
            Periodic Working Groups and Task Forces
            Joint funding applications for collaborative research
            Joint publications (papers, book chapters et al.)
            Other opportunities as they develop
Proposed Topics of Investigation
            Morphogenetic processes and “generative codes” in the human environment
            Self-organization processes, and design tools that can manage or exploit them
            Collaborative design processes and technologies – Wiki, computer-based systems,
                design-build management systems, rule-governed collaborations, charrettes et al.
            Qualitative diagnostic tools and “consensus methodologies” for use in collaborative
                design processes.
            Cognitive evaluations of the built environment – differences between cohorts (e.g.
                design professionals versus “ordinary people”) and their implications
            Assessment methodologies, e.g. “sustainability checklists,” et al.
            The economics of sustainable development and construction, and new management,
                information, assessment and financing processes needed.
            The analysis and generation of various classes of geometric characteristics in design
Example Projects:
            Mehaffy, M., Porta, S., Rofè, Y., & Salingaros, N. (2010). Urban nuclei and the geometry
                 of streets: The ‘emergent neighborhoods’ model. Urban Design International, 15(1), 22-46.
            Social Housing in Latin America:  Topics of Self-Organization and Collaborative Design Process
                Nikos A. Salingaros, Ph.D., Lead Investigator/Author
                With:  David Brain, Andres Duany, Michael Mehaffy and Ernesto Philibert
            Other projects and meetings listed on blog: http://www.esrg.blogspot.com/
            Michael Mehaffy, Coordinator, ESRG
            Research Associate, Centre for Environmental Structure - Europe
            Executive Director, Sustasis Foundation
            (Michael dot Mehaffy at the gmail domain.)