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Designing with damaged land

A citizens’ guide to reclaiming abandoned mine sites ecologically
McCoy Cover Mine (silver), Lander County, Nevada. Open pit mining during operations.
McCoy Cover Mine (silver), Lander County, Nevada. Open pit mining during operations.
Image: Alan Berger/P-REX

A new website will be launched in September at that provides a layman’s portal to a wealth of information about the reclamation of abandoned mine sites in the United States. Designed for activists in communities with deserted mines, the website offers detailed guidance to communities on how to build assets out of these damaged landscapes.

Initiated and led by Department of Urban Studies and Planning Associate Professor Alan Berger and his research group, P-REX — an ongoing effort to deal with environmental design and reclamation efforts associated with all large-scale landscape alterations — the web portal offers guidance on such topics as how to reintroduce ecological diversity to the site; how to reuse materials on site to conserve energy and off-site hauling; and how to design circulation infrastructure to augment ecological functions — by using pathways for erosion control, for instance, and using parking lots to detain storm water.

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