- Ecosystem and forest management for conservation and restoration
- Watershed restoration
- Endangered species propagation
- Property surveying and mapping
- Regenerative natural resource development projects for economic production
- Silviculture (controlling forest growth, composition and health to meet needs or values)
- Plantation design and forest management for sustainable harvest
- Agroforestry and regenerative farming systems
- Regenerative landscape design and planting
- Backcountry development projects and low-impact infrastructure, i.e. trail design/construction, lookout points, etc.
We design spaces that are informed by and responsible to the landscape and community they are immersed within, and offer our clients extensive capabilities in land management and preservation to ensure the long-term sustainability of the surrounding environment. People and their livelihoods rely on the health and productivity of their landscapes: at IM/KM we view ourselves as stewards who play a crucial role in maintaining and regenerating this productivity.
Through surveying and mapping, conservation and reforestation and the sustainable development of farming and recreation programs, the landscape becomes more than just canvas for a built space, but a nourishing, interactive element of the living space. We address the environmental, social and economic implications associated with our design and planning projects to achieve long-term value in estates that are self-sustaining and resilient through the management and development of natural resources.
The Pacific coast of Panama is defined by dramatic cliffs and fronted by a wild jungle ecosystem, but in the Azuero Peninsula, much of the interior has been deforested by slash-and-burn farming techniques that have destroyed a biological corridor vital to local and threatened species. A collection of conscientious private landowners who purchased property for a vacation residences along this coast joined forces to purchase the tracts of land between their properties, creating Panamaes, a shared land management program with the goal of reforesting the threatened biological corridor to ensure the long-term sustainability of the threatened oceanfront ecosystem. IM/KM surveyed and mapped the property, creating a biological catalog of the ecosystem and long-term master plan in reforestation, back-country development for recreation, endangered species propagation, and agroforestry to produce an organic orchard and farming system.
Areas of Impact in Sustainable Development
The loss of environmental resources worldwide poses a challenge for the global community. As developers and designers, we research, navigate and adapt new rules and opportunities in conscious development that adhere to global standards, refining the manner that we integrate the built environment with the natural landscape to preserve environmental resources.
We honor native species in our natural resource management plans and landscape design. Currently, the rate of species’ extinctions are occurring at up to 1,000 times or more the natural rate due to widespread habitat destruction, land conversion for agriculture and development, climate change, pollution and the spread of invasive species.[i] In our site planning and management, we protect self-sustaining natural habitats and rebuild the natural balance destroyed by previous development.
In addition to preserving ecosystems necessary for humanity to thrive, environmental sustainability and land management includes the design of economic activities and environmental management regimes that promote economic sustainability. This endeavor lies at the intersection of land-use planning, water and soil management, biodiversity and whole ecosystem conservation/regeneration and sustainable economic production opportunities, such as forestry, farming, tourism, etc. We design master plans that address these points in an economically viable manner that is specific to each site and it’s surrounding ecosystem, working to maximize the long-term value of the investment by managing natural resources sustainably.