Integrating Nature into Urban Design and Planning
Tim Beatley has long been a leader in advocating for the"greening" of cities. But too often, he notes, urban greeningefforts focus on everything except nature, emphasizing such elements aspublic transit, renewable energy production, and energy efficientbuilding systems. While these are important aspects of reimaginingurban living, they are not enough, says Beatley. We must remember thathuman beings have an innate need to connect with the natural world (thebiophilia hypothesis). And any vision of a sustainable urban futuremust place its focus squarely on nature, on the presence, conservation,and celebration of the actual green features and natural lifeforms.
A biophilic city is more than simply a biodiverse city, saysBeatley. It is a place that learns from nature and emulates naturalsystems, incorporates natural forms and images into its buildings andcityscapes, and designs and plans in conjunction with nature. Abiophilic city cherishes the natural features that already exist butalso works to restore and repair what has been lost or degraded.
In Biophilic Cities Beatley not only outlines the essentialelements of a biophilic city, but provides examples and stories aboutcities that have successfully integrated biophilicelementsâ€”from the building to the regionallevelâ€”around the world.
From urban ecological networks and connected systems of urbangreenspace, to green rooftops and green walls and sidewalk gardens,Beatley reviews the emerging practice of biophilic urban design andplanning, and tells many compelling stories of individuals and groupsworking hard to transform cities from gray and lifeless to green andbiodiverse.
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