Biophilic Cities Integrating Nature Into Urban Design And Planning Pdf

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A rapidly increasing population and unmanaged urbanization have severely degraded the city's urban climate and environment, resulting in a dense urban area with little or no open spaces, narrow roads, and a lack of adequate greeneries and green spaces. Nature in urban areas vitally contributes to the quality of urban life, and subsequently the recognition of the importance of restoring and inserting nature within cities is increasing worldwide.

Biophilic Cities : Planning for Sustainable and Smart Urban Environments

Metrics details. Biophilic urbanism is bringing new perspectives to how natural systems need to be integrated into the fabric of cities. This paper shows how biophilic streets can be the front door to biophilic urbanism by integrating nature into a new street design, benefiting a range of economic, environmental and social functions. A theoretical integrated Biophilic Streets Design Framework, is outlined and evaluated through the analysis of four street revitalisation projects from Vitoria-Gasteiz, Berkeley, Portland and Melbourne.

Its practical applications and multiple urban benefits will be of value to street designers globally. The Biophilic Streets Design Framework demonstrated that the four case studies meet the main design categories, which is favourable since multiple additional benefits are likely to be obtained.

Future research is needed to monitor and quantify the performance of biophilic streets design to address the increasing effects of climate change, environmental degradation and biodiversity loss in a cost-effective way.

Streets have been the focus of public life in cities since they were first built [ 1 , 2 ]; they provide the space and accessibility for close communal activity. The rediscovery of the social and economic value of streets since the work of Jane Jacobs [ 3 ], groups like Project for Public Spaces, and the detailed designs of Jan Gehl [ 4 , 5 ], have enabled them to be seen as much more than spaces for mobility.

This research seeks to integrate biophilic element into the design of new streets and the renewal of traditional ones to enhance the environmental component in the mix of benefits associated with streets. Biophilic urbanism has emerged as a way to bring nature more purposefully into cities, not just between buildings and infrastructure, but into and onto them in ways that increase the connectivity between people and nature and derive benefits from natural services and functions [ 6 , 7 , 8 ].

Although the application of biophilic urbanism to streets has been present in the literature for some years and has informed the work of biophilic designers, it has not been formally developed into a design framework demonstrating how it can be delivered and what its multiple benefits are.

This paper seeks to address the need for a theoretically and practice informed design framework to enable more effective delivery of biophilic urbanism. The emerging concepts of biophilia, biophilic design and biophilic urbanism are primarily concerned with human inclinations to affiliate with nature in urbanised environments such as cities, as suggested by Wilson [ 9 ], Kellert Heerwagen and Mador [ 6 ] and Beatley [ 7 ].

The American biologist E. Wilson advanced studies on this subject, expanding and popularising the concept of biophilia as the innate affinity of human beings with all forms of life and their inherent tendency to focus on lifelike processes in his seminal book, Biophilia [ 9 ]. Salingaros [ 12 ] studied this relationship in depth, also studying how humans developed their sensory space.

He suggested that there are particular and very specific geometrical properties found in the structure of nature and in the built environment which have a positive and uplifting influence on human physical and mental conditions. These properties applied to design can therefore enhance the quality of life in urban centres. Kellert [ 6 ] defined and described six biophilic design elements and seventy attributes that were later summarised for practical application in architectural and urban design.

Kellert and Calabrese considered biophilic design as a means for sustainable development because it could promote care, stewardship, and attachment to place [ 10 ].

Biophilic design attempts to achieve the benefits of contact between people and nature within the modern built environment [ 6 , 10 , 11 ] by integrating nature, internally and externally, into buildings, built infrastructure and across the urban space [ 7 ]. By adopting the strategies of this design principle, creating habitats for people, as biological organisms, that restore or enhance their physical and mental health, fitness and well-being becomes viable [ 10 ].

In addition to anthropocentric goals and benefits, biophilic design is a recognised solution to a spectrum of environmental challenges including urban heat island effect, particulate matter filtration and carbon dioxide sequestration, rehabilitation and restoration of lost habitats and increase of urban biodiversity. It promotes ecologically interrelated design solutions at multiple scales and enables regeneration of natural systems in the urban environment [ 8 , 13 , 14 , 15 ].

Beatley extended the concept of biophilic design to the urban scale, imagining and encouraging biophilic cities. Biophilic urbanism was presented as an emerging planning and urban design approach that aimed to systematically integrate nature into the urban fabric, igniting the potential to transform barren urban spaces into places that are restorative and conducive to life [ 7 , 13 ]. Biophilic urbanism focuses on ecological systems and human activities delivered by biophilic interventions and projects.

The main goal of biophilic urbanism is to improve the connection between urban dwellers and urban nature and nourish the experience of nature on a daily basis as an integral part of urban living [ 6 , 7 , 8 ]. In this sense, biophilic design and urbanism deliberately facilitate opportunities for urban residents to experience nature daily [ 7 , 10 ].

The global shift towards biophilic design continues to grow. Although the terminology used varies, there are initiatives in many countries that focus on the role of nature as an essential element of everyday urban life [ 8 ]. These experiences and attributes serve as principles to inform the balanced design of biophilic urban spaces.

Some of these experiences are difficult to encounter in conventional streets; however, they can be incorporated into the renewal of conventional streets and the design of new ones by biophilia-literate designers. To ensure ongoing exposure to and interaction with nature, both bond and commitment to place are needed.

In order to achieve these, a design must be founded on a sound understanding of urban nature and its ecosystems as well as a sense of place. This is likely to lead to more frequent interactions between people and nature, thereby nurturing the bond between them and increasing the likelihood that residents will protect and save urban green spaces [ 20 ].

Some scholars argue that a relationship to place is needed to develop intimacy and responsibility for nature and the living world [ 21 , 22 ].

Streets are an important part of any human settlement and, hence, this approach will be used to create a Biophilic Streets Design Framework presented in this paper.

Urban designers, planners and civil engineers have conceived and developed regulatory frameworks for streets to enable efficiency, security and, most of all, the rapid conveyancing of traffic, both public and private. However, the modernist tendency in the twentieth century, which saw the rise of automobile dependence, created rigid regulations that focused on efficiency and traffic control and directly contributed to the detachment of nature from urban ecologies, bioregions and climate dynamics [ 23 ].

By creating barriers in the form of dense networks of freeways and highways, the remaining urban natural areas became fragmented and isolated, along with the social neighbourhoods that they physically divided, thus disrupting their social integrity. Such impacts were built into the design frameworks created by traffic engineers.

Jane Jacobs challenged these approaches that prioritised private mobility over all other street functions and pointed to the diverse social networks characteristic of busy urban streets, which constitute the fabric of a city [ 3 , 24 ]. Those social networks are created when the structure and amenities of a street provide space for interaction and promote walkability. This has since developed into a strong plea for dense urbanism and street fabric to be seen as essential components of how cities create wealth and opportunity [ 27 , 28 , 29 , 30 ].

Urban designers, such as Jan Gehl, criticised modernist planning ideologies and how they dismissed the value of historic streets by allowing cars to invade every available space in cities [ 4 , 31 ].

Through a series of reports on cities around the world, Gehl created a new framework for how streets should be designed to facilitate close interactions between people that enable multiple economic and social benefits and reduce the environmental impact of cars [ 31 , 32 ]. Cities are changing from sprawl and car dependency to transit and more compact urban forms, and so are their streets. The focus of urban streets is changing from ensuring traffic movement efficiency to a more people-centred design that puts pedestrians first, then cyclists and transit, and lastly private motorised vehicles [ 33 , 34 ].

The Guide aims to better balance the needs of street users with more emphasis on the needs of pedestrians and supports the creation of quality spaces based on the consideration of people and place. Finally, the concept of biophilic design contributes to the creation of urban streets with attractive, healthy, liveable and restorative environments and nature experiences at the door step for both dwellers and other street users within gradually densifying urban precincts through urban infill.

An urban street can be compared to an evolving organism adapting and responding to its environment. Although cities contain a broad range of street typologies, depending on the context, they generally provide space for transportation, commuting, physical activities and social and economic life at different scales [ 36 ].

Traffic engineers and urban designers often fail to plan streets that deliver positive social or health-related outcomes. Reconceiving urban streets as places, rather than just movement spaces, would facilitate the provision of these positive outcomes.

Furthermore, as the time people spend in streets compared to the time they spend in parks is eight to ten times more [ 37 ], the design of streets—to support health and well-being— should be considered before parks [ 36 , 38 ]. Streets provide diverse experiences to their users, including the experience of nature. Identifying the most appropriate design strategies to apply to any given street would need to take into account a range of circumstances and requirements particular to that location.

This may include the history of the street, the existing social, environmental, architectural and structural conditions, existing infrastructure, policies and regulations, project size, zoning and land use and its potential future as a place. Based on the experiences of biophilic places Table 2 and their many benefits, a list of the characteristics of a biophilic street were compiled as an analytical framework of six categories.

These categories consider design functions, design objectives, design elements and the characteristics of a biophilic street. The six categories—traffic planning, energy management, stormwater management, biodiversity management, street furniture and activities and education—are derived from the intended purposes for which streets are designed, and chosen because of their potential to be improved by the addition of biophilic elements.

Elements that have been successfully designed, developed and applied in real-life projects form the base for a biophilic street. It is then applied to four examples of a street revitalisation project to illustrate its usefulness. A street often serves as a front yard for residents; it must, therefore, provide a safe place to move around, whether by car, bicycle, transit or on foot.

However, used only for transportation, a street loses its relevant social and economic functions, such as providing a safe space for interaction, as identified by Jacobs [ 3 , 26 ] and Gehl [ 5 ]. In the wake of the urban renewal movement, many cities are restoring or redesigning their main streets and boulevards to serve as linear parks and other types of hospitable public places promoting social interaction and walking.

As a result, the most successful transformations add value to adjacent properties and local businesses [ 39 ]. The Biophilic Streets Framework takes these fundamental characteristics of streets and seeks to show that there are biophilic design principles and strategies that could help streets perform these functions more effectively.

To achieve safety standards on biophilic streets, traffic calming schemes should apply, including techniques designed to lessen the impact of traffic.

Trees and bushes are well known to do this by psychologically giving drivers a sense of needing to go slower [ 40 ]. The location of measures and devices including types of vegetation determines the effectiveness of traffic calming schemes, and those again depend on the type of streets they are introduced on: a residential road, a road with traffic functions or a transit road having a combination of speeds that enable rapid mobility between stations and slow mobility within station precincts.

These are within the purview of traffic engineering and planning, where concepts of place and movement and melding. An example of traffic calming structures featuring engineered stormwater gardens are chicanes [ 41 , 42 ].

These structures slow traffic by confining the travel lanes. They also feature depressed interiors capturing stormwater which feed garden beds, shrubs and trees creating biophilic systems. Chicanes can be formed using sculpture, plantings or parking to enhance the appearance and function of a street. They are best used on narrow roads, to prevent cars from swinging out to maintain their speed around the bends; narrow, curving roads encourage motorists to drive more slowly and carefully [ 43 ].

Energy management in urban streets serves multiple functions: helping to cool a city where urban heat island effect is leading to ill health; making walkability easier and hence improving urban economics in the area; and helping to cool the buildings next to the street. In multiple studies, urban greenery has shown cooling capabilities [ 44 , 45 , 46 ]. Parks lower the air temperature within their territory, but the impact on the adjacent built environment is limited [ 47 ].

Urban tree canopy provides a cooling effect in street canyons [ 48 , 49 ]; some studies show air temperature under a canopy are reduced by 0. The cooling capacity of a tree canopy depends on its characteristics, as well as the characteristics of the street such as surface materials, geometry, building height and how densely the street is built up.

However, at night time the air temperature under the canopy, where the radiating heat is captured, can be 0. Biophilic structures installed directly onto buildings include green walls and roofs. By introducing such structures, the air temperature in street canyons can be reduced as well as the demand for cooling and heating of buildings. A multi-case study by Alexandri and Jones [ 51 ] was conducted in nine cities to assess the thermal effect of green walls and roofs in urban canyons across different microclimates.

The authors concluded that the solar radiation absorbed by the roof and facade surface was reduced by applying greenery, and that the heat fluxes vary on different vegetated surfaces and in different microclimates.

The outdoor air temperature and energy savings were measured in nine cities. In Hong Kong the analysis of canyon air temperature showed a decrease by a maximum of 3. Roof surface temperatures are even more significant. In Mumbai the temperature decreased by Cities feature vast amounts of impervious surfaces producing significant run-off that needs to be managed. Green infrastructure has been found to retain most of the polluted initial run-off through bio-retention and bio-filtration.

Through these two processes, rain water can be permanently retained or temporarily detained. Captured stormwater contributes to groundwater recharge and helps sustain the whole water cycle [ 36 ]. Biophilic urbanism not only picks up all these design features, it adds more. In recent years, biophilic designers have transformed one of the largest impervious areas—roof tops—into intensive and extensive gardens and meadows [ 52 , 53 ], creating efficient stormwater management systems [ 54 ].

Biophilic streets: a design framework for creating multiple urban benefits

Metrics details. Biophilic urbanism is bringing new perspectives to how natural systems need to be integrated into the fabric of cities. This paper shows how biophilic streets can be the front door to biophilic urbanism by integrating nature into a new street design, benefiting a range of economic, environmental and social functions. A theoretical integrated Biophilic Streets Design Framework, is outlined and evaluated through the analysis of four street revitalisation projects from Vitoria-Gasteiz, Berkeley, Portland and Melbourne. Its practical applications and multiple urban benefits will be of value to street designers globally.

Biophilic Cities

Tim Beatley has long been a leader in advocating for the "greening" of cities. But too often, he notes, urban greening efforts focus on everything except nature, emphasizing such elements as public transit, renewable energy production, and energy efficient building systems. While these are important aspects of reimagining urban living, they are not enough, says Beatley.

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Biophilic Cities: Integrating Nature into Urban Design and Planning

Later version available View entry history. Are those that are abundant in nature trees, greenery, animals, gardens and in opportunities to connect with and experience this nature. BIophilic Cities represents a global design and planning movement that recognizes the innate human affiliation with nature and the need to put contact with nature at the center of this design and planning. A global network of individuals, organizations and partner cities that have signed the Biophilic Cities pledge and agree to work on behalf of more natureful cities and urban environments. Partner cities officially apply for membership and as part of their application council-adopted resolution or proclamation declaring intent to join the Network and to becoming a Biophilic City.

More than half the worlds population now lives in cities. According to a United Nations report, urbanisation combined with overall growth of population could add another 2. By author Timothy Beatley. Tim Beatley has long been a leading advocate for the greening of cities. But too often, he notes, urban greening efforts focus on everything except nature, emphasising such elements as public transport, But too often, he notes, urban greening efforts focus on everything except nature, emphasizing such elements as public transit, renewable energy production, and energy efficient building systems.

Evidence is growing that nature can ameliorate a host of modern ills. Being around it can relieve chronic stress and propel people to relinquish their sedentary lifestyles. Nature induces creativity, encourages generosity, and facilitates longer-term thinking. Employees tend to be happier and more productive when their offices have ample daylight, greenery, and views of nature. Popularized by Harvard biologist E.

Geodesigning Nature into Cities

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