Biophilic Cities

Biophilic Cities

Integrating Nature Into Urban Design and Planning

By Timothy Beatley

Island Press, Paperback, 9781597267151, 191pp.

Publication Date: October 2010

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. We must remember that human beings have an innate need to connect with the natural world (the biophilia hypothesis). And any vision of a sustainable urban future must place its focus squarely on nature, on the presence, conservation, and celebration of the actual green features and natural life forms.
A biophilic city is more than simply a biodiverse city, says Beatley. It is a place that learns from nature and emulates natural systems, incorporates natural forms and images into its buildings and cityscapes, and designs and plans in conjunction with nature. A biophilic city cherishes the natural features that already exist but also works to restore and repair what has been lost or degraded.
In Biophilic Cities Beatley not only outlines the essential elements of a biophilic city, but provides examples and stories about cities that have successfully integrated biophilic elements--from the building to the regional level--around the world.
From urban ecological networks and connected systems of urban greenspace, to green rooftops and green walls and sidewalk gardens, Beatley reviews the emerging practice of biophilic urban design and planning, and tells many compelling stories of individuals and groups working hard to transform cities from grey and lifeless to green and biodiverse.

About the Author
Timothy Beatley is Chair of the Department of Urban and Environmental Planning and Teresa Heinz Professor of Sustainable Communities at the School of Architecture at the University of Virginia, where he has taught for over twenty-five years.His primary teaching and research interests are in environmental planning and policy, with special emphasis on coastal and natural hazards planning, environmental values and ethics, and biodiversity conservation. He has published extensively in these areas, including the following books: "Ethical Land Use"; "Habitat Conservation Planning: Endangered Species and Urban Growth";" Natural Hazard Mitigation"; and" An Introduction to Coastal Zone Management".In recent years much of his research and writing has been focused on the subject of sustainable communities, and creative strategies by which cities and towns can reduce their ecological footprints, while at the same time becoming more livable and equitable places. His books that explore these issues include "Biophilic Cities", "Resilient Cities", and "Green Urbanism" (Island Press).