The purpose of this paper is to consider how biophilic urbanism complements and potentially enhances approaches for the built environment profession to holistically integrate nature into cities. Urban nature – also referred to as urban greening and green infrastructure – has increasingly been considered from many perspectives to address challenges such as population pressures, climate change and resource shortages. Within this context, the authors highlight how “biophilic urbanism” complements and may enhance approaches and efforts for urban greening.
The paper provides a review of existing literature in “urban nature” to clarify and discuss the concept of biophilic urbanism. Drawing on this literature review, the authors present a systematic clustering and scaling of “biophilic elements” that could facilitate responding to twenty-first century challenges.
Biophilic urbanism can be applied at multiple scales in urban environments, through a range of multi-functional features that address the pervasive false dichotomy of urban development and environmental protection. Biophilic urbanism can complement urban greening efforts to enable a holistic approach, which is conducive to comprehensive, intentional and strategic urban greening.
This paper situates the emerging concept of biophilic urbanism within existing research from multiple disciplines, providing insight for how this can be applied in practice, particularly to the topical challenge of “urban renewal”.
The authors would like to thank colleagues in The Natural Edge Project team and within the Sustainable Built Environment National Research Centre (SBEnrc) for providing a research context and opportunities to gather data alongside the first author’s PhD journey over the last several years. In particular, Professor Peter Newman, Dr Cheryl Desha and Charlie Hargroves, who led the Biophilic Urbanism project within the SBEnrc Greening the Built Environment program, in partnership with Western Australian Department of Finance, Parsons Brinckerhoff and the Townsville City Council CitySolar Program.
Reeve, A.C., Desha, C., Hargreaves, D. and Hargroves, K. (2015), "Biophilic urbanism: contributions to holistic urban greening for urban renewal", Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, Vol. 4 No. 2, pp. 215-233. https://doi.org/10.1108/SASBE-11-2014-0057Download as .RIS
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