Friday, March 11, 2011

Biophilic Cities: Integrating Nature into Urban Design and Planning

Biophilic Cities by Timothy Beatley makes the case that having direct connections with nature is the key to being healthy and productive individuals. Given that most people today live in cities or rapidly urbanizing areas, the need for quality exposure to nature is even greater. He argues that nature should not be an after thought when developing our cities, but rather treated as a co-evolving system, complementing our own built form. Nature in cities not only serves practical goals - such as water cleansing and habitat for animals-  it also instills awe and wonderment in those that come across it.
The goal of this book is to take the idea of biophilic cities from theoretical notions to practical reality. Consequently, it’s logically organized into 5 sections: The Importance of Nature in Urban Life, Nature in Cities, Biophilic Cities, Biophilic Urban Design, and Tools for Fostering Biophilic Cities.
The first chapter serves as a broader introduction - discussing the general benefits of the exposure to nature, examining a range of themes from physiological well-being to instilling curiosity in children - while  Nature in Cities serves to familiarize readers with the abundance of nature that often goes unnoticed in cities.

more book reviews:

To walk the path of Jane Jacobs – review of What We See, Advancing the Observations of Jane Jacobs

The City Beautiful Movement by William H. Wilson

Book Review: Testimonies of the City. Identity, Community and Change in a Contemporary Urban World

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