Biophilic Cities: Integrating Nature into Urban Design – A Review

biophilicThe world unto itself is a work of art, with its natural beauty and majestic landscapes. Too often, modern society tends to forget the world we live in, failing to preserve the beauty that we were given from the beginning. Biophilic Cities explores the importance of incorporating wilderness and nature in our urban lives. City living makes it easy for us to forget what nature is like, everything from its beauty to its power to heal even the most jaded of city landscapes.

About Biophilic Cities

In his book, Timothy Beatley argues for the greening of future cities, stating that renewable energy and better public transit are just one part of what a green city is. More importantly, urban planning needs to begin to focus around coexisting with the natural world instead of constantly impeding on it. A biophilic city, argues Beatley, plans in conjunction with nature. It incorporates the natural world into its buildings and planning.

It is imperative that as we move towards the future, we begin to take into consideration the importance of doing so because nature is an important part of sustainable living and thus, overall existence. What is most notable about Beatley’s ideals for a future planned city, is that it not only incorporates the nature that was already there in the first place, but it also strives to replenish and revive what has already been lost and degraded by poor planning in the past.

Including Nature in Urban Design

Timothy Beatley offers many solutions to how urban planners can incorporate nature into urban development. Beatley includes essays and beautiful photographs of roof-top gardens, green walk-ways, living walls and sidewalk gardens. His ideas for what a city can be, does not make it difficult to put these new ideas into place. Rather, his ideas for the greening of urban living are about coexistence and even a beautification of drab urban settings.

Overall, Biophilic Cities presents interesting ideas on what future cities could strive to become. The essays though interesting, can be a bit dry in places. However, Beatley does make up for that by including beautiful nature and urban photography which often enhance his ideas on what a city can be and what the issues with past urban planning have caused. It will be interesting to see how many of Beatley’s solutions begin to redefine what we have known as the urban landscape.

Biophilic Cities by Timothy Beatly is available for purchase with ISBN 1597267155. It was originally published on October 25, 2010 through Island Press.

Published by

Dr. Katherine Kuzma-Beck Hart

A college professor and author, enjoying life at the Jersey shore with her tiny zoo and growing family..

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