Biophilic Cities

Central Park foliage photo-walk, Nov 2009 - 10

Biophilia is a crucial component of restorative urbanism. The idea is that humans have a deep-seated affinity for and connection with living things and life systems. Tim Beatley, Professor of Sustainable Communities at the University of Virginia, writes: “Biophilia is the ultimate… sense that our present psychology and emotional health are dependent on an ancient evolutionary brain” (2010, p. 39).

Biophilia restores biodiversity. Beatley’s 2014 film, The Nature of Cities, shows abundant plant and animal communities interwoven with the urban fabric in cities across the globe.

Tree painted on BuildingBiophilia restores well-being. The “ancient evolutionary brain” yearns for a life-affirming environment. We are happier and healthier there.

Biophilia restores a vibrant aesthetic. Beyond efficiency, sustainability, or resilience, a biophilic city bursts with color.

Biophilia restores safety and respect. Where places are beautiful, and the people are content, there is a greater sense of appreciation and care.

Buenos AiresBiophilia restores responsibility. Built environment professionals owe the world living places that promote health and joy. Today’s inhabitants owe their children the same.

As Beatley points out in his 2010 book Biophilic Cities, cities have every inclination and opportunity to support life of all kinds. When they do, it is a wonderful thing to behold.


One thought on “Biophilic Cities

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s