Handbook of Biophilic City Planning & Design
7 x 10
69 photos, 3 illustrations
7 x 10
69 photos, 3 illustrations
What if, even in the heart of a densely developed city, people could have meaningful encounters with nature? While parks, street trees, and green roofs are increasingly appreciated for their technical services like stormwater reduction, from a biophilic viewpoint, they also facilitate experiences that contribute to better physical and mental health: natural elements in play areas can lessen children's symptoms of ADHD, and adults who exercise in natural spaces can experience greater reductions in anxiety and blood pressure.
The Handbook of Biophilic City Planning & Design offers practical advice and inspiration for ensuring that nature in the city is more than infrastructure—that it also promotes well-being and creates an emotional connection to the earth among urban residents. Divided into six parts, the Handbook begins by introducing key ideas, literature, and theory about biophilic urbanism. Chapters highlight urban biophilic innovations in more than a dozen global cities. The final part concludes with lessons on how to advance an agenda for urban biophilia and an extensive list of resources.
As the most comprehensive reference on the emerging field of biophilic urbanism, the Handbook is essential reading for students and practitioners looking to place nature at the core of their planning and design ideas and encourage what preeminent biologist E.O. Wilson described as "the innate emotional connection of humans to all living things."
"Practical, passionate, and packed with ideas and advice, the Handbook of Biophilic City Planning & Design is a must for anyone looking to transform urban environments into better, more livable places."
"The projects in the Handbook of Biophilic City Planning and Design certainly demonstrate good efforts to re-introduce us to natural environment and to give us a reason to care about what happens to it."
"In his latest excellent book...Beatley brings together all the established science, the important case studies, the innovative code and design practices from around the world in one place. Even if you think you already know a lot about this subject, there will be some interesting new facets in this book for you to explore."
ASLA's The Dirt
"This excellent handbook...is a very useful publication that maintains the flow of information on green and ecological design of cities for man and nature at a time when information exchange and awareness between practitioners is more important than ever. To those new to the concept of biophilic urbanism, the book will be eye-opening. To practitioners and green urbanism theorists, there is much by way of useful, global information, as well as pathways into areas of endeavour in urbanism of which they may not be aware. One is left hungry for more!"
Nature of Cities
"This comprehensive book...takes on the concept of the biophilic city. Beatley covers topics such as urban forests and trails, edible landscapes, wildlife support, and more. Particularly good is Beatley's concept of the urban nature diet, a "food pyramid" format illustrating how best to integrate nature into city dwellers' lives."
Landscape Architecture Magazine
"This book is an excellent collection of materials. Not only does it provide a solid theoretical underpinning it also provides a set of case studies from all over the world…It is recommended reading for planners wanting to lead innovative designs merging nature with city spaces, and more so for planners who have yet to discover biophilia."
"More than anything, Beatley's latest book on the integration of nature into cities is...a compendium of the most innovative and inspiring research and practice related to biophilic urban design. And as a kind of inspirational catalog, the book does an excellent job of selling both the idea of biophilic cities and the projects contained within it....The most thorough and convincing catalog of biophilic initiatives in print today."
"As humans have now become predominately an urban species the need for a connection to nature is ever more important. Timothy Beatley has beautifully documented the nature-connecting strategies that different cities are using to improve the health and well-being of their citizens and local ecosystems."
Bill Browning, Founding Partner, Terrapin Bright Green
"Ecological urbanism has taken root and blossomed over the past four decades. Tim Beatley's Handbook of Biophilic City Planning & Design gathers the fruits of that movement: a rich cornucopia of inspiring projects and practices from across the globe, which are models for all cities."
Anne Whiston Spirn, author of "The Granite Garden: Urban Nature and Human Design"
"Professor Beatley grasps the fundamental role of ecological restoration and stewardship in achieving urban environmental sustainability and resilience. He performs a heroic service by meticulously illustrating that communities all around Earth are reintegrating nature into everyday life in their own place-based ways."
Peter Brastow, Biodiversity Coordinator for San Francisco, California
"In moving beyond green architectural, infrastructural, and technological fixes, Beatley emphasizes an integrated socio-ecological approach to nature-centered urban living—an approach that is increasingly urgent and essential in the Anthropocene. Grounded in theory and accompanied by an international suite of best-and-next practices, this work offers a timely call to action for the planning and design of resilient cities that nurture, protect, and connect with the nature that sustains us."
Nina-Marie E. Lister, Associate Professor of Urban & Regional Planning, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada
Part I. The Power and Promise of Biophilic Cities
Chapter 1. The Power of Urban Nature: The Essential Benefits of a Biophilic Urbanism
Chapter 2. Placing Biophilic Cities: Planning History, Theory and the New Sustainability
Chapter 3. Urban Trends and Nature Trends: Can the Two Intersect?
Chapter 4. Biophilic Cities: Examining the Metrics and Theory
Part II. The Practice of Biophilic Urbanism: Cities Leading the Way
Chapter 5. Singapore: City in a Garden
Chapter 6. Wellington, NZ: Nature on the Edge
Chapter 7. Milwaukee: Greening the Rust Belt
Chapter 8. Birmingham: Health, Nature and Urban Regeneration
Chapter 9. Phoenix: The Promise of Biophilia in the Desert
Chapter 10. Portland: Nature in the Compact City
Chapter 11. San Francisco: From Park City to Wild City
Chapter 12. Oslo: The City of Forest and Fjord
Chapter 13. Vitoria-Gasteiz
Chapter 14. Global Survey of Cities: Shorter City Cases and Exemplars
Part III. Exemplary Tools, Policy Practices
Chapter 15. Detailed Profiles of Biophilic Design Tools Techniques, Design Ideas
Part IV. Successes and Future Directions
Chapter 16. Biophilic Cities in the Age of Climate Change: Mitigation, Resilience Through Nature
Chapter 17. What Can Be Learned From the Best Biophilic Cities?
Chapter 18. Key Obstacles to Biophilic Cities (And Ways To Overcome Them)
Chapter 19. Conclusions and Future Directions
Few things in the world have as much immediate ability to shift me into a different mood, into a different and more positive outlook, than birds—seeing them, hearing them, watching their often frenetic but joyful movements and machinations. Birds, and animals more generally, don’t receive the attention they deserve among urban designers and planners. They are so profoundly a part of the quality of life, and so important to the positive mental health of urban residents, that they ought to be given more attention in planning. And of course the many design decisions we make about our buildings and urban neighborhoods have major implications for birds. Bird-building collisions account for hundreds of millions of bird deaths a year.
That could change if we generally followed bird-friendly design guidelines. We review some of these ideas in the Handbook of Biophilic City Planning and Design. One remarkable building we profiled is the Studio Gang–designed Aqua Tower in Chicago. With its visually distinct, undulating facade, birds are able to see this building and avoid colliding with it. Cities can of course take many other steps, and many, such as the City of San Francisco, also profiled in the Handbook, have adopted impressive “Standards for Bird-Safe Buildings. These standards actually mandate bird-friendly window and facade treatments. There are lights-out programs in San Francisco, as well as in Chicago, Toronto and other cities. Nonprofits like FLAP (Fatal Light Awareness Program) in Toronto are working to raise awareness about bird-building fatalities and what we can do about them.
In another city profiled in our book, Wellington, New Zealand, there is a remarkable wild preserve called Zealandia (surrounded by a predator-proof fence), that seeks to allow native species to rebound. With the tagline “bringing birdsong back to Wellington,” Zealandia has already been successful as more residents and neighborhoods are experiencing formerly-decimated native birds like the Kaka (a species of parrot), and this species has really rebounded. For many of us who are advocates of urbanism there is a growing appreciation of the power and life-enhancing nature of birdsong! And perhaps a metric for judging the long term success of city planning and design (what percentage of city’s neighborhoods can one hear native birdsong?).
One of my favorite species of bird, both to hear and to watch, is the Chimney Swift. Their speed and aerobatics are wonderful and gravity-defying. Yet their numbers are in decline, in part because of the found in homes and businesses.
Communities around the country have sought to remedy this by erecting Swift Towers. From Chicago to Raleigh, North Carolina, these towers are popping up to create new nesting spaces and roosting spots. But we need more efforts to ensure that existing chimneys remain as habitat. As the time for southern migration approaches, the swifts begin to congregate in large flocks, and each evening settle to roost in dramatic fashion—a wondrous swirling vortex of birds that somehow makes its way through the opening of a chimney. It can be a moment of collective wonder and solace, as it is in places like Arlington County, Virginia, where residents come together to watch this spectacle, or in Portland, Oregon, where groups enjoy watching Vaux Swifts engage in similar aerobatics. This is a group (bird) therapy that adds immensely to our urban lives.
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 books include Blue Urbanism, Biophilic Cities, Resilient Cities, and Green Urbanism.
What if, even in the heart of a densely developed city, people could have meaningful encounters with nature? The idea of a green city, a sustainable city, and even a resilient city are well-understood. Now, the emerging ideal of a biophilic city—which goes beyond green infrastructure to connect urban dwellers with nature on a deeper level—is a useful and necessary addition to the way we think about city planning and design.
The Handbook of Biophilic City Planning & Design is the most comprehensive resource on this emerging field. Written by Timothy Beatley, a leader in sustainable urbanism and creator of the international Biophilic Cities Network, the book provides practical advice and inspiration for a world where cities and nature support each other.
Chapters highlight urban biophilic innovations in more than a dozen global cities and case studies address a range of diverse topics around the world, including community engagement in Bangalore, India; bird-friendly urban design in Chicago, Illinois; pocket park programs in London, United Kingdom; green roofs in Mexico City, Mexico; stream restoration in Seoul, South Korea; and national park planning in Nairobi, Kenya.
Check out an excerpt from the book below.
Katharine is the Publicity & Marketing Associate at Island Press.
This holiday season, consider the Icelandic tradition of gifting books. They don't go bad, are one-size-fits-all, and are sure to make anyone on your shopping list smile.With a library of more than 1,000 books, make Island Press your one-stop shop for book buying, so you can get back to enjoying the holidays. To help you out, we've compiled a list of staff selections and mentions on various best-of lists.
Get any of these books at your favorite neighborhood bookstore or online retailer!
For the health nut in your life – Whitewash
Let me just say I am unequivocally a health nut; I am definitely that friend who will straight up say “you so should not eat, it is so unhealthy for you.” So If you have a friend or family member that is kind of like me and cares about the kind of food and chemicals they put in their body; Carey Gillam Whitewash is the book to have! This riveting number exposes just how far one company is willing to go to line their pockets while showing total disregard for public health and safety. You think you know what is being sprayed on your food, well this book is here to say think again!
Whitewash is aslo one of Civil Eats' Favorite Food and Farming Books of 2017
For the Lego lover in your life – Design for Good
What good is building something if it doesn’t help the people it’s build for? In John Cary’s Design for Good, readers are presented with colorful, character-driven stories about project around that are designed with dignity in mind. Did we mention it also contains a ton of drool-worthy photos of architecture?
For the peacekeeper in your life – The Spirit of Dialogue
Know someone who always serves as the conflict resolver for your friends or family? Give them some new ideas of masterful mediation with The Spirit of Dialogue which draws lessons from a diversity of faith traditions to transform conflict. Whether atheist or fundamentalist, Muslim or Jewish, Quaker or Hindu, any reader involved in difficult dialogue will find concrete steps towards meeting of souls.
For the history buff in your life – Toms River
Toms River recounts the sixty-year saga that plagued this small New Jersey town. Your history-loving friend will meet industrial polluters and the government regulators who enabled them, the pioneering scientists who first identified pollutants as a cause of cancer, and the brave individuals who fought for justice. Longtime journalist Dan Fagin won the Pulitzer Prize for this page-turner, and gives us all a reason to think twice about what’s lurking in the water.
For the person in your life who thinks the environmental movement is made up of white outdoorsmen (or for the person in your life who thinks that the environmental movements doesn’t include them) – Energy Democracy
Energy Democracy frames the international struggle of working people, low-income communities, and communities of color to take control of energy resources from the energy establishment and use those resources to empower their communities—literally providing energy, economically, and politically. The diverse voices in this book show that the global fight to save the planet—to conserve and restore our natural resources to be life-sustaining—must fully engage community residents and must change the larger economy to be sustainable, democratic, and just.
For the lazy environmentalist in your life – Design Professionals Guide to Zero-Net Energy Building
We all know someone who really means well and cares about the environment, but cannot be bothered to change his lifestyle. With the Design Professionals Guide to Zero-Net Energy Building, you can introduce the zero-net energy building, which offers a practical and cost-effective way to address climate change without compromising quality of life.
For the foodie in your life – No One Eats Alone
For your favorite gourmand, give the gift of No One Eats Alone, an exploration of how to deepen connections to our food sources and to our own communities. Through over 250 interviews, Michael Carolan shows concerned food citizens opportunities for creating a more equitable and sustainable foodscape
For the conservation warrior in your life – Nature’s Allies
Worried about the state of nature in our divided world? Or know someone who is? Nature’s Allies is a refreshing antidote to helplessness and inertia. Within its pages Larry Nielsen brings alive stories of brave men and women around the world who have responded to the conservation crises of their time by risking their reputations, well-being, and even lives to stand up for nature when no one else would do so. These stories provide inspiration for a new generation of conservationists to step up in the face of adversity and challenge social and environmental injustice occurring today—and to assure them that they can make a difference by speaking out. This year, give a holiday gift of courage and inspiration: Nature’s Allies.
For the traveler in your life – Let Them Eat Shrimp
This book brings to life the importance of mangroves. Mangroves have many jobs: protecting coastlines, acting as nurseries for all kinds of fish, provide livlihoods and food for people. Kennedy Warne dives into the muddy waters of the mangrove world and shares the stories of the people who depend on them. The book is both a well-written travelogue and exploration of the science of the mangroves ecological service they provide.
For the nature-in-cities lover in your life – Handbook of Biophilic City Planning & Design
Featured on the ASLA's The Dirt Best Books of 2017
For the bike lover in your life – Bike Boom
Island Press' Associate Director of Marketing.