Home > Sustainable Cities > Sustainable Cities: Biophilic Cities People and Nature together
This is a very interesting topic, one I'd love to see discussed at large during the UN Habitat forum. Biophilia is not just a "green" issue, but it's deep interlocked with calld for deep ecology, structural sustainability, economic development, political participation, social justice and responsibility, and many other major issues. It has to do with an epistemological critics to Architecture, Urban Planning and Building in general. We are engaged in this topic since several years, and the best feedback to our theoretical work comes from the social, living tissue: people understand (and go for) it better than academics and architects.
I totally agree!! Sustainability is not only GEE emissions, transit systems, mobility, LEED BUILDINGS. It is more, it about reconnecting people with nature and its supporting ecosystems, biodiversity and food production. It is about understanding landscape abiotic, biotic and cultural processes and flows. It is how its subsystems interact and function: geology, hydrology, biology, social, circulatory and metabolic (food, material and energy - inputs and outputs). People are essential for sustainable and resilient cities in an uncertain scenario, getting worse with climate change. We need inter and transdisiciplinarity to build betterr cities, as we need to learn by doing, and with each other: colaboration instead of competition!
Hi, it would be very useful if you can provide some references to this topic for everyone to learn in greater detail. I think few of us are aware of these issues.
This is in fact a new world, being unfolded faster and faster in the last few years with the contribution of 3 main sources:
1) The traditional critics to modern/industrial city, reductive functionalism, and zoning (Jane Jacobs, for instance: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Death_and_Life_of_Great_American_Cities);
2) The great theoretical effort by living thinkers like Christopher Alexander and Nikos Salingaros (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Alexander , http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikos_Salingaros);
3) Streams of revolution in Biology, represented by the biophilic approach by E. O. Wilson; the introduction of systemic approach to Life Sciences (Systems Biology); the return of the Laws of Form in Biology (post-darwinism, e.g. Kauffmann, Lima-de-Faria, etc.).
Several Authors are working in this direction, and yet most of them started working in the cradle of New Urbanism, they are developing new lines of research, especialy dealing with mathematics, environmental psychology, evidence-based design, p2p urbanism and social development, biopolitics. E.g. Christopher Alexander, Michael Batty, Eleni Tracada and Sergio Porta in UK; Nikos Salingaros and Michael Mehaffy in the US; Juval Portugali and Jodan Rofé in Israel; Antonio Caperna, Alessia Cerqua, Ettore Mazzola, Gabriele Tagliaventi and me in Italy; Michel Bauwens in Thailand, etc. etc.
Please find down here a few references:
I have researched and studied various fields related to the urban ecosystem. I have been reading a lot about this theme, and also have participated in several conferences, congresses and courses, besides many visits to cities around the world in search of more sustainable and resilient solutions for people to live in harmony with nature.
What I have found out is that the emphasis on the mainstream about urban sustainability is mainly on energy consumption, GHG emissions, transportation and buildings. Nature inside the cities is extremely important not only to help to mitigate GHG emissions, enable clean transportation in a comfortable and safe manner (mainly pedestrians and bicycles), reduce energy consumption etc. The ecosystems services are extremely meaningful for the cities as we understand them as social-ecological systems.
Check on this organizations:
Stockholm Resilience Center
URBIO 2012 - conference in October in India - still open for proposals
Forgot to say, I will try to put together a reference list and post it as soon as I have time.
Do you want to comment? Log in or sign up right now.
Forgot your password?