Herbert Dreiseitl on Water Shaping Cities

By |December 21st, 2014|Categories: Blue Urbanism, Design|

Last month the Biophilic Cities team had the pleasure of hearing from Herbert Dreiseitl, Director of the Rambøll Liveable Cities Lab and founder of Atelier Dreiseitl, about the sort of projects that take site context to a whole new level by valuing all forms of water, and making them into flowing art which delights citizens. His webinar covered a breadth of projects he has worked on over the years, but an important theme to all his work is treating water not just as urban embellishment. Dreiseitl tries to impress a balance of water-as-art with water services, such as temperature control and low impact stormwater management, as well as increasing public awareness of the importance of water and its local history. In the webinar, Dreiseitl showcases [...]

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Blue Mind: An Interview with Wallace J. Nichols

By |December 19th, 2014|Categories: Blue Urbanism, Interviews|

New York Times bestselling author Wallace J. Nichols joined Tim Beatley and the rest of the Biophilic Cities team to talk about the power of water and his new book, Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected and Better at What You Do. For more information about Blue Mind, please visit http://www.wallacejnichols.org/122/blue-mind.html. The Biophilic Cities Project views water as a key dimension of the human-nature relationship. How did you find your way to the power of water and Blue Mind? On a personal level, I had water experiences as a kid. I loved being in, on and under water, including swimming pools, lakes, rivers, and oceans. As I got older, [...]

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Research on the Restorative Power of the “Urban Blue”

By |December 18th, 2014|Categories: Blue Urbanism, Research|

In 2013, Sebastian Völker and Thomas Kistemann of the Institute for Hygiene and Public Health at the University of Bonn in Germany, published an article about the restorative power of the “urban blue” (abstract here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23273410). Völker and Kistemann developed an argument in favor of the potential for the urban blue, which they define as “all visible surface waters in urban areas” to provide positive human health outcomes, positively affect well-being, and ultimately to serve as therapeutic landscapes (114). To test the efficacy of the urban blue to provide these benefits, the researchers used geographic, ethnographic, and socio-psychological research methods to understand how people in Cologne and Düsseldorf perceived urban blue spaces through social interactions, activities, symbolic meanings, and environmental appreciation (115). The researcher’s case studies [...]

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Paddleboard Urbanism

By |December 18th, 2014|Categories: Biophliic Cities, Blog, Blue Urbanism|

Post by Tim Beatley Years ago I attended the Congress of the New Urbanism annual conference in Chicago, where I met Katie Selby (now Katie Selby Urban). She and her brother Jed had just embarked on an ambitious plan to develop a new neighborhood in their home city of Buena Vista, Colorado. That development, called South Main, designed around the principles of New Urbanism, is now a reality.  As Katie and Jed (and Katie’s husband Dustin) are all competitive freestyle kayakers, it is not surprising that a key and distinctive feature of South Main is its connection to the Arkansas River. South Main includes a whitewater park complete with a series of surf waves, extensive hiking trails, and even a climbing boulder (Visit South Main’s [...]

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Blue Urbanism: Connecting Cities and the Nature of Oceans

By |June 9th, 2014|Categories: Biophliic Cities, Blog, Blue Urbanism|

While we are increasingly the planet of cities, we must not forget that we live and share space on the blue planet. We rarely put these two realms (or words) together, but we must begin to. By some estimates, two-thirds of our global population lies within 400 kilometers of a shoreline. As oceanographer and National Geographic Explorer, Sylvia Earle, wrote in her important book, The World is Blue, “Everyone, everywhere is inextricably connected to and utterly dependent upon the existence of the sea.” (Earle, 2010) There are dangers associated with rising sea levels, of course, presenting a need to grow and plan cities in ways that better respect these increasingly dynamic edges. But we are drawn to water, to the sights, sounds, smells of marine [...]