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Your Next Prescription Might be a Park

by Stella Tarnay, Biophilic DC The next time you go to a doctor, your prescription may be to a local park. Responding to an epidemic of diabetes and obesity among his pediatric patients, Dr. Robert Zarr has been prescribing activity in parks at his Upper Cardozo Health Center in Washington DC for the past several [...]

Reviewing a Renewing Phoenix

by Martha Morris The 2016 American Planning Association national conference recently drew thousands of urban planning practitioners and students into busy downtown Phoenix and its desert landscape. Cactus murals, plaques identifying the horizon’s mountain peaks, and even the warm tones and patterns inside the Sky Harbor Airport invoked an appreciation of the desert. It’s not [...]

Tending To Our Interior Nature(s)

It is frequently observed that we have become an indoor species, spending more than 90 percent of our time inside our homes and offices. When we are not in these spaces, we are often traveling in cars on our way to or from these spaces. Relatively little of our day is actually spent outside enjoying [...]

The Value of Urban Trails

by Tim Beatley Mindy Fulllilove, Columbia University psychiatrist and author, likens the pedestrian pathways and urban trails to arteries in the circulatory system of a city: essential conditions for creating a healthy city. There is much to be said for cities where neighborhoods are physically connected, and where it is possible to move across a city [...]

The Technobiophilic City

It seems a reality of modern life that we all carry with us a variety of electronic media that pull and tug on us everywhere we go--smart phones, tablets, smart watches and Google glass. Most of us use this technology, understand that our lives have been changed because of it, and would not want to [...]

Wildness in the Night Sky

Tim Beatley We tend naturally to associate large cities with bright lights. There is Times Square, of course, and the Great White Way (Broadway Avenue), in New York City before that. There is Paris, of course, the City of Lights (though this may have more to do with the city as an intellectual center). A [...]

The Biophilic City and Wildlife

Post written by John Hadidian, Senior Scientist for the Humane Society of the United States’s Wildlife Program Cities are humanity’s preferred habitat, just as rocky intertidal zones are preferred by barnacles and deciduous forests by scarlet tanagers. More than half of all humans now live within urban boundaries, while in some places -- Australia for [...]

Listening to the Nature in Cities

By Tim Beatley Few sounds return me to my childhood as quickly or as vividly as those enjoyed on a typical summer evening here in the eastern U.S.: the katydids, grasshoppers, tree frogs, and other sounds that make up nature’s nightly music festival. These are sounds that settle us, calm us, often lull us to [...]

Sounding Out Environmental Health

Post written by Julia Africa, Program Leader, Nature, Health, and the Built Environment at the Center for Health and the Global Environment The great beating heart of the biophilic cities proposition, a colleague recently pointed out, is its fearless use of the word “love”; urban greening frameworks rarely cast our innate affinity for nature in [...]

Paddleboard 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 [...]