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How can we foster connections with the nature in an increasingly urbanized world? Join us for the 2015 webinar series hosted by the Biophilic Cities Project to learn the best practices from experts from cities around the globe. 

 

Click here to register!


The Economic Value of Biophilic Design; Understanding the Science and Application
Bill Browning, February 4, 12:30pm EST

Biophilia means “love of life.” Humans have a biological need to experience a daily connection with nature. Yet, today people spend on average 90% of their time indoors. Biophilic design can reduce stress, enhance creativity and clarity of thought, improve our well-being; as the world population continues to urbanize, these qualities are ever more important. Theorists, research scientists, and design practitioners have been working for decades to define aspects of nature that most impact our satisfaction with the built environment Biophilic Design articulates the relationships between nature, human biology and the design of the built environment so that we may experience the human and economic benefits of biophilia in our designs.

 

Creating a More Biophilic Washington, DC
Megan Draheim and Stella Tarnay, February 18, 12:30pm EST

Both capital and city, Washington DC is home to 650,000 people and rich plant and animal communities. Recent developments are making it one of America’s “hippest” cities, with an exhuberant population of young people and new urban infrastructure including housing, shops, bars, foodie places, bike paths, car shares, and “eco-districts.” At the same time, access to economic opportunities and nature remain unequally distributed. Is it possible to nurture a Biophilic city in the face of this growth and other ongoing challenges? Find out what citizens and government agencies are doing to grow a Biophilic DC—and opportunities to do more. The District’s budding legislative initiative and Sustainable DC will be covered.

Enhancing Urban Ecology for the City of Melbourne
Yvonne Lynch,  March 4, 6:00pm EST

City of Melbourne is driving an ecosystem-based climate adaptation program with a goal to double urban forest canopy cover and increase permeability to cool the city’s summertime temperatures by 4°C. This presentation will reflect on how the City of Melbourne is implementing a transformative program of works to create climate resilient urban landscapes that support healthy ecosystems and healthy communities. In particular, it will focus on the role of citizen participation and transparency in co-designing plans to turn the world’s most liveable city into a city within a forest.

The Power of Water: Explaining Our Need to be Near, In, and Around Water
Wallace J. Nichols, March 18, 12:30pm EST

How can being near, in, on, or under water make people happier, healthier, and more connected? New York Times best selling author Wallace J. Nichols will share  the remarkable truth about the benefits of being in, on, under or simply near water. Combining cutting edge research with compelling personal stories, Dr. Nichols shows how proximity to water can improve performance, increase calm, diminish anxiety, and increase professional success. Blue Mind not only illustrates the crucial importance of our connection to water – it provides a paradigm shifting ‘blueprint’ for a better life.

Greening Urban Childhood
Robin Moore, April 1, 12:30pm EST

Ecosystems and Human Well-being (WHO, 2005) reflects a growing understanding that the health of humankind, animals, and the biosphere are interwoven in a single, interdependent system. This trans-disciplinary “One Health” paradigm provides visionary, evidence-based direction for the environmental professions, urging us to create compelling places attracting young humans to engage with and learn through and about nature. Based on what we know about the healthy development of children, this intergenerational strategy may lead to a new generation of passionate, stewards of planet Earth. The webinar will explore the Natural Learning Initiative (NLI) approach linking landscape design to human development in an urbanizing world, using action research, community-based design assistance, professional development, and information dissemination to create best practice demonstration sites.

The Development of Green Infrastructure in Latin America: Case Study of Colombia
Luis Alberto Suárez Correa, April 15, 12:30 PM EST

This presentations seeks to provide a global view of the necessity of creating and fomenting responsible green infrastructure projects in Latin America as a response to climate change. It provides an overview of the growing market in the South American continent and the various projects that have burst in Colombia positioning the country as one of the most innovative in the region.

 

Resilience and Equitable Access to Urban Nature: A Look at Milwaukee and Madison, WI
Marcia Caton Campbell, April 29, 12:30pm EST

Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin’s two largest cities, provide abundant opportunities for urban dwellers to engage with nature, on the cities’ lakefronts, in parks and natural areas, and along bike paths and urban hiking trails. But these opportunities are not equitably distributed for all residents and are concentrated in the cities’ more affluent areas. The Center for Resilient Cities (CRC) works in collaborative partnership with urban neighborhoods in Milwaukee and Madison to address inequities such as these and increase the resilience of urban neighborhoods. This webinar will describe CRC’s process-driven model and place-based results, which combines an understanding of community empowerment, the social determinants of health, and restorative environmental design principles – and, in turn, support planning and public policy efforts to increase biophilia in these cities.

 

Technobiophilia: soothing our connected minds and easing our wired lives
Sue Thomas, May 6th, 12:30pm EST

In her 2013 book Technobiophilia: Nature and Cyberspace, Sue Thomas interrogates the prevalence online of nature-derived metaphors, and comes to a surprising conclusion. The root of this trend, she believes, lies in biophilia, defined by E.O. Wilson as ‘the innate attraction to life and lifelike processes’. Working from the strong thread of biophilia which runs through our online lives, she expands Wilson’s definition to the ‘innate attraction to life and lifelike processes *as they appear in technology*’, a phenomenon she calls ‘technobiophilia’. Attention to technobiophilia and its application to urban design offers a way to make our digital lives integrated, healthy, and mindful. In this talk she outlines the key elements of the concept and shows how, even in an intensely digital culture, the restorative qualities of biophilia can alleviate mental fatigue and enhance our capacity for directed attention, thus soothing our connected minds and easing our wired lives.