Your Next Prescription Might be a Park

By |May 12th, 2016|Categories: Guest Blog, Parks|

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 years. Dr. Zarr is at the forefront of a movement among physicians who are making nature a fundamental in their patients’ health care. On April 24th, the National Park Service (NPS) and the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) joined him. Both agencies had recently initiated programs to support human health through outdoors activity, the USPH with a call to action for walkable communities, and NPS with the Healthy Parks Healthy [...]

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The Biophilic City and Wildlife

By |February 25th, 2015|Categories: Coexisting with Wildlife, Guest Blog|

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 example – as many as nine of ten do. This global rural to urban boundary was crossed only recently, but in the United States we have enjoyed an urban majority for at least a century, estimates suggesting we transited sometime in 1915. Now, eight of every ten Americans live in cities, half of us in cities of a million or more people. This is quite an accomplishment for a cultural [...]

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Sounding Out Environmental Health

By |January 22nd, 2015|Categories: Guest Blog, Soundscapes|

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 such fundamentally emotional terms. By contrast, the exsanguinated language of applied economics does a particular disservice to the spiritual and sensorial benefits of biodiverse urban environments by reducing them to functional attributes (e.g., “the value of biodiversity change to society depends on the net marginal effect of the change on all ecosystem services”). Increasingly, the  term ‘ecosystem services’ has widened to accommodate the particular characteristics of urban green that support [...]

Using Green Walls to Educate Children

By |October 1st, 2014|Categories: Design, Guest Blog|

Post written by MARC GRAÑÉN – landscape artist. I began using landscapes as art with the intention to bring nature to children. I realized that the only way to create change was through children. As they spend most of their time at school, that is where I had to start. This is how I began a wonderful project for Barcelona’s City Hall by creating edible green walls at the schoolyards to make them more beautiful. Children create their own designs while using math, language and science without recognizing that they are learning. Even in the most deprived neighborhood schools, children care for the plants as the last of their daily priorities with joy, even though they are covered in mud, soil and leaves. Their smiling [...]

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Green roofs on buses? Phytokinetic says yes!

By |October 1st, 2014|Categories: Design, Guest Blog|

Post written by MARC GRAÑÉN - landscape artist. PHYTOKINETIC After many years working in landscape projects, increasing green areas in urban environments by using walls and roofs, I noticed how many square meters were not used in other ways. I decided to create the first and unique worldwide-patented system to increase green urban areas, through the new “Gardens in Movement” concept. “Gardens in Movement” can be placed on the rooftops of any kind of vehicle, like this first bus in the world with a PHYTOKINETIC roof. With an amazing professional team of enthusiastic people, we started the project with the best technical assistance in order to create a real garden that would be safe and meet the requirements of all of the codes. The frame [...]

Fremantle Greenskins: Green Wall Trials in a Challenging Climate

By |February 18th, 2014|Categories: Biophilic Cities, Blog, Guest Blog, Technology|

In 2011 a local council in Perth, Western Australia imposed the construction of a green wall as a condition of development for a builder of a block of units. This was because the intended units would obstruct the view of an existing block of units. The council saw a green wall as a beneficial and attractive addition that would mitigate the loss of the view for the current tenants of the existing units. The developer took the council to court over this condition, won the court case and had the condition removed. His defence was the lack of precedence in Perth and local knowledge with this scale of green wall construction in local climatic conditions. This initiated the recognition of the need to trial green [...]

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