1st Edition

Biophilic Connections and Environmental Encounters in the Urban Age Frameworks and Interdisciplinary Practice in the Built Environment

By Richard Coles, Sandra Costa Copyright 2023
    282 Pages 89 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    282 Pages 89 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    Biophilic Connections and Environmental Encounters in the Urban Age takes a multi-disciplinary approach, drawing on the authors’ wide range of experience, to provide a greater understanding of the different dimensions of environmental engagement. It considers the ways that we interact with our environments, presenting a comprehensive account of how people negotiate and use the urban landscape.

    Set within current debates concerning urban futures, societal issues, sustainable cities, health and well-being, the book explores our innate need for contact with the natural world through biophilic design thinking to expand our knowledge base and promote a wider understanding of the importance of these interactions on our collective well-being. It responds to questions such as, what are the urban qualities that support our well-being? As an urbanised society what are the environmental determinants that promote healthy and satisfying lifestyles? Beginning with an overview of concepts relating to biophilia and environmental engagement, it moves through current theory and practice, different pathways and their characteristics, before presenting real world examples and applications through illustrated case studies in different world situations.

    With a particular focus on the experience of individuals, the book is essential reading for students, researchers, and practitioners of architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning, design and health sciences, interested in the future of our cities and the importance of green spaces.

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    Chapter 1. The Multi-Dimensions of Environmental Engagement

    Chapter 2. Exploring Biophilia

    Chapter 3. Pathways, Nature Placings and Green Infrastructure

    Chapter 4. Choreography of the Landscape Experience

    Chapter 5. Biophilia as an Embodied Experience: The Emotional Dimension and Agency of the Arts

    Chapter 6. Listening into Nature: Exploring Children’s Biophilic Experiences of Urban Wild-Spaces

    With Sharon Watson

    Chapter 7. Urban Food Growing as a Biophilic Pathway

    Chapter 8. Moving from Theory to Practice: Approaches and Parameters

    Chapter 9. Case Studies

    1. Arup Cities Alive: A Green-Infrastructure-Led Design Approach

    2. Providing Local Green Infrastructure: The Case Study of Warndon Villages and the Warndon Project

    3. Biophilic Streets: Initiatives on Shifting Street Paradigms

    4. Delivering Environmental Justice: The Birmingham City of Nature Plan

    5. Kampung Admiralty, Singapore, WOHA Architects

    6. Forest School: Establishing Environmental Literacy and Environmentally Focussed Life Skills

    7. Co-design, Partnerships and Environmental Stewardship: The Case Study of Gardens for Wildlife Victoria

    8. Biophilic Workplaces: The Case of Amazon Spheres, Seattle, USA

    Chapter 10. Biophilically Focussed Environmental Aesthetic


    Richard Coles is Emeritus Professor of Landscape in the Birmingham School of Architecture and Design, Birmingham City University, UK. His research involves understanding the nature of environmental interaction and the development of environments that are supportive of the needs of users as well as broader issues relating to urban greening. His initial training in biological sciences, and his work within a design school of architecture, allows him to adopt a unique stance to investigation. During his academic career, he has received a number of grant awards from the UK Research Councils and EU funding as well as supervising numerous research studies.

    Sandra Costa is a Senior Lecturer in Landscape Architecture at Birmingham School of Architecture and Design, Birmingham City University, UK. Her research examines the nature of person-place interactions, exploring the choreographies of the experience and how individuals negotiate well-being in the landscape. Sandra’s research informs and is informed by teaching design studio, live projects and transdisciplinary collaborations, where she further investigates how we can design environments for human well-being whilst responding to and interacting with a changing climate.