Biophilic design is a rational design approach that creates, enhances and integrates nature –all the patterns, forms, shapes, materials, sights and sounds of nature– within the urban fabric.
Elements include tree and architectural plantings, green roofs, green walls, bioswales, and rain-gardens, as well as parks and reserves, wetlands, gardens, and vines/climbers.
To be successful, biophilic design schemes incorporate abundant natural light and ventilation. Earth friendly, natural and locally sourced materials support sensory experiences enhanced by acoustic quality, texture, and natural forms. Other sensory experiences include associated natural scents and the sounds of nature e.g. birdcalls and flowing water.
Biophilic design schemes deliver readily observed and studied benefits, as follows:
- reduces urban heat and manages rain/storm water
- increases biodiversity through provision of habitat
- provides accessible, beautiful and nurturing natural environments
- reduces social isolation whilst providing a retreat from bustling street scapes
- increases well-being, improves mood and reduces stress
- increases physical activity and lowers the rate of violent crime
- enables investors to champion progressive and regenerative high-density developments
- frames long term planning and attracts social enterprises and community collectives
- boosts cognitive performance and worker creativity and productivity