TDAG lecture – Biophilic Cities : Designing cities that Love Nature

Date Monday 3rd September, 1-3.30pm,  FREE EVENT

Timothy Beatley, University of Virginia

Room 311, School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Evidence continues to build that the benefits provided by contact with nature are profound and deep. Biophilia holds that we are innately drawn to nature and living systems.  Daily contact with nature is not optional but absolutely essential to leading a happy, healthy and meaningful life. We need more biophilic buildings, but we need as well to design the spaces between and beyond buildings to include abundant nature. Beatley argues that we will need to reimagine cities as places of biophilic contact and flourishing, and as places that sustain and support biodiversity. Beatley will review the theory and evidence underpinning biophilia and the elements of a new model of urbanization and city-building that puts nature at the center. Beatley helped to found a global Biophilic Cities Network was launched in 2013 and now includes around twenty cities, including Singapore, Wellington, San Francisco, Vitoria-Gasteiz (Spain) and Birmingham (UK), among others. Beatley will  progress made growing the Network and provide examples of innovative design and planning underway in these cities. Beatley will argue that becoming a more biophilic city will also make a city more sustainable and resilient. Finally, Beatley will explore some of the key challenges faced globally in implementing the Biophilic Cities vision, including the need for a more socially just distribution of urban nature and the need to more effectively confront the unintended consequences of investing in urban nature (the issue of eco-gentrification). Other challenges include how biophilic design and planning can be applied to the growing informal housing sector in many cities of the Global South, and the ways in which cities must also support conservation of more distant nature.

Tim Beatley, Professor of Sustainable Communities, in the Department of Urban and Environmental Planning, School of Architecture at the University of Virginia will give a presentation at the University of Birmingham.

We would like to invite TDAG & LI members along to this; if you are interested please can you RSVP to Emma Ferranti (



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