Biophilic Cities and Healthy Societies

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-7635

Commentary | Open Access

Biophilic Cities and Healthy Societies

  • Timothy Beatley Department of Urban and Environmental Planning, School of Architecture, University of Virginia, USA

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Abstract:  Biophilia holds that as a species humans are innately drawn to nature and to living things. Mounting research confirms the many positive health benefits of contact with nature, and the need for daily (and hourly) contact with the natural environment in order to live happy, healthy, meaningful lives. A new vision of Biophilic Cities is put forward here: cities that are nature-abundant, that seek to protect and grow nature, and that foster deep connections with the natural world. This article describes the emergence of this global movement, the new and creative ways that cities are restoring, growing and connecting with nature, and the current status and trajectory of a new global Biophilic Cities Network, launched in 2013. There remain open questions, and significant challenges, to advancing the Biophilic Cities vision, but it also presents unusual opportunities to create healthier, livable cities and societies.

Keywords:  biophilia; biophilic; nature in cities; resilience

Published:   10 October 2017


© Timothy Beatley. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.