Go Green: Biophilic Cities and Communities by Ty Pennington
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Biophilic Design

Be Green

We’ve all heard of eco-friendly design and different ways to shrink our carbon footprint. I’ve also shared tips for bringing the outdoors into your home, but there are some earth-friendly ideas circulating the design and architecture community that affect each and every one of us. This revolutionary movement was popularized by Harvard University myrmecologist and conservationist, E.O. Wilson.

Biophilia… is the innately emotional affiliation of human beings to other living organisms. Innate means hereditary and hence part of ultimate human nature. (Wilson, 1993, p.31).

With projects, documentaries, books, and communities focused on this idea, it seems like we’re starting to realize and connect the environment with the larger architectural design. And that’s pretty exciting if you ask me. If the eco-friendly design is concerned with creating sustainable works that improve environmental conditions (or at least hurt them less) then biophilia is literally bridging the gap between concrete cities and Mother Nature’s finest.

New York's High Line Park | Go Green: Biophilic Cities and Communities by Ty Pennington

Check out this rooftop garden that sits atop Chicago’s City Hall building in the heart of downtown.

Chicago City Hall | Go Green: Biophilic Cities and Communities by Ty Pennington

So if we’re to support Wilson’s movement (and I don’t see a reason not to) we should start to see a lot more of this in major cities across the country. But besides welcoming Mother Nature back into our concrete jungles, biophilic design also improves our health and overall living conditions, if we’re committed to making a change. Studies show that reducing illness, increasing productivity and improving education are just a few of the benefits that this integration can bring to humanity. It’s time for a change in perspective. If we are hardwired to love nature, we can definitely come together and reach new heights!

Biophilic Design Models | Go Green: Biophilic Cities and Communities by Ty Pennington

And countries across the globe are all about it too. Take a look at some of the innovative cities that are embracing the biophilic culture.

Hotel Droog, Amsterdam - a different look at design

Hotel Droog, Amsterdam

The Meera House By Guz Architects, Singapore

The Meera House By Guz Architects, Singapore

Birmingham, UK's First Biophilic City

Birmingham, UK

Anthenaeum Hotel, Mayfair London

Athenaeum Hotel, Mayfair London

Juvet Landscape Hotel, Norway Juvet Landscape Hotel, Norway

Personally connected with nature at the Juvet Landscape Hotel in Norway. 

Join the conversation: What do you think of biophilic design and cities? Would you live in a biophilic community? Share your thoughts in the comments. 


Photo sources: Museum of the City, INDESIGNLIVE, Chicago Journal, Progressive Times

Ty Pennington

Ty Pennington is best known as the Emmy-award winning host of "Extreme Makeover Home Edition" and as the co-host of ABC Daytime's "The Revolution." He has been recognized as a home design expert, carpenter and leader in the field of volunteerism. TyPennington.com is a space to share his inspiration, design tips, daily musings and more. Ty can currently be seen on TLC's Trading Spaces.

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