Biophilia and the Future of Sustainable Cities Symposium
“Biophilia... is the innately emotional affiliation of human beings to other living organisms. Innate means hereditary and hence part of ultimate human nature.”
- E. O. Wilson (American biologist)
The term “Biophilic City” generally corresponds to effectively incorporating nature into urban environments. There are currently no set criteria or official checklist to qualify a city as a Biophilic city, but improving people’s access to green space and parks; building eco-bridges to facilitate habitat connectivity; and measurable impacts of nature on human well-being are all ideas associated with the idea of Biophilic Cities.
Is it possible to design and create a living environment that brings out the best of both human societies and ecological systems? Can natural ecosystems benefit from close proximity to cities? The idea of a Biophilic City puts focus on creating beneficial interactions that can happen when we try to meld these systems more closely together. Across different cities, more and more professionals from different fields – architects, therapists, interior designers, educators, and policy-makers have explored and adopted such ideas with the aim of improving liveability and the quality of urban life.
To broaden the awareness and application of Biophilic approaches in diverse sectors, the National Parks Board (NParks) and the Centre for Liveable Cities (CLC) are jointly organising the Biophilia and the Future of Sustainable Cities Symposium on 14 October 2015. It is the first time that thought leaders in the field are brought together in Singapore to share their insights and experiences on Biophilia and Biophilic city design.
Date: 14 October 2015, Wednesday
Time: 9am to 3pm
Venue: Civil Service College Auditorium
A close collaborator of Professor Wilson, Professor Kellert has developed Biophilic ideas beyond its original conception. His research focuses on environmental conservation and sustainable design and development, and has won multiple awards for his more than 150 publications on these topics. His awards include: the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award, Connecticut Outdoor and Environmental Educators Association; the 2010 Distinguished Alumni Service Award, Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies; and the 2009 George B. Hartzog Award for Environmental Conservation.
Professor Kellert’s Biophilic design work includes office towers in New York City and Chicago; primary, secondary, and university educational buildings in Connecticut and Washington, DC; residential projects in Alabama and Hawaii; electronic and office manufacturing companies in California and Michigan; and healthcare facilities in Colorado and Pennsylvania.
He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Bio-Logical Capital, a firm that invests in and implements sustainable land uses on large landscapes, as well as he was a founding partner of Environmental Capital Partners, a private equity company investing in the environmental sector. He is currently a Tweedy Ordway Professor Emeritus of Social Ecology at Yale University.
Professor Beatley is an authority on sustainability in cities and has multiple publications on urban biophilic design and planning. He is the author or co-author of more than fifteen books on these subjects, including Green Urbanism: Learning from European Cities (recently translated into Chinese), Native to Nowhere: Sustaining Home and Community in a Global Age, and Biophilic Cities: Integrating Nature Into Urban Design and Planning. Beatley directs the Biophilic Cities Project at UVA (http://biophiliccities.org/) and is also co-director of UVA’s Center for Design and Health, within the School of Architecture.
He has also developed the principles of Green Urbanism, which guide how cities should develop to be beneficial to both human and the environment. He is currently a Teresa Heinz Professor of Sustainable Communities, in the department of Urban and Environmental Planning, School of Architecture at the University of Virginia, where he has been teaching for the past twenty-eight years.
Professor Newman is known for his research and contributions to revolutionising the transport system in Perth, shifting the city’s dependence on automobiles to a more sustainable public transport practices. He has written 16 books and over 300 scientific papers. His books include ‘The End of Automobile Dependence’ (2015), ‘Green Urbanism in Asia’ (2013) and 'Sustainability and Cities: Overcoming Automobile Dependence' which was launched in the White House in 1999. Peter has worked in the local, state, and national government in Australia, was a Fulbright Senior Scholar at the University of Virginia Charlottesville and was on the IPCC for their 5th Assessment Report. In 2014, he was awarded an Order of Australia for his contributions to urban design and sustainable transport.
Professor Newman was a Visiting Professor at NUS from 2010 to 2012, and is a Member of the Land and Liveability Research Advisory Committee for the Singapore Government. He is currently the Professor of Sustainability at Curtin University.