Biophilic Design

Despite the fact that humans have lived primarily in built environments for thousands of years, there still lives within the human psyche an evolved propensity to affiliate with living organisms and natural systems. We still feel the tug of nature in backyard gardens, street trees, bird feeders, flowers, or the changing patterns of light indoors as the sun makes its pathway across the sky. An extensive body of research shows that our desire to affiliate with nature also is good for us. The following sections address why nature is so important to us, what we know about the benefits of nature, and how biophilia is being applied in buildings, particularly in urban settings. It is not intended to be an extensive review of the research literature, but rather to highlight how biophilia can be integrated into the built environment, hand in hand with sustainability, to enhance human health, performance and well-being.

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Last Reviewed: 2022-04-21