The Role of Biophilic Agents in Building a Green Resilient City; the Case of Birmingham, UK

Linda Novosadová, Wim van der Knaap
2021 Sustainability  
The present research offers an exploration into the biophilic approach and the role of its agents in urban planning in questions of building a green, resilient urban environment. Biophilia, the innate need of humans to connect with nature, coined by Edgar O. Wilson in 1984, is a concept that has been used in urban governance through institutions, agents' behaviours, activities and systems to make the environment nature-inclusive. Therefore, it leads to green, resilient environments and to
more » ... cities more sustainable. Due to an increasing population, space within and around cities keeps on being urbanised, replacing natural land cover with concrete surfaces. These changes to land use influence and stress the environment, its components, and consequently impact the overall resilience of the space. To understand the interactions and address the adverse impacts these changes might have, it is necessary to identify and define the environment's components: the institutions, systems, and agents. This paper exemplifies the biophilic approach through a case study in the city of Birmingham, United Kingdom and its biophilic agents. Using the categorisation of agents, the data obtained through in-situ interviews with local professionals provided details on the agent fabric and their dynamics with the other two environments' components within the climate resilience framework. The qualitative analysis demonstrates the ways biophilic agents act upon and interact within the environment in the realm of urban planning and influence building a climate-resilient city. Their activities range from small-scale community projects for improving their neighbourhood to public administration programs focusing on regenerating and regreening the city. From individuals advocating for and educating on biophilic approach, to private organisations challenging the business-as-usual regulations, it appeared that in Birmingham the biophilic approach has found its representatives in every agent category. Overall, the activities they perform in the [...]
doi:10.3390/su13095033 doaj:ade7bbf8aaa34f6d898a08223101d5a0 fatcat:j3ism23enfd7fncut53tw5z5ne