What Makes A City ‘Biophilic’?: Observations and Experiences from the Wellington Nature Map Project
Authors: Pedersen Zari, Maibritt
Despite clear benefits of maintaining human relationships with nature, people increasingly live
in urban settings and spend high proportions of time indoors. Both of these trends are increasing globally. This means it is vital to ensure that future cities are designed, created and managed to enable meaningful human / nature connections. Cities that are examples of urban environments where human / nature relationships are innately encouraged and are part of residents’ daily experiences have been termed ‘biophilic cities’. Wellington, New Zealand is one of a select few cities internationally that has been identified as a biophilic city. In order to test the validity of that claim, this research set out to use GIS mapping to determine specific areas, sites and buildings that could be identified as being biophilic within Wellington. In order to do this, a unique biophilic cities framework was devised where 30 unique characteristics of biophilic cities were identified and used to map Wellington. Results from this mapping research are examined. Key findings include that when several identified aspects of biophilic design are nearby in urban settings, experiencing these through time while moving through a city enhances the positive effects of these elements.