Biophilic Urban Landscape – Sustainable Cities in Arid Region

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Submission Summary
As our cities expand and densify simultaneously, the need for people to connect with nature increases. As per the reports by the UN, around 55% of the world’s population lives in urban areas today, a proportion that is expected to increase to 68% by 2050. The rapid urbanization is forming a negative effect on health, productivity and well-being of the human. Both flora and fauna of the cities are greatly effected and resulting them endangered and eventually extinct. When we talk about a quintessential dialogue between the nature and human, we are straight forwarded towards the ‘Biophilic Cities’. The idea of biophilic cities is inspired by the conservationist E.O Wilson’s concept of ‘Biophila’ that invokes our innate affinity with nature. The biophilic cities have a positive effect on the psychological and physical aspects, enhances green infrastructure and provide significant gains for cities, including the wide range of ecosystem services. Also, according to a survey, 20% of the world population is living in arid biomes of the world, which are rising rapidly due to global warming and continuous escalating carbon footprints by the nations. The negligible amount of precipitation per year, lack of vegetation and high rate of evapotranspiration, it has becomes more imperative to imbibe the concept of biophilic designs in order to become sustainable cities. The aim of the paper is to understand the city requirements at regional level and address the issues through the integration of natural and built-environment. The introduction of new ecological habitats at micro level, co-exist with both flora and fauna, creating small pockets of landscape within each one’s limits is the key to resilience. The institution of construing biodiversity and recrafting the urban landscapes, we are forging deeper and meaningful connections to the nature. The arid regions with their water constraints, seek new opportunities in the xerophytes and saprophytes plant kingdom, offering a huge number of plants and grasses. The conceptualization of desert parks with planting process and large scale waste water management, offers a number of ecological habitats, able to thrive on their own. The biophilc urban innovations ranging from rooftop garden to urban farming, vertical landscape/gardens, and urban forest. The restoration of canals, rivers and water reservoirs into wetlands; forms small and localized micro climate overall stimulating the environment of the cities. In addition to the many and considerable direct benefits from biophilic cities, healthier, more socially-connected individuals, families and communities will increase the likelihood of successful adaptation to this dynamic future. The community participation and their innate sense of belonging towards the city and the fauna, and the will to co-exist will help make the cities more biophilic and sustainable in the future.
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Submission Type
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7: Shaping Liveable Places
Landscape architect
Archiscape, Hyderabad
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