When you ask people to think about the place where they relax the most, where they achieve peace of mind, the answer, unsurprisingly, is nature. What is surprising however, is that no one answers "the city". This is an interesting question to explore. If no one achieves a decent level of relaxation, comfort and general wellbeing in urban environments, does this signal that cities trigger discomfort and stress? Science already discovered that buildings can make us sick, an effect they coined as the sick building syndrome. But what if the problem is more encompassing? What if nature-deficient cities are detrimental for our health and wellbeing? Nearly a 1.000 scientific studies show that nature is not only nice to have but a have-to-have for physical health and cognitive function. In that light, can we redesign cities so that they —just like nature— restore, revitalise and re-energise its inhabitants?
"The city of the future will look & feel like a spectacular nature reserve. Next to traditional urban services, the city of the future will produce oxygen and food, store carbon and water, promote biodiversity and house a whole ecosystem of species."
In the podcast below, our founder discusses this topic on the popular INTERFACE podcast about design for the climate. Other topics covered include #NI, #nature inclusive design, #eco building, #regeneration, #system thinking, #positive impact en #potential. The podcast is in Dutch but more on this topic will be coming soon! You can access the podcast here.
The images by Centre4NI. References of the scientific studies mentioned can be found in this book.