Wellington is already a member of the Biophilic Cities Network, which brings together like-minded urban centres that all have very different ways of incorporating nature into their cities. City Contact: Tim Park, Environmental Partnership Leader. The Garden is a unique plant sanctuary and forest reserve and includes 100 hectares of native forest and 5 hectares of plant collections. Wellington – Biophilic City. The planning and design efforts inspiring the biophilic cities movement began with a number of geographically diverse “partner cities” including Singapore; Wellington, NZ; Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain; Birmingham, UK; and San Francisco. Think of it like putting a plant on your desk at work, but on a massive scale. Given all these grand ideas about the future of urban development and the wellbeing of the human race, how does Wellington stack up as a biophilic city? There are schools overflowing with natural touches, hospitals with rooftop gardens, and high-rise apartments with dramatically leafy terraces. In the city’s Our Living City plan, they have outlined three goals to remain and a livable and biophilic city. Wellington is one of a few select cities world-wide that is a member of the international ‘Biophilic Cities Movement’. Edited by Audrey Rendle and Judi Lapsley Miller In order to protect and restore our indigenous biodiversity we have to connect people with it and carry out research so we can better manage it. In addition, Wellington Zoo buys carbon credits to regenerate native forest in the Pigeon Bush reserve. Maybe there are ways to bring the magic of the waterfront, or places like Zealandia, or the Botanic Garden, to more clinical areas of the city proper. These included films about Singapore, Wellington (NZ), and McDowell Desert Preserve (in the urban environs near Phoenix). Biophilic Cities Are those that are abundant in nature (trees, greenery, animals, gardens) and in opportunities to connect with and experience this nature. Project Crimson: Project Crimson hopes to get New Zealanders actively connected to nature and contributing to healthy and sustainable ecosystems. This project will result in a natural city that flourishes with native wildlife and a dawn chorus that will be the envy of other cities. The project has reintroduced 18 native species of wildlife back into the area, and hopes to restore the indigenous character of the valley. Cities & Health. Shown here is the rocky edge of the Taputeranga Marine Reserve, closeby to the City’s downtown. Pages 93-102. Taputeranga Marine Reserve: The 854 Hectare marine reserve is located close to Wellington’s city centre. Wildlife spreading from Zealandia is spilling over the fence significantly contributing to the rewilding of urban and suburban areas. Key findings indicate that while access to wild nature might be an important characteristic of a biophilic city, planned design interventions are equally important. Biophilic City Planning and Design” in 2016 that intended to 1) provide a comprehensive guide on how to integrate nature into their planning and design processes, and 2) present inspirational case studies for future cities to model on. and image box appears for each site. Wellington biophilic map under way Wellington Living Architecture teamed up with VUW School of Architecture and the Wellington City Council to create a biophilic map of Wellington City in 2016. The city of Wellington has been showing leadership since 1841, when the first town plan set aside the wooded Te Ahumairangi Hill as a green belt. Understanding and designing nature experiences in cities: a framework for biophilic urbanism. Wellington is a city of approximately 200,000 people, and is famous for its wind. Timothy Beatley. Oslo, Norway: A City of Fjords and Forests. "Biophilic experiences are multi-sensory. Although originally committed only to saving pohutukawa, they have since expanded their vision. Any city can be a biophilic city—but becoming biophilic can be made that much easier if all its citizens embrace biophilia into their ethos. Since the project was proposed, more than 700,000 native trees and plants have been planted by community groups, the regional council, and citizens. My vision of a biophilic city is one in which city planning and design facilitate a seamless integration of the natural and built environment. In 2013, we formally launched the Biophilic Cities Network, which now includes about fifteen cities. From the Swiss Family Robinson, to the Lost Boys of Neverland, to Gilligan’s Island, we in the modern world have always had a bit of an obsession with mashing the man-made with the natural. Some of Wellington’s oldest trees are here, including an 800-year-old rimu. [email protected] November 2014. In September 2013, the Biophilic Cities project launched in Wellington, New Zealand and twelve other cities globally. Biophilic cities Living at one with nature. These included places like Singapore, Wellington, NZ, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, Birmingham, UK, and San Francisco, among others. Wellington, New Zealand is one of a select few cities internationally that has been identified as a biophilic city. Written by Andy Astruc Zealandia Urban Sanctuary is the world’s first fully-fenced urban ecosanctuary, with an extraordinary 500-year vision to restore a Wellington valley’s forest and freshwater ecosystems as closely as possible to their pre-human state. Picture a city where trees and plants coexist with buildings and streets, where a thick cover of ivy snaking up the side of a skyscraper is a deliberate choice rather than a happy accident, where you might pass a dozen exotic species of flower on the way to work, or happen upon some friendly wildlife on your way to buy milk. Perhaps it’s worth looking into reducing the amount of light pollution blocking out the beauty of the night sky. Wellington also has around 30 community gardens, all run by volunteers. Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand, has unique geography, natural history, cultural history and urban development all combine to make it an extraordinary and biophilic city. Thirty characteristics of biophilic cities were identified and then used to map Wellington, New Zealand. As a city, there are two important questions: what more can we do to integrate nature into the future of Wellington (and NZ at large)? He sought to solve overcrowding and pollution by splitting the functions of urban spaces. This provides more habitats for native animals by connecting Rimutaka and Tararua Conservation Parks. Biophilic cities. The first question has a lot of answers, and looking to what cities like Singapore have done, and continue to do, is a great first step. City dwellers are healthy and happy, commuting through innovative electric vehicles, or simply just walking and enjoying the beauty of the city. Biophilia refers to the idea that humans are inextricably bound and drawn to nature; that we need that connection to other living things in order to function properly. Recent cities joining the Network include St Louis (MO), Austin (TX), Pittsburgh (PA), and Edmonton, Canada. The second goal is to transform their economy and reduce their impact on the environment. Wellington, New Zealand is one of a select few cities internationally that has been identified as a biophilic city. The project hopes to change people’s behaviors to create an environment that ensures a sustainable future for kererū, as well as build a knowledge base of key information accessible to the community. The proximity of the reserve to the capital city and Victoria University makes it an important laboratory for students and citizens to interact with marine life surrounding their city. Did you know Wellington is a Biophilic City? British urban planner Ebenezer Howard, in his 1902 book “Garden Cities of To-morrow”, proposed a design for smaller cities with large open spaces and a vast green belt. ZEALANDIA Te Māra a Tāne is the world’s first fully-fenced urban ecosanctuary, with a 500-year vision to connect people with nature and help native wildlife flourish in Wellington and beyond. As a not for profit, you are directly contributing to our vital conservation work. And then there’s that 225-odd hectare ecosanctuary over in Karori; Zealandia, I think it’s called? Biophilic design carries on this problem-solving tradition, albeit from a more inclusive and symbiotic direction. Wellington has also been working in many other ways to strengthen its connections to naFigure 2 (left): Wellington is a biophilic city that increasingly recognizes the unique marine nature all around it. This blue belt would highlight the significance of the harbor to the city and serve as a source for Wellington fisheries. make people happier. Pages 85-91. We’re on the right track, at least. The idea of living at one with nature—surrounded by lush greenery and multi-coloured parrots, instead of cold concrete and traffic jams—is immediately appealing to most. The park provides recreational space and areas for walking, and allows people to passively interact with the type of nature often relegated to national parks or isolated areas. Together, these elements can increase our immunity, boost natural circadian rhythms, regulate temperature, and inspire a sense of tranquility. Two Million Trees project: Wellington is bringing native bush back to the city by planting two million trees in the city by 2020. Wellington is already a member of the Biophilic Cities Network, which brings together like-minded urban centres that all have very different ways of incorporating nature into their cities. Perhaps the greatest example of greening that Wellington has under its belt so far is Waitangi Park. Kereru Discovery: The original Kererū Discovery Project was launched in 2005 as a partnership between Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand, Wellington Zoo, Victoria University of Wellington, Zealandia, and the Department of Conservation. The first goal is to grow and enjoy Wellington’s natural capital, especially in the areas of urban design, land use, open space management, and water. If you look back a little though, you can see sparks and threads of similar ideas emerging from various corners of modern architectural thought. These projects and more are bringing more nature into the city, conserving native marine and terrestrial flora and fauna, and connecting Wellington residents to the nature within their city. Living Grid House by L Architects. Zealandia launched a national community eco-sanctuary movement. A biophilic city is one that integrates natural features into its designs. The city already has numerous parks, of course; many of them right in the thick of modern life. Such places provide many and varied opportunities for citizens to interact with and experience nature in their day-to-day lives, whether it’s a deliberate choice to head into a greenhouse or park, or just passing by the ivy that climbs up the centre of their new-fangled office building. They aim to manage major native restoration projects that have capacity for high impact in New Zealand, deliver environmental education programmes that focus on biodiversity, support community and iwi pohutukawa and rata initiatives in medium/high-need areas, be the knowledge-bank for pohutukawa and rata, and advocate for the species and provide scientific research in metrosideros. The aim was to create a slum-free environment where workers could get a bit of both city and country living. I suspect a lot of the work will revolve around changing attitudes to the idea of a green city. Pages 75-84. A city where nature is given equal status to roads and buildings, or even takes precedence. This may be in the form of water features, green roofs, living walls, bollards that look like koru, buildings that work with nature and so on. Stay up to date with all the latest conservation news and events from ZEALANDIA Ecosanctuary, Rifleman Interview with Danielle Shanahan, Find out more about other biophilic cities around the world, Find out more about the parks and reserves around Wellington. His solution was to build up, rather than out. The recent transformation of the area around the War Memorial (Pukeahu) has also added some much appreciated green to the CBD, changing it from a place you walk past to a destination in and of itself. Another famous architectural mind from around the same era, Le Corbusier, envisioned an entirely different solution for a similar problem. Images from Wikipedia and Flickr, with CC attribution or with permission. Another impressive project is the Otari Native Botanic Gardens and Wilton’s Bush Reserve, which is a unique plant sanctuary and forest reserve including 100 hectares of native forest and 5 hectares of plant collections. Wellington Zoo plays an important role in zoo-based conservation through conservation breeding programs, advocacy and learning initiatives, and working with conservation partners in the field. First, Zealandia, a project to return the 225 hectares to a pre-human state, is the first fully fenced ecosanctuary in the world. In the city’s Our Living City plan, they have outlined three goals to remain and a livable and biophilic city. The indicators are varied in focus and attempt to measure elements that are at the center of what it means to be a biophilic city. The project supports and enables community action to control introduced predators across the city. Living Walls: Wellington is inviting partners to work with them in testing green walls and vertical gardens in the Wellington environment. When an icon on the map is selected, a pop-up text. Trees and flowers and birds (oh my!) The idea—first floated by Timothy Beatley, who is the founder of the Biophilic Cities Network and the Teresa Heinz Professor of Sustainable Communities at the University of Virginia’s School of Architecture—is to improve both the environment and the wellbeing of humanity. People want more nature; they want to hear birdsong in their neigborhoods," said Beatley. Wellington, New Zealand: From Town Belt to Blue Belt. With the help of their community partners, they estimate that 1.8 million trees have been planted in the last decade. As a requisite of joining the Biophilic Cities Network as a partner city, we ask cities to develop a set of indicators that can be assessed and evaluated over time. Pages 103-118. The 225-hectare ecosanctuary is a ground-breaking conservation project that protects over 40 rare native wildlife species. Biophilic design focuses not only on plant life, but also daylight, ventilation, water, and natural materials. It is Wellington City Council’s vision for the city’s indigenous biodiversity. It has been the catalyst for the return of missing species to Wellington city and has inspired the city to pursue goals which have made Wellington a “Biophilic city” and one of the few places where biodiversity is increasing. On top of all that, there’s inherent value in Wellingtonians and visitors being able to pop down the road for a quick stroll (or boat ride) through a world of birdsong and babbling brooks. Read more. And in Wellington, city officials are investing in predator-proof fencing in many areas with the goal of "bringing birdsong back." Shown here is the rocky edge of the Taputeranga Marine Reserve, closeby to the City’s downtown. Wellington also has several initiatives to conserve their native flora and fauna within the city. I am the water that runs throughout the Kaiwharawhara water catchment area – the largest stream system in Wellington city. 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