Using Biophilic Design To Integrate Water Sensitive Design With Land Development

Using Biophilic Design To Integrate Water Sensitive Design With Land Development

Brendan Oversby

The concept of biophilic design is to integrate specific elements of nature within the urban form. These elements are linked to the evolutionary preferences that humans have for key aspects of nature, such as connection to water, healthy vegetation and open spaces. As stormwater management moves towards achieving better water sensitive outcomes, it also generates opportunities to further enhance other aspects of our future urban spaces. Biophilic design can help inform how stormwater is managed in an integrated manner, and how it can be visually presented to develop attractive urban spaces within residential and commercial areas. In doing so, we can achieve significant outcomes across the sustainability pillars of economics, social outcomes and environmental benefits.

This paper focuses on how we achieve good design outcomes within our urban forms by using biophilic design principles to integrate WSD within the overall land development and urban design processes. It looks at how the elements can be integrated with the current engineering and planning requirements of urban developments. It also focuses on how the local climate and cultural preferences need to be carefully considered as part of the process. Two examples from Western Australia will be presented that show biophilic design adding value to strata developments, streetscapes, commercial areas, community facilities and public spaces.

Significant research has been undertaken showing improved outcomes for residents and the overall community through the integration of biophilic design within urban spaces. The local characteristics and regulatory processes, along with cultural preferences, also need to be considered for biophilic design to be workable. You can read the paper in full here.

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