In a world made of concrete and various impermeable surfaces, a patch of green can mean much more than a slice of grass. Green is natural and it’s vital for human health. It can be a beacon of community or a symbol of awe and its importance to cities is a tragically overlooked aspect of urban design. Throughout my brief experience in The Biodesign Challenge, I have learned to reassess the value of a humble greenspace for many reasons.

To me, awe is quite simply a sensory stimulus that has the ability to remove one from the moment. After reviewing helpful resources like The 14 Patterns of Biophilic Design, I have learned that basic biological design doesn’t need to be all that innovative to inspire this momentary uplift. All of the greatest human health benefits of biophilic design- stress relief, improved air quality, ecological diversity- are provided by the repurposing of nature, the root of our existence.

With these benefits comes a release from the manufactured life around us and a window to those we share space with. Whether or not we realize it, these principals promote the togetherness by which we are bound to by nature. Urban greenspace is much more than a park in a city or a garden on a corporate campus, it is a homage to the roots we are all connected by. 

Taking these principles and turning them into actionable ideas has been an inquisitive process that has required extensive collaboration. The interdisciplinary nature of our Biodesign Team has given way to unique perspectives that allow us to expand our scope. By working as a group, speaking with experts, and researching external sources, we will continue to define our goals and, with some luck, create a final product.

Illustration by Alvina Salim

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