Becoming biophilic: Challenges and opportunities for biophilic urbanism in urban planning policy


– The purpose of this paper is to discuss challenges and opportunities for the implementation of biophilic urbanism in urban green planning policy through a case study of the Green living Spaces plan in Birmingham, UK.


– The paper is based on document analysis and semi-structured interviews as a strategy of qualitative inquiry to identify the key tenets of biophilic urbanism and its implementation in Birmingham’s urban green space planning.


Biophilic urbanism has its strength as an approach to create common visions and understandings of the many benefits of nature in cities, thus strengthening the position of urban green space planning. In Birmingham the potential for integrated policies connected to urban green space are shown and the concept can also be understood as a pragmatic tool to strengthen the position of urban green space policies locally as well as positioning Birmingham globally as a leading green city. At the same time challenges are connected to legal status, path dependency and leadership.


Biophilic urbanism has gotten increased attention in academia and practice and this paper contributes with a novel case study discussing how the concept has been used and understood in the Birmingham context to discuss opportunities and challenges for actual implementation.

Keywords:Birmingham, Biophilia, Biophilic cities, Biophilic urbanism, Urban green space, Urban planning policyPublisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

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