The biophilic city and the quest for paradise


– This paper explores the possibilities for global concepts of paradise to serve a cross-cultural urban environmental discourse. The purpose of this paper is to contribute to a more widespread mobilization of support for biophilic urbanism.


– The methodology deployed in the paper draws from original and secondary sources from a variety of regions, cultures, and religions surrounding the concept of paradise. These concepts are then compared and contrasted with the discourse of biophilic urban environmental planning.


– The comparison of cross-cultural descriptions of paradise finds strong similarities across cultures. In addition, it finds close, symbolic connection between secular and religious concepts of paradise and the scientific attributes of urban biophilic planning. These connections open the possibility for closer unification between secular and religious discourses in the pursuit of the development of more biophilic urban designs.


– The timing of this research is particularly appropriate given the recent encyclical on the environment released by the Vatican. Locating perspectives and imagery that can connect large proportions of the population, for whom spirituality is a centerpiece, with rational scientific perspectives on environmentally sound urbanism will be critical in achieving biophilic cities.

Keywords:Religion, Urban planning, Sustainable cities, Ecological wisdom, Environmental discourse, ParadisePublisher:Emerald Group Publishing LimitedCopyright:© Emerald Group Publishing Limited 2016.

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