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October 20, 2014

Biophilic DC Report w/Video & Next Meeting Info!

Mon Oct 20, 2014 at 08:28:51 AM EST

by Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network

The DC Environmental Network invites you to a special Biophilic DC organizing session to plan and build a DC Council resolution campaign coalition in support of our shared efforts to help District residents connect with nature.

Res Campaign Meeting 10 30 14 No Background

DC Environmental Network:

On October 2nd, the DC Environmental Network (DCEN) hosted a very special presentation and discussion on the international Biophilic Cities project. This opening event, featuring University of Virginia Prof. Tim Beatley and network members Stella Tarnay and Megan Draheim, introduced Biophilia to local environmental leaders (and others), many of whom are already promoting nature in the nation’s capital.

Some of the organizations who came to share, listen and learn about this new initiative included the Alice Ferguson Foundation, American Bird Conservancy, Anacostia Unplugged, Anacostia Watershed Society, ANC 3D01, Casey Trees, City Wildlife, DC Climate Action, DC Environmental Network, DC Greenworks, Dumbarton Oaks Conservancy, Federal City Council, Friends of the Earth, Global Green USA/Green Cross International, Humane Society of the U.S., National Geographic Society, Old Growth Forest Network, Restore McMillan, SCRAP DC – Sierra Club, Washington, DC Chapter, Songbird Project, Summit Foundation, United for a Healthy Anacostia River, University of Virginia, Biophilic Cities Program, and Virginia Tech Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability.

RSVP here for our October 30th Biophilic DC Campaign meeting.

Participants saw lots of opportunities to make Washington DC a more Biophilic City, as well as noting that it is already in many ways nature-friendly. The city’s active sustainability and resilience initiatives, it was noted, could be strengthened with a biophilia perspective. (Several participants noted the disparity of nature access among the city’s neighborhoods, the joys as well as conflicts that arise between humans and urban wildlife, and strong ongoing development that brings more housing and amenities to the city, but can marginalize nature.)

You can watch the presentations here:

1. Watch Professor Tim Beatley give an overview of the international Biophilic Cities network.
2. Here is Professor Beatley’s PowerPoint presentation.
3. Watch Stella Tarney and Professor Megan M. Draheim explore how the Biophilic Cities project principles are already connected to current District initiatives and community characteristics.

Stella, Megan and I (and others) are forming a working group to consider a Biophilic DC resolution to put before the District of Columbia City Council in the near future. The purpose of this resolution would be two-fold. One, to join the list of cities around the globe that are part of the Biophilic Cities network and two, to increase awareness and support for the natural world that lives right next door to all of us.

What is a biophilic city?

“A biophilic city is at its heart a biodiverse city, a city full of nature, a place where in the normal course of work and play and life residents feel, see, and experience rich nature–plants, trees, animals. The nature is both large and small–from treetop lichens, invertebrates, and even microorganisms to larger natural features and ecosystems that define a city and give it its character and feel. Biophilic cities cherish what already exists (and there is much, as we have already seen) but also work hard to restore and repair what has been lost or degraded and to integrate new forms of nature into the design of every new structure or built project. We need contact with nature, and that nature can also take the form of shapes and images integrated into building designs…” – Timothy Beatley, Biophilic Cities: Integrating Nature into Urban Design and Planning.

The first Biophilic DC resolution campaign meeting will be on October 30th at Noon at the offices of the DC Environmental Network/Global Green USA, 1100 15th Street NW, 11th Floor. All are welcome.

RSVP HERE and come help us educate our elected officials about the important connection between each one of us and nature and why promoting biophilic principles in DC can improve the health and happiness of our communities.

Hope to see you on the 30th!

Chris Weiss
Executive Director
DC Environmental Network


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