While it is common to think that in order to be closer to nature you have to go live in the middle of nowhere, the truth is that we have the greatest opportunity to create sustainable, ecological and happy lives in our cities. It may seem counter-intuitive, but cities allow us to use less space, share resources, and optimize systems. Now add to that the increasing research into the positive effects of having more green in our cities. Now you are getting to the heart of Urban Plantasy.
Study after study show us that neighborhood streets lined with trees leads to lower crime rates. In addition to this, depression levels drop and people spend more time outside and in touch with their neighbors. These changes increase the physical and emotional health of everyone. Now imagine the exponential benefits if we were to use the intelligence of plants to manage some of the more complex problems in cities: transportation, utilities, and even support services.
Let’s Create an Urban Plantasy!
The simple truth is that humans have a need for nature—biophilia, as Edward O. Wilson defines it, states that humans possess an innate tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life. And since we live the majority of our lives in the city, instead of trying to escape, we should embrace this need and bring the plant world back to the forefront of our urban design. Green spaces, parks, city gardens, and living buildings are just some of the ways that we can reconnect the separation between our worlds—the plant world and the human/animal world. Because our cities need more urban greenism.
To Tigrilla, Urban Plantasy is more than just a catch-phrase, it is about the evolution of city living; it is about bringing the plant world back into the matrix of our urban existence, hence co-creating innovative, healthier, happier living. She is convinced that as a human species we need to do this. Together, we can build the city of tomorrow where human, plant and planetary needs naturally balance themselves. To do this, we need to acknowledge our biophilic need. It is time to invite the plant world into urban planning through biomimicry, circular economy, phyto-domotics, and other nature-inspired processes.
As you walk your city streets—from plazas to the downtown corridor—think about what your city will look like when interspecies collaborations are the norm in city planning. This is the city Tigrilla wants to inspire you to build. What part will you play?