"Biophilic Neighborhood" Model in order to Apply in Urban Planning and Design

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant Professor of Urban Planning, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran

2 M.A student of Urban Design, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran


Extended Abstract
The "Biophilia Approach" as a maximization approach pursues a comprehensive integration of different dimensions of the natural environment in cities, but has been less addressed in internal research, especially from the origins of urban planning knowledge. It seems that a more detailed analysis of this concept and moving towards the development of strategies for its realization in the field of urban planning can be effective on improving the relationship between citizens and nature. The present study seeks to apply the indicators of this approach in a conceptual model to be applied in the design and planning of urban neighborhoods.
 In the first step, "library studies" and a review of scientific resources in the field of environmental design and planning by the biophilic approach have been considered. After reviewing the sources, by qualitative analysis method, the components, dimensions and characteristics of the biophilic neighborhood were classified, compiled and formed the initial research model. In the second step, "Delphi method" was used to develop and complete the model and determine the priority of the indicators. This method was performed by selecting a group of eleven members of the faculty of Shiraz University in the fields of architecture, urban planning and design and in three stages (interviews and two questionnaires). After inscription of in-depth interviews by qualitative content analysis method; dimensions, components and indicators considered by the members were added to the initial model and provided to them in the form of a Likert scale questionnaire. Then, after reviewing the interviews and questionnaires, and adding one dimension and about ten indicators to the initial model, in the "third stage", the final questionnaire was sent for the final approval of the members and the percentage of agreement or disagreement with the components of this model and the resulting data were collected and analyzed by using of Kendall coefficient.  These indicators constructed the research model in the form of 6 dimensions.
Results and discussion
 The development of the biophilic neighborhood model has been done in six dimensions: "natural resources", "artificial environment", "neighborhood landscape", "activities", "local community" and "neighborhood people" and in the form of 26 indicators. The findings show that in terms of "natural resources"; conservation of natural resources, in terms of "artificial environment"; integration of physical environment with nature, in terms of "activities"; green transportation, in the "local community" dimension; people's participation in nature protection and in the "neighborhood people" dimension, people's emotional connection with nature have been the most agreed upon among members of the Delphi circle. In the "natural resources" dimension of resource conservation, the most important goal has been the sustainable development approach in the last two decades. In addition to environmental goals, the "Access to Resources" index is also an achievement of social justice in the neighborhood. In today's high-rise cities, access to optimal sources of airflow, uniform ventilation, adequate lighting, as well as fair access to green space and adequate vegetation in the city are very important. In the "dimension of the artificial environment" in small-scale approaches to the design of the environment, including in architecture, the emphasis is on combining the artificial environment with natural elements. Valuable examples of this indicator are available in the historical past of Iranian architecture and urban planning, the development of examples and inspiration in urban design and planning in order to realize the biophilic neighborhood is a way forward. In terms of "activities", active transportation, while reducing air pollution, will also increase the health and vitality of the residents of the neighborhood. Also, in the experience of green neighborhoods in recent years, there are successful examples of urban agriculture and communal gardens on a neighborhood scale that have very environmental, economic, social and cultural benefits, and their native patterns can be exploited in our country. In the "neighborhood people" dimension, in our historical past, indigenous knowledge and public information about the surrounding nature and its elements have been significant, especially in rural areas. Contemporary urbanization has distorted people's attention and general sensitivity to nature and reduced environmental sensitivity to the environment. This issue requires special attention of urban management and governmental and public institutions   decision-maker in the field of culture.
It seems that the application of the obtained indicators from this research with a local approach in formulating design and planning strategies of urban neighborhoods can help the process of realizing the biophilic neighborhood in our country. The characteristics of this model, while in line with previous research, show the need for localization and attention to local examples of the history of traditional architecture and urban planning. In future research, more accurate prioritization of indicators, case studies and testing in the redesign and planning of urban neighborhoods, as well as measuring the status of urban neighborhoods based on this framework, can be tracked.
 Keywords: Biophilic, Urban Design, Urban Planning, Neighborhood, Sustainable City.


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