Let’s start with our own homes, neighborhoods, towns and cities. Visualize a world where backyard gardens and open urban spaces are alive with biodiversity, including native plants, insects and animals. Where public and private spaces are transformed into butterfly zones and an entire region, as seen by satellite images, looks to be a homegrown national park.
Seen in its entirety this is a world where neighbours join to create their own button parks, where hospitals offer healing gardens, where physicians prescribe pharmaceuticals less and nature more, where obesity melts away through nature play. In this world developers create and revive neighborhoods that become ecovillages, with green roofs and vertical farms. Where every school has a natural play space and every teacher feels revitalised.
In this world biophilic design promotes higher productivity, improved health, a population that has more brainpower and increased creative capacity – the gifts of nature that are our heritage. In this world, cities become incubators of biodiversity, and every child and adult has a human right to a connection to the natural world, and share the responsibility to care it. In this world, strength of our spirit is measured not by our words, but by the care we take with each other and our fellow species on Earth.
– adapted from “The Nature Principle: Reconnecting with Life in a Virtual World, by Richard Louv (www.richardlouv.com)
Richard Louv is a journalist and author of eight books about the connections between family, nature and community. His newest book is The Nature Principle: Human Restoration and the End of Nature-Deficit Disorder (Algonquin), which offers a new vision of the future, in which our lives are as immersed in nature as they are in technology. This future, available to all of us right now, offers better psychological, physical and spiritual health for people of every age.