Resilient and Sustainable Cities - Chapter 28: Re-envisaging cities: biophilic and First Nations strategies from Australia

Elsevier, Resilient and Sustainable Cities: Research, Policy and Practice, 2022, Pages 519-535
David S. Jones, Phillip B. Roos

An indelible trait of our cities is in how much they have been structured by Western thought and expectations. Western planning (or nonplanning) pervades the physical footprint, infrastructure, exploitation of water, and waste treatment whether in the America's, Asia, Africa, or Australasia. Shifting out of this construct and its archetypal values is perhaps the greatest policy changes confronting us as it goes to the very core of a city's culture, liveability, and identity. This chapter challenges this construct, offering two alternate but ironically interconnected approaches—city making informed by biophilic systems and First Nations values—through Australian case studies that have similar systems of thought, aspirations, and values. The biophilic approach rests of nurturing nature holistically in the city; the First Nation's approach implicates Traditional Ecological Knowledge intertwined with this worldview values. The challenge is for use to adapt (or retrofit) our cities to redress climate change and our consumption values toward crafting robust, resilient, respectful and sustainable places. We would venue that to succeed, one has to change the philosophical lens and values of our “art” of planning cities, of which this chapter offers possible strategies.