Keynote Speakers

Dr Tim Beatley is currently 'Teresa Heinz Professor of Sustainable Communities' in the Department of Urban and Environmental Planning, School of Architecture, University of Virginia. He is an internationally recognised biophilic city researcher, founder of the Biophilic Cities Network Project and author of several books on environmental sustainability, 'Green Urbanism' and biophilic city design.  His most recent publication 'Handbook of Biophilic City Planning & Design' is acclaimed internationally by both academics and industry leaders.

Oliver Heath is an industry recognised expert in the field of biophilic architectural and interior design and he is currently involved in 'The BRE Biophilic Office Project' to implement biophilic design strategies to provide tangible human well-being benefits. The project will provide both qualitative and quantitative data to understand and benefit from an improved connection to nature in the workplace. As a qualified Domestic Energy and Green Deal assessor he frequently acts as a media spokesperson for the UK's Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC), the Energy Saving Trust and the Waste Resources Action Programme (WRAP). Further information about Oliver Heath Design.

Oral Papers

Bridget Snaith, University of East London, UK
I don't like nature": Defining nature in the urban landscape

Fabiola Meignen, Universidad Ramón Llull Campus La Salle, Spain
The green, the people and the energy in intermediate spaces of Mediterranean buildings in the City of Barcelona               

Helen Hoyle, University of the West of England, UK
What determines how we see nature? The role of planting structure, perceived naturalness and socio-demographics in the urban nature experience              

Ian Mell, University of Manchester, UK
Selling nature: aligning biophilic principles with the funding of landscape resources in urban areas

Joanna Ede and Amber Morley, Turley  UK  
Is a 'healthy street' a 'biophilic street'? A review of the Transport for London 'Healthy Streets Approach' and its potential to contribute to biophilic cities           

Maibritt Pedersen Zari, VictoriaUniversity of Wellington, New Zealand
Biophilic urbanism: understanding and designing nature experiences in cities

Morgan Taylor, Greengage Environmental Ltd, UK
Masterplan-scale urban green infrastructure - a planning perspective             

Nick Grayson, Birmingham City Council and University of Birmingham, UK
Birmingham - the UK's only Biophilic City - for now    

Yi Zhang, New Landscape Design, Hangzhou, China
Biophilic Urbanism, Cities and Nature in East Asia

Caroline Pratt, Leeds Arts University, UK
How biophilic design principles can be used to rethink commercial textile design frameworks and in turn promote a stronger connection between domestic or commercial interior spaces and the natural environment

Nicola Balch and Michael Cowdy, McGregor + Coxall, UK                                                                          Biourbanism for the 21st Century City

Workshop Presenters

Workshop 1 Planning the biophilic city

Nick Grayson is the Climate Change and Sustainability Manager for Birmingham City Council, leading on natural capital. He is also a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham on the research programme called Liveable Cities (EPSRC) – 'transforming the engineering of cities for global and societal wellbeing'.

Nick has had extensive European experience with the EU-Project URGE- devising a draft European policy for urban green space; EU-Cities-Adapt, involving 21 cities across Europe on multi-governance adaptation assessment. He authored the City's integrated Gi and adaptation policy 'Birmingham Green Living Spaces Plan' that introduced natural capital to the City in 2013. In 2014 Birmingham was invited to join the global Biophilic Cities Network, a sharing platform for 11 aspirational green cities; becoming the UK's first Biophilic City.

Nick contributed to the National Ecosystem Assessment Follow-On project and suggested the need for a Natural Capital Planning Tool. The UK Business Council for Sustainable Development helped shape a partnership to devise and test such a tool; initially supported by the RICS Research Trust. Now funded by the Natural Environment Research Council, the Tool is being trialled nationally with 17 case studies - co-sponsored by RTPI and RICS.

The Liveable Cities research project has demonstrated the huge hidden significance of natural capital in cities; with systems thinking mapping revealing the inter-dependence of the other 4 capitals. Nick is keen to develop the deeper integration across Birmingham and the West Midlands Combined Authority, through the Natural Capital Roundtable; who are working with both HS2 and the economic intelligence unit on natural capital metrics. Nick is keen to embed a 25 year natural capital plan at the heart of the growth agenda; and in so doing construct all the essential elements of a natural capital protocol for cities; and provide the underpinning framework to achieve a Biophilic City- for all to enjoy. 2017 presentations at 12th Metropolis World Congress, Global Challenges: Major Cities in Action, Montreal; and The UN World Forum on Natural Capital, Edinburgh.

Jaime Jackson is a moving image and digital artist, interested in site specific projections on to and into buildings, working away from the screen using buildings and landscapes as canvas. Working in the public and community sector searching out meta-narratives found in social movements, history, sustainability and nature; forming linkages between things to create unusual open pathways for partnership working and commissioning.

His work as a relational practitioner makes art based on, or inspired by, human relations and their social context, working as a facilitator seeing art as information exchanged between the artist, the co-creational participants and the viewers.

The relational practice exists to enable disparate groups and circles of communities to link together in the sharing of the making of a formally composed set of actions to co-create an artwork as a collective, allowing space for personal reflection and creativity it challenges the separation and individually culture of the present, the I being separate from the other.

Jaime's practice is as a biomimcry-ists exploring our distance to nature where human activity is understood as a separate category from other natural phenomena.


Workshop 2 Well buildings

Elizabeth Freeman Calabrese, AIA is a licensed architect, LEED AP, WELL Faculty, and a Global Affiliate for the Gund Institute for Environment. She received a mid-career Master of Science in Ecological Design in 2012 from the University of Vermont under the guidance of Dr. John Todd who created living technologies to heal the earth. Since then, Elizabeth sees most situations large and small as ecosystems—striving for balance and harmony. She encourages the holistic and ecological integration of nature and natural systems and processes into the built environment to promote both human and environmental health and well-being. Elizabeth is a leading global educator of Biophilic Design intent on shifting traditional Architectural Theory towards a New Design Ecology. She worked closely with Dr. Stephen Kellert (1943-2016) the pioneer of Biophilic Design and they co-authored The Practice of Biophilic Design in 2015, available to download at


Workshop 3 The biophilic workplace

Dr Ed Suttie, is the Research Director in the Centre for Sustainable Products at BRE, the home of BREEAM and a world leading international built environment science and research business. He is involved in research into the health and wellbeing qualities of materials used in the fit out of offices, schools and healthcare buildings. Ed is the BRE lead for a pioneering office refurbishment study deploying biophilic design that will generate evidence of occupant benefits of a human centred workplace. He has published widely in the field of construction products including service life and sustainability.


Workshop 4 Designing restorative landscapes

Joe Clancy is a Senior Landscape Architect at WSP and Chartered Member of the Landscape Institute (CMLI). Joe is one of the co-authors of Terrapin Bright Green's 14 Patterns of Biophilic Design (available to download, delivered the biophilic design workshop for the first Living Building Challenge project registered in the UK (Cuerden Valley Park Visitor Centre) and has lectured on the subject at the EU funded COST RESTORE training school.  As a biophilic design advocate, he has spoken on the subject at public events for organisations such as KI Europe, W2W and Specifi.


Workshop 5 Designing biophilic healing spaces

Robert Hopkins, Regional Director, AHR Architects  Their most recent project ties BRE and Well Building Standard with biophilic design and architecture in 'The Spine' Liverpool, for the Royal College of Physicians.   Robert is also involved in international education design projects.


Workshop 6 Biophilic learning spaces

Oliver Heath is an industry recognised expert in the field of biophilic architectural and interior design. Besides delivering the morning's keynote lecture, he will be presenting their case study on The Garden School, Hackney.