Urgent Biophilia - Resilience 2011


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Resilience 2011- Sunday March 13th. Theme 5, Panel 1. Greening in the Red Zone: Disaster, Resilience, and Community Greening

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Urgent Biophilia - Resilience 2011

  1. 1. Urgent Biophilia: Human –Nature Interactions in Red Zone Recovery and Resilience<br />KEITH G. TIDBALL<br />Cornell University <br />Department of Natural Resources, Civic Ecology Lab<br />
  2. 2. Guiding question<br />What are the origins and role of “greening” in building adaptive capacity during and after conflict or disaster?<br />“Why do we do that?”<br />
  3. 3. Biophilia?<br />… we are human in good part because of the particular way we affiliate with other organisms (p. 129).<br />Biophilia, if it exists, and I believe it exists, is the innately emotional affiliation of human beings to other living organisms(p.31).<br />
  4. 4. Proliferation<br />
  5. 5. Hort Therapy<br />There are many examples of people, stunned by a crisis, benefitting from the therapeutic qualities of nature contact to ease trauma and to aid the process of recovery. (Miavitz 1998; Hewson 2001)<br />benefits of horticulture therapy (Markee and Janick 1979; PeoplePlantCouncil 1993; Relf and Dorn 1995; Relf 2005)<br />among returning war veterans (Brdanovic 2009)<br /> in refugee contexts <br /> and in prisons <br />
  6. 6. Restorative Environments<br />Frumkin(2001) and Hartig (2007) traced human-nature relationships contributing to human health to the ancient Greeks, to the New England transcendentalists, and through the American landscape designers Andrew Jackson Downing (1869) and Frederick Law Olmsted (1865) (Nash 1982; McLuhan 1994; Murphy, Gifford et al. 1998; Mazel 2000).<br />To see or actively experience plants and green spaces can: reduce domestic violence, quicken healing times, reduce stress, improve physical health, and bring about cognitive and psychological benefits in individuals and populations as a whole (Ulrich 1984; Kaplan and Kaplan 1989; Hartig, Mang et al. 1991; Sullivan and Kuo 1996; Taylor, Wiley et al. 1998; Wells 2000; Hartig, Mang et al. 1991).<br />The study of restorative environments complements research on the conditions in which our functional resources and capabilities diminish, such as red zones. <br />
  7. 7. Systemic Therapies<br />What might gardening, tree planting, or other greening activities contribute to post-catastrophe individual or SES resilience?<br />Moving toward an ‘ecological’ approach, the field of systemic therapies contributes alternative approaches to healing. <br />Address the environment not merely as a setting but as a partner in the process (Berger and McLeod 2006).<br />
  8. 8. Systems Within Systems Facilitate Human Resilience<br />Communication<br />Transportation<br />Manufacturing<br />Hydrological Cycle<br />Carbon Cycle<br />Nitrogen Cycle<br />
  9. 9. URGENT Biophilia?<br />In the context of SES, move towards linking individuals with groups of people, neighborhoods and communities<br />Contact with nature, a kind of self administered therapy, as a means to cope with crisis<br /> Contribute to the literature connecting individual resilience to the adaptive functioning of larger social systems and networks<br />
  10. 10. What IS Urgent Biophilia?<br />When humans faced with a disaster, as individuals and as communities and populations, seek out doses of contact and engagement with nature to further their efforts to summon and demonstrate resilience in the face of a crisis, they exemplify an urgent biophilia.<br />The affinity we have for the rest of nature and the urge to express that affinity through creation of restorative environments, which may also restore or increase ecological function, may confer resilience across multiple scales. <br />
  11. 11. How does THAT work?<br />Affinity for nature weakly expressed<br />“Red Zone”<br />Affinity for nature more strongly expressed<br />Gunderson and Holling 2002<br />Does Urgent Biophilia flourish in “the backloop”?<br />
  12. 12. OK… So What?<br />implications for better understanding human-nature interactions, or feedbacks, in SES perturbed by a catastrophe<br /> Implications for better understanding the relationship those human-nature interactions have to SES resilience.<br />
  13. 13. Thank you<br />Acknowledgments<br />I am grateful to Marianne Krasny for many critical discussions about biophilia and its explanatory utility in community greening in a general sense, as well as for multiple helpful reviews of early versions of this chapter. I also acknowledge the useful conversations and insightful perspectives contributed by James Tantillo and Richard Stedman on biophilia and the debates around sociobiology. I wish to express my gratitude to Lance Gunderson for his thorough and insightful review of this chapter. Thanks to S. Kellert for his critical review of this work, and for his elaboration and dissemination of the biophilia hypothesis. I thank all of the above-mentioned, and acknowledge that any errors of omission or commission in this work are only my own. Finally, though I have yet to meet him, I am indebted to E. O. Wilson for his original conceptualization of biophilia, and<br />