55-million urban dwellers in the UK are increasingly disconnected with nature and all of its benefits, but it does not have to be this way.
London-based architectural practice, Cullinan Studio has launched a campaign to Make Room for Nature – for nature’s sake and for ours. They are looking to collaborate with designers, makers, planners and academics to help rethink cities and restore the connection between people and the natural world.
It is clear our cities are undergoing rapid changes. More than three-quarters of the world’s population now live in urban areas and our relationship with the natural world is becoming increasingly out of balance. The impact on public health, human creativity and social equality is overwhelming.
The recent Covid-19 lockdown has brought into sharp focus just how valuable access to nature is for city-dwellers, across the globe. It is vital for our wellbeing that we integrate nature into our daily routines; on health walks, on the journey to work, on the school-run, in a lunch break. Research shows that even a short exposure to nature can measurably improve wellbeing, reduce stress levels, aggression and heart rates, while research into low-grade urban environments has found a link between poverty, anxiety and depression.
Architects and designers can learn from the research of environmental psychology and neuroscience amongst others, and can implement the principles in design and planning. The empirical evidence can help to advocate these important design principles to clients, and demonstrate the social, economic and wellbeing benefits of considered design.
Roddy Langmuir, a Practice Leader of Cullinan Studio said:
“The best buildings have always responded to a holistic brief. There is a pressing need right now to develop new ways of making buildings elegantly, with wit and joy, through the lens of their connection to nature, better health and the imperative of a zero carbon architecture. We are very keen to collaborate with all who share this goal”.
Nature brings us a new opportunity to reimagine our cities, reduce air pollution, increase biodiversity and tackle the climate emergency. Cullinan Studio’s vision for a world where nature thrives can be found on their new website: www.cullinanstudio.com