Envisioning a socially and ecologically sustainable human habitat: Connecting Land.

For the attention of: Landscape architects, environmental educators, city planners and sustainability practitioners and scientists

The problem: There is no established agenda to create sustainable urban environments that combine bio-physical and socio-cultural dimensions. Consequently, many urban environments suffer from lack of direct nature experiences, insufficiently integrated ecosystem services, and narrowly considered public health and well-being in the urban design.

What we did and why: We explored the basis of a transdisciplinary agenda for nature-connecting human habitat, i.e. an ecologically sustainable habitat that promotes a cultural connection between people and nature. We create an explorative vision for sustainable human habitats that integrate personal, social, and environmental factors and then identify actions and synergies to achieve it.

What our study adds: The collective vision suggests a variety of psychological, physical, cultural, and environmental attributes that interplay with each other. Next door nature routines are essential to create nature-connecting habitats. The consequent co-benefits with nature-based solutions are many as is the potential to support the Sustainable Development Goals.

Implications for city policy and practice: Given the wide range of actors benefitting, further exploration and planning of future human habitats would benefit from including many different actors such as local officials, educators, lawyer, ecologists, landscape architects, and even medical doctors – through social prescribing; and of course, local communities!

Full research article: Connecting land. A transdisciplinary workshop to envision a nature-connecting human habitat by Matteo Giusti (@matteogiusti), Wenpei Wang & Tanya Marriott. City Know-how editor:  Marcus Grant