Learn to develop urban and rural landscapes that are environmentally friendly and enhance human health and well-being

Landscapes influence our well-being in subtle ways. The presence or absence of green spaces and patterns which replicate those found in nature may have a profound and positive effect on human health. Biophilic design embraces nature and aims to help human health and the environment through the incorporation of green spaces and natural harmonies.

Biophilic design incorporates our need to be with nature by using natural elements and systems in the design of the built environment. The underlying principle is that the inclusion of nature in both man-made landscapes and buildings has a significant impact on our health and well-being. Biophilic design is more than simply using plants everywhere because it engages natural systems and processes.

In this course, you'll learn strategies for developing urban and rural landscapes, how to provide services to people, and how to work with environmental conditions.



This course is broken up into ten lessons as follows:

  1. Relationship between Outdoor Environments and Human Wellbeing
  2. Design Considerations
  3. Patterns and Principles in Urban Design
  4. Components of the Landscape
  5. Providing Services to People
  6. Affecting the Individual
  7. Affecting Environmental and Climate Conditions
  8. Assessing and Analyzing Existing Landscapes
  9. Integrating Biophilic Design into Existing Landscape
  10. Working in/ Improving Urban Development


Duration: 100 hours


Course Aims

  • Discuss the relationship between physiological and psychological health and outdoor environments.   
  • Determine the important biophilic factors which should be considered when designing or renovating an outdoor space.
  • Explain different principles and patterns which have been identified as underpinning biophilic landscape design.
  • Describe how different elements of an urban landscape can contribute in a positive way to human well-being.
  • Describe how a range of landscaping techniques and methodologies can be utilised to benefit human wellbeing by encouraging use of public spaces.
  • Evaluate the relationship between the health of individuals and different environments, and how biophilic design can  be of benefit to wellbeing.
  • Evaluate landscapes and determine actions that can be taken to improve the environmental conditions of people in those places.
  • Understand how to assess and analyse existing landscapes.
  • Redesign a landscape to meet biophilic requirements for a renovation of an existing landscape.
  • Create a design to show how an urban (town or city) location may be improved to meet biophilic criteria.

Where Can Biophilic Landscaping Be Used?

What you learn in this course has very real applications in both rural and urban environments; in commercial and residential situations; and in fact any situation. It does however have a particularly important relevance to places where the environment is under greater stress, and often that will be in cities and their surrounds.

Urban development offers opportunities to make environments more biophilic. In recent years, whole cities have been called biophilic and there is now a website established by the University of Virginia's School of Architecture (UVA) which is dedicated to listing cities which meet biophilic criteria. The university collaborates with planners and designers of cities around the world in assessment of those cities. They help find solutions to obstacles which impede the incorporation of nature, and monitor progress, as well as offering advice, research and teaching in the area.

A biophilic city is one which has plenty of nature in it and which seeks to encourage and develop interactions with nature.  Professor Tim Beatley from the UVA describes biophilic cities as having the following qualities:

  • Abundance of nature - there is plenty of nature close to many of the city dwellers. The biodiversity is rich, and it is cared for and nurtured. Such cities are organic and 'natureful'.
  • Relationship with nature - residents of biophilic cities have a caring relationship with the local flora and fauna, as well as other aspects of the natural environment such as the climate. Their relationship with flora and fauna extends to recognizing different species and wanting to look after them. They also relate to the topography of the land and other elements of the place which define the local environment.
  • Outdoor activities - there are many opportunities for residents of biophilic cities to get outdoors and mingle with nature whether through walking in parks or cycling along tree lined roads. The city encourages people to be outdoors and enjoy the connection with nature.
  • Sensory stimulation - the environments in biophilic cities offer a great deal of sensory stimulation including sights, sounds, odours or touch. Such varied stimulation encourages and enhances our relationships with nature.
  • Education opportunities - there is a focus on teaching and learning to recognise the importance of nature within biophilic cities. Residents have many opportunities to interact with nature as part of their learning experience. There are social clubs and group activities which encourage participation in talks, activities or events in which knowledge of nature and natural systems can be passed on. Examples include volunteer work in revegetation projects or garden restoration.
  • Suitable infrastructure - within biophilic cities there is suitable infrastructure which helps city dwellers to get close to nature and feel connected with it. It may be through museums and art galleries or more directly through wildlife parks outdoor activities.
  • Global outlook - biophilic cities do not see themselves as detached from the rest of the world. Instead, they recognise that they are part of a global effort to protect nature and biodiversity. They are involved in conservation initiatives on the world stage.


Just go to the top of this page for pricing and enrolment options. If you have any questions you can contact us now, by:
Phone (UK) 01384 44272, (International) +44 (0) 1384 442752, or

Email us at [email protected]