Using biomimicry to inform urban infrastructure design that addresses 21st century needs
Kenny, Jillian, Desha, Cheryl, Kumar, Arun, & Hargroves, Charlie (2012) Using biomimicry to inform urban infrastructure design that addresses 21st century needs. In 1st International Conference on Urban Sustainability and Resilience: Conference Proceedings, UCL London, London, UK.
The design of society’s major infrastructure systems are generally based on anthropogenic learnings and seldom encapsulate learning from nature. This results from a pervading attitude of superiority of human-designed systems, particularly since the Industrial Revolution. Problems created by such behaviours have previously not been thought to present a serious threat to humanity. However, many built environment professionals are now reconsidering the impact of such systems on the environment and their vulnerability to issues such as climate change. This paper presents an approach to delivering sustainable urban infrastructure that addresses 21st Century needs by emulating natural form, function and process - biomimicry – in infrastructure design. The analysis reveals the context for infrastructure change and the need for sustainable solutions, detailing the current inquiry into biomimicry informed design and highlighting potential applications from literature that demonstrate precedence for nature to inspire the design of urban infrastructure, in particular water and energy systems.
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