How Nature Based Development can become a turning point in our civilization.
Updated: Feb 27
The impact of human development on the environment is undeniable. As we continue to expand our cities and infrastructure, we often do so at the expense of our planet's ecosystems and our well-being. But what if we could reinvent development as a way to enhance our planet's ecosystems and improve the quality of our lives? This is the vision of Nature Based Development (NBD), an innovative practice than can become a turning point in our civilization.
Nature-Based Development (NBD) is a cutting-edge approach that aims to engineer civilizations to operate in harmony with the natural world. By leveraging the intelligence of nature, NBD offers a holistic solution that goes beyond mere sustainability. The ultimate goal of NBD is to transform our cities and buildings into thriving ecosystems that not only have an ecological role but also nurture and restore the surrounding environment. This approach emphasizes a deep understanding of the natural processes and cycles that govern life on our planet, and seeks to integrate these principles into the very fabric of our built environment. Through NBD, we can create a future where human development and environmental health are inextricably linked, leading to a more sustainable and thriving world for generations to come.
Nature Based Development (NBD) goes beyond the conventional approach of adding greenery to buildings. It entails designing buildings and infrastructure to function as circular and living ecosystems, where ecological functions, biological principles, and physics are integrated into the master plan. NBD seeks to create a symbiotic relationship between buildings, infrastructure, and ecosystem services to promote sustainability and restore ecosystems. Besides ecological considerations, NBD also prioritizes the quality of life of human inhabitants by ensuring that buildings and cities provide essential necessities such as clean water & air, food security, and comfortable and resilient housing, all while minimizing operating costs.
Nature Based Development (NBD) aims to create a more compassionate world by enhancing the economic, social, and ecological aspects of our societies. Inclusiveness is the cornerstone of NBD, and it is crucial to achieving long-term sustainable development. NBD focuses on developing civilizations that are socially, financially, and environmentally inclusive, and operate within the laws and elements of nature. By fostering a close connection between people and nature, NBD can help individuals gain a better understanding of the interconnectedness of life. This, in turn, can lead to improved relationships with others and oneself, and a greater sense of connection to the global community.
Nature Based Development is not just about engineering ecosystems, it's about engineering empathy and compassion in our societies.
As the world faces unprecedented environmental, social & financial challenges, we need innovative and bold solutions to create more resilient and livable civilizations. NBD offers a promising path forward that benefits both humans and the natural world. It can help mitigate the negative impacts of urbanization, such as air pollution, water scarcity, and loss of biodiversity.
The design presented above is a prime example of how Nature Based Development projects incorporate the intelligence of Nature into their engineering. The geometry & function of the project is inspired by the DNA molecule, the fundamental building block of all life on Earth. In DNA, water cycles play a critical role in its structure and function. Water molecules carry genetic information and are essential for DNA expansion and replication.
Similarly, this Nature Based Development project is designed with water cycles at its core, allowing for the structure, function, and expansion of the development. As the development expands along the DNA-inspired structure, it continually restores and nurtures the ecosystems within it. Autonomous Human habitats are integrated along the water cycles, contributing to the development's overall water harvesting and recycling system. The waste water from these habitats is engineered into a biological circular system, helping to restore the ecosystems in the landscape. In this way, the landscape and architecture in Nature Based Development projects are always designed to function as one living ecosystem, promoting the sustainability and balance of the development with the natural environment.
Nature Based Development is not a new concept, and it has been practiced by many ancient civilizations throughout history. For example, the Mayan city of Tikal was designed to work in harmony with the surrounding jungle, with buildings constructed around existing trees and water systems. The city was built to last, with features like elevated plazas that allowed water to flow beneath them, preventing flooding during the rainy season.
Similarly, the city of Hampi in India, built in the 14th century, was constructed using NBD principles. The city was built on the banks of the Tungabhadra River, and its buildings were designed to blend in with the natural surroundings. The city's water systems, including tanks and canals, were carefully designed to conserve water and prevent flooding.
By looking at these ancient examples of NBD, we can learn from the wisdom of our ancestors and apply it to modern urban development. By incorporating NBD principles into our cities, we can create sustainable, livable, and resilient urban environments that benefit both humans and the natural world.
As we stand at this crossroad, we realize that our future is intertwined with the health and well-being of our planet. The recent global crises have reminded us how fragile our existence is and how interconnected we are with the world around us. But we can't just sit back and wait for someone else to solve the problem. We all must take responsibility and work together to create a world that is sustainable and compassionate.
Policymakers, architects, developers, and concerned citizens all have a role to play in transforming how we develop our future civilizations. We must rethink our approach and adopt Nature Based Development as our vision of unity. This means designing and building in harmony with nature, nurturing ecosystems, and promoting inclusiveness in our societies.
The challenges we face may seem daunting, but we can't afford to wait until they become overwhelming. We must act now, and we must act together. Each of us has contributed to the problem in some way, and therefore, we all must be part of the solution.
Join us on this journey towards a thriving future civilization. Through collaboration, partnership, and hands-on efforts, we can build the foundation of a better world. A world where we live and operate within the intelligence of nature, fostering empathy and a sense of connection to a larger community. Let us embrace this opportunity to create a world that is healthy, compassionate, and worthy of our children and grandchildren.