These are the things I am reading, my thoughts on the subject, and brief summary of the literature. This list will continue to grow, so keep tuned in.

To forward down the list, click on the following sub-headings:

Architecture ¦ Biomimicry ¦ Climate Change ¦ Economics ¦ Energy ¦ Environment ¦ News ¦ Planning ¦ Water


Givoni, Baruch. Climate Considerations in Building and Urban Design. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1998.

Holzworth, G. C., & United States. (1972). Mixing heights, wind speeds, and potential for urban air pollution throughout the contiguous United States. Research Triangle Park, N. C: Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Air Programs, [for sale by the Supt. of Doc., U. S. Govt. Print. Off., Washington.

Nitsch, J. P. E. (August 01, 2010). Trends in biomimicry tools. Landscape Architecture, 100, 8.


M. Baum, Biomimetic and Biophilic Design as a Model for Regenerative Redevelopment of the Post-Industrial San Francisco Bay Edge, unpublished M.Arch/MUP thesis presented at UCBerkeley, 2005.

Baums thesis is a number of case studies describing biomimetic and sustainable strategies in current building practice. She comes up with a matrix in which to rate the success of these design strategies. 

Beatley, T. (2011). Biophilic cities: Integrating nature into urban design and planning. Washington, DC: Island Press.

Beatley describes how to integrate natural ecological features within cities and the urban form. He describes the types of animals and ecosystems that are still present within urban areas and how they are able to survive within this unnatural environment. Bealey’s book has a variety of strategies that are currently being done on a small scale within communities now, but he stresses how the community needs to use all these features to have a biophilic city. Some strategies include green roofs, urban rivers, etc. He also goes into detail what needs to be done on a governmental policy level and includes how planners need to start incorporating these ideals within their long-range planning. He shows what has worked so far within metropolitan areas and how those communities can still foster biophilic growth to a larger extent.

J. Benyus, A Good Place to Settle: Biomimicry, Biophilia and the Return of Nature’s Inspiration to Architecture, in SR Kellert, JHeerwagen and MMador, Biophilic Design:  The Theory, Science and Practice of Bringing Buildings to Life, 2008, New York: Wiley.

Benyus started the Biomimicry Guild, exploring different natural system and how they can act as a solution to the built environment. Almost none of these ‘answers’ have been fully explored and seen if they would be a practical way to mitigate climate change. Within this article, she describes the basics and differences between Biomimicry and Biophilia and how these concepts can be applied to architecture. 

J. Benyus, Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature, 1997, New York: Harper Perennial.

Benyus started the Biomimicry Guild, exploring different natural system and how they can act as a solution to the built environment. In her book, she looks in detail on how nature systems can be integrated to solve different problems within human’s social lives. 

Kaplinsky, J. (2006), Biomimicry versus Humanism. Architectural Design, 76: 66–71. doi: 10.1002/ad.212.

Kaplinsky takes an opposing view to the idea of Biomimicry. He believes that mechanical solutions are the key to solving the problems of the city and climate change. He argues that “ biological language and analogies diminish the real achievement of designers. He calls for a humanist sense of what architecture and engineering mean in the world.” I feel this apposing article could be a good jumping point to see the negatives or the weaknesses within Biomimicry and maybe even delving into these weaknesses and finding solutions for them.

M. Mador, Water, Biophilic Design & the Built Environment, 2008. In SR Kellert, J Heerwagen and M Mador, Biophilic Design: The Theory, Science and Practice of Bringing Buildings to Life.  New York: Wiley.

Climate Change:

Bulkeley, H., & Betsill, M. M. (2003). Cities and climate change: Urban sustainability and global environmental governance. London: Routledge.

Dallmeier, F. (2010). Climate change, biodiversity and sustainability in the Americas: Impacts and adaptations. Washington, D.C: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press.

This book describes the link between biodiversity and human systems. Dallmeier shows how with climate change the natural environment is degrading and how this will affect a variety of other natural systems within the United States. Dallmeier also describes how these natural systems are starting to adapt to climate change. 

Davoudi, S., Crawford, J., & Mehmood, A. (2009).Planning for climate change: Strategies for mitigation and adaptation for spatial planners. London: Earthscan.

This book, with a series of different articles, is highly informative of current practices of what communities are doing for climate change and how they will be able meet those challenges. 

Leary, N. (2008). Climate change and adaptation. London: Earthscan.

This book has a variety of example across the world articulating what communities and cities are doing to adapt for climate change. Although there are no examples of cities within the Pacific Northwest of the Unites States, I believe their methodologies and ways they lay out their reasoning for good and bad adaptability strategies are strong.

Ludwig, F., & Co-operative Programme on Water and Climate. (2009). Climate change adaptation in the water sector. London: Earthscan.

National Research Council (U.S.)., National Research Council (U.S.)., & National Research Council (U.S.). (2010). Adapting to the impacts of climate change. Washington, D.C: National Academies Press.

National Research Council (U.S.). (2004). Implementing climate and global change research: A review of the final U.S. Climate Change Science Program strategic plan. Washington, D.C: National Academies Press.

Pelling, M. (2011). Adaptation to climate change: From resilience to transformation. Abingdon, Oxon, England: Routledge.

Plunz, Richard and Maria Paola Sutto, eds. Urban Climate Change Crossroads. Burlington, VA: Ashgate, 2010.

Rosenzwig, Cynthia, “Taking Action.” 
Rosenzwig looks at a variety of different non-profit and governmental organizations that work with the effects of climate change. In response to urban heat island, she describes the International Panel on Climate Change in Cities (IPC3) Assessment Report done by the Urban Climate Change Research Network (UCCRN). They are currently still working on their first assessment report but have come out with a framework, or outline, specifically looking at Buenos Aires, Delhi, Lagos, and New York. Their entire assessment report will highlight main key issues with climate change within cities, like urban heat island effect. An assessment report will be published every two years.

Roaf, S., Crichton, D., & Nicol, F. (2009). Adapting buildings and cities for climate change: A 21st century survival guide. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Smith, P. F. (2010). Building for a changing climate: The challenge for construction, planning and energy. London: Earthscan. -.

Waggoner, P. E., & American Association for the Advancement of Science. (1990). Climate change and U.S. water resources. New York: Wiley.


Coming Soon…


Coming Soon…


Ausubel, K., & Harpignies, J. P. (2004). Nature’s operating instructions: The true biotechnologies. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books.

Hackman, N. (2009). Plant responses to the urban climate: A look at stomatal numbers and growth of plants in Seattle, Washington.

Hackman goes into detail about what the effects of climate change and specifically urban heat island will have on plants. More greenery is one of the main ways in which to mitigate the effects of climate change. To be able to make plants thrive in a harsher, warmer environment, we need to examine the types of plants that could survive the climate. She takes a scientific approach to her study and has good strategies in keeping the plant life alive within this region with the excess pollution and less sunlight.

Marzluff, J. M. (2008). Urban ecology: An international perspective on the interaction between humans and nature. New York: Springer.

There are multiple articles within this book that give cues on adaptive strategies to mitigate climate change. Focus on ecological systems and the best way to be integrated into the built environment, there is a lot of valuable strategies on how to combine both the natural and urban environments.


Coming Soon…


Brebbia, C. A., & International Conference on Urban Regeneration and Sustainability. (2000). The sustainable city: Urban regeneration and sustainability. Southampton, UK: WIT Press.

Groenewegen et al, 2006.  Vitamin G:  Effects of green space on health, well being and social safety. BMC Public Health. 6:149 (accessed 092811).

This article describes how having more green spaces help people in various ways. By implementing more trees and plants, it is thus mitigating a lot of urban heat island negative effects while also improving the health of those who live within that environment. It seeks to answer three questions:
a.     “How strong is the relationship between the amount of green space in people’s living environment and their perceived health and well-being, and feelings of safety and is this relationship stronger for specific population segments and/or types of green space? How can this relationship be explained?”
b.     “Do urban neighborhoods that differ in the amount and type of green space in the vicinity, also differ in the health, well-being and perceived safety of the people living in these neighborhoods? Have urban neighborhoods that went through a large change in the amount of green space, changed in these respects? If so, which aspects of the green space seem to be the most influential ones?”
c.      “Is having an allotment garden related to health, well-being and perceived safety in urban dwellers and how can this relationship be explained?” 
These questions not only just describe mental health, but physical health. Gardens and green spaces are one of the mitigation strategies for urban heat island, and through this article we can see that gardens do improve the health of urban dwellers which was already impaired through urban heat island.

Heynen, N., Kaika, M., & Swyngedouw, E. (2006). In the nature of cities: Urban political ecology and the politics of urban metabolism. London: Routledge.

Landsberg, Helmut E. The Urban Climate. New York, NY: Academic Press, 1981.

Landsberg shows the historical context of urban heat islands. He analyzes the effects of wind speed and population size for a variety of urban areas domestically and internationally. Landsberg shows how the increase of population and the urban form increases the likely-hood of urban heat island effect. He also shows the differences between night and daytime minimum and maximum temperatures, showing how night temperatures do not lessen the increased temperatures.

Maas et al, 2009.  Social contacts as possible mechanisms behind the relationship between green space and health. Health and Place, 15(2): 586-595. (accessed 092811)

Maas explains that there is more involvement to mitigating health disturbances because of the built environment. People also need social settings to be happy and healthy. This paper helps relate how to build green spaces with social space to help improve health. 

Miller, D. C. (1975). Leadership and power in the Bos-Wash megalopolis: Environment, ecology, and urban organization. New York: Wiley.

Ruth, M. (2006). Smart growth and climate change: Regional development, infrastructure and adaptation. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Pub.


Field, R. (2006). BMP technology in urban watersheds: Current and future directions. Reston, Va: American Society of Civil Engineers.

This book has a chapter on the integrated approach to Urban Stormwater Management. Within this, the book describe many ways in which planners and engineers can take cues from natural ecosystems seen around the urban environment and implementing the same techniques within infrastructure. 

Weather and water in cities. (1997). Geneva, Switzerland: World Meteorological Organization.

Yudelson, Jerry. Dry Run: Preventing the Next Urban Water Crisis. Gabriola Island, BC, Canada: New Society Publishers, 2010.

This book looks at the urban water crisis that is becoming an increasingly large issue due to climate change. Yudelson specifically goes into case studies, one being Las Vegas. He describes the way water is currently being used in Las Vegas and how they will not be able to ever have a sustainable water source because of the desert location and the increasing heat due to climate change. Furthermore, Las Vegas is starting to take water from valuable resources, creating problems with other smaller communities in Nevada.


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