Mass urbanization presents one of the most urgent challenges of the 21st century. A fast-growing percentage of the European population lives in urban areas. Quality of city life and the attractiveness of cities are key parameters for success in the global competition for growth. It will be presented a case of biophilic urbanism using a project of river restoration. The project was inspired by nature-based solutions to reduce the risks of climate change. The new urban design for Albufeira reflects humanity's innate need for contact with nature. The project created a sense of place by recovering the buried river, reconnecting citizens with nature and the history of the place. The green and blue infrastructure provides multiple socio-cultural benefits and ecosystem services. It is less cost-intense and brings long-term benefits that will enhance city resilience and improve human health and wellbeing. Then a case study of environmental justice will be presented. More research is needed on biophilic planning approaches for differently sized cities, located in various climatic zones, with diverse ethnic composition, income, quality of urban life.
Speaker: Professor Dr. Thomas Panagopoulos
Thomas Panagopoulos (Dr.) is a professor of landscape architecture at the University of Algarve in Portugal. He received his MSc in renewable natural resources in 1992 and PhD in forestry and natural environment in 1995. Currently is a member of the Research Centre for Tourism, Sustainability and Well-Being and a member of the coordinating body of the PhD program in innovation and land management. He was the department head of landscape architecture and the master’s degree director at the University of Algarve. He is a reviewer and member of the editorial board of several reputed international journals on sustainability. He has acted as a principal investigator, co-principal investigator, and investigator for projects with total approved funding of over 8 million euros. This results from his research strategy, which crosses numerous disciplinary boundaries to create a holistic trans-disciplinary approach to science, and his multicultural background in fostering research at an international level. Besides, he has vast experience in working on many European and private projects. Currently is coordinating the projects: BIODES: Improving life in a changing urban environment through biophilic design; RESTORE: Rethinking sustainability towards a regenerative economy; TrailGazerBid: Enhancing natural and cultural assets to stimulate economic development. He has also served many cities to develop their sustainability plan. From 2011 to 2017 was at the executive board of the UNISCAPE (the Network of Universities for the implementation of the European Landscape Convention).