Biophilic Design

Project Narrative

Biophilic Design is the process of integration nature throughout space and infrastructure. Studies have shown contact with nature provides a wide range of positive physical and mental health benefits, including decrease in stress levels and increase in cognitive performance. Biophilic Design can create Biophilic Cities, immense assets in the fight against climate change.
These cities have the potential to be the key to mitigating effects of climate change, preparing resilient ecosystems for generations to come. A few the resiliency benefits are listed below:

• Air quality
• Biodiversity
• Drought Reduction
• Erosion Control
• Flood and Stormwater Control
• Public Safety
• Reduced Urban Temperatures

This project takes inspiration from the High Line in New York City. Innovative green projects such as the High Line have proven to be sustainable and profitable, creating jobs for the local economy and laying grounds for native species to return. Not only would the redesign of the Purple People Bridge provide further recreational opportunity, but education and natural connection; even air quality surrounding the bridge would improve as the tree canopy captures CO2 and gases emitted by barges and industry nearby.

The Purple People Bridge is the catalyst of a proposed green corridor, linking Cincinnati to Newport, Kentucky. This link is an opportunity for a regional network of green infrastructure and pedestrian mobility. The proposed redesign of the Purple People Bridge builds off the existing culture of the bridge, while optimizing space, use, and capacity. Decks are rounded to give a clearer view of the city; these platforms will serve multiple purposes. Maintaining the base structure and connecting the existing platforms can create 50 feet of walkable, bikeable surface. In addition, the arched platforms provide an additional 50 to 90 feet, for natural vegetation, green infrastructure, and other programming. The existing metal barriers will be partially dismantled, to create openings between pathways and sections of the bridge. Aside from introducing tree canopy, impervious services, native gardens, and urban agriculture to the community, the new bridge design provides ample opportunity for recreation, relaxation, and education.

Areas of interest in proximity to the bridge include alleys, underpasses, parking lots, commercial areas, and streets. Each area has an identified green intervention, highlighted in the provided axons. Interventions include, but are not limited to: bioswales, raingardens, green roofs and walls, and permeable paving. The vision for this project is highlighted within the renders provided.

Through the applications of Biophilic Design, Cincinnati can become a Biophilic City, catalyzing off the redesign of the Purple People Bridge into an urban oasis. This Plan can be used as a model for other local applications and has the potential to expand regionally.

Project Completed in 2023


Project Details

Submission Category

Landscape Architecture & Community Planning – Implementation

Date of Completion

April, 2022