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The Economics of Biophilia, 2nd ed.

Why designing with nature in mind makes financial sense


Biophilic design, or designing experiences of nature, has grown in appeal and scientific justification in the last two decades. Hundreds of studies have identified strong impacts of exposure to nature on many of the human behaviors and capabilities that underpin our entire economy. Unfortunately, health-promoting design features are systematically underinvested because of a lack of clarity on their economic benefits. This publication argues in favor of biophilic design by examining scientific studies of the effects of nature on human productivity, preferences, and health in a variety of space types, and by assigning economic values to these outcomes as justification for investment.

This second edition of The Economics of Biophilia is a complete rewrite of the first edition, saving a few favorite studies and financial extrapolations from the first edition and introducing many new ones. Also new is a chapter on Hospitality, as well as the addition of brief case studies and practical Do-It-Yourself tips to each chapter. This edition draws on Terrapin’s experiences of supporting clients on developing biophilic design strategies and the most cost effective ways to implement them.

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This report is made possible in part with the support of Interface. The opinions and conclusions in this report are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsor, contributors, or peer reviewers.


Catie Ryan, Terrapin Bright Green
Bill Browning, Terrapin Bright Green
Dakota Walker, Terrapin Bright Green

Editorial Support

Paula Melton, BuildingGreen

Suggested Citation

Catherine O. Ryan, William D. Browning, & Dakota B. Walker (2023). The economics of biophilia: Why designing with nature in mind makes financial sense. Second edition. New York: Terrapin Bright Green, LLC. http://www.terrapinbrightgreen.com/report/eob-2


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The Economics of Biophilia, 2nd ed.

Why designing with nature in mind makes financial sense

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