Biophilia: Pittsburgh is the pilot chapter for a global Biophilia Network of creative minds dedicated to strengthening the bond between people and the natural world through education, discussion and action.

Join Pittsburgh’s new network of creative minds working together to strengthen the bond between people and the natural world.

Biophilia: Pittsburgh April Meeting: Pittsburgh's Changing Urban Forest

Join us on Thurs., April 4 at Café Phipps to hear Matt Erb of Tree Pittsburgh discuss recent forest trends. This talk will concentrate on Allegheny County's loss of 11,000 acres of tree canopy between 2010 and 2015 due to climate change, invasive pests and widespread anthropogenic causes. There are nearly 200 native and non-native species of trees in our urban forest, and Matt's talk will focus on some of the most regenerative of these species. 

Meet the Speaker

As director of urban forestry, Matt manages many of Tree Pittsburgh’s urban forestry programs, including the implementation of the Urban Forest Master Plan. In his 11 years at Tree Pittsburgh, he has created numerous programs and executed the first installation of Silva Cells — a modular system that places healthy soil beneath traffic-supporting paving — in Pennsylvania. He is an International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Arborist and an ISA Municipal Specialist with a degree in urban forestry. Since 2009 he has served on the Pittsburgh Shade Tree Commission. He served as the president of the Pennsylvania Urban and Community Forestry Council and is the former treasurer of PennDel ISA.

Meeting Schedule

5:30 – 6 p.m. — Networking and refreshments
6 – 6:30 p.m. — Presentation
6:30 – 7 p.m. — Discussion

Meetings are free to attend; however, advance registration is required. To R.S.V.P., please send us an email or sign up on our Meetup page

Discover Our Additional Resources

Designed as a series of posts on the Phipps blog and a hashtag for use on Twitter and Instagram#bioPGH is a new social call-to-action for people throughout the region to more closely examine the beauty and importance of the nature around them.

The Biophilic Mind is a blog focused on presenting primary-source articles at the intersection of human health and the natural world. The Biophilic Mind aims to highlight high quality, recent research about the connections between well-being and nature.

Inspired by the Biophilic Cities initiative, the Biophilia: Pittsburgh Directory seeks to present an overview of the biophilic organizations, events, activities and projects in Pittsburgh, to aid the public in enhancing their connections to nature and discovering collaborative opportunities. 

In this archive, you may access presentation materials and video recordings from previous installments of our monthly Biophilia: Pittsburgh meeting series. Additions will be made often, so visit regularly for the latest materials to deepen your Biophilia: Pittsburgh experience.

Biophilia: Pittsburgh meets monthly at Café Phipps at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens where, over delicious small-plates and light refreshments, a discipline or behavior is identified — often by an expert guest speaker — and discussed among the participants in the interest of sharing ideas and identifying opportunities. 


Directions and Parking 

The meeting will take place at Café Phipps, and entry will be available through the main Conservatory entrance at our Welcome Center. Guest parking spaces will be available at the parking island on Schenley Drive.


Our Goals

• To welcome and inspire others with the concept and principles of biophilia
• To foster collaboration and learning between professionals from a wide variety of disciplines
• To communicate biophilic principles in action-oriented ways to a wider audience for exponential and regional impact


What Is Biophilia?

The term “biophilia,” which literally means “love of life,” was coined by social psychologist Erich Fromm and popularized by biologist E.O. Wilson, who defined it as “the innately emotional affiliation of human beings to other living organisms.”

The implications of biophilia extend across a vast array of disciplines including design and engineering, nutrition, psychology, public health, education, biology and the humanities. Biophilia is expressed all over the world every day, through complex collaborations such as the design and construction of buildings and landscapes; and intimate, personal encounters including nature hikes and home gardening.

Photo © Paul g. Wiegman, Phipps staff