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.

Biophilia: Pittsburgh February Meeting: How Love of Community Drives Grassroots Sustainability

Zaheen Hussain

The Thurs., Feb. 2 Biophilia: Pittsburgh meeting will feature Millvale Sustainability Coordinator Zaheen Hussain, who will lead a discussion on "How Love of Community Drives Grassroots Sustainability." A native of Bangladesh and a Pittsburgh transplant by way of Connecticut, Zaheen serves as Millvale's sustainability coordinator. Supported by the Millvale Community Library, and working with the Millvale EcoDistrict Collaborative, Zaheen's efforts are a shared community resource that helps advance Millvale's EcoDistrict goals in the areas of food, water, energy, mobility, air quality, and equity. Prior to his work in Millvale, Zaheen worked on various sustainability initiatives as a project manager at GTECH Strategies. Focusing primarily on energy efficiency, Zaheen helped lead the ReEnergize Pittsburgh Coalition, where he worked collaboratively to increase demand for energy efficiency services by bridging organizational partnerships and increasing community level advocacy and educational programming. 

Meeting Schedule

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

Biophilia: Pittsburgh meets monthly at the Center for Sustainable Landscapes classroom 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 

Meetings take place in the Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL) Classroom which is located on the facility’s first floor. The main Conservatory entrance will be closed, as these meetings take place after normal business hours; to access the CSL, follow Frew Street (located between the Oakland/Schenley Park bridge and the Christopher Columbus statue), which will take you around the Conservatory to the lower campus. Guest parking spaces are available on your left as you approach the CSL.


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