Urban Biofilter designs, implements, and advocates for the integration of biological systems into our existing urban infrastructure. Urban Biofilter is a research and design organization based in Oakland, CA and is a project of Earth Island Institute, a 501(c)3 nonprofit.

As a collaborative team of ecological engineers, designers and community organizers, Urban Biofilter creates environmental systems appropriate to each site and community. We foster community participation by translating the technical language and bureaucratic processes used by government. Making scientific and engineering knowledge accessible, our projects empower underrepresented community members to assess the ecological needs of their neighborhoods and to collaborate in community-based design process.

We focus on transforming undervalued urban resources such as brownfields and wastewater into community assets. We identify the microorganisms, minerals and plants that can provide rapid solutions for collecting, sequestering and transforming pollutants. Our research is interdisciplinary; in addition to developing innovative bioremediation processes, we explore the policy and economic systems that will enable implementation. Through quantifying ecosystem services such as air, soil, and water filtration, heat island mitigation and climate change preparedness, we build the case for green infrastructure.



Green Infrastructure and Bioremediation