Dutch policy on building for biodiversity


“Sustainability is more than saving energy . It’s also the conservation and development of biodiversity. With small interventions on buildings, such as architectural modifications to the design or the adaptation of a working method or the materials to be used, much can be achieved for biodiversity and liveability in the city. And even more can be achieved with an approach at neighborhood level.” The Dutch government says.

The Dutch government recently opened a website to inform about building for biodiversity – natuurinclusief bouwen. They provide the definition of nature inclusive building, some technical information for architects and a checklist for urbanists and landscape architects. This list is inspired by the Malmö checklist (see earlier blog).

The links on the right sight lead to financial support for nature inclusive buildings.

for more information (it’s all written in Dutch).: https://www.rvo.nl/onderwerpen/duurzaam-ondernemen/gebouwen/technieken-beheer-en-innovatie/natuurinclusief-bouwen

Copenhagen Islands

CPH-Ø1 is a small 20m2 hand made wooden platform with a linden tree at its centre. It is a simple and iconic metaphor for an uninhabited island and represents the first taste of a completely new type of public space coming to Copenhagen. Moveable, floating, public spaces free for people to explore and conquer. The Copenhagen islands will introduce a “Parkipelago” in the city where urban development  threatens recreational spaces, but also in a global context where rising sea levels creates new challenges for urban environments. See for more info www.copenhagenislands.com/, Fokstrot. Foto (c) Airflix.

Animalesque utopia in cities? Kick-off symposium April 14th, Berlin

Animalesque is a design-led architectural research and education laboratory committed to using innovative technology to study the way animals and humans interact in urban environments. Its goal is to create new forms of urban living that enable all forms of life to co-inhabit cities in a mutually beneficial way. The laboratory is set up by the Architectural Association in collaboration with ANCB.

Berlin is an ideal location for exploring new ways humans and wildlife can co-inhabit urban spaces. Initially, Animalesque will develop architectural models that integrate bee nesting spaces into their structures. Through its educational programmes and outreach work, the AA Visiting School aims to inspire a discussion and debate on the practical ways innovative combinations of zoology, life sciences, digital technology, architecture and cybernetics can make cities better places for all forms of life to prosper.

Date: Saturday, 14 April 2018, 2.00 – 6.00 pm
Place: ANCB/Aedes, Christinenstr. 18-19, 10119 Berlin. More info see ANCB.

New Paris Biodiversity Plan 2018-2024

Just a couple of days ago in March 2018 the new Paris Biodiversity Plan 2018-2024 was adopted. Among other strategies concrete actions include 20 new biodiverse public spaces until 2020, as well as an atlas of Paris nature published. Until 2012 40% of the ground surfaces shall be made permeable. More info: https://www.paris.fr/biodiversite

Download the Paris Biodiversity Plan 2018-2024 (4 page outline in French only so far).

This is not the first plan for biodiversity in the French captial. After signing the Regional Charter for Biodiversity in 2004 Paris had already 55 exterior green walls in 2006 and 90 public buildings with green roofs (36.000m2) in 2010. In 2012 Paris had more than 100.000 trees, many of them planted after the late 1990s. (Beatley, T: Green Cities of Europe, Global Lessons on Green Urbanism, 2012)

The first Paris Biodiversity Plan was adopted in 2011. It already emphasized knowledge gathering and information, the sustainable management of green spaces, supporting the creation of green roofs and walls, the protection of ecological corridors, and regional cooperation. In 2015 Paris counted 637 species of flora, and 1.300 species of fauna, including 28 mammals and 66 breeding bird species.

The 2011 plan was set up in a participative manner: “all actors must be mobilized”. (Portrait of Biodiversity in Paris, 2016). Why Paris engaged in a Biodiversity Plan? “In the very dense and highly urbanized Paris context the presence of nature in the city improves the living environment and health of the inhabitants, and contributes to reducing heat islands and pollution.”

Documentary “The Nature of cities” – Timothy Beatley

The nature inclusive cities are the future human biotopes. In the documentary “The Nature of Cities” Professor Timothy Beatley explores urban projects around the world, representing the new green movement that hopes to move our urban environments beyond sustainability to a regenerative way of living. Designers, academics and ecologists from Malmö Sweden until Austin Texas, talk about the succes of their nature inclusive neighbourhoods. Some interesting quotes like the one mentioned above,lard the journey.

Citizens do invest in these neighbourhoods, in their houses, gardens and social connections. He proves that is does create better cities. After seeing all these succesfull projects you long for a documentary with new fresh examples, showing that we do continue developing nature inclusiveness in cities. Who’s next!

You can watch at: https://vimeo.com/98080426 or http://www.cultureunplugged.com/documentary/watch-online/play/11862/The-Nature-Of-Cities

Latest developments in biodiversity policy

March 6th, 2018 Mathias gave a keynote lecure at the conference on nature-inclusive urban design in Amersfoort, organized by the branch organizations of landscape architects (NVTL), urban planners (BNS) and the network of green designers (NGB). He presented international examples of policy for nature-inclusive and biodiverse cities, such as the Singapore LUSH program, and the recent policies in The Netherlands, The Hague and Amsterdam. Policy and building regulations quickly adopt the idea of biodiversity increasing quality of life. In addition, policies are changing: from stimulating, or suggesting they become comprehensive and compulsory. Finally, more evidence and research is coming up that prove the (economic, but not limited to those) values of more biodiversity in the city.

Nextcity.nl lectures at conference on nature-inclusive urban design


It is now possible to sign up for the thematic expert meeting on March 6th, 2018, full of practical and conceptual knowledge concerning design of green/nature/landscape within the disciplines of urbanism, landscape architecture and architecture. The full program is now published and includes a keynote by Mathias Lehner of nextcity.nl. The day offers presentations of nature-inclusive projects, and discusses results of cross disciplinary collaborations in this field. There is a discount for members of NVTL, BNSP and BNA Royal Institute of Dutch Architects. Location: De Observant, Amersfoort. Sign up via Netwerk Groene Bureaus.

Premiere Movie “The Wild City” (De Wilde Stad) on 26th of February 2018, Amsterdam

The new movie De Wilde Stad shows the city from the perspective of wild animals and plants. Mountains of glass and concrete, industrial deserts and endless canal tubes re homes to an unexpected large amount of wild animals, trees and plants. The habitats in the city are equally attractive to them then nature, forests and wilderness. “The city does not replace nature, it is nature.”
A debate accompanies the premiere of the movie and takes place on the 26 of February 2018 in cinema Tuschinski, Regulierbreestraat 26-34, Amsterdam at 1730-1845 hrs. More information see www.dewildestad.nl.

Plan Amsterdam – Building a green city


Plan Amsterdam is a magazine about physical planning, projects and developments in the city and the metropolitan region of Amsterdam. Several issues are in English. The latest magazine is about building a green city. This edition contains an interview with Maike van Stiphout about building for biodiversity.

Amsterdam residents are increasingly visiting green spaces in their neighbourhoods to relax, enjoy nature, play, exercise or meet friends. Green spaces provide an attractive environment and offers peace and tranquility. That alone is of great value in an increasingly crowded city.

Is there enough room for more green space in a densifying city? This issue of Plan Amsterdam makes it clear that we have to protect and cherish our green space. By improving the quality of this green space more Amsterdam residents and visitors will be able to enjoy it.

Read the full online version:https://issuu.com/gemeenteamsterdam/docs/planam-03-2017-eng?e=19262377%2F55651571