What is Petra Blaisse reading when it comes to biodiversity?

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Having spoken to Petra Blaisse of Inside Outside recently on her current and recent projects around the world Petra gave NextCity an exclusive insight into her literature list on biodiversity in the city. Get inspired and join the NextCity book club!

La Vie des Fourmis, Maurice Maeterlinck
A Sting in the Tale, Dave Goulson
Taxidermy for Language – Animals, Tine Melzer
The Earth Moved, Amy Stewart
La Vie des Abeilles, Maurice Maeterlinck
The Plausibility of Life, Marc W. Kirschner + John C. Gerhart
Planten die elkaars gezelschap zoeken, Helen Philbrick + Richard B. Gregg
(‘Plants that are looking for each others’ company’)
What good are bugs?, Gilbert Waldbauer

Excellent biodiverse designs by students

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The final presentation for Mathias’ first year students at the Academy of Architecture took place on October 26th, 2016. The students of architecture, landscape architectur and urban planning attending the design class ‘Feel Good’ at the Academy brought in a couple of fresh ideas for more biodiversity and Quality of Life in the City.

The work by student Bart Donkers proposes a resting place for stressed urban nomads next to one of the ferry stops zig-zagging through the Amsterdam waters of the IJ in the upcoming urban North of the city. A huge diversity of singing birds helps the busy urban travellers to relax all-year round and protected by the winds of the open water.

Interview with Petra Blaisse of Inside Outside

161107-ml-en-pb-interview-emila-actie-c-mvsLast week Mathias interviewed renown landscape designer Petra Blaisse of Inside Outside as next part of the interview series on ‘Building for Biodiversity in the City’ that will be available as e-learning to students on European schools for landscape architecture. Petra is not only a great designer but also a fun interview partner; she had brought great proejcts in a.o. Madrid, Quatar and Almere, and a basket full of autum leaves – with a lot of biodiversity inside as we could find out at closer inspection!

Tanks for Toads

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I never thought that we would need tanks to protect the endangered ‘yellow bellied toad’. Recently an army tank drove through the nature reserve Mattheiser Wald. This time it was not an army exercise but it was ‘rolling for biodiversity’.
A toad demands for her eggs virgin, sunny, new, shallow ponds. Biologists discovered that tanks make the perfect pools to deposit their eggs. The result of the ride is a beautiful architectural print. They made a charming egg deposit design. This is just the beginning, let’s design prints to increase biodiversity!

NRC 29-30 oktober, Wetenschapsbijlage, de kleine wetenschap, Hester van Santen

All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others

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Cats are a serious threat for the biodiversity, is the conclusion of the research of Pete Marra and his college Tom Will. They wrote the book “Cat wars”. Pete and Tom researched the role of human beings in the extinction of birds. Which part of the loss is not caused by virus or other natural ennemies but by us.
Kate Orff, a well known American landscape architect, showed during a lecture on the landscape biennale in Barcelona, a matrix of photos of dead birds . She collected lots of dead birds at the foot of glass buildings, noise screens and infrastructural elements. The findings, with passport, were sent to the National Road Department. I hope they shaped the building code into a more bird friendly one. .
The two researchers concluded that nor the glass buildings, the infrastructural elements, the windmills, the cars or electricity cables were the most devastating of human actions but our domesticated cats.
There goes a big chunk of the stewardship for endangered bird species, because most people love their cats more than anything else.

Master class “Working with nature,,

Leidsche Rijn, 8 juli 2015 Willem Alexanderpark Foto: Walter Herfst

Leidsche Rijn, 8 juli 2015
Willem Alexanderpark
Foto: Walter Herfst

Organization master class: DS, Yuka Yoshida
Partners: Academy of Architecture, Tree nursery Het Groene Huis, Nextcity.nl
Date: October 15, 2016 from 9:00 to 16:00h at Boskoop
Fee: 149,- euro exclusive 21% BTW
Language: Dutch

Living with nature improves the quality of life. And nature is increasingly important for citizens. What few know is that the Dutch do have a long tradition of designing with nature.

Well known is that plants in the city reduces urban problems such as heat stress and catch small dust particals in the air. And that the effects of climate change such as heavy rainfall, are mitigated by trees, retaining rainwater. A bird song in the morning makes us happy. And patients cure faster with a window view on nature.

The master class starts with a lecture by Professor Dr. Erik A. de Jong on the Dutch history of
Designing with Nature. The urge to live with nature originates in the late 19th century. The designer will gain insight into the current design trend in the perspective of time, the idea of nature and the architects at that time.

Plants and animals are bound to each other, the knowledge about who does it with whom, increases day by day. Fred Booy uses the knowledge in designing planting plans. He tells about the balance between aesthetics (E) and ecology (E) an the hand of his own work. The public space has more and more flowers. He will explain the new management of green in the cities, the economic side (E). The designer learns to think according to the three E’s.

In the third lecture Ir. Maike van Stiphout tells what a Nature Inclusive City is and what benefits people have when we start designing for plants and animals. The designer collects valuable arguments and references to inspire its clients to make nature inclusive developments.

The master class will take place at the tree nursery Het Groene Huis in Boskoop. An excursion on the nature based nursery, guided by owner Fred Booy, is part of the master class.

For more information look at dsla.nl

Filming for European Exchange

160912-filming-ml-mvs-hortusSeptember 8th, 2016. The second day of filming about the research conducted within the Nextcity project took place along river Amstel in a summerly setting. In an interview setting Maike van Stiphout (DS) and Mathias elaborated on the added value of biodiversity in the city. The film is part of the European Emila project and will be online later this year.

Diving in clear water thanks to increased biodiversity

Nyasha01cropAcademy of Architecture Amsterdam student Nyasha Harper presents a design for biodiversity in the city with many spin-offs. Her proposal for remodelling a part of  a run down park in Amsterdam West adds a great landscape design that tells a story, but also introduces a neighboorhoud based Swimming Club. Volunteers take care of the proposed water filtering plants that are cleaning a section of the blurry canal. As a reward they get a swim in the unprecedented clear Amsterdam waters. A design for neighbourhood empowerment, increasing biodiversity and quality of urban life. Dive in!

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