Author Archives: Maike van Stiphout

Biodiversity for all on former ship slope

On an island in the city of Dordrecht, a new district is being developed – Stadswerven. It is built on the site of a former shipyard. The ship slope is the park of the district. The gradual transition from land to water and the ever changing water levels of the river are conditions for the design of a new habitat for men, plants, birds, fish, amphibians and insects. An innovative quay design is made of stabilized dredges, including nesting possibilities for the kingfisher and shore swallow. The Wervenpark is seen as the start of the transformation of all the banks along the Merwede, Maas and North into a regional tidal park.

This beautiful park concept and more works are to be seen on the exposition “Building with nature” in the Baggermuseum in Dordrecht until the 7th of April 2018. For more information visit: www.nationaalbaggermuseum.nl/exposities

Architecture school boasts a MOER: multi objectives environmental roof

Brand new Greenwich University received a prize for its BREEAM+ school complex thanks to the employees of the department of landscape architecture. They commissioned no less than 14 roof gardens on the building and composed a series of “green experiences”. The upper gardens are harsh fields, where in extreme conditions solar panels share space with wild plants. Modern planted borders align the outdoor classroom, students and visitors can harvest “quince”, lettuce and more in the edible gardens. The pool further up has immediately been occupied by a couple of ducks. And a fox climbs the safety stairs at night to stray around on the roof meadows.
“We even have our own honey, but it’s already sold out”, landscape architect Benz Kotzen says.
This project greatly proves that biodiversity in the city can strive to unprecedented heights with great commissions and stewardship. The gardens are taken care of by the staff themselves.
Client:University of Greeenwich
Architect: Heneghan Peng architects
Landscape architect: Benz Kotzen, Robert Holde
Year: 2014
Size roofs: 0,45 hectares

“Animal Aided Design (AAD)”

In order to protect animal species or to establish new ones in cities, scientists Dr. Thomas E. Hauck (University of Kassel) and Prof. Wolfgang W. Weisser from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have developed the concept “Animal-Aided Design (AAD)”. It aims to integrate the needs of animals into urban planning. Valuable niches can be created for birds, reptiles or mammals, and the quality of life of city dwellers will increase.

In their research project, they examine how urban requirements and the needs of animals can be combined. They wrote an interesting brochure on it.

At the international scientific Workshop „Designing Urban Animal Diversity“ on 28 and 29 September at the the Technical University of Munich experts who have been working on design and planning for biodiversity in the urban realm are invited to present and compare different methods of integrating animals into urban developments. Nextcity.nl is taking part in the workshop.

For more information on AAD look at: https://www.tum.de/die-tum/aktuelles/pressemitteilungen/detail/article/32308/

Making Urban Nature


Making Urban Nature is a book of examples about nature-inclusive designing of outdoor spaces in European cities. From different angles, this publication addresses the theory of ecology and biodiversity, animals in the city, biotopes in the city and the management of urban nature. It gives ten recommendations for nature-inclusive design, in short:
1. design a process
2. be strategic
3. design inclusively and integrally
4. make complex and diverse designs
5. design points, surfaces and lines into a coherent system
6. design with nature – not against nature
7. let nature and culture inspire you
8. design the management
9. take a stand in the discussions about nature development
10. hang on

I discovered throught this book interesting work of Edouard Francois in Paris. Get inspired to build for biodiversity this summer: Put this guide in your suitcase and visite some fine examples in our European cities.

Designing bird friendly buildings

As changes in production and construction techniques facilitated the greater use of glass, cities have become more dangerous for birds to navigate through. Untreated glass is responsible for virtually all bird collisions with buildings. The relative threat posed by a particular building depends significantly on the amount of exterior glass, as well as the type of glass used, and the presence of glass ”design traps”.
The Valley is the newest icon to be built on the Zuidas in Amsterdam, designed by MVRDV and developed by OVG. This building combines glass facades and glass balconies with an abundance of trees and shrubs on all floors. The right choice of vegetation will attract lots of birds. An existing and challenging design! But could this healthy environment for people be the death of lots of birds, making it all less pleasant?
The Canadian bird live organisation FLAP published a handbook for architects titled Bird friendly – best practices Glass. It’s full of tips and tricks. With this at hand all architects can make bird friendly buildings. And MVRDV can make the Valley a place to live for all.

Download the handbook here: http://nextcity.nl/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/BF-Best-Practices-Glass_FinalAODA_Bookmarked.pdf.zip

Int. Conference on Metropolitan Planning and Ecology

The lecture of M. van Stiphout images: http://nextcity.nl/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/lezingvogelbescherming.pdf.zip

The Dutch Birdlife is contributing to a nature inclusive city. On March 23, we immerse ourselves in the city of the future and we celebrate the successes that have been achieved so far. We’ll be inspired by experts in the field of nature inclusive urban planning and construction. And we’ll hear what birds ‘tell’ us on the future of the built environment.

The development in a dense urban areas, such as the Netherlands and metropolitan regions in other countries, is longing for the combination of good planning including the needs of all that lives.

Builders, architects, planners, managers and conservationists can fully collaborate in creating an urban environment that is good for people and birds. Birds in this context are an indicator of the quality of our environment.

There are sustainable solutions for many urban problems. With the protection program for city birds the Dutch Birdlife has been with 10 years experience here!
The speakers are:
. Ken Yeang – Architect (Malaysia)
. Patricia Zurita – Director of BirdLife International (UK)
. Maike van Stiphout – DS landscape architects & Academy of Architecture (NL)
. Ruud Foppen – Extraordinary professor Integrated Conservation Biology (NL)
. Redmond O’Hanlon – Author and adventurer (UK)

Isolating for biodiversity

isoleren

“Stroomversnelling”  (‘Rapids of electricity’) is the name of a Dutch coalition of builders, housing associations, banks, suppliers and communities. They combine energy saving with building for nature. Their goal is to facilitate the permit process for renovating identic row houses to a ‘zero-on-the-meter’ energy efficiency.
Our massive post war building production is much better isolated than those built before but also less suitable for the nesting of many species, such as bats, swifts and sparrows. Will the Zero-on-the-meter efforts reduce once again the housing opportunities for many animals?

The Netherlands are champions in efficient building. “Stroomversnelling” developed the NOM-quality mark. With this quality mark the renovation strategy meets all requirements to be zero-on-the-meter and can be approved quickly by the council. One of the assets is that the NOM quality mark includes nesting facilities for bats, swifts and sparrows in the walls and roofs of NOM-houses. “Stroomversnelling” acts proactive. They go beyond the EU laws to protect habitats, animal and plant species to ease the permit process. The building industry aims at renovating at least 110,000 homes in the coming years. On this scale the Dutch approach is a great opportunity for biodiversity. The districts with NOM-houses will likely be a walhalla for bats, swifts and sparrows!

www.stroomversnelling.nl
http://stroomversnelling.instantmagazine.com/

Tanks for Toads

tankspoor

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.