Seals have been spotted in and around Amsterdam more often recently. Marlena Rether, student of Mathias at the Academy of Architecture Amsterdam, proposes an archipelago of islands in Amsterdam.These islands are made of recycled plastics found in the water of the IJ. They are the resting places for the seals. The islands are floating upon a sort of reef construction that serves as a habitat for the seals’ favorite dish: fresh fish. An urban swim-in restaurants for seals, that can be conveniently spotted by ferry passengers and passers-by.
Marlena Rether and Bart Jonkers, students of this studio at the Academy of Architecture were invited to present their plans at the City of Amsterdam.
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
Green roofs are good for the city by buffering water, cooling the air, absorbing fine dust and – of course – improving biodiversity. The Amsterdam crowdfunding and crowdsourcing platform Rooftop Revolution launched in 2016 aims to create the newest Dutch natural reserve, right in the middle of Amsterdam. The initiative has realized some 1.300m2 of green roofs in the city so far. With a practical online toolbox the site provides insight in what the options are for individual rooftops, and what costs can be expected. There is also a special incentive for roofs from 200-1.000m2.
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)
“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!
Honoured with the National Dutch Steel Award 2016 and realized in May 2015 the 250m long Palaisbrug across the rail tracks in Dutch city Den Bosch proves that highly urban and infrastructural locations can contribute to biodiversity. ‘Adding 2500m2’ of park surface to the city the weather resistant steel bridge designed by Dutch architects Benthem Crouwel integrates lighting and furniture but also plants and trees – and all the species living on the latter which were chosen together with botanist Piet Oudolf. The bridge is the second park-bridge globally and features floor heating, an irrigation system and free Wifi.
Image above (c) Jannes Linders, below (c) denboschtips.com
Green and blue infrastructures provide a range of services which can make cities more resilient and help us adapt to climate change. Using green and blue infrastructure is recognised as a desirable ‘win-win’ approach because it also delivers multiple social, economic and environmental benefits.
The Malmö city district of Västra Hamnen (Western Harbour) in Sweden is an example where green infrastructure planning tools have been successfully used in new developments. The planning of the Western Harbour area began already in the late 1990s.
The Green Space Factor is an innovative tool for calculating green space requirements for new development; the Green Points System is a checklist of 30 green and blue infrastructure options for developers. Download the expert paper published by the Town and Country Planning Association, April 2011. © Annika Kruuse, the TCPA, and the GRaBS Project Partners.
The DSO of the city of The Hague wrote a document with tips and tricks to improve nature inclusif development in their town. Amongst all they considers copying the Malmö Green Points System. The document is worthfull input for all cities in The Netherlands who consider to make their towns nature inclusif. Download the document.
We proudly present the nextcity.nl program for 2017.
Join us at some of our activities and download the folder.
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
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.