International Biodiversity Day 22nd of May 2016

The 22nd of May is International Day for Biodiversity. This year’s topic is Mainstreaming Biodiversity; Sustaining People and their Livelihoods.

On International Biodiversity Day the Rotterdam New Institute organizeds a number of activities along with the Natural History Museum. Visitors can explore the Museum’s biodiversity in its garden and how man can contribute to biodiversity in the city. Find out more at Het Nieuwe Instituut.
“The small zoo” is the contribution of NextCity initiator DS landscape architects to this day, it is part of the Zevenklapper (‘seven claps’) project to make parents aware of nature around the house, through 7 projects for children. The Zevenklapper is adopted by nature education insititution Veldwerk Netherlands.

Read more on past an this years Day of Biological Diversity as declared by the United Nations at the Convention on biodiversity.

Master Class on succesful municipal biodiversity policy

160425 MasterclassBiodiversiteit (c) elba
In June 2016 a Masterclass for Biodiversity is held in Tilburg and Nijmegen. In many municipalities in the Netherlands biodiversity policy is still in its infancy when it comes to the municipal level. Many municipalities tend to follow traditional green policy and are not always aware of their role and responsibility for biodiversity.

With the new Law on Nature Protection (‘Wet Natuurbescherming’ ) to be introduced in 2017 municipalities and provinces are expected to ensure that they can effectively protect and expand biodiversity.

Questions addressed are:
– What impact has the ‘Wet Natuurbescherming’ of your organization?
– How do you meet the requirements of tis Nature Protection Law?
– What role can expect from the national government?
– What steps can be taken to increase biodiversity in your municipality?
– Which green is capable?
– How do you measure biodiversity in your municipality?

The Master Class costs 299 euro and takes place on Tuesday afternoon, June 2 in Tilburg and on Tuesday afternoon, June 16 in Helicon Nijmegen. Read more on the programme and register.


Those who live with us are not always our friends. Argentina recently introduced two hunters of Aedes mosquito larvae to kill them: fish and toads.
In El Salvador they consider since long mosquito larvae fish food! The El Salvadorian government distributes Samba fish to those having stagnant water. Drinking water in barrels is the perfect biotope for larvae and many poor people have this. They say the method saved the population from dengue and ZIKA.
Argentina has two new friends to fight the mosquito: fish and toads. You can buy them on the Argentinean market today for 7 dollars each.
And for those who do speak Spanish:


Atelier Groenblauw launched in collaboration with various water boards and municipalities the HuisjeBoompjeBeter app. This free app helps users to make their home and garden climate resistant. You can find it in the app store on your mobile phone. The app allows you to live not only more sustainable and more comfortable but also contribute to a pleasant city with a climate-resilient environment.

The House Boompje Better app responds to the changing climate and especially gives practical tips that are easy and quick to carry out in order to live comfortably in the future. The app provides access to practical tips to make your home climate-proof and easily compare your eco-score with others. Anyone with a house with its own roof, balcony or garden can now contribute to a climate resilient environment!

Look also for:
Urban green-Blue grids for sustainable and dynamic cities, Hiltrud Pötz and co-author Pierre Bleuze.

Cartoon report Stadscafe RAP

by Maarten Wolterink

by Maarten Wolterink

The first edition of Stadscafé RAP Leiden has been succesfull. The theme Nature & the City was approached by three guests with various backgrounds, from nature-inclusive design (Maike van Stiphout from DS), bird protection (Jip Louwe Kooijmans from Vogelbescherming Nederland) to expert in biodiversity (Marco Roos from Naturalis). The crowd got excited and engaged itself “en masse” for removing tiles in their gardens in order to make room for more biodiversity. Some even promised that same evening to get started! Three lucky ones went home with a free ‘bakkie om’ from Leidse Grond. Satisfactorily moderator Mathias Lehner could conclude that a large majority of the approximately 80 attendees eventually rallied behind the statement: More biodiversity is achievable if everyone participates. I do too.

Leiden newspaper cartoonist Maarten Wolterink summarized the evening in a series of beautiful and funny cartoons. See you at the next Stadscafe in Leiden!

Stadscafe RAP Leiden

stadscafe RAP

On Tuesday, March 8th RAP Leiden presents Stadscafé Nature&The City. Stadscafé is a fast and interactive discussion with the city (you) on topics that deal with Leiden region, architecture, public space and urbanism. There will be one hour of live culture and discussion. Afterwards the discussion can be continued in the City Hall bar.

Speakers: Marco Roos (Naturalis); Jip Louwe Kooijmans (Vogelbescherming Nederland); Maike van Stiphout (Nextcity)

location: City Hall Atrium, Stadhuisplein 1, 2311 EJ Leiden
time: 8 PM (door opens at 7.30 PM)

more info

wild animals are welcome in Maastricht



This years DESIGN AWARD “Made for Maastricht” is dedicated to new species that search and find their place in the city. In Amsterdam, for example spoonbills and seals have been spotted; soon we can expect otters and raccoons in our cities. The competition focuses on the urban environment of Maastricht: the urban environment as a new habitat.

The assignment
Design a house for a living species in the city of Maastricht. This house should be practical and should esthetically fit into the urban environment and fullfill the demands of the designated animal. The design must lead to a more pleasant environment for humans and animals.

The DESIGN AWARD Made for Maastricht is an annual competition organized by Designday collaboration MAFAD (Maastricht Academy Fine Arts and Design). The price, 5000 euro, is provided by the City of Maastricht and fits into the bigger masterplan ‘Made in Maastricht’, to stimulate the creative manufacturing industry in the city.

The focus of the DESIGN AWARD Made for Maastricht is the (re) appreciation for craftsmanship. Therefor the submitted designs should be carried out by the designer himself. The concept of craftsmanship in this context covers the area of ​​both the old and the new digital technologies.

Read more about design day AWARD

Biodiverse Cruquius!

image DS

image DS

Next City is very happy to see that the results of the Biodiversity research have been implemented in the plan for the design of the public space in Cruquius.

We are proud of our contribution to this promising biodiverse development. Page 35 of the VO-book shows a list of the interventions Next City Lab Team came up with, like the Bioloop, nature-friendly quays and other green connectors. These and more biodiversity interventions can be found in our Inspiration Book Cruquius and the Cross section Poster.

Quality of life for all species!

download VO-documents Stadsdeel Oost

Lessons learned

Vogelbescherming Nederland

Vogelbescherming Nederland

[column by Jip Louwe Kooijmans – January 28th 2016 – Vogelbescherming Nederland]

With my homework neatly in my bag, probably just one year in highschool, I went to English class. The assignment was being discussed openly. “Jip”, the teacher asked me “what can we see on the beach? I read out loud for what I had written in my notebook: “on the beach we can see gulls”. As if it was on command, all children started laughing. The teacher supported me by giving me a compliment for my answer. The class thought I said: “on the beach we can see girls”. Apparently the other first graders did not read English bird books and therefore didn’t know the word “gull”.

On a regular base this story pops up in my mind. Because not a year goes by without some civil servant or journalist calling me with a question, or rather a complaint. about seagulls. Every time I tell them if we don’t change and reorganise the city itself, it is pointless to fight them directly. Do they never learn? If we keep the city clean, the seagulls don’t have to clean up our mess. Everyone understands, but nobody seems willing to know. In the city of Alkmaar the gulls are even been shot because of the so-called nuisance. On the other side of the North Sea, in Newcastle, an information board draws the attention of the people passing by on the colony of Kittiwakes on the window sills and bridges along the River Tyne. It is a mindset.

When I was in school children with red hair were scolded, until the redheaded Sandra van Echten appeared in a video clip of the Golden Earring and everyone realised how beautiful women with red hair are. Be proud of what you have, although sometimes you have to be made aware of it by others. With seagulls it is no different. Seaguls are beautifull. There is no question. Only those who do not have an eye for beauty can dislike them. Flying Seagulls stand for beauty and suppleness and above all this, seagulls are the symbol of freedom. Gulls are among the best fliers of the Animal Kingdom and have learned to successfully adapt to a world that is increasingly dominated by people. If we again admonished, we can organise the cities in a way that the seagulls follow us as we wish. I think seagulls and people in the city can live together perfectly. Only gulls learn their lessons faster than we do.

Read Jip’s column in Dutch here


this column is a pre-publication of De Stadsvogelaar & andere verhalen.
a short story book by Jip Louwe Kooijmans, published in mid February 2016 by Aspekt.