First Guide to Nature Inclusive Design

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first g uide to n atur e i nclusive design

maike van stipho ut

fi rst gu ide to n ature i nclusive design

co ntent

Agonum species 1

Agonum species 2

Agonum species 3

Agonum species 4

Alleculidae species 1

Altica species 1

Amara species 1

Amara species 2

Anthicus species 1

Anthiscus species 2

Aphodius species 1

Athous species 1

Blaps species 1

Blaps species 2

Bruchidius species 1

Chaetocnema species 1

Chrysomela species 1

Cleoninae species 1

Coccinellidae species 1

Curculionidae species 1

Cymindis species 1

Dasytes species 1

Drilidae species 1

Ebaeus species 1

Elateridae species 1

Exochomus species 1

Fourcartia species 1

Galerucinae species 1

Galerucinae species 2

Haplidia species 1

Haplidia species 2

Harpalus species 1

Harpalus species 2

Harpalus species 3

Lema species 1

Onthophagus species 1

Otiorhynchus species 1

Oxythyrea species 1

Pachysbrachis species 1

Philonthus species 1

Phorocantha species 1

Platydracus species 1

Pleurophorus species 1

Polydrusus species 1

Silis species 1

Sitophilus species 1

Stenophorus species 1

Stenomax species 1

Syntomus species 1

Tachinus species 1

Tenebrionidae species 1

Tenebrionidae species 2

Tenebrionidae species 3

The beatles found on a roof in Mexico-city by Dr. Stephan Brenneisen and collegues, ZHAW Zurich.




the time is right



iconic examples


acros 1994



bosco verticale 2014

vertical 2020



creating synergies



getting started


the mountain landscape



#2 the urban biotopes


#3 the design tools



this works



student projects

pr e face

If you took the city of Tokyo and turned it upside down and shook it, you’d be amazed at all the animals that would fall out: badgers, wolves, boa constrictors, Komodo dragons, crocodiles, ostriches, baboons, capybaras, wild boars, leopards, manatees, ruminants in untold numbers. There is no doubt in my mind that feral giraffes and feral hippos have been living in Tokyo for generations without being seen by a soul.

Yann Martel, Life of Pi


With the projects I realised in my life I changed the world a little. I’m the daughter of a biologist, who became a landscape architect with love for nature. The vast and intricate entanglement of ecosystems and cities has always animated me. Landscape architecture is the only profession designing with urban ecosystems. It’s time for architects and urbanists, commissioners and the building industry to join in, because nature inclusive design leads to better quality of life for all beings. Urban ecosystems are extensive and improving them is a complex task. But many small projects together do have a positive impact. This insight made me decide to create this guide for city builders. I crystallised the knowledge I acquired through the years into a compact, practical theory in which you follow three steps to make a nature inclusive project. An easy start for beginners. ”Where can we find your theory?” People often ask me after a lecture about nature inclusive design. This guide is the answer to that question. And since we have only just begun to build for biodiversity, I call it the first guide. Who’s next? Maike van Stiphout



The discovery of stratification of habitats and their biotopes, Alexander von Humbolt, illustrated for the mountain Chimborazo, 1807 Central Library, Zurich, Switzerland




p latform for nature anne van der graaf


Opportunity Railway tracks are important ecological corridors in urban areas. While stations are connecting places for people, they are obstacles for animals migrating in this extensive and robust network. To improve the network, stations should make space for animals. In this proposal two railway tracks and one platform at Amsterdam Central Station are designed as a corridor for toads. And the roof is opened to let rain and sun in and birds fly in and out freely. Benefits for the people in contact with nature How beautiful it can be waiting for the train while toads are croaking in the centre of the capital.



th e tim e is right

Bamboo temple in Hengkeng village DnA-design and architecture, Beijng, China 16

When in the ‘70s, the Austrian artist Friedrich Stowasser drew a sketch of a city building with a tree planted in one of the rooms as a ‘Baummieter’ (‘tree tenant’), would he have had a grasp of the type of milestone his thinking had set? Design for rich and biodiverse ecosystems in cities has made rapid strides since then, culminating in structures that merge architecture and landscape. Examples include the ACROS Prefectural International Hall in Fukuoka by Argentinian architect Emilio Ambasz & Associates in 1994 and more recently Bosco Verticale, designed by Italian architect Stefano Boeri in Milan and completed in 2014, with three more of these vertical forests currently under construction in the Benelux. It even led to the construction of a new forest city in Lizhou, China designed by the same architect. These iconic projects are merely a hint of a broader movement of architects and landscape architects, who have increased attention for green building and nature inclusive design. They emerged in parallel with the start of the energy transition, active reduction of consumption and the recent tendency of circular use of building materials. Innovative ideas pop up everywhere. The Chinese interdisciplinary practice DnA took designing with plants to a new level of delicacy with their poetic Bamboo Theatre in 2015, made solely from living, arched bamboo. In a design studio in the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture, students invented many more inspiring examples, some of which are presented in this guide. Meanwhile, urban and metropolitan areas increasingly densify, serving as the main biotope of humans from all walks of life. The UN predicts that 75% of the human population will live in urban areas by 2050. A population which, by then, nears 17

World population (billions)

9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 -

I 1950

I 1960

urban population

I 1970

I 1980

I 1990

rural population

I 2000

I 2010

I 2020

I 2030

total population

The growth of the world population only takes place in cities.

Herman Sittrop grafisch realisatiebureau, Biowetenschappen en Maatschappij


10 billion. This makes “sustainable urbanization the key to successful development� of man. As we can already observe today, this extreme flock to the city results in higher densities, risking a decrease of the urban quality of life. This development does not benefit metropoles, which are competing for the best international ratings to be the most attractive ground for settlement for strong enterprises and their qualified staff. In a reaction, a growing group of professionals is learning to embrace the complexities of urbanism, globalisation and ecology. One of the options being explored is to tackle the issue of ever-increasing urban density with the help of rich and biodiverse ecosystems and their associated advantages. It results in a steady growth in studies on urban ecosystem services. The benefits are clear, the need is urgent, political will is on the rise and the beauty of iconic projects is undeniable. It seems that the elements are in place for a more structural and integrated approach, bringing together architecture and landscape, buildings and ecosystems. The time is right to connect these efforts and use nature inclusive design methods more widely. This guide is intended to support the next step in that direction. A new relation with nature As we now know, a great number of humans deem themselves free to pick whatever they desire from the earth without regard for its limited carrying capacity. It has gone so far that Paul Crutzen coined the term Anthropocene, the human epoch, as a


Main species abundance (% of reference)

100 -

80 -

60 -

40 -

20 -

I 1700

I 1750

World (excl. Antartica)

I 1800

I 1850   Europa (OESE)

I 1900

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I 2000

The Netherlands

Main species abundance

PBL Netherlands Environmental Assesment Agency, 2013


way to explain the latest changes in geological layers across the globe. This raises questions on how we relate ourselves to nature. We are coming from a period when people regarded themselves as separate from ecology. We even literally placed ourselves above it. In the 17th century the French Emperor Louis XIV promoted domination of nature by draining a swamp for the erection of a new castle, the garden of which was designed to perfection by French landscape architect André Le Nôtre. This attitude is still visible in the results of the CIAM conferences in the 20th century. A key message was the spatial and intellectual separation of functions, but also of buildings and landscape – preferably with pilotis keeping them at a safe distance from one another. It led to a somewhat disturbed relation with nature in many urban layouts in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Troubles arose and the quality of life fell, for example in the Dutch Bijlmermeer urban development. This gave birth to countermovements such as the one driven by American-Canadian writer and activist Jane Jacobs, promoting diversity of use in urban areas. Late 20th century academic insights in the ecological mechanisms underlying the earth as a living system support this different outlook on the natural world. Consider the notion of emergent properties of ecosystems. It tells us that in a rich, biodiverse ecosystem, the whole is more than the sum of its parts. Together we are more. This applies to rich, biodiverse cities as well. Today, numerous urban development projects worldwide show a growing movement aiming to conserve, protect and work side by side with biodiversity. Architects such as Boeri and the Vietnamese architect Vo Trong Nghia promote an 21

Urban biotope, image designed for competition for the International Park The Haque, DS landscape architects, psCity, Placemaking Plus. 22

understanding of symbiosis between man and flora in their (often urban) buildings. The Netherlands Institute for Ecological Research by Claus & Kaan architects contribute to this aim with all aspects of construction. In Amsterdam, Aarhus and London, plans are put in place to preserve and enhance a rich urban ecosystem that does not only serve people, but other urban living beings as well. Ideologically, these initiatives have parted from the vision that man should only dominate. The logical next step is to engage into design that purposefully accommodates man, flora and fauna in an adequate way in order to maximise and popularize ecosystem services and the synergy evolving between them. This urban form of coexistence of all species can be achieved by stepping over the duality of ‘either-or’ thinking, of thesis and antithesis in modern architecture. Threats to the quality of life Cities will be the epicentres of mankind and the greatest part of the global economic benefits will be created there. Maintaining or improving urban quality of life is key. But the World Economic Forum has identified environmental degradation as a top risk for the long-term prospects of the global economy. The past actions are posing a serious threat to the high living standards Western cities have acquired. And all urban regions are at risk. Let’s consider just four of the main threats for metropoles. First, cities are expected to suffer increased floods caused by extreme weather events and rising tides. Secondly, the urban heat island effect is expected to amplify temperature peaks. This is due to the reflection of radiation on urban materials such 23

as glass and concrete. Thirdly, a growing amount of fine dust, related to higher production and less common rain washings, pollutes the air in urban agglomerations. This increases the risk of pulmonary and heart diseases. Fourthly, higher noise and stimulus levels due to increasing urban density are linked to stress. This too, could lead to numerous illnesses. It does not take a big stretch of the imagination to see how knowingly continuing on the current path would negatively affect citizens’ wealth and quality of life. The effect is expected to reach through all societal layers, but would particularly impact the elderly and those who can’t afford personal mitigation measures. Despite these threats the promise of a better future makes various species migrate into cities – like humans do – because these have more reliable conditions for their particular needs. This offers ample opportunity and incentives for a thorough exploration of new territory for design and architecture. Spatial design for resilient ecosystems and buffering environmental impacts Metropoles, competing globally for the best settlement conditions, are taking a leading role in design for biodiversity. That’s because cities that plan for rich and biodiverse ecosystems are a more attractive and healthier residential environment, raising the quality of life. Of the 18 different services that were defined in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment report, six have a direct benefit for the quality of life in cities. A rich biodiverse ecosystem alleviates peak temperatures during heat waves and has the capacity to store and evaporate excess water during heavy rainfall. Cities with 24

a rich and biodiverse ecosystem have cleaner air, store CO2 and their inhabitants have reduced stress, which is potentially linked with the dampening effect of vegetation on noise. To give an illustrative example of the abstract idea of ‘quality of life’: studies on attention restoration in schools and hospitals have revealed relaxing effects for people who could see vegetation. Natural sounds such as bird singing have similar effects. Positive effects are generally stronger when the ecosystems are richer, meaning more biodiverse and connected to their natural surroundings. The accessibility of such evidence is helping a growing group of designers, architects and their clients to understand and address the threats and benefits of ecosystems under urban conditions. To do so, they have to learn to carefully balance urban development in such a way that it allows for a rich and biodiverse ecosystem to evolve. The forthcoming advantages are not only for the users of the buildings and neighbourhoods. They are also for the owners and developers, for example through the increase of their real estate value. With the aim to safeguard these benefits, cities – generally not states – develop supportive urban policies that map and favour the richness of biodiverse ecosystems for the built environment. LUSH in Singapore is a prominent example, as is the new system of Green Points by the Municipality of Malmö. Amsterdam has introduced nature inclusive building criteria for new developments. These and more future examples will further improve techniques, solidifying the evidence of the benefits of rich, biodiverse ecosystems under varying conditions.


A starting point for nature inclusive design The momentum for design that maintains and improves rich, biodiverse ecosystems in the city is at an all-time high. And who are better equipped for such a task than architects and creative design professionals? This group are trained to deal with complex equations where more unknown factors are at play. They are design thinkers and are used to employ research by design. That puts them in the perfect position to lift this field to the next level. Quality of life in the city is a multidisciplinary effort, and architects are equipped to accompany and orchestrate complex, co-creational teams with various consultants, engineers and ecologists. The accelerating growth of metropoles around the world offers more than just challenges. It is the collective result of choices we made together. Our joint urbanization is an opportunity to create something bigger. Cities are a confluence of human, cultural, financial, intellectual and ecological capital. They are a breeding ground for new solutions to the intricate problems of their time. They are our ultimate chance to prove what we always were as a civilization: an emergent ecological phenomenon, able to reach new heights together with plants and animals. This fist guide to nature inclusive design, a type of design that maintains and improves a rich and biodiverse urban ecosystem, takes the position that urban quality of life can be designed for plants, animals, and humans to prosper together. It will require calibration of new spatial solutions for neighbourhoods, urban infrastructure, public spaces, buildings and building materials. This guidebook can be read as an encouragement to take up


one of the major challenges of our time. And it certainly also is an invitation to enjoy this process to the fullest.




d une island jeroen boon


Opportunity Amsterdam accumulates sand on the bottom of the IJmeer to make a new island for a novel neighbourhood. In this proposal, high density living is connected to nearby nature. The infrastructural facilities for cars are covered with sand. The landscape is mainly designed for slow traffic. One central metro line connects the inhabitants with the rest of the city. Benefits for the people in contact with nature The inhabitants live 20 minutes away from the city centre, in a quiet residential area with much nature. The island is a new recreational site for the city. The neighbourhood has a strong identity.



ico n ic examples


Nature inclusive buildings can lead to more biodiversity. Three projects illustrate this. These are ACROS, Bosco Verticale and Vertical. The first two are notable architectonic icons. ACROS was built in 1994. It gets more and more beautiful. Bosco Verticale was built in 2014, setting an enormous trend in architecture. It was so huge, that Tim Chant wrote in Archcity: “Can we please stop drawing trees on top of skyscrapers?â€? Vertical is the youngest nature inclusive example in this series. It will be finished in 2020. These buildings increase the possibilities for plants to settle. They bring about facts and data showing that the urban climate improves in their area. And besides their important shared focus on nature inclusive design, they have major differences to learn from. The architectural concepts differ, the urban planning environments vary, they differ in size and programme and they take place in distinct architectural cultures. These examples are living proof that building nature inclusively is possible and they create more biodiversity and a better quality of the living environment.


33°35'28.2"N 130°24'09.3"E

acros 199 4

ACROS was designed by the office of Emilio Ambasz architects. It was established in the ’90s, as an icon for sustainability. It integrated parks into our direct living space in a new way. The loss of park surface in a central neighbourhood of a densely populated city was compensated with a stepped facade on the park side, where a variety of species were planted. The slope is a public space. One can even wander there with Google Maps. The building houses a local municipal office, a theatre, a business centre, a shopping area and a parking garage. Landscape architect Michio Tase and his bureau Plamtago were responsible for the design of the slope. They used the biotope of a local hillside forest as their main inspiration for the planting scheme. The forest is 25 years old. With its endemic plants, it offers shelter, nesting opportunities and nourishment. The forest borders a park which is connected to the river. The water provides access to the local hillside forest ecosystems. Rain water does not leak into the sewers, but is collected for the vegetation. The plant covered slope reduces peak summer temperatures in the area and keeps the building and the neighbourhood relatively cool. This architectural icon is a beautiful reference for successful construction for biodiversity, coming from a very dense urban environment.





Naka river

Tenjin entral Park


ACROS and Tenjin Central


d park

Yakuinshinkawa river



Naka river

Tenjin Central Park



facts & figures height 48m 15 terraces surface 100.000m2 planting planted: 78 local species now: 120 species average: 50.000 plants biotope: local hillside forest, natural biotope develops in 60 years water rainwater retention in the forest soils only rainwater used for the terraces small planters have drainage system ecosystem service on a hot day temperature on slope 15 degrees lower than surrounding concrete insulation of the building building is rented out very well the older the more beautiful the building is maintenance no green waste: mulching from the start the landscape architect is coaching the gardeners for healthy, safe and diverse planting (no typhoon damage)



0.80 0.60


The cross section of the terraced roof. It shows the roof structure and the water supply. 43


The hillside forest around Fukuoka Google Street View 45

plantlist acros

Acacia mearnsii Acer buergerianum Acer distylum Acer palmatum Albizia julibrissin Amelanchier asiatica Aucuba japonica Aphananthe aspera Ardisia crenata Berberis thunbergii Callicarpa japonica Callicarpa mollis Camellia japonica Camellia sasanqua Carpinus japonica Carpinus tschonoskii Carpinus tschonoskii Castanea crenata Castanopsis cuspidata Castanopsis sieboldii Celastrus orbiculatus Celtis sinensis Cerasus jamasakura Cercis chinensis Chamaecyparis pisifera Chimonanthus praecox Cinnamomum camphora Cinnamomum pedunculatum Citrus unshiu Clethra alnifolia Cleyera japonica Corylopsis pauciflora Cotoneaster frigidus Cytisus scoparius Daphniphyllum macropodum Daphniphyllum teysmannii Dendropanax trifidus Deutzia crenata Deutzia gracilis Deutzia scabra Diospyros kaki var. sylvestris Elaeagnus pungens Elaeagnus umbellata Enkianthus campanulatus Enkianthus perulatus Eriobotrya japonica Euonymus alatus Euonymus fortunei Euonymus hamiltonianus Euonymus japonicus Euonymus melananthus Eurya japonica Fagus crenata

Fatsia japonica Ficus carica Ficus erecta Ficus primula L. Forsythia japonica Forsythia suspensa Gardenia jasminoides Garrya elliptica Ginkgo biloba Hamamelis japonica Hibiscus hamabo Hibiscus syriacus Hibiscus tiliaceus Hydrangea macrophylla Hydrangea paniculata Hypericum monogynum Ilex chinensis Ilex macropoda Ilex pedunculosa Ilex rotunda Itea virginica Jasminum humile var. revolutum Juniperus conferta Juniperus procumbens Kadsura japonica Kerria japonica Lagerstroemia indica Lespedeza homoloba Lespedeza liukiuensis Ligustrum japonicum Ligustrum lucidum Ligustrum vulgare Lindera obtusiloba Lindera praecox Lindera umbellata Linnaea Ă— grandiflora Litsea coreana Lonicera caprifolium Lonicera japonica Lonicera sempervirens Lyonia ovalifolia subsp. neziki Maackia amurensis Machilus thunbergii Malus halliana


Melia azedarach Morus alba Morus alba f. pendula Morus australis Neolitsea sericea Osmanthus heterophyllus Philadelphus coronarius Photinia villosa Pieris japonica Platycarya strobilacea Platycrater arguta Sieb. et Zucc. Plotosus japonicus Prunus mume (alba) Prunus mume (rubrum) Prunus tomentosa Pterocarya stenoptera Punica granatum Pyracantha coccinea Quercus acuta Quercus acutissima Quercus myrsinifolia

Quercus phillyraeoides Quercus salicina Quercus serrata Rhododendron Ă— obtusum Rhododendron farrerae Rhododendron indicum Rhododendron nudipes Rhododendron obtusum Rhododendron pulchrum Rhododendron reticulatum Rhodotypos scandens Rhus chinensis hus chinensis Rubus buergeri Rubus crataegifolius Sapium japonicum Sarcandra glabra


Serissa japonica Smilax china Sophora japonica f. Pendulum Spiraea cantoniensis Spiraea thunbergii Stachyurus praecox var. Matsuzakii Stewartia serrata Styphnolobium japonicum Styrax japonicus Symplocos myrtacea Toxicodendron succedaneum Toxicodendron sylvestre Trachelospermum asiaticum Vaccinium bracteatum Vaccinium oldhamii Viburnum dilatatum Viburnum sieboldii Weigela florida Weigelia floribunda Zanthoxylum schinifolium Zelkova serrata Zoysia tenuifolia

45°29'08.7"N 9°11'26.1"E

bos co ve rtic a l e 2 0 1 4

The residential towers of Stefano Boeri architects, filled with trees and shrubs, are another main inspiration for developers and architects today. Bosco Verticale is an audacious architectural concept, fully dependent on the health of its vegetation. Prior to construction, agronomist Laura Gatti conducted a study to the growth conditions in this tower. This has informed the construction of deep, integrated balcony containers, 8 km of water pipelines and various facilities for maintenance of the vegetation, both exterior and coming from the inside. Research was done for each container, each elevation and each floor of the building, to find the right trees, aesthetic plant combinations and suitable plant habits. The University of Milan has monitored the vegetation from the moment of plantation onwards. Nothing is left to chance, everything is kept under control. These towers are situated in between a series of interconnected parks and patches. A railway is located nearby, connecting the area with the landscape outside of Milan. Neighbours are delighted to have the seasons in view. And the proximity of nature for inhabitants at all levels raises the realestate value of all buildings. An investor bought these towers immediately after realisation. This illustrates broader societal trust in the sustainability of this type of construction.


Porta Garibaldi Station


Bosco Verticale


Bosco Verticale





Parco Biblioteca degli Alberi

plantlist bosco verticale

trees Corylus colurna Fagus sylvatica Gleditsia triacanthos ‘Sunburst’ Quercus ilex Acer campestre Amelanchier arborescens ‘Robin Hill’ Fraxinus ornus ‘Obelisk’ Laburnum alpinum Malus ‘Red Jewel’ Malus ‘Golden Hornet’ Olea europea ssp. sylvestris Parrotia persica Prunus subhirthella Prunus subhirthella autumnalis Arbutus unedo Cotinus coggygria Lagerstroemia indica Magnolia stellata Olea fragrans Punica granatum

herbs Achillea filipendulina Achnatherum calamagrostis Agastache rupestris Alchemilla mollis Cimicifuga simplex ‘White Pearl’ Filipendula ulmaria Gaura lindheimeri ‘Short Form’ Liriope graminifolia Potentilla neumanniana Sarcococca hookeriana Veronica spicata ssp incana Sedum telephinum ‘Hebstfreude’ Smilacina racemosa Vinca minor ‘Gertrude Jekyll’ Veronica spicata ‘Sunny Border Blue’ Veronica teucrium ‘Königsblau’


shrubs south facade Abelia x grandiflora ‘Prostrata’ Aronia melanocarpa Deutzia gracilis Deutzia x lemoinei ‘Boule de Neige’ Deutzia x kalmiiflora Euonymus fortunei radicans Hedera helix Hydrangea serrata west facade Ilex crenata ‘Convexa’ Potentilla fruticosa ‘Farreri’ Salix purpurea ‘Pendula’ Spiraea x arguta Spiraea decumbens Stephanandra incisa ‘Crispa’ Viburnum opulus ‘Compactum’ east facade Ilex crenata ‘Convexa’ Potentilla fruticosa ‘Farreri’ Salix purpurea ‘Pendula’ Spiraea x arguta Spiraea decumbens Stephanandra incisa ‘Crispa’ Viburnum opulus ‘Compactum’ north facade Euonymus fortunei radicans Hedera helix Hydrangea serrata Ilex crenata ‘Convexa’ Salix purpurea ‘Pendula’ Stephanandra incisa ‘Crispa’ Viburnum opulus ‘Compactum’




facts & figures height tower D 117m tower E 85m planting planted: 94 species water water usage: 5.900m3 drainage system: 8 km control water supply: 40 h/year ecosystem service 19 tonne CO2 /year 10 tonne O2 /year maintenance all plants are mutual property client: association of owners green waste/year: 1,4 tonne pruning: 4 times/ year, in total 448 h check condition of plants: 144h/year






the cross section of the facade: the planters and the water supply system 59

52°23'12.3"N 4°50'04.8"E

vertic al 2 02 0

Vertical is a housing complex that has space for vegetation as well as nesting sites for numerous species. Because of this specific attention for fauna, it is an even more nature inclusive concept than Bosco Verticale and ACROS. This multifunctional construction was designed by a team consisting of NL architects, studio DVMB, Space Encounters, Chris Collaris architects, DS landscape architects and De Dakdokters. Completion is expected in 2020. The local landscape is used as the main inspiration for the planting scheme of the roofs and gardens. The lower tower has patterns of holes with nesting facilities for swifts, bats, sparrows and insects. Vertical is located in Sloterdijk, in an important green wedge of Amsterdam. Sloterdijk is undergoing a transformation which encompasses both modern constructions and renovations in a mixed urban area. If other local developers follow the example of Vertical, then Sloterdijk no longer interrupts the green wedge. It will then be a connector of the Brettenzone and the Westerpark, thus contributing to the overall biodiversity. A quality team coordinates the architectural expressions in the area. Vertical delivers the ingredients to compose a nature inclusive Sloterdijk but it needs management. The quality team offers suitable support to make this happen.


Vertical Brettenzone




Sloterdijk Station



N1 - Vertical

N1 + N3 - Vertical




facts & figures height tower N1 35m tower N3 75m nesting boxes 1 box for bird of prey in east facade 95 boxes for swifts, 60 east and 35 west facade 38 boxes for bats, 24 east and 14 west facade 72 boxes for small birds, east facade planting 90 species surface 2500 m2 roofs and planters water water retention capacity 310 m3 water usage 2000 m3 year round water storage system “polderdak� maintenance client: association of owners contract for 5 years after delivery planting

Water storage in the buildings


1.00 0.50





The cross section with the annexing water storage planters in the facades of the tower N3 69



The Bretten landscape, photo Pieter Boekschooten

plantlist vertical

BRETTEN BIOTOPE Crataegus monogyna Prunus padus Rhamnus frangula Pinus sylvestris Acer campestre shrubs Buddleja davidii Cornus mas Corylus avellana Cytisus scoparius Euonymus europaeus Hedera helix ‘Arborescens’ Ligustrum vulgare Amelanchier lamarckii Berberis thunbergii Rosa rubiginosa Rosa canina Rosa pimpinellifolia Rubus fruticosus Rubus idaeus Vinurnum opulus herbs Achillea millefolium Alopecurus bulbosus Anchusa officinalis Anthriscus sylvestris Alchemilla mollis Aquilegia vulgaris Aster amellus Campanula rapunculoides Campanula trachelium

Centaurea nigra Cichorium intybus Dipsacus fullonum Eryngium maritimum Eupatorium cannabium Geranium phaeum Geranium pratense Heracleum sphondylium Jasione montana Lamiastrum galeobdolon Leonurus cardiaca Lysimachia vulgaris Knautia arvensis Lupinus polyphyllus Lupinus angustifolius Malva sylvestris Nepeta racemosa Origanum majorana Pastinaca sativa Pulmonaria officinalis Ruta graveolens Salvia pratensis Silene dioica Stachys officinalis Symphytum officinale Valeriana officinalis Verbascum thapsus Verbena officinalis Veronica spicata Veronica longifolia grasses Briza media Deschampsia flexuosa Deschampsia cespitosa Holcus lanatus Koeleria macrantha Luzula nivea Luzula sylvatica Poa nemoralis

ROCK BIOTOPE trees Betula pendula Buddleja davidii Ficus carica herbs Allium schoenoprasum Campanula poscharskyana Centranthus ruber Cymbalaria muralis Chaenorhinum origanifoliumErysimum cheiri Erigeron karvinskianus Pseudofumaria lutea Saxifraga umbrosa Soleirolia soleirolii Sempervivum tectorum Viola odorata grasses Luzula nivea Sesleria albicans ferns Cystopteris fragilis Blechnum spicant Polypodium vulgare Asplenium trichomanes Asplenium scolopendrium Asplenium ruta-muraria

GARDEN BIOTOPE trees Acer campestre Betula pendula Malus communis Pinus sylvestris Buddleja davidii Quercus robur Ulmus laevis climbing plants Clematis vitalba Humulus lupulus Lonicera periclimenum Hydrangea petiolaris Parthenocissus tricuspidata


shrubs Berberis vulgaris ‘Atropurpureum’ Buddleja davidii Hedera helix ‘Arborescens’ Perovskia atriplicifolia Rosa multiflora Sambucus nigra ‘Black Beauty’ Spiraea betulifolia ‘Tor’ Ribes rubrum Rubus idaeus herbs Agastache foeniculum Agrimonia eupatoria Althaea officinalis Aquilegia vulgaris Aster amellus Aster tripolium Centaurea nigra Centaurea scabiosa Dipsacus fullonum Echinacea purpurea Echinops ritro Eryngium maritimum Eryngium planum ‘Blauer Zwerg’ Foeniculum vulgare ‘Giant Bronze’ Geum rivale Knautia arvensis Lupinus angustifolia Mentha x piperita Nepeta cataria Phyteuma spicatum Rudbeckia laciniata Salvia verticillata Sanguisorba officinalis Scabiosa columbaria Sedum telephium ‘Herbstfreude’ Stachys officinalis Succisa pratensis Symphytum azureum Verbena hastata Veronica longifolia Veronicastrum virginicum Verbascum nigrum


grasses Calamachrostis brachytricha Carex grayi Deschampsia ‘Bronzeschleier’ Festuca gigantea Holcus lanatus Koeleria macrantha Melica ciliata Molinia caerula Milium effusum ferns Asplenium trichomanes Asplenium scolopendrium Blechnum spicant Cystopteris fragilis Polypodium vulgare bulbs Narcissus poeticus Leucojum aestivum

COVERED HILL BIOTOPE climbing plants Vitis vinifera Lonicera periclimenum ‘Green Junkie’ Parthenocissus quinquefolia Clematis vitalba shrubs Acer campestre Amelanchier lamarckii Berberis thunbergii ‘Atropurpureum’ Betula nana Cistus creticus Cornus mas Cotoneaster ‘Queen of Carpet’ Halimiocistus sahucii Salix repens Spiraea betulifolia ‘Tor’ Pinus mugo mugo

ferns Calamagrostis brachytricha Carex comans Deschampsia cespitosa ‘Goldtau’ Koeleria pyramidata Luzula nivea Luzula sylvatica Melica ciliata Poa nemoralis Sesleria nitida herbs Acanthus hungaricus Achillea millefolium Ajuga reptans Allium schoenoprasum Anchusa azurea ‘Dropmore’ Aster obligonfolius ‘October Skies’ Bergenia ‘Wintermärchen’ Cotula squalida Dictamnus albus Echium vulgare Eryngium planum Geranium nodosum Hemerocallis citrina Jasiona montana Limonium latifolium Ononis repens Origanum ‘Herrenhausen’ Phlomis russeliana Polygonum ‘Superbum’ Pulmonaria angustifolia Rosmarinus officinalis Rosmarinus prostrata Sagina subulata Salvia pratensis Sedum acre Stachys byzantina Thymus pulegioides Vinca minor bulbs Crocus tomassinianus Crocus speciosus Narcissus ‘Pipit’ Leucojum vernum Galanthus nivalis Muscari botryoides Ornithogalum nutans Hyacinthoides non-scripta



i nto the water nyasha harper


Opportunity In Amsterdam West many inhabitants have a migration back­ ground. The design empowers them to make use and take care of public space. The adjacent canal is cleaned in a park strip by helophytes and offers the inhabitants a refreshing swim. Benefits of the people in contact with nature The inhabitants have the opportunity to spend time in nature. The nature in the public space is at work. By purifying water through the helophyte roots it provides an important ecosystem service.



cr e ating syn ergies

Natural park bench designed by Floris Grondman 78

To prepare for nature inclusive design in urban areas requires a clear overview of the actors, elements and principles at play. Who are the stakeholders? How to streamline the process? Which tools are at your disposal and what goals do you set together? More actors are getting involved in urban ecosystem design The Dutch ministry of economic affairs has started a promotion campaign for nature inclusive design. It stresses the need for rich and biodiverse ecosystems in the city. Housing corporations, schools and businesses are also increasingly aware that nature inclusive building is a vital part of making the urban environment a better place to live in. Builders and architects are learning that they can distinguish themselves better with design proposals that include biodiversity. And designers, urban ecologists and plant cultivators are starting to see opportunities everywhere for nature inclusive buildings and public spaces. The task is clear To design for rich, biodiverse urban ecosystems means to embrace every opportunity to contribute something for the benefit of other species. Numerous plant and animal species already settle inside our remnant cracks and holes. Indeed, research has shown that biodiversity in cities is decreasing less quickly than in their direct rural surroundings. Food is readily available and a city offers many hiding spaces in comparison to rural areas.


The graduation project Urban Biodiversity, Kelly Hartholt, HAS Den Bosch 80

Modern trends related to densification and shifts in construction methods are nonetheless making natural enrichment of the urban ecosystem harder. Birds, for example, find less nesting sites with the increased use of glass facades and tight insulation materials. But using attentive, tailor-made adjustments, this development is easily sidestepped. The central idea is to tighten the network between different urban biotopes by creating accessible corridors and as much and diverse vegetation as feasible. The more variety, the more different species will benefit. And the better the connection between the patches, the easier it is for our non-human companions to travel through the city. The instrument of the cross section To design nature inclusively is to work with complex information, together with diverse disciplines and on multiple scales. It requires a clear and simple convergent method for communication and decision making. The cross section offers an entrance to this process. This is a tool which architects, urban designers and landscape architects use to understand the dimensions of a design project. The requirements of people, plants and animals can be visualised and positioned. And design disciplines as well as the expert input can be tested here. The cross section enables to discuss the complex relationship between human requirements and those of plants and animals. As leeks can read a cross section, this permits a democratic process, allowing for better embedding of the project in the local society. 81

wall climbers

aided wall climbers

crack inhabitants

requirements for plants


Species’ requirements are known While you can never be entirely sure with nature, it is feasible today to design for a certain type of species or a particular community. Just like ourselves, animals and plants want to settle in a safe, suitable environment, with their preferred food nearby. Our knowledge of the conditions in which plants and animals prosper increases every day. Participants have access to this information: one can find the requirements of many species online, particularly those present in urban areas. Bat foundations, foundations for butterflies or other insects, Bird Life and urban ecologists all are open to share their knowledge. And these requirements are easily translated into starting points for challenging design. That makes the threshold for nature inclusive design relatively low. But who will take care of these plants and animals once a project is finished? Caretaking as part of the design When cities in the Netherlands support nature inclusive buildings and public spaces through policies, guidelines and information, they include maintenance measures of the vegetation in the design phase. Sometimes, development contracts include deals with gardening companies lasting for the first five years after completion or longer. Maintenance activities directly influence the living environment of all living beings. The acting or not acting of caretakers in a nature inclusive city determines which types of plants and animals can or cannot thrive. Those with knowledge on biology and applied experience with gardening will have an important role in nature inclusive design.


requirements for animals





ba-square for humans & crayfish o joske van breugel


Opportunity Crayfish requirements: easy water access, safety to be on the paving, a dry reproduction place near the shore. In this case the building provides space. During heavy rainfall crayfish like to come out of the water and walk on the paving. The elevated path pattern separates the roaming area for crayfish from the pedestrians. Benefits for the people in contact with nature The crayfish give people joy during rainfall. Careful handling is translated into an aesthetic public space.



get ting started


To design nature inclusively is to look at the city with a biodiversity perspective. Whoever takes this perspective, sees a city populated with many different life forms. And once a person starts seeing this, he or she will keep doing so. When seen through this perspective, the city starts looking like a mountain landscape, where communities of plants and animals thrive together. Everything is intertwined. Yet every organism has its own individual place as well. That place depends on the microclimate, the soil composition, the moisture, the available space, the type of neighbours and so on. Whatever is alive, continually changes with use and maintenance. Let’s translate this into nature inclusive design tools. A normal project is transformed into a nature inclusive project with three steps: #1 Situate the project in the city as if it were a mountain landscape. #2 Define at least one urban biotope. #3 Design for variation in sizes, scales and porosity and aim for diversity of uses and maintenance activities. Each nature inclusive project makes the city more biodiverse. Time to get started!


ste p #1 th e mou nta i n l a n ds c a pe


The common swift arriving in the city does not see parks, apartments, offices or hotels. It sees a mountain-like scene with numerous potential sites for establishment. It perceives the city as a single landscape with dense, alternating patterns of rocks, plains and water bodies. To the swift, each novel construction and each introduced element, natural or man-made, is a modification of that continuous terrain. The first step for nature inclusive design is to take up the perspective of biodiversity and look at the city as if it were a mountain landscape. What can your project, large or small, contribute to the whole? A barren rock or a covered hill, a field or a forest? Think of your project in 3D, think of connections in vertical and horizontal ways. Create a project that improves the continuity of the existing mountain-like terrain. Let’s take the project Vertical as an illustration. The building complex consists of two towers, N1 and N3, on a block of 4 to 5 stories. It stands near the Brettenzone, and is part of a set of high-rise buildings. The block roofs can be seen as a plain, connected to the surrounding landscape of the Bretten. The towers are like mountainous peaks, both bare and planted. High plains and peaks are thus added to the mountain landscape of Sloterdijk offering new opportunities for plant and animal species to settle in the area.




ste p #2 th e u r ban b iotopes

Most of the land these days is divided into tiny bits and pieces between many landowners. With vegetation, if you start planting the same kinds of grasses or trees as the ones that can be found in local, wild nature, eventually the area you plant will exhibit the same colors and shapes as other parts of the region and will visually merge with the local environment. And following the flora merge, creatures like birds and butterflies will also cross the boundary between the wild and the private property, and an exciting tale will be born. Michio Tase landscape architect Plamtago, Tokyo


The second step is to identify and choose your urban biotopes wisely. Remember that a project is nature inclusive only if the assignment includes people, plants and animals.

The Wikipedia definition for a biotope is “an area of uniform environmental conditions providing a living place for a specific assemblage of plants and animals”. In the urban biotope, humans value the aesthetics. The urban biotope contains endemic and cultivated plant species, as well as natural and man-made physical surroundings. Let’s consider Vertical as an illustration of working with urban biotopes. The goal is that because of changes in Sloterdijk, there will be more biodiversity and more robustness in the ecosystems in the wedge. Which biotopes can we prescribe in local redevelopment plans to achieve this, in private and public space?


The urban biotopes chosen for Vertical



The rock biotope

common pipis

black redstart

common housele red mason bee


Sloterdijk consists mainly of buildings, paving and infrastructure: the rock biotope. The designed cracks and holes of the walls of the tower N1 from Vertical provide plenty of nesting places. This tower has no plants, but the Bretten biotope is situated at its foot. The building, serving as a giant rock provides shelter and breeding sites to species that feed in the surroundings.

deer fern

red v

This illustration provides a representation of the kinds of species that could be considered while designing for an urban rock biotope. 100



strelle blue eryngo


silver birch common fig woodrush


yellow corydalis

hart’s-tongue fern

valerian ivy-leaved Toadflax sweet violet


red admiral

The Bretten biotope


common wood-rush

common brimstone


wild prive

The Bretten biotope is an inspiration for the characteristic surrounding landscape called “the Bretten�. The urban Bretten biotope is for the edges, parks and slopes in the public space. This biotope is positioned on the block roofs of the buildings. The effect is a non-interrupted biotope from Brettenpark, through Sloterdijk to Westerpark allowing local species to move safely between the city centre and the dunes.



This illustration provides a representation of the kinds of species that could be considered while designing for an urban rock biotope. 102

common nightingale pond bat

mon chaffinch

meadow crane’s-bill

common hazel


scotch pine field maple


red catchfly





wthorn lupine


The garden biotope

common pip



red admiral

Non-endemic species can also locally increase biodiversity. The city gardens are an important source of nutrition, hiding spots and reproduction sites for a variety of species. Aesthetics play an important role here. To make the gardens of Vertical part of the continuous mountain landscape, the garden biotope consists of plants of the Bretten biotope, topped up with ornamental species that are rich in nectar and berries. If surrounding garden owners attune their vegetation to this garden biotope, they too can contribute to the local biodiversity.


deer fern


This illustration provides a representation of the kinds of species that could be considered while designing for an urban rock biotope. 104


pistrelle sparrow

silver birch

hart’s tongue

hedgehog scotch pine


snow rush

common hop

red currant

hair grass

purple coneflower


sweet violet

The covered hill biotope

black redstar

great tit

dwarf birch cinnabar moth



Sloterdijk consists also of planted buildings: the covered hill biotope. The planters and roof terraces of the walls of the N3 tower from Vertical provide plenty of spots for plants to grow and birds to nest. This biotope provides shelter, breeding sites and food for numerous other species as well. This illustration provides a representation of the kinds of species that could be considered while designing for an urban rock biotope. 106

blackbird silky bat dog rose

goldcrest pink rock-rose virginia creeper mugo pine





cornelian cherry

common maple silky-spike melic


Tower N1, Vertical, Amsterdam, Donna van Milligen Bielke 108


* Mixed ash forest with wild garlic

Open field with pines

Oak forest on hills with shrubs

Birch forest with grass

Beech forest with ferns

Willow forest with herbal grounds


o ostenburg forest sjaak punt


Opportunity Oostenburg is a car-free inner city development project where paving can be reduced to a minimum. The public space is designed as a forest. The treatment of the soil is part of the success of this urban forest. Benefits for the people in contact with nature Trees cool the houses and birds sing in the windows. The inner courts catch the sunlight.




g uano farms in the city lieke de jong jildou



Opportunity Many people are afraid of bats, but bat guano is very fertile. In order to harvest valuable guano, a co-existence is designed in a building with a large canopy. The guano is collected to fertilize surrounding parks. Benefits for the people in contact with nature The co-existence is an educational object. It creates a more positive image for bats.




ste p #3 th e d esign too l s


The third and last step in making your project nature inclusive is to increase its absorption capacity for plants and animals. Three design tools are selected to make a project more absorbent. They can be applied to small and large projects, constructions and public spaces, and work on every level. The more they are used in a project, the better the impact will be for biodiversity. These tools are made for all players. While the designers use them in the design, controllers test the projects according to these tools and stimulate to increase their use. Even after a project is delivered, caretakers can apply these tools to improve biodiversity over time. The three design tools are:



Variation in morphology helps species find a settlement site that suits them

â–¸ â–¸ VA R I AT I O N


Each plant or animal species prospers under specific conditions. Without stone buildings, for example, we would not have swifts, owls, lizards or wall-rues in cities. In nature inclusive design, the need for variation in morphology exists on all scales. It matters from the urban planning scale down to the architecture morphology, the relief in landscapes and finally the shape of each object. The higher the variation on every scale, the more different microclimates will come to exist. Dry and moist, windy and sheltered. With higher variability more different species find a settlement site that suits them. Tiny birds, for example, prefer to nest in east facades, so that they can wake up early. Bats, on the other hand, prefer their nests to face the west, because they become active only around sunset. Wall-rues need a moist surface, so they will not thrive in quay walls.


Variation in size and scale through the presence of climbing plants and gardens. Impasse de Casteggio, Paris, Maison Édouard François

Variation in size and scale is created by using different plants and selective mowing. The new garden, Rotterdam, Frank Bruggeman and Hans Engelbrecht

Variation in size and scale in the urban design of Spaarndammerhart, Korth Tielens Architects, Marcel Lok Architect, DS landscape architects, Martijn Sandberg artist. Visualisatie 3D Studio Prins

Porosity in the brick wall, “House like Garden�, Marc Koehler architects

â–¸ â–¸ POROSITY The porosity of objects, walls, rooftops and patches is among the main determining factors for the richness of establishment opportunities for plants and animals in our constructed surroundings. More porosity means better chances for settlement. Furthermore, the degree of porosity predicts the settlement of certain plant and animal species. Porosity is a fantastic tool for design. A street pattern can be established with holes in stones, or by alternating porous and solid surfaces. A facade pattern can be created with holes for nesting boxes or climbing facilities for plants. These are just some examples to illustrate the possibilities.


Porosity in the primary school for science and biodiversity, Boulonge Billancourt. Chartier et Dalix architects

Pororsity in the paving. Achmea campus, Apeldoorn, B+B landscape architects

Porosity for bats in the Vlotwateringbrug. Monster, NEXT architects, in coorperation with LOLA landscape architects and the Dutch mammal society. Photo: Raymond Rutting

Letting plants grow in the cracks during summer increases biodiversity

â–¸ â–¸ D I V E R S I T Y


The diversity of species increases when use and maintenance diversify. This even applies to situations with a generally equal design solution. The increase is caused, for example, by variation in cleaning regimes or presence of people at different times. Different living conditions emerge. Accessible rooftops with tiles, for example, house different species than grass-covered roofs. Lawn that is regularly mown provides opportunities for different species from unmown. The same applies to tree and bush maintenance. Reducing maintenance in a location can be quite beneficial for certain species and vice versa. Enrich your design by making comparable design solutions look different though differences in maintenance and use.


Rooftop with wood structures for amphibians and insects. Design Stephan Brenneisen

Letting vegetation grow on the unused parts of the garden increases its biodiversity. Garden of the Fondation Cartier, Paris

Leaving some edges unmown increases the biodiversity. Photo ZALiX - Bas Dekker


th is works


This Works is a onetime experimental workshop to apply the three steps of nature inclusive design in a real situation. The project team of Arenapoort wants to transform the area into a nature inclusive neighbourhood. What is the contribution and responsibility of the public and private players, what is the new working method and what are the common goals in the nature inclusive Arenapoort redevelopment? Step #1 – Mountain landscape Animals and plants look at the city as a mountain landscape; as a continuous terrain. To design a welcoming continuity for all beings, the public and private parties have to work together. They should do it such that the investment in public space, infrastructure and buildings will benefit people as well as the animals and plants they live with. Step #2 – Urban biotopes Since this consists of a nature inclusive development, the clients to design for are not only the tenants, visitors and owners but also a number of animals and plants. Several types of compatible spaces and buildings are created to live and move around in. It was proposed to build four biotopes, being the rock, the planted hill, the Amstelland and the garden biotopes.


Step #3 – The design tools Public and private partners work with the same design tools: variety in size and scale, porosity and diversity in use and maintenance activities. The more these tools are used, the more species can settle in the area. Effects of using the design tools on the Arenapoort are put together in a matrix. Differing areas are woven together through the increase of the variety in size and scale of the water network, the vegetation pattern and the building morphology. The terrain becomes more intricately connected with more porosity in buildings’ walls and in paving. More diversity in maintenance of planting and paving offers further variety for species. Arenapoort is a nearly continuous terrain. It has become a rich, biodiverse mountain landscape for people, plants and animals. A mixed-use building in a small-scale landscape The plot is situated on the border zone between the Mandelapark and shopping zone Arenapoort. Seen from the mountain metaphor perspective, it lies between the grass plains and the rocky area. The cross section allows discussing the plot’s main challenges. Different types of spaces are created on the site to let people, plants and animals live and pass through undisturbed. The defined clients are the users of the sports hall, young people in the apartments and the inhabitants of the garden and the Amstelland biotopes. The public space on the edge of the park is turned into a small-scale urban farming area. Constructions are drawn with varying sizes and scales, containing facilities for birds and insects. Some of the imaged roof terraces are open 140

for inhabitants while others are closed off, so as to leave them to birds like the oystercatcher. The urban farming creates variety in use and soil life. Because the Mandelapark is an open space, surrounded by a forested zone, many animals dare to look for food in the fields. This intervention closes the existing opening in the dense park edge. Together, the urban gardens and the building are a missing link in the continuity of the mountain landscape with the planted roofs of the future buildings of the Arenapoort. The building is a stepping stone for animals when moving between the park and its nearby rooftops. The design provides food and safety, right above the busy shopping area. Conclusion These solutions for the Arenapoort area show how just a few simple measures combined can be of great value to local flora and fauna. It gives an impression of how the three steps work, not only for designers but also for decision makers, controllers and caretakers. It makes a big difference whether you develop an area for people alone or for people, plants and animals. Even if the change is not always that apparent, it results in more quality of life for all city dwellers.



SCALE AND SIZE vegetation


existing water

existing vegetation

existing buildings

temporary water run off public space

tree lanes

temporary water run off buildings

vegetation verge buildings

water retention rooftops

garden rooftops / private gardens

new variation in morphology

new water

new vegetation

new buildings













cleaning pavement

existing porosity

existing maintenance

existing cleaning pavement

porosity pavements

maintained vegetation on streets non maintained vegetation along water

cleaning pavement public space

porosity facades

maintained vegetation verge buildings

porosity rooftops and inner gardens

non maintained rooftops maintained rooftop gardens

cleaning pavement private gardens

new porosity

variety of maintenance and use

variety of cleaning pavement



Looking at Arenapoort as a bird sees it


Pilot project Shopping area Arenapoort







Pilot proje



Anton de Konplein

Pilot project

Shopping area Arenapoort


fruit for humans and animals

construction allowing plants to climb

nest boxes for small birds in the walls

mix of open and closed pavings

nest boxes for swallows under the balconies

compost bench

porous stone in the

fruits for humans and animals


photo Jacques van der Neut

es for insects e walls

roofs with local soil and wild plants on it

pebble roofs as breeding grounds

nut trees and shrubs walls allowing plants to climb up for humans and animals 153

porous streets

bat-friendly lighting

water for drinking and attracting birds



s eal island in the ij marlena rether


floating elements as an artificial bank for the animals

rocks stabilize and offer new space for life under water


Opportunity Seals swim in Amsterdam, but we hardly see them because they have no place to rest. This changes when they have custom-made little islands. Floating platforms are created of plastic harvested from the canals. A bag of stones provides the anchor, forming small reefs. This creates an additional habitat for fish. Benefits for the people in contact with nature Seal watching is made possible in Amsterdam. The reuse of plastic creates awareness of the plastic falling into the canals on a daily basis. It helps understand how the animals are disturbed by this negligence.

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tudent projects in this guide s acknowledgements

For 4 years, the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture has facilitated design studios in which nature inclusive design was a central issue. This has yielded a vast array of inspiring student projects. For this guide, 6 of these were selected because of their visionary proposals. One more of the projects, by an alumna, will indeed be constructed. All projects were designed such that people live jointly with plants and animals, in an aesthetical way. These students have translated a programme into a solid design. All are presented temptingly. These projects differ in scale, ranging from an entire new neighbourhood in IJburg Amsterdam to a little floating island for seals in the IJ. Students’ disciplines were architecture, landscape architecture and urban design. The examples show that building for biodiversity creates opportunities for designers to enhance the quality of life for all beings in cities.

l ite rature

The time is right ‘2018 Revision of World Urbanization Prospects | Multimedia Library - United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs’. Accessed 14 March 2019. ‘6009240D-MG Interactive Map Prototype Map Copy’. Accessed 14 March 2019. ‘BAUMMIETER’. Accessed 14 March 2019. oeuvre/76-architektur/3698-baummieter. ‘Biennale Venice 2018 | Nextcity.Nl’. Accessed 14 March 2019. biennalevenice2018/. ‘DNA - Design And Architecture - DnA’. Accessed 14 March 2019. http://www. ‘Fukuoka Prefectural International Hall | Buildings | Emilio Ambasz’. home. Accessed 14 March 2019. ‘We Are Going Circular.’ Dutcharchitects (blog). Accessed 14 March 2019. Vertical Forest Inspirations | #one’. Stefano Boeri Architetti (blog), 7 May 2018. Ziter, Carly. ‘The Biodiversity-Ecosystem Service Relationship in Urban Areas: A Quantitative Review’. Oikos 125, no. 6 (June 2016): 761–68. A new relation with nature ‘VTN | Vo Trong Nghia Architects - HOME’. Accessed 14 March 2019.

Jacobs, Jane. The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Vintage Books ed. New York: Vintage Books, 1992. London National Park City. Accessed 14 March 2019. http://www.nationalparkcity. london/. NIOO-KNAW in Wageningen’. De Architect. Accessed 14 March 2019. https://www. Odum, Eugene P., and Gary W. Barrett. Fundamentals of Ecology. 5th ed. Belmont, CA: Thomson Brooks/Cole, 2005. Threats to the quality of life Schilthuizen, Menno. Darwin in de stad: evolutie in de urban jungle. Amsterdam: Uitgeverij Atlas Contact, 2018. Spatial design for resilient ecosystems ‘Huis bouwen? Voortaan dan óók voor mus of gierzwaluw’. NRC. Accessed 14 March 2019. ‘Millennium Ecosystem Assessment’. Accessed 14 March 2019. https://www. ‘Startsida Malmö Stad’. Text. Accessed 14 March 2019. ‘The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity’. TEEB. Accessed 14 March 2019. Botzat, Alexandra, Leonie K. Fischer, and Ingo Kowarik. ‘Unexploited Opportunities in Understanding Liveable and Biodiverse Cities. A Review on Urban Biodiversity Perception and Valuation’. Global Environmental Change 39 (July 2016): 220–33. Costanza, Robert, Ralph d’Arge, Rudolf de Groot, Stephen Farber, Monica Grasso, Bruce Hannon, Karin Limburg, et al. ‘The Value of the World’s Ecosystem Services and Natural Capital’. Nature 387, no. 6630 (May 1997): 253–60. Dijk-Wesselius, J.E. van, J. Maas, D. Hovinga, M. van Vugt, and A.E. van den Berg. ‘The Impact of Greening Schoolyards on the Appreciation, and Physical, Cognitive and Social-Emotional Well-Being of Schoolchildren: A Prospective Intervention Study’. Landscape and Urban Planning 180 (December 2018): 15–26.


Harrison, P.A., P.M. Berry, G. Simpson, J.R. Haslett, M. Blicharska, M. Bucur, R. Dunford, et al. ‘Linkages between Biodiversity Attributes and Ecosystem Services: A Systematic Review’. Ecosystem Services 9 (September 2014): 191–203. Ratcliffe, Eleanor, Birgitta Gatersleben, and Paul T. Sowden. ‘Bird Sounds and Their Contributions to Perceived Attention Restoration and Stress Recovery’. Journal of Environmental Psychology 36 (December 2013): 221–28. Van den Berg, Agnes E. ‘From Green Space to Green Prescriptions: Challenges and Opportunities for Research and Practice’. Frontiers in Psychology 8 (27 February 2017). Ziter, Carly. ‘The Biodiversity-Ecosystem Service Relationship in Urban Areas: A Quantitative Review’. Oikos 125, no. 6 (June 2016): 761–68. A starting point for nature inclusive design Roberto Rocco. ‘What Is Research By Design? Some Pointers’. Education, 13:49:21 UTC.

Further inspiration Adams, Clark E., Kieran J. Lindsey, and Sara J. Ash. Urban Wildlife Management. Boca Raton: Taylor & Francis, 2006. Donnelly, Roarke. ‘Birds in European Cities’. The Auk 124, no. 1 (2007): 362. Ecological Urbanism Conference. Ecological Urbanism. Edited by Mohsen Mostafavi and Gareth Doherty. Revised edition. Zürich: Lars Müller Publishers, 2016. Fatheuer, Thomas. Neue Ökonomie der Natur: eine kritische Einführung. 2. Aufl. Schriften zur Ökologie 35. Berlin: Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, 2014. Forman, Richard T. T. Urban Ecology Science of Cities. Cambridge [u.a.: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2015. Goodfellow, Peter, Mike Hansell, and Ger Meesters. Gevleugelde architecten: hoe vogels hun nesten ontwerpen en bouwen. Utrecht; [Zeist: Tirion Natuur ; Vogelbescherming Nederland, 2011. Gooley, Tristan. How to Connect with Nature, 2014.


Gunnell, Kelly, Brian Murphy, and Carol Williams. Designing for Biodiversity: A Technical Guide for New and Existing Buildings. Second edition. London: RIBA Publishing, 2013. Hagan, Susannah. Ecological Urbanism: The Nature of the City. Abingdon, Oxon; New York, NY: Routledge, 2015. Kelcey, J.G. & Rheinwald, G. (Eds.). (2005). Birds in European cities. St Katharinen, Germany: Ginster Verlag Klanten, Robert, Sven Ehmann, and Kitty Bolhöfer, eds. My Green City: Back to Nature with Attitude and Style. Berlin: Gestalten, 2011. Klausnitzer, B. (1993). Fauna. In: Sukopp, H. & Wittig R. (eds.) Stadsökologie, 1993, pp. 239. Fischer, Jena. Latour, Bruno, and Catherine Porter. Facing Gaia: Eight Lectures on the New Climatic Regime. Cambridge, UK ; Medford, MA: Polity, 2017. Louwe Kooijmans, Jip, and Paula Huigen. Stadsvogels in hun domein, 2014. Niemela, J. (1999). Ecology and urban planning. Biodiversity and Conservation, 8, 119-131. Nilon, Charles H. ‘Urban Biodiversity and the Importance of Management and Conservation’. Landscape and Ecological Engineering 7, no. 1 (January 2011): 45–52. Orff, Kate. Toward an Urban Ecology. New York, New York: The Monacelli Press, 2016. Pötz, Hiltrud. Groenblauwe netwerken: Handleiding voor veerkrachtige steden = Green-blue grids : manual for resilient cities, 2016. Reed, Chris, and Nina-Marie Lister, eds. Projective Ecologies. New York, NY: Actar publ, 2014. Reichholf, Josef H. Stadtnatur: eine neue Heimat für Tiere und Pflanzen ; der Stadt München zum 850. Geburtstag gewidmet. München: oekom, 2007. Roy, Louis G. le. Natuur uitschakelen, natuur inschakelen Louis G. le Roy. Deventer: Ankh-Hermes, 1973. Schoonhoven, L.M, Koos Biesmeijer, Gerard Oostermeijer, Rolf Roos, and Anneke Brouwer. Niet zonder elkaar: bloemen en insecten, 2016. Snep, Robert. Biodiversity conservation at business sites, WUR E-depot, PHDthesis, Alterra Wageningen, 2009


Sukopp, Herbert, and Hans-Peter Blume, eds. Stadtökologie: ein Fachbuch für Studium und Praxis. 2., überarb. und erg. Aufl. Stuttgart: Fischer, 1998. Tisma, A., van der Velde, R. Nijhuis, S., & Pouderoijen, M. (2014). A method ofor metropolitan landscape characterisation for transregional integration, applied on the federal state of Belgium. Landscape and urban planning, 91, 160-170. Washington, Haydn. Demystifying Sustainability: Towards Real Solutions. London ; New York, NY: Routledge, 2015. Weisser, Wolfgang, and Thomas Hauck. ‘Animal-Aided Design - Using a Species Life-Cycle to Improve Open Space Planning and Conservation in Cities and Elsewhere’. BioRxiv, 15 June 2017. Woolfson, Esther. Field Notes from a Hidden City: An Urban Nature Diary, 2014.


colopho n

Author: Maike van Stiphout With the cooperation of Mathias Lehner Editor: Gilles Havik Graphic design: Theo Heldens Illustrations: DS landscape architects Publisher: ISBN 978-90-9031616-1 This publication has been made possible by the financial contributions of: DuurzaamDoor EFL foundation Ymkje Repko DS landscape architects Š April 2019 Maike van Stiphout /

The DuurzaamDoor programme (RVO) organizes collaborations, learning processes and knowledge dissemination in the transition to a sustainable economy. For all images of this book the explicit permission of the owner was asked. Not all holders of the used images could be retrieved. Stakeholders are requested to contact For permission to use any part of this pubication in anthologies, readers and other complation works please contact

The 20th century was about getting around. The 21st century will be about staying in a place worth staying in. James Howard Kunsler

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