Rotterdam is located at the mouth of the river Meuse with an open connection to the sea. The tidal nature resulting from the fluctuating water levels and the varying salinities characterizes the area. Over the past centuries, much of this nature has disappeared because of hardening of the banks and the construction of dock basins. New tidal parks are laid out at various places along the banks of the Meuse. These tidal banks also play a role in climate adaptation because they can absorb the ever more abundant water that flows from the hinterland to the sea. Under the Van Brienenoord Bridge, one of the main access roads to the city, there is an elongated island that over time has developed into an urban nature area with a protected status. At some places on the island, the bank has been opened up to create a tidal biotope. Earlier, in 2009, on the Southside of the city the Visserijgriend (‘withy-bed fishery’) was transformed in the same way. A withy-bed was traditionally a tidal forest where willow trees were cultivated as building or product material. Now that parts of the banks are removed, a new tidal park evolved over the years comparable to the historical withy-beds. The area is in hopeful anticipation of the beaver, which is gradually spreading from the south of the Netherlands. The beaver has a major impact on the landscape; by cutting down trees and using these as well as branches to build dams, these animals convert their habitat into a swampy area where they can easily hide and catch fish.
-ROTTERDAM (NL) 2015
-GEMEENTE (MUNICIPALITY OF) ROTTERDAM, ARK NATUURONTWIKKELING, VARIOUS OTHER PARTIES
A small number of locally endangered amphibian species, such as the moor frog, have disappeared from Tilburg, but the city is still home to rare species as the northern crested newt. For the longterm conservation of the northern crested newt and other amphibians, existing habitats have to be linked to each other. Temporarily unfavourable conditions in isolated habitats may cause an entire population to disappear. Therefore, new pools are created between the existing ones to serve as steppingstones for re-colonization if the northern crested newt were to die out in one of the pools. Local disappearance of populations will no longer mean the definitive end of a species. The pools are created to support the viviparous lizard too. This lizard is now found in the southern part of Stadsbos013 (Urban Forest013), the Kaaistoep. By making pools in the now dense woods, open, sunny spots are created, which are suitable stepping stones for the viviparous lizard to spread to the north of the woods.
-TILBURG (NL) 2015
-NATUURBALANS-LIMES DIVERGENS, GEMEENTE (MUNICIPALITY OF) TILBURG, TWM GRONDEN, STICHTING RAVON
Along the pedestrian-only promenade on the left bank of the Seine between Pont de l’Alma and the Musee d’Orsay, five floating gardens were realized. The gardens raise the awareness of the biodiversity of Paris. Although the city has a surprisingly great biodiversity, the Parisians and the city’s visitors are hardly aware of it. They can now find information about the more than 2000 species of wild plants, 175 different species of birds and approximately 300 fish species living in the 1800 m2 large archipelago. A special selection of vegetation was planted on five themed islands. From the central island (L’île centrale), visitors can access an island with an apple orchard (L’île verger), a bird island (L’île aux oiseaux), a meadow-island (L’île aux burmes) and a grassland island (L’île prairie). A few small gardens covered with water plants (petits îlots végétalisés) float among these islands. The project is part of a 2.4-kilometre long transformation of the Berges de Seine. Urban designer Jean-Christophe Choblet is the driving force behind this project.
-PARIS (FR) 2013
more info: publication: Floating Gardens, Tanja Lina, 2015, BNA