We must actively reconquer space for green-blue networks. The current Covid crisis, but also the drought of recent summers, demonstrate the vulnerability of our social systems, which depend on open space and ecosystems. Moreover, the food system is under pressure as crops experience increasing difficulties in the summer months, and even our drinking water supply only has a minimal safety buffer.
This also translates to our cities: a city appears more climate-resilient and forms a higher-quality living environment when it possesses a robust and coherent green structure. Opting for a resilient and sustainable open space is crucial here as well.
Spatially and socially, these green-blue networks will have to combine many roles and functions in a high-quality manner: nature experience, biodiversity, recreation, water storage, scenic quality, food production … In the future, multiple spatial use will have to be further increased in open spaces as well.
An important task lies in shifting from ´project-thinking´ to ´network-thinking´: from a drainage system with a water buffer basin to a robust valley that is connected with the high grounds, from experience parks to productive and biodiverse green structures that penetrate deep into the city …
A first major precondition is a local spatial policy that restrains further take-up of open space, also on the outskirts of cities, and dares to take the first steps towards a restoration of robust green-blue structures as an integral ecosystem.
Opportunities for more biodiversity
BUUR supports the optimal, sustainable choices that initiators, designers, local and higher government authorities must make in order to fulfil this task. We do so via thorough knowledge of the natural ecosystem, thanks to available spatial information techniques such as databases, GIS, growth place modeling …
Broadly speaking we work on projects from two perspectives: we form part of design teams that integrate the ecosystem into a project as a full-fledged design element. We ourselves draw up plans for the layout of the green and blue areas, or we draft nature management plans.
In addition, BUUR performs environmental impact studies. We check for the existence of any negative effects of a project on multiple aspects of the ecosystem. On that basis we recommend ecological measures to initiators and to higher and local government authorities.
In every assignment, from a district street to the center of a large-scale nature area, we seek opportunities for greater biodiversity, as an efficient indicator for healthy ecosystems which in their turn can deliver services to a sustainable environment, such as recreational possibilities, landscape experience, food production, climate control and many water-related aspects.