“We must work for urban ecosystems, oriented towards the health of the population, and green parks for every resident group.” This and more was discussed Thursday, June 7 at the Green Cities meeting, in the new building of the Aeres University of Applied Sciences in Floriade. They shared some lessons for the exhibition, including a visit to the green rooftop of the University of Applied Sciences.
While Floriade started last week before the grand opening, one of the buildings on the site was already in full use. The “Green Long” from Aeres University of Applied Sciences is an energy-neutral, circularly designed faculty building, located directly after the entrance to the horticultural gallery. One side of the building is completely covered with solar panels, it contains insect hotels and the accessible roof is rich in water stocks and plants. Inside, too, the walls and green plants are teeming with.
As students walked the halls to class, interested people sat in another room in preparation for the Green Cities Meeting. Gideon Spangar started this afternoon. As a lecturer at Innovation & Green Urban Space, he is affiliated with Aeres Hogeschool Almere and researches climate mitigation and biodiversity, among others.
Reconstruction of graded stones
The climate is becoming more and more extreme, and we will feel that in many aspects. We notice this first of all on our bodies. Therefore adequate attention must be paid to heat stress and its effect on the weakest. But he said that wasn’t the only challenge. A study conducted by Spanjar for the municipality of Breda has already shown that if the heat increases, the number of visitors to the shopping street can drop rapidly by 10 percent. “So the warmer temperatures also have many economic consequences.”
Unfortunately, the realities of the impact on our environment were not deterministic. Part of this is the loss of biodiversity in the Netherlands and other countries. “We have to get rid of our concrete and get rid of ossification in the cities,” Spangar said. “Almere as a garden city is a good example in this respect.” The host city of Floriade is spatially vast, with a lot of interest in green areas and water storage between homes.
Another step forward is the creation of a robust ecosystem on an urban scale. This is why Spanjar started the Rewilding Stepping Stones Project in February of last year, to investigate how to develop temporary interventions with residual streams and native plants to allow nature into the city through stepping stones. Some of the researched cooling measures mentioned by Spanjar were adequate for trees, shady spots, green walls, water intrusion and green roofs. “Now is the time to scale and design areas that include nature.”
Then it was up to Dirk Voets, Team Remote Sensing coach. They plot data about areas via satellite imagery, drones, or CBS. Surface temperature is especially important for good nature. Team Remote Sensing assists the Steenbraak Foundation with its greening mission, among other things by mapping the greening of private gardens. “Interesting are the effects of social minimums or home depreciation on the greening of the land. If this is less, we often see a paved garden and more gray. To this end, the team makes visualization tools, among other things, to start a conversation with the citizen,” Voets explained. or a local council member.
Linda Riggenbot Plus, Consultant for Landscape Policy and Urban Planning, was present from the municipality of Almere. The municipality has recently started a project focused on improving the connection of public spaces with public health. “We are leveraging knowledge that is already available, such as the knowledge at Aeres University of Applied Sciences, and would like to challenge young professionals to contribute ideas,” says Rijnboutt-Blaas. In addition, the municipality works with the GGD and the Green Party IDVerdi.
The project spans over five years and focuses on the value of more green space and water for the health and perception of local residents. Climatic comfort also plays a role in this. “The success of this research will depend on the support base,” Rijnboutt-Blaas said, as the municipality will enter into discussions with various residents, such as children, the elderly and young adults. “At the same time, theme integration also makes it more difficult.” The project will soon start in four sub-districts in Al Meer.
Each Floriade has its own interpretation
The stories are interrupted by a visit to the rooftop of the college building. This outdoor area is furnished with seating areas and several plants, and offers a good view of the Floriade grounds. In the foreground, the various horticultural displays presented by the gallery are completed, with the funicular in the background from which visitors can get a panoramic view of the site.
The afternoon, moderated by Sytse Berends of Green Cities, ended with a presentation by landscape architect Niek Roozen on Floriade’s current edition in Almere. Together with agronomist Jacqueline van der Kloet and tree doctor Jaap Smit, he formed the Floriade vegetable garden. Rosen explained the design and realization of the site, which was designed by architect Winnie Maas, among others. Based on previous editions, in Venlo and Haarlemmermeer, among others, it became clear that each edition had its own interpretation.
Floriade is different from previous years, because for the first time Floriade was designed entirely as a new district in the city. “This is how trees and public green spaces were planted in front of the houses,” Rosen said. This also makes it a complex version for the design of both the gallery and the area of the future Almere city. Details provided here are the different types of plants and trees, as well as the footpaths that turn to avoid the site’s logging.
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