Many municipalities utilize a points system to incentivize construction projects to prioritize biodiversity and the creation of green spaces. However, a study conducted by Marije Sesink, a master’s student, reveals that this approach not only benefits the environment but also improves the local neighborhoods and residents’ quality of life. Sesink’s research focused on The Hague, the subject of her study.
When undertaking construction or renovation work in a community, it is crucial to consider nature. Nature-inclusive construction, which encompasses various measures like incorporating green roofs, installing bird nesting boxes, planting more shrubs, using bird-strike prevention measures on windows, and reducing light pollution, not only safeguards bird species but also increases biodiversity and generates ecosystem services. These services have benefits for people, such as cooler environments, improved water retention, and an overall sense of well-being and relaxation in green spaces.
Maximizing Points for Nature-Inclusive Projects
Municipalities often adopt a points system when selecting project developers for construction projects. Developers who incorporate nature-inclusive elements into their plans earn more points and have a higher chance of securing the project. Sesink’s master’s thesis aimed to determine if this points system also brought benefits for people. She compared the points systems of various municipalities and examined whether the system in The Hague contributed to the city’s specific goals, such as increased nature in urban areas, heat reduction, and better water management.
Nature’s Advantages for The Hague
Sesink used local maps of The Hague to demonstrate that every part of the city derives unique ecosystem services. She discovered that the city center experiences significantly higher temperatures in the summer, up to five degrees hotter than the surrounding areas. This disparity led to increased mortality rates during hot days, particularly in the Schilderswijk area. Sesink proposes that incorporating more greenery in these areas can have a cooling effect. Additionally, industrial areas like Kerketuinen and Zichtenburg, along with densely built-up areas such as Scheveningen, Binckhorst, and Leidschenveen, face drainage issues due to limited green spaces. Increasing the presence of trees and plants in these areas can mitigate these problems and create healthier living environments.
Recommendation: Customized Points Systems
Sesink concludes that the points system effectively guides construction projects towards specific ecosystem services. However, she suggests that The Hague should reintroduce neighborhood-specific points systems, as they provide valuable insights into the ecosystem services and measures that are most beneficial to each area. By tailoring the points system to different neighborhood types (e.g., historic city centers, suburban housing developments, and high-rise areas), the municipality can create a more pleasant living environment for its residents.
Recommendation: Community Involvement
Sesink highlights the importance of engaging with local residents in construction projects. She suggests that awarding points to developers who involve the community in decision-making processes, like the Buurtlab 070 project, can yield better outcomes. Involving residents allows them to voice their preferences for green areas, construction measures, and modifications, ensuring that the project aligns with their needs and values.
Points system makes neighborhoods nicer to live in (2023, August 9)
retrieved 9 August 2023
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no
part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
Denial of responsibility! SamacharCentrl is an automatic aggregator of Global media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, and all materials to their authors. For any complaint, please reach us at – [email protected]. We will take necessary action within 24 hours.
Shambhu Kumar is a science communicator, making complex scientific topics accessible to all. His articles explore breakthroughs in various scientific disciplines, from space exploration to cutting-edge research.