Last week I participated in an International Conference on Metropolitan Planning and Ecology organized by BirdLife Netherlands (VBN) in Almere, Netherlands. Almere is a Green City with amazing design features, and a commitment to sustainable development. Wandering the streets and waterfront of downtown I was able to easily find 20 bird species in an hour–a testament to the richness of bird diversity in cities and the efforts of Almere designers and managers to creating and sustaining wildlife habitat in the city.
The conference included some great state of the art presentations by architects on incorporating birds and nature into urban design. Make van Stiphout, Ken Yang, and Daan Bruggink all had great things to share, and I look forward to featuring them here on Urban Birdscapes in the near future.
One of the final panelists couldn’t make it, so I was invited to participate and gave a short presentation on how birds made us human, we need birds in our environment to sustain our creativity and imagination as a species, and the need to create the Bird Cities of Tomorrow. A couple book titles in there, so plenty of work for me to do to contribute to these efforts. We have a long way to go to take our best ideas and implement them on the ground, but great to spend a few days with people committed to a greener and birdier urban world.