With substantial declines in bee, bird and other critical species, incorporating biodiversity into the design of buildings is something that needs to be done, but often isn't. These crucial pollinators already live in our cities, and it makes sense to integrate some kind of supportive habitat in our urban structures and spaces to help them flourish and to better adapt to climate change. With the bird housing design "Vogelstad" (Bird City), Dutch designer Eveline Visser sees the unused spaces in between existing buildings being used for exactly this purpose.
With linked bird houses of various dimensions, Vogelstad is meant to be hung on the unused walls of buildings, providing habitat and shelter for birds. According to Designboom, this structure provides housing for a "mixed bird community of up to 33 unique species":
The design of each birdhouse is specific to the needs of a particular species of bird, with the right size opening, and with groupings of the same size boxes for bird species that live in flocks, and single houses for those that are solitary.
Visser explains that "[t]he location at which the rack is suspended determines the manner in which it is to be used;" for example, falcons will nest only in places that are at least 50 meters (164 feet) high, while others, like the great tit, will only live alone, meaning that not all the boxes on any rack may be used all at once.
The prototype is modular, with the idea is to create productive spaces for species that are vital to the integrity of the larger ecosystem. One might wonder though if the design imposes the urban structure and way of living in close quarters on species that are not familiar with it, but nevertheless, it's a thoughtful design that takes a step in the right direction.