Basel, a city located in Switzerland has been featured by EuroNews Green as the ‘first city in the world’ to make green spaces and areas a legal requirement for any type of construction, especially new buildings. This effort wants to force city planners to start caring and taking into consideration biodiversity as a key part in design.
“Basel’s city planning authority has made green roofs compulsory. This new requirement adds patches of green space which defuse humidity and help to cool buildings off quicker during the summer months”.
Basel’s city has a biodiversity strategy planning that has been used for the past 15 years. Green spaces were mandatory on all new and retrofitted buildings with flat roofs. This policy has led to“more than 1 million square metres of green roofs [that]have been constructed, making it the leading city in ‘greening’ its urban spaces”.
“Here in Basel, we noticed that (flat roofs) were not being used enough and (could be) valuable areas for nature. That's why we started, together with our colleagues from the building department, and in particular, the then Director Barbara Schneider, to integrate these areas into the planning law, to define guidelines and thus to implement these projects in Basel." Dr Stephan Brenneisen, Researcher at the Institute for the Environment and Natural Resources in Zurich.
At MKThink we are also looking at how city planning can adapt to our evolving needs over time and how urban spaces can be designed considering factors such as sustainability, wellbeing and safety. And we especially love finding underutilized spaces that can become productive for the benefit of society. Whether it's rooftops or bathrooms or under highway bypasses, tell us what you're interested in transforming