Adding Wildlife ‘Passengers’ to the Urban Commute : TreeHugger


Adapting transit to serve animals. From treehugger.com.

This post comes from Jennifer Hattam, and covers the work of a Dutch landscape architecture firm in improving urban conditions for animals. The firm, Openfabric, proposes ways that transit facilities, particularly bus stops, could be used as habitat features for birds, “beneficial” insects, and bats.

Now I will say that having some access to nature is a benefit, but I don’t know how much people want these animals in cities. For one, birds seem to be doing fine. I’ve seen everything in Philadelphia from your standard sparrows and pigeons to a falcon in Washington Square and a hawk eating a rat in a tree on Penn Campus. (The one in the video is an entirely different hawk in Philadelphia, decimating a pigeon)

I’m actually all about attracting beneficial insects, though. I recently saw a TED talk on urban bee keeping and it really made sense to me, and butterflies and dragonflies are cool, too. I just hope there’s a way to encourage them without encouraging mosquitoes and roaches.

Bats are where I think there would be a problem. Yes, they’re important for keeping insect populations in check and can work as pollinators, but to make this completely unscientific, they are creepy and people don’t like them. I don’t think people would like knowing that a family of bats is roosting above their bus stop.

I also appreciate how Hattam’s article addresses the issues of all the new poop that would come from increased bird and bat populations. I think it is an interesting idea about turning poop into energy, but good luck getting birds and bats to poop in designated areas and not on pedestrian’s heads.

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About Dave Munson
This blog is about architecture, cities, and myself.

One Response to Adding Wildlife ‘Passengers’ to the Urban Commute : TreeHugger

  1. thomas choate says:

    We love bats in Austin! Especially in cities that have mosquitoes. Great article!

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