BiodiverCITY_A Matter of Vital Soil!

Creating, implementing and upscaling biodiversity-based measures in public space

This publication is a search for biodiversity in the city. The decline in biodiversity in the countryside has been in the spotlight for years. A vital soil life is of vital importance. In the city, hidden biodiversity is evident. How do you design public space anchored in vital soil?

There is a world full of life under our feet. Hidden in the soil, up to 100 million species of micro-organisms work together with fungi and plant roots to form networks that ensure a healthy living environment. Without soil, mankind cannot survive. Nevertheless, man is careless with his living environment. The growing world population is moving to the city, annexing its surrounding areas and literally squeezing the life out of the soil. The urban climate, the petrified environment and the water management are detrimental to vital soil life. The (urban) soil is largely sealed off, resulting in extreme flooding, heat and drought stress, soil compaction and habitat fragmentation.

The layout of the city consists of many underground measures. Every change leads to soil stress. That has to change. BiodiverCITY provides measures and elaborations that lead to a vital soil life.

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To download the full publication in English or Dutch, click on the red links at the bottom of this page. A printed copy of BiodiverCITY_A Matter of Vital Soil! can be purchased via nai010 uitgevers / publishers.


Interested in learning more about BiodiverCITY and urban soil biodiversity? Check out these links:

The book launch of BiodiverCITY_A Matter of Vital Soil! took place in september 2021 at Pakhuis de Zwijger in Amsterdam and during the Venice Architecture Biennale 2021. BiodiverCITY was also part of the Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism 2021, the Sub terra exhibition at ARCAM in Amsterdam, and the podcast Hier gebeurt het ondergronds. (in Dutch). 


BiodiverCITY_A Matter of Vital Soil! was initiated by the City of Amsterdam and developed in collaboration with Naturalis Biodiversity Center, NIOO-KNAW, ARTIS, and Inside Outside. 

Prior to BiodiverCITY, the Integral Design Method Public Space, Volume I (Amstel-Stad Case Study , Amsterdam) & II (Handbook) was published. 

ISBN 978-94-6208-656-2 | september 2021 | 

Concept : Joyce van den Berg, Hans van der Made
Editorial board and coordination: Joyce van den Berg, Hans van der Made, Ingrid Oosterheerd, Marco Roos, Alessandra Riccetti and Johan van Zoest

Text: Joyce van den Berg, Sofia Gomes, Gerard Korthals, Hans van der Made, Vincent Merckx, Sylvia Mota de Oliviera, Jorinde Nuytinck, Ingrid Oosterheerd, Froukje Rienks, Marco Roos, Menno Schilthuizen, Michael Stech, Renée Zijlmans and Johan van Zoest

Tekst editing and English translation: NST Science

Design of graphics: Louis van Amerongen, Alicia Sanchez Fonseca, Constanza Gomez Guzman, Jean Carlos Ocampo Cantillo, Rosita Hemelaar, Alessandra Riccetti, Chong Yao, Lujia Zhu and Marina Lopes Vasarini


City of Amsterdam: Louis van Amerongen, Patrick van Beveren, Paco Bunnik, Rigina Christiaans,
Sabine Gimbrère, Rosita Hemelaar, Dagmar Keim, Marloes Michels, Caroline Nevejan, Thijs Vlaar,
Josja van der Veer, Nicole Voulon and Annemiek Wiersma

Artis: Jan de Jong, Ruben Janssen and Ton Hilhorst

Het Nieuwe Instituut: Francine van Westeren and Ellen Zoete

Inside Outside: Petra Blaisse, Jana Crepon and Aura Luz Melis

Naturalis Biodiversity Center: Bart Braun, Ate-alma Cohen, Bouchra Filali, Caroline van
Impelen and Maaike van de Kamp-Romijn

Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW): Wietse de Boer, Wim van der Putten, Isabelle van der Zande

Photo editors: Joyce van den Berg, Hans van der Made, Ingrid Oosterheerd, Alessandra Riccetti and
Joseph Plateau grafisch ontwerpers

Design: Joseph Plateau grafisch ontwerpers

Printing: Antilope De Bie, Belgium

Publisher: Marcel Witvoet, nai010 publishers


Additional info

Image credits

Header image: Integrale Ontwerpmethode Openbare Ruimte - banner

Icon image: BiodiverCITY cover