An article by Kristine Kjørup Rasmussen (Head of biodiversity in SLA, Biologist, Ph.D. in vegetation ecology) and Irina Goldberg (biologist, Ph.D)
Originally brought in the journal Landskab (no. 3, 2020)
Mosses were some of the first living things to make the Earth green more than 400 million years ago. And still today, the marvelous mosses make the Earth green, especially in humid areas that Denmark is rich in. In winter, when herbs and grasses are brown and withered, the green color of the mosses is more clearly seen. But it is as if this million-year-old robust growth form is not really being respected for its beauty and its value by us geological babies, humans. We fight moss in lawns, we wash stones and roofs and clean cemetery dikes to keep the mosses away.
Why? Is moss ugly? Moss is a spore plant without roots, yet enormously effective at absorbing water in its simple and thin cell tissue. Thus, mosses can exploit habitats that they often only share with lichens (a flake-shaped symbiosis between algae and fungus).
Mosses are everywhere like a green backdrop. You have to bend your knees or find the magnifying glass to be able to see their small fine leaves and spore houses that sit on a short or long stem (seta). Typical habitats are bare soil, rocks and living and dead trees. In the countryside and in the cities. Why not invite them into our built world and let them decorate surfaces with their “shades of green” and feeling of a nature that is so much older and bigger than ourselves?
The six most important things to know about butterfly habitats
The butterflies are in decline worldwide. In Denmark alone, every fourth butterfly is endangered. This is a result of the lack of habitats and pronounced use of pesticides and fertilizers following the intense agricultural use in the open landscape. However, cities have great potential to become oases of biodiversity, as it is easier to assign space and create suitable habitats for biodiversity in urban environments. This article introduces the six most important landscape and design parameters that must be considered if the butterfly is to be attracted as a permanent resident or frequent visitor.
City nature is not nature
“City nature is not nature. City nature is something we humans design to solve the urban problems we have created ourselves. City Nature is about correcting 1,000 years of urban delusions that have separated the built and the grown (…)” says design director and partner, Stig L. Andersson, in this debate post, where he commends the government’s proposal to demand more and better city nature.
City nature is not just a whim of fashion. A completely new form of nature in the city is what can best, cheapest and fastest clean up all the mess we have created for the planet with our built order, says Stig L. Andersson.