Building with animals in mind

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Building with animals in mind

A few days ago someone forwarded me a story about plans in England to build “high-rise” habitats for animals, within an urban setting. This continues the theme I began in my “What would animal rights look like?” post a few weeks back.

Can animals live in high-rise blocks?

Can animals live in high-rise blocks?

If the plans come to fruition, the structure aims to encourage a variety of species to “reclaim their urban landscape”.

It is the vision of a small team of architects, a vertical solution to a horizontal desire to offer shelter to creatures in urban areas where space on the ground is tight.

The man behind the project, 26-year-old Neil Oxlee, hopes his “man-made tree” will provide a habitat for bats, birds, butterflies, insects and even foxes.

I haven’t studied it enough to really know if it’s a feasible idea as it stands now or not, but what I really like about it is that these people are thinking about building with animals in mind. And not just how to keep them out of our spaces or how to build to hold them, but rather building for the animals, so that they can have habitat within our habitat.

That architects and planners are thinking about this gives me hope that we might actually start planning our spaces so that the other inhabitants of the earth can exist here too.

I’d really like to see continuous areas of greenspace habitat with overpasses or underpasses so that animals could have an unbroken path through our cities and towns. Fences and other barriers could be used to keep animals separate from humans if they present a danger, with their habitat being respected and not encroached upon.

This idea of vertical habitats reminded me of vertical farms, which would allow for the growing of crops within cities. If these farms were able to feed us all, then more of the existing farmland could be returned to a natural state, providing habitat for all sorts of wildlife. What I really like about this plan for vertical farms is that they are designed to be all organic, grown without the use of chemicals, pesticides, or artifical fertilizers. Ideally, they would be veganic, utilizing human waste and compost as fertilizer.

Living on earth as responsible citizens is possible, if we put our minds to it.



June 11, 2009 at 11:23 am

I like the idea in theory. But in reality if that happened people will start to shoot the animals as soon as there’s an unfriendly encounter. Just like we do with bears or dogs.


June 11, 2009 at 12:19 pm

Aye, I would say this would be ideal for pigeons….if their eggs aren’t vulnerable to damage, since I do recall them laying eggs in the most inconvenient places. I won’t forget the days where I even held baby pigeons in my childhood days, due to them nesting in a “seemingly safe spot.”

As one who’s also fond of worms, it would be ideal if things were set up in a way where rainy days…worms won’t be on the sidewalk to get stepped on. Earthworms end up dead when they rise above the deep soils. Red wigglers are better off, but I still sometimes notice some of them getting trampled on. You won’t believe how many worms I’ve picked up over the years when it rains; that sometimes I wish there was some sort of architecture to keep them safe, while they enjoy the surface and the rains. » Blog Archive » The easyVegan Weekend Activist, No. 8

June 19, 2009 at 1:45 pm

[…] Glenn @ Liberation BC Blog: Building with animals in mind […]


August 5, 2009 at 7:49 pm

I love the spirit of this. Yes, there are potential pitfalls and it’s great to be thinking of those also. I’ve been thinking along these lines for some time now, on a smaller scale: things that people can do with their houses and yards that animals would like.

For instance, I was going to take an old rooftop TV antenna to the dump, when I thought…maybe I can make something out this that birds would like, and put it in the yard. I’m no craftsperson, but I sawed off part of the base so it wasn’t so tall, stuck it in the ground n a sunny spot near some thick hedges, put a couple of hanging plants on it, and hoped the birds would appreciate the new roosting spot. And they do!

I also have this idea of adjacent neighbors cutting out part of the fence that separates the two yards and putting little above-ground tunnels through the cutout area so rabbits and maybe other smll non-climbing critters wouldn’t have to go into the street to get from yard to yard.

I guess I’ve been thinking “Sorry animals, for taking up so much of your space. How can I make my little corner where I live more friendly to you?”

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