Utrecht, the Netherlands

Monitoring, Maintenance, and Management

How has the initiative been designed and implemented so that long-term needs for management and maintenance are reduced and can be met?

For example, we have been mowing less in Utrecht since 2015, which means more flowers bloom. And that means more food for bees, butterflies, other insects, and birds. The more plant and animal species, the more nature in the city.

Residents regularly ask why we mow flowers on lawns. This is necessary to be able to play, sit and lie on these lawns. Otherwise, the grass will grow too tall, and shrubs will eventually grow. Over the past 5 years we have seen that less mowing does not limit playing and sitting on the grass, and that it still has a positive result for nature. Since 2015, we have seen more flowers in the lawns and therefore more nectar for insects.

What protocols are in place to facilitate monitoring of results?

Each year we write a report on the sustainability of our city (duurzaamheidsverslag). Protocols involve measuring of the air-quality by bikes (snuffelfietsen), noise, health indicators, green, trees, climate, energy, welfare of animals, waste, transportation and circular renewal.

Biodiversity is measured by volunteers on common urban birds (Meetnet Urbane Soorten) and bats. In the Central Station area, the common swift is of specific concern. Along the new canal shores plants for local wild bees have been planted. One of the expected bees has been seen last year.
Since healthy urban living applies to our whole city, most parameters involve the whole city and not this specific area.

How has the initiative been enhanced in response to monitoring of results?

Protected species are registered via an online map. This is maintained by volunteers and experts.

https://gemu.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=f56fad672df640e0bba6ba837124016a

We also register the water floods in Utrecht city:

https://gemu.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=1406ae75385e4a318461d7ce3b56f7c6