Author: Desislava Georgieva

How can industrial spaces in the city become living organisms and support urban biodiversity? Experts from the Public Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development – Ecovarna sought an answer to this question. The topic was presented and debated for the first time in Varna during a meeting of Ivaylo Ivanov and Ilian Iliev from Ecovarna with more than 20 employees in the Varna office of Veolia Energy Varna. Experts from Veolia Solutions Bulgaria also took part in the presentation.

One of the modern approaches to increase biodiversity on the territory of industrial sites is to use the facades of buildings for vertical landscaping, said Ivaylo Ivanov. Apart from the positive effect on the environment, such a practice has an impact on a mental level, helping employees to relax more effectively. Green facades and roofs also reduce the solar radiation absorbed by the building and therefore the temperature in the rooms and offices during the summer months.

The first living organisms that are attracted to the facade mini ecosystem are birds. There are around 420 species of birds in Bulgaria, and their numbers are increasing due to climate change and migration from the south. Popular urban birds are two species of falcons, for which it is appropriate to place nests on the chimney of Veolia Energy Varna, says Ivaylo Ivanov. Birds of prey nest in the joints of the adjacent high-rise buildings and could be attracted to the company’s industrial space, the ornithologist said. Small urban swiftlets also breed in halls and office buildings. Increasing their population leads to fewer mosquitoes and other small insects on which they feed. Special houses can be made for them to hang on the facades of industrial buildings.

The natural reduction of mosquitoes and cockroaches in urban environments also leads to an increase in the population of a species of wall lizard called geckos, which are also found in urban environments and can even be seen on the windows of dwellings.

Biodiversity in urban environments must be managed consciously and purposefully, because the ecosystem of living organisms has been totally altered by humans. This poses risks of both extinction of certain species and overpopulation of others, said Ivaylo Ivanov. For example, the population of urban cats, which has been growing uncontrollably in recent years, is leading to an overall reduction in biodiversity in the city.

If interested, the topic “Industrial spaces in support of urban biodiversity” will be presented to other companies in Varna.