Cities aren’t exactly friendly towards wildlife. Sure, they can offer an unlikely environment for certain species – garbage insects or urban foxes, anyone? On the whole, though, cities tend to pave over the natural environment, and send any surviving creatures off into the countryside.
Oslo, the capital of Norway, is trying to stem that tide: companies, individuals, and state bodies have all clubbed together to create bee-friendly havens throughout the city. Once they have enough of these, the reasoning goes, the city will act as a thriving corridor of food and shelter for the endangered insects.
It’s not a bad move for the country’s farming industry, either. Bees are needed to pollinate most forms of agriculture, and the dying off of bee populations has forced farmers in China and the US to pollinate their crops by hand.
Bybi, an environmental group, is leading the project. Agnes Lyche Melvaer, head of the group, told AFP:
We are constantly reshaping our environment to meet our needs, forgetting that other species also live in it. To correct that we need to return places to them to live and feed.
Projects along the highway include roof gardens and banks of flowers in cemetaries. One accountancy firm has decked out its office roof with a flower garden and two bee hives, housing around 45,000 bees. In Abels garden (below) schoolchildren have planted plants and flowers on a roundabout:
At Polli.no, participants can enter their project as a pin on a city map. Here’s the current version:
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