Birdwatchers Organization Amsterdam       Dangerous situation Carolina MacGillavry Lane             Dutch                            > to page 2

In 2007 in the city district Amsterdam Oost-Watergraafsmeer, in an area called Science Park, a large complex of apartment buildings has been built, named Archipelago. The complex consists of the buildings Milos, Andros and De Meander. Between the buildings very high acoustic screens with an artistic image etched on it were erected. These are the highest acoustic screens in The Netherlands. Till 8 July 2009 the bottom parts and the sides of the screens were totally transparent. The courtyards of the De Meander building are also protected from noise by totally transparent screens. Only on the upper panels of these screens birds of prey stickers are attached, but spaced at far too much distance. Window stickers only are effective against bird strikes if they are separated by 10 cm (4 inch) if oriented in vertical columns, or by 5 cm if oriented in horizontal rows.

On 28 April 2009 the Birdwatchers Organization Amsterdam was informed by a student living in the De Meander building that she had found a number of dead birds beneath the screens, a Black-tailed Godwit (probably a Woodcock), a Mallard, a Jackdaw and a Blackbird. If you look at the pictures, you can see that the design is insane and perilous to birds. On 10 May 2009 I found underneath the screens, between the buildings Andros and Milos, three window casualties, a Woodpigeon, a Jackdaw and a Garden Warbler.

On 12 May 2009 I called the municipal project bureau Southeastlob to see which measures could be undertaken. They promised to find out who is in charge. When I called again after a week of silence they answered that an ecologist would be consulted; the appointment had yet to be made… On 25 May I received the message that the ecologist had been asked for advise on possible solutions. On 1 June I received the message that the city, the architect and the builder of the screens (Heijmans) had decided to attach stickers on the side screens and that they would figure out together with the designer of the public space to do something with green in front of or behind the bottom screens. Meanwhile birds were dying, see pictures.

On 21 June 2009 the Birdwatchers Organization Amsterdam wrote a firm letter to the city. On 24 June another duck died. On 1 July I found a Magpie, a young Woodpigeon and a young Blackbird. 9 July a subcontractor of Heijmans attached ten black dots on each of the bottom panels of the screens between the apartment buildings. Dots were attached also on the sides. According to the literature this is not sufficient.

On 10 July we had a good talk with the manager social control and the janitor of the foundation DUWO, which exploits the student housing in the De Meander building and is responsible for the screens in the courtyards.

As expected it appeared, on 8 August 2009, that the black dots on the bottom panels were insufficient; see the pictures on the bottom row.

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