Post-Industrial biotope

Adaptive reuse: Insectarium as a new hub of green infrastructure
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Designer(s) : Anja Popović

University : University of Belgrade - Faculty of Architecture

Tutor(s) : Nebojša Fotirić

The Post-Industrial Biotope is a response to problems within urban areas that lead to the destruction of the biodiversity of a city. The abandoned silos of the industrial zone of Dorćol are being reused and are getting a new role as hubs of green infrastructure. Becoming a reference point and a meeting place for flora, fauna and humans.

The line park, the first planned green infrastructure of the city of Belgrade, is seen as a new, and only, “corridor” of greenery that will provide space for ecological processes moving towards or through them, which will further condition the formation of new fauna habitats within the city center. It will bring life to the post-industrial zone of Dorćol, which will start a new kind of environmentally conscious industry with the help of its new “inhabitants” – insects.

The first step would be greening of some parts of abandoned concrete plateaus. That introduction of flora should occur through the planned green infrastructure of the Line Park along the abandoned railway and it will create an environment susceptible to the formation of new habitats. Such a move would open the door for the immigration of certain animal species within the abandoned facilities of the former industrial zone.

The next step would be positioning insectarium in one of the abandoned buildings, which would serve for breeding, pollinating green areas in the city and attracting other animals indigenous for this area that industrial activities have eliminated throughout years. This space would also serve for educational purposes, for which this area is intended according to the urban plan. The laboratory premises would observe and monitor the behaviour of insects that would be used for various biomimicry purposes as well as for the education of the local population and the youngest. Insects would actively move along the planned zone of the line park as well as along the open green areas of Dorćol and pollinate them.

Over time, this way of urban insect breeding could develop into an environmentally conscious industry. Insect breeding produces waste: insect droppings, often mixed with food debris. Insect waste is usually sold as a plant fertilizer, however, there is another way to use it – the production of methane by anaerobic digestion. The products of such urban farming are biofuel and biogas. Also, the practice of countries from the eastern hemisphere speaks of the cultivation of insects for food purposes because they are an exceptional source of protein. This would create a full circle of transformation of the industry into a new type of modern industry, as a response to the biggest problems of today.