Biotope

Striving to renew the relationship between people and living things in urban areas

The Saisei-no-Mori urban biotope is field of research and development on natural regeneration techniques aimed at improving biodiversity in urban areas. It is also a recognition that we must not lose the connection between people and nature in urban areas, and a venue for the conceptualization and dissemination of regeneration techniques. Shimizu engages in experimental testing based on the theme of three types of regeneration—of natural ecosystems, resources, and living environments. We also use the biotope as a place for environmental education.

Types of Testing

Regeneration of Natural Ecosystems in Urban Areas

  • Ecosystem network evaluation
  • Greenery regeneration
  • Habitat status
  • Conservation of endangered species

Resource Regeneration and Recycling

  • Reuse of soil generated at the site
  • Floating island made of discarded tires
  • Water purification

Regeneration of Living Environment

  • Microclimate improvement
  • Green therapy
  • Rainwater runoff control

Facility Features

Date built: April 2006
Area: 1,940 m2 in total (land area: 1,060 m2, water area: 650 m2
Plant/
animal types:
Plants (106 tree species, 94 grass species)
Animals (7 fish species, 3 shellfish species, 2 crustacean species, 3 amphibian species)
Vegetation foundation: Reuse of soil generated at the site and nearby topsoil (soil seed bank)
Undulating ground to mitigate the effect of human interference to animals
Zoning Ecotones (transition belts) in which vegetation gradually changes from water zones to land zones were built, and compact arrangements ranging from water plants to waterside forests, grasslands, deciduous forests, evergreen forests, and other vegetation were planted to create various types of habitats.
Biotope zoning
Biotope zoning

Examples of Tests and Achievements

Ten-year Biotope Monitoring to Verify the Improvement in Biodiversity

  • Plants: Ascertained development of the species planted and those that emerged, and tree growth
  • Animals: Ascertained the status of species living in the biotope for species introduced (fish, shellfish, crustacean, amphibian species) and species that appeared (birds; dragonflies, butterflies and other insects; aquatic organisms)
Biotope immediately after its construction in 2006
Biotope immediately after its construction in 2006
Biotope 10 years after its construction in 2016
Biotope in 2016 (10 years later)

Developing Technology and Use in Projects

  • Urban Ecological Network Simulation System (UE-Net)
  • Natural scenery simulation (BioNavi, the Biotope Planning Navigator)
  • Revegetation technology using soil seed bank
  • Endangered species conservation technology
UE-Net, Urban Ecological Network Simulation System Example visualizing network of suitable habitats for shrikes
Example of visualizing network of suitable habitats for shrikes by UE-Net
Example of output generated by BioNavi
Example of output generated by BioNavi

Environmental Certification

  • First certification for research facility engaging in conservation of biodiversity from Association for Business Innovation in Harmony with Nature and Community (ABINC) (2015)
  • Chosen for inclusion in the list of the top 100 companies contributing to biodiversity conservation by the Organization for Landscape and Urban Green Infrastructure based on its Social and Environmental Green Evaluation System (SEGES) (2010)

Contributing to the Community as a Venue for Environmental Education

  • Conduct biotope tours for young people to learn about the environment
Environmental education session at the biotope
Environmental education session at the biotope