Cities need wild plants! Living Pavement is an open-tile system for a more spontaneous vegetation in urban public spaces.

Living Pavement is an open-tile system that enables spontaneous vegetation in urban public spaces. It contributes to the improvement of urban climate and quality of life by addressing issues such as rainfall-floods, the urban heat island effect, fine dust and the growing need of city dwellers for more contact with green in their direct surroundings.

In the coming years communes will have to reduce their investments in maintenance of public parks. Living Pavement is a reaction to the strict distinction between red and green on the one hand, and the desired and undesired vegetation on the other. It challenges and proposes an alternative perspective towards the construction and management of public urban green.

60% of Dutch municipalities struggle nowadays with overloaded sewer systems and subsequent problems, as most of precipitation in paved areas cannot infiltrate into the soil and is thus channeled to the sewer system. Rainwater drainage must be disconnected from the sewage system and urban vegetation that creates micro-life in the soil and keeps it open should be promoted, allowing water to infiltrate easier to the ground.

Cities and their planners can take advantage of spontaneous vegetation if a mind switch regarding the understanding of weeds will take place. Living Pavement shows that spontaneity is no longer equal to neglect when it becomes part of the design.

I’m realizing this project together with designer Vincent Wittenberg

Project text pdf-Dutch
Design Academy Eindhoven, Social Design Master
Photo: Femke Rijerman