As cities encroach steadily into nature, designers are paying attention to where city life and wildlife meet – spaces known as buffer zones. These transition zones protect animals affected by noise and light pollution from human activity, while simultaneously encouraging humans to have positive interactions with nature.
Ecologist Anuj Jain says that the increase in highways around Singapore mean that birds are now having to make much louder sounds in order to hear themselves and their peers.
Instead of locating high-rises right on the edge of a nature reserve, he asks, what if building heights increase gradually the further away they are from the forests? The levels of vegetation and lighting can be designed with the same logic. When designing bungalows near a forest, he proposes ponds as natural barriers between snakes and human residents – a much more humane solution than exterminating original inhabitants of the land.