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Biotope Area Factor

A "biotope" is an area of uniform environmental conditions providing a living place for specific plants and animals. It is "habitat" for a biological community not just specific species or populations. In urban settings, biotopes have specific characteristics that provide "ecological value". Biotopes can be ranked based on this value.

It is this concept that has been codified in Berlin (DE) where the biotope area factor (BAF) is calculated for development and the individual landscape components of a site (biotopes) are weighted according to their value. This landscape requirement applies to development in the city center. Berlin's landscape program formulates basic goals (minimum % area with ecological value) and measures to promote high quality urban development with respect to the ecosystem, protection of biotopes and species, the appearance of the landscape, and recreational use. In the city center, using the BAF makes it possible to create & protect these "green qualities". Malmo (SE) uses a “green space factor” which is based on this German system. This link illustrates the "ecological value" assigned for various development practices and has additional links to background and example calculations. Also see Seattle x Green Factor which is a variation of the German biotope area calculation that uses different weights.

Biotope Area Factor

Infrastructure (green), Ordinances/Regulation, Sustainable Development
Malmo, BAF, Leaf characteristics, Biotope, Seattle, City center
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