A green ‘desert stone’ is going help make the space under viaducts more natural and therefore more pleasant. The stone provides better rainwater management to a number of green areas.

“Eindhoven has a high priority on greenery, water and biodiversity”, says the municipality in an explanatory memorandum. “Places where these values are completely missing are the embankments under viaducts. Together with our partners, we have found a creative and innovative solution for this: the green desert stone.”

With this solution, the municipality wants to solve two problems: to make embankments under viaducts safer and more pleasant for society, and to make better use of rainwater: “So that it does not enter the sewerage system, but also to use this water for greenery and biodiversity”.

Studio Ons designed a paving stone with water gutters that allows water to flow to the plants. The gutters are inspired by the craquelé pattern of desert soil. So the gutters literally lead to small ‘green oases’ beneath the embankment.

In order to develop and realize all this, use was made of the ‘Biodiversity and habitats subsidy scheme’ of the province of North Brabant and the MBI for product development. Studio Ons is responsible for the design and Bureau Kragten for engineering.

Photo: City ecologist Ellen van Rosmalen at one of the embankments.

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About the author

Bart Brouwers is co-founder and co-owner of Media52 BV, the publisher of innovationorigins.com.