"Bird-friendly transport infrastructures are always also people-friendly". If this thesis can be empirically confirmed, birds could be considered as an "indicator species", which in turn would have implications for concrete planning actions in the design of transport infrastructures.
Duration 06/2022 - 07/2024
Coordinator Rupprecht Consult - Forschung & Beratung GmbH
The OrniTrans project investigates the thesis "bird-friendly transport infrastructures are always people-friendly". As simple as this assumption may seem at first glance - if it were empirically confirmed, it could have enormous effects. The reasoning behind this is that people-friendliness is difficult to determine and also depends on all kinds of subjective factors. This can certainly be reliably assessed through surveys and interviews; however, the effort would be very costly for the many roads, (parking) lots and other traffic infrastructures in Germany. The degree of bird-friendliness, however, is more objective and easier to determine - especially if it could be proven that the trained eye of bird-interested citizens is a reliable indicator of bird-friendliness. Such surveys take place regularly anyway as part of the "Stunde der Gartenvögel" ("Garden Bird Hour"). The corresponding keyword is "Citizen Science". OrniTrans is therefore an applied research project carried out by an interdisciplinary team of urban and transport planners as well as avifaunists and ornithologists. In one step, it investigates the interactions between structural factors (e.g. road width, degree of sealing), the traffic situation (number of vehicles, speed, etc.) and the effects on people, such as duration of stay, noise level, subjective feeling of well-being (through surveys) and other factors; special attention is paid to children and senior citizens. In a parallel step, the OrniTrans team investigates the living conditions for birds; this includes the availability of food, nesting material and much more. Of course, the presence, species composition and song quality of birds is also investigated. If statistical correlations between these factors emerge from this research, recommendations for action could be derived, such as for transportation planners, landscape architects, green space maintenance teams, etc. The OrniTrans team has appropriate contacts and will communicate the results of the study through all possible channels. Ultimately, the goal is to increase the bird- and people-friendliness of our cities simultaneously. The public sympathies that birds often enjoy can be consciously used for this purpose.
Rupprecht Consult developed the basic idea of the project and was able to win NABU - Naturschutzbund Deutschland as an ornithological partner for the development of the application and the implementation of the project. Rupprecht Consult is the main contractual partner of the Dr. Schmidt Foundation.
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