German Cities Venturing Into The Wilderness

What the Germans call Städte Wagen Wildnis.

As a part of the Städte Wagen Wildnis ("Cities Venturing into Wilderness," or "Cities Dare Wilderness") Project, Hanover, Frankfurt, and Dessau, Germany have agreed to set aside plots in cities – such as the sites of former buildings, parks, vacant lots, etc. – where nature will be allowed to take over. The project is largely experimental; the hands-off approach to these green spaces means that minimal intervention will occur by participating cities, and wilderness will be allowed to reclaim the spaces unimpeded.

The resulting wildflower gardens and untamed nature will create new habitats for plant and animal species, and thus will increase the overall biodiversity of these cities.


Since the project's onset in 2016, The Federal Agency for Nature Conservation and the Federal Ministry for the Environment have already reported greater drought tolerance of these areas and increases in the number of butterflies, bees, birds, butterflies, and hedgehogs.


Along with aiding native populations, another major goal of this initiative is to provide more opportunities for recreation and improve the quality of life of nearby citizens with greater exposure to nature.