Städte wagen Wildnis (Cities dare wilderness)

How wilderness can be implemented in cities and how it affects biodiversity and the quality of life is the subject of a this project. Under the title "City Dare Wilderness" the cities of Hannover, Frankfurt am Main and Dessau-Roßlau deliberately let run wild selected inner-city areas.


This should not only create new habitats for animal and plant species, but also establish new areas for nature experience and recreation for the urban population. Further partners of the project are the Leibniz Universität Hannover, the Anhalt University of Applied Sciences, the Senckenberg Society for Natural Research and the Biodiversity Network BioFrankfurt.

On selected areas, nature in the participating cities should develop largely naturally over a period of five years. Nursing measures such as turf and pruning are reduced accordingly or even completely discontinued. Previously kept lawns may grow unhindered on the wilderness areas and develop into species-rich meadows. As a result this should attract insects, such as wild bees and butterflies, and thereafter also birds. Bushes and shrubs are also allowed to spread freely and are intended to provide additional protection and nesting opportunities for birds in particular.

In addition to increasing biodiversity, the project aims to improve the quality of life for urban people. The overgrown urban areas can have a positive effect on the urban climate and also create new recreational areas for the residents. Events and targeted information and education work are to promote the interest and the acceptance for the topic "wilderness in the city". Since no one can accurately predict how nature will evolve on the selected areas, the project has an experimental character. To assess the changes, the diversity of species and their habitats is regularly recorded and documented in a scientific evaluation.

The project is intended to help establish novel landscapes in urban areas, to test new care and utilization strategies, and to pave the way for more wilderness in cities. Not only the three model cities benefit from the new approaches. Other municipalities are informed about the nationwide alliance "Communities for Biodiversity" and the results are summarized and disseminated in a practical guide.

The Federal Agency for Nature Conservation has supported this project with funding from the Federal Ministry for the Environment since 2016 until 2021 as part of the federal biodiversity program amounting to around 4.5 million euros.

How to find us

BioFrankfurt office (responsible for the overall public relations)

Senckenberganlage 25

60325 Frankfurt on the Main

Opening hours: regular office hours

Mrs. Pia Ditscher

Phone: 069 7542 - 1545

ditscher (at)

The sand lizard is the mascot of the project. Photo: Thomas Hartmanshenn
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