Strengthening Human-Nature Relationsships

The socio-ecological crisis - i.e. the worsening of social inequality and environmental problems alike - is increasingly noticeable to people in their everyday lives. Extreme weather events are on the rise, climate change is in the media more and more, and fears for the future of the devastating effects of sustainability crises continue to grow in society. Yet our steps towards sustainability are rather timid. Does this perhaps also have to do with man's alienation from nature? Especially in cities, apart from urban green spaces, there are only a few points of contact with nature. 

The extensive destruction of nature is hardly noticed in the city. But even beyond the city, man in our modern society sees himself as superior to nature. It is perceived as an inanimate object and a freely available resource. The finiteness of natural resources is ignored in this world view. One way out could be to make nature tangible for people again, to tie people back to nature, so to speak. 

In our research, we describe and evaluate different forms of urban human-nature relationships, their ecosystem services and their effects on individual and societal contributions to sustainability transformation. In different projects, we analyse and create encounter spaces with nature in the city. For example, with small green spaces as building blocks of an urban green infrastructure that can contribute to biodiversity, peace and recreation as well as temperature and water regulation and can be implemented by individual residents. The concept of "edible cities" can also strengthen human-nature relationships and promote sustainable food consumption by providing free food in public spaces and through urban gardening.

The Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development is jointly funded by the federal government and the federal states.

FS Sachsen

This measure is co-financed by tax funds on the basis of the budget approved by the Saxon State Parliament.