These Cities Are Rewilding Their Urban Spaces!

Jul 12, 2021by Olivia - F&F

We know that urban green spaces are good for us and good for the planet. In fact, a new study using satellite imagery found a positive correlation between urban green space and happiness in 60 countries around the world!

From forest walkways and solar-powered supertrees, to wildflower meadows and green streets — these cities are proving that nature belongs in our cities.

Mumbai Malabar Hill Forest WalkwayMumbai Malabar Hill Forest Walkway

Mumbai’s Elevated Forest Walkway  

With a population of around 20.6 million people, it’s hard to imagine a small, quiet forest lying in plain sight in Mumbai. Until recently, the forest within the neighbourhood of Malabar Hills was mostly neglected. That is, until Rahul Kadri, Partner and Principal Architect at IMK Architects came up with an idea to revive the area without harming the forest’s flora and fauna.

The elevated forest walkway — set to be completed at the end of 2021 — will be around 700 metres long and form a loop around the forest. At its highest point of 10 metres, tourists will be able to look upon the top of the forest and across the ocean from viewing decks. The wooden walkway will feature dim handrail lighting, so it will seamlessly integrate into the natural environment!

Singapore Gardens By The BaySingapore Gardens By The Bay

Singapore’s Solar-Powered Super Trees & Nature Park

Built on former industrial land, Gardens by the Bay has transformed Singapore from a garden city to a city in a garden! This beautiful, 250-acre space features plenty of greenery, a conservatory complex, and of course, 18 massive “supertrees”! These tree-like structures — some reaching 160 feet — are fitted with photovoltaic cells that harness the power of the sun. These awesome supertrees also provide shade, filter rainwater, and absorb heat.

Gardens by the Bay also contains the largest glass greenhouse in the world, the Flower Dome! Inside the dome, there are 9 different gardens that showcase an abundance of flora from 5 different continents. The Cloud Forest conservatory dome is home to the world’s tallest indoor waterfall; visitors can climb to the top of the waterfall and gaze at the 7,000 plants below!

Cities Dare Wilderness Project GermanyCities Dare Wilderness Project Germany

Hanover, Frankfurt & Dessau’s Urban Wildflower Gardens 

The Städte Wagen Wildnis project— "Cities Venturing into Wilderness" or "Cities Dare Wilderness" — is a plan by German cities to let nature take over! As part of the rewilding plan, Hanover, Frankfurt, and Dessau have agreed to transform former building sites, vacant lots, and parks into wild spaces.

These wild spaces are increasing plant diversity and attracting all sorts of wildlife — like bees, birds, butterflies and hedgehogs. These wildflower meadows are practically self-sufficient and require very little water and maintenance. 

The aim of the project is to support the conservation of native species, improve the quality of life in cities, and create brand new urban green landscapes. It's a beautiful initiative and proves that we can live alongside nature in its wildest form!

Barcelona Wildflowers RewildingBarcelona Wildflowers Rewilding

Barcelona’s ‘Green Streets’, Nesting Towers, Beehives & Insect Hotels

If we take a step back, nature will inevitably do its thing. This theory was proven in Barcelona after its six-week lockdown last April! As people emerged from their homes, they realised that nature had begun to reclaim urban spaces — and they loved it!

During this time, there was a 28 per cent boost in species per park; resulting in 74 per cent more butterflies and an abundance of birds and insects due to the plant growth. Amazing, right? 

Inspired by these wild changes; the city council is committed to creating 49,000 square metres of "greened", car-free streets throughout Barcelona, including 200 nesting towers for bats and birds, 40 beehives and 80 insect hotels. Prior to the lockdown, rewilding policies had stalled — but now, Barcelona is boldly embracing its wild side!

What do you think of these amazing rewilding projects? We believe that bringing nature back into our cities is essential. To improve the sustainability of our cities and the health of our planet, we need more than a few trees and the odd, manicured park within our concrete landscapes.  

We need wild, untamed spaces full of birds, bees, insects, plants, wildflowers and mammals!

If you love hearing about rewilding projects and urban sustainability, head to the Eco News category for more. 

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