Ecological functions of secondary wilderness

The benefits of new wilderness for flora, fauna and habitats are well known, especially for urban brownfields. However, new wilderness could also be an effective strategy for managing the spontaneous vegetation of larger, floodplain areas of river systems.

Besides these functions for habitats, new wilderness could also serve for local sustainable production of resources, e. g. the production of timber as a substitute for oil products.

Wilderness to create an identity for the peri-urban landscape

The identity of the landscape is important for a positive image of an urban region. As the rural character of the peri-urban landscape is losing its dominance, it is important for regional planners to begin developing new identities for areas. Peri-urban park systems are one possibility. In most cases the strategy to develop this identity involves the conservation of his­torical buildings and methods of cultivation. However, a new identity could also be realised by a specific design concept for spontaneous vege­tation.

Vegetation management could preserve part of the rural character and still allow for natural changes in vegetation. Even when fields turn fallow they will preserve some remnants of former cultivation. For example, a plantation of cherry trees will preserve its structure for a long time, no matter what dynamic changes in the spontaneous vegetation occur. This strategy could help to develop a new identity from the former cultivation and character.

Concepts of land art and landscape architecture also show that minimal de­sign intervention can make visible the specific history of a place or define its new character.