New wilderness for “shrinking” cities

New wilderness on unused land is not only found outside built-up areas. The present process of “shrinking” of cities in central Europe, especially in eastern Germany, provides sites that are no longer needed for further urban development. Nevertheless, concepts that provide urban qualities have to be developed for these areas. The need for maintenance and the small budgets available will probably also lead to methods of care that integrate the natural development of vegetation. The character of this vegetation cannot be really “wild”, but its management should create a designed wil­derness that helps prevent vandalism and littering. This design must corre­spond to aesthetic ideas of wilderness.

Character of new wilderness in the peri-urban landscape

The character of new wilderness is important for its acceptance by the pub­lic as an element of the peri-urban landscape. This chapter describes dif­ferent characteristics of new wilderness areas that result from the con­ditions and functions of this landscape.

Wilderness – only one element of the peri-urban landscape

The constantly changing use of the peri-urban landscape is primarily influ­enced by the economics of land use. As new wilderness provides only little (or no) profit, it will probably cover only minor parts of the peri-urban landscape and will be only one element among others in the cultivated landscape. Although this seems trivial, it has important consequences for the perception of new wilderness as a part of the cultivated peri-urban landscape.