Courage to Leave a Gap!


Animal Aided Design Aachen

Aerial view of the block interiors in the Hubertus quarter Copyright: © N. Pszola

Many people appreciate the city as a living space, because the diversity of offerings that one finds here makes the greatest possible development of individual lifestyles possible. This assessment of the city as a living space applies not only to people, but also to many species of wild animals. In the project "Courage for the Gap!" we turn to the unknown and try to make a contribution to the increase of urban biodiversity with the construction of the city and at the same time to create attractive places for people to stay and live.   


Thanks to their adaptability, more and more wildlife species are settling in urban areas. The warmer climate, the high density of different surfaces, the diversity of materials, changing light conditions during the day and at night, and the background noise of a city form a challenging but also varied habitat mosaic. In some places, it is even more varied than in monoculturally managed cultural landscapes close to cities. Today, measures to conserve and protect urban nature focus primarily on individual areas, such as urban parks, urban forests, cemeteries, or riparian areas. Given the ongoing decline of animals in cities and the shrinking biodiversity in Germany in general, focusing on these urban nature patches seems no longer sufficient. Instead, maintaining and enhancing urban biodiversity requires measures that go beyond the maintenance and protection of existing patches and turn to the urban matrix itself.

Under the title Animal-Aided Design (AAD), scientists at the University of Kassel and the University of Munich, Germany, have developed a design method to incorporate the needs of animal species into the planning and design of urban open spaces. They describe the approach of the method as follows:

"AAD foregrounds the demands of individual species and aims to integrate these needs into landscape architectural and urban design planning, thereby enabling new urban nature images and experiences. Unlike "undesigned" nature, such as the concept of "urban wilderness," AAD - as with all garden design and landscape architecture - redesigns an image of nature or reconstructs an existing one and applies it to the respective viewers and users with the purpose of aesthetic experience. AAD considers wildlife in a design context, much as has been done with plants for a very long time in garden design and landscape architecture."

With this in mind, we turn our attention to the Hubertusviertel neighborhood in the city of Aachen. The neighborhood is characterized by dense perimeter block development and has only a small amount of open space, but the shape of the public space, which flows beyond the street space into courtyards and small side alleys, is particularly exciting. In order to improve the quality of living and the climatic situation, the city of Aachen would like to collect ideas for greening, unsealing and revitalizing these spaces. Let's get inspired by the needs of the city's inhabitants, who are still unknown to us!

In the course of the semester, there will be a content-related cooperation with the seminar "Building Greening - Good for People and Animals" under the supervision of Dr. Sandra Sieber.



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Important dates:

  • 12.10.21, 14:00 pm: Introduction
  • 16.11.21, 14:00 pm: In between Review
  • 21.12.22, 14:00 pm: In between Review
  • 15.02.22, 14:00 pm: Submission