top of page

urban gardening wolfsburg

Image by Markus Spiske

Initiated by the institute for future, the Urban Garden Wolfsburg stands for a place to learn, linger and exchange. As a collective project, the garden serves as an experimental field for future topics and as a platform to address global challenges in food production locally.

Image by Markus Spiske2.png

Berlin has its princess gardens, Hamburg its garden deck and in the New York district of Brookyln the green of the crops is sprouting on more and more high-rise roofs. Urban gardening has long since developed into a worldwide trend, which the institute for the future has also followed.

The term “urban gardening” means the agricultural use of urban areas. Organic food is grown in the gardens and access to nature is being rediscovered. So far, the trend doesn't sound like anything new, because growing your own fruit and vegetables was and is an integral part of the lifestyle, especially in older generations. In urban gardening, however, the focus is on the collective, while the cultivation of food can be seen more as a means to an end.

The trend can be understood as an answer to ecological and social challenges worldwide. Urban gardens serve as fields of experimentation for future topics: Because the focus is on possible models of prosperity, the promotion of intercultural encounters, a new understanding of civic participation and meaningful employment in the post-growth society. And then there is the question of sustainable nutrition, which is outlined by the merging of city life and food cultivation.


Urban gardens are not limited to the aspect of ecological sustainability, but based on the three-pillar model of sustainability, urban gardens pursue goals on all three levels: ecological - social - economic.

Image by Ant Rozetsky

From an ecological perspective, the saving of transport routes and ecological management without the use of pesticides protect the environment. In addition, the green spaces within the city centers help to improve the air quality and to collect rainwater. Urban gardens and the general greening are therefore an important factor for future-oriented urban development. In addition, the gardens help to preserve biodiversity, as they provide a habitat for a wide variety of insects.


Large, contiguous green roof areas can even have a positive effect on the urban climate and compensate for extreme temperatures.

- Wigbert Riehl


In addition, urban gardens also have a social aspect. The gardens enable and promote exchange in society, they enliven public space and create a physical meeting place. Not only do neighbors from the surrounding residential areas meet here, but people from different cultures and generations also come into contact with one another. In this way, dialogue within a city can be stimulated and the understanding of other opinions and perspectives promoted. The gardens thus contribute directly to promoting democracy. In addition, active interference in the design of the city is an important instrument for the participation of citizens. Through their commitment, citizens take active responsibility for their city and, conversely, can identify more strongly with their own environment. An urban garden can thus be understood as a means of political participation and, through the community concept, forms an important basis for future-oriented coexistence within future societies. In addition, community gardening is said to even help treat mental illnesses such as depression. For example, the Martineau Garden in Birmingham uses the calming and happy-making effect of gardening to offer mentally ill people a new form of therapy in the therapeutic community garden.

Bildschirmfoto 2020-09-28 um


Urban gardens also have an economic perspective, as they offer citizens independence. Because a lot of food no longer has to be obtained from the supermarket, but comes straight from the garden. In this way, the helpers are independent of fluctuating food prices as well as possible supply bottlenecks. Growing your own food also helps counteract overconsumption. Because only what is needed is grown and harvested. Thus, the needs of today's society can be met without risking that future generations will not be able to meet their needs.

Based on the great relevance that urban gardens offer, the institute for future decided in spring 2019 to found an urban garden in Wolfsburg. The aim was to create a platform that helps to address global challenges locally and to encourage rethinking.

After a long search, the suitable area for this project appeared in the Stormhof in downtown Wolfsburg. Neuland Wohnungsgesellschaft and the city of Wolfsburg provided us with an area of ​​almost 90 square meters, which has been managed sustainably and, in particular, jointly since then. With over 20 active helpers, the community grows with each gardening season.


We grow a variety of fruits and vegetables in the garden: cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini, beans, strawberries, peppers, kohlrabi, Swiss chard, radishes, lettuce, spinach and and and. In addition, our garden offers a cozy sitting area made of Euro pallets, which we have built together, as well as a suite with wooden benches, which is ideal for delicious breakfast meetings and barbecues together. In the future, the garden will also serve as a venue for lectures and discussions. In addition, we have designed the garden as a place of learning where interested parties can use various information boards to find out more about sustainable nutrition and the global influence of our diet. The information boards deal with the greenhouse gas emissions of various foods, the importance of bees for global food supply and the role of seasonal and regional foods in sustainable nutrition. We also post this information as well as general information on the Instagram channel @notmyhype, so that people from other cities can also take part in the project virtually.

bottom of page