The 3rd Local Stakeholder Workshop in Munich

Munich 20 December 2023
Draw me a space for all! Two local workshops in Munich

As we enter the next stage of the JUSTNature project, concrete sites for nature-based interventions in the participating cities emerge. In October 2023, stakeholders in two locations in Munich sat together to discuss their needs and to visualise solutions with the guidance of representatives of the City of Munich, Green City, Spiellandschaft Stadt and the Chair for Strategic Landscape Planning and Management at the Technical University of Munich.

The first location was the courtyard of Bellevue di Monaco, a cultural centre and café, as well as home to refugees. Bellevue serves diverse user groups – children, teenagers and adult residents, staff who work in the building, volunteers who run regular activities, and visitors of these activities and various events, as well as café customers. The workshop was divided into a session with resident teenagers and a session with adults who either work or live at Bellevue. Each group was briefly introduced to the JUSTNature project goals and progress so far and invited to look around the courtyard. They discussed its current uses and what needs could be met in the future. Finally, participants were encouraged to envision a more nature-based courtyard, which fits their needs, by sketching a possible redesign.

A vision of a tree house in the Bellevue courtyard. Drawing by a workshop participant.
Proposed gymnastics equipment for the Bellevue courtyard. Drawing by a workshop participant.

The young users wished for more space dedicated to their activities – playing, being active, learning. A treehouse was a favourite idea that also offered privacy. The adults focused on three key themes – multifunctionality of the courtyard, rain and sun protection, and redesign of the existing flower beds. Of course, differences could be noted between the proposals of the two age groups. For example, whereas some kids saw the existing bike parking in the courtyard as superfluous and an opportunity to win space, some adults wanted to expand the bike racks. One participant expressed excitement at the potential for a green intervention at Bellevue to foster space for cross-cultural encounters, given that the centre attracts people from all walks of life. We are looking forward to seeing the ideas that emerged at the workshops come to life, and to see a stronger role for the Bellevue courtyard in supporting exchange across cultural and social boundaries, enriched with nature-based interventions!

Multifunctionallity for the Bellevue courtyard. Drawing by a workshop participant.

The second location was the St. Anna school, a combined primary and secondary facility, where Spiellandschaft Stadt took the lead in coordinating a workshop with environmental officer students from the primary school, as well as pupils from a 7th grade class. The two groups first expressed their ideas and had the chance to reflect on and respond to the input from one another. They then conducted interviews and visualized their ideas through digital collages of the school yard. The collages and audio recordings were shared at the end of the session. Interestingly, the need for privacy was mentioned here as well – with proposals to solve this through a treehouse and bamboo screening. Other wishes were spaces and equipment for different games and sport activities as well as wooden furniture to make winter use more pleasant. The pupils’ ideas will not only translate into a temporary intervention at the school, but will also help inform a larger municipal programme to restore nature to schoolyards in Munich.

Play elements, greenery and a treehouse in the schoolyard. Collage by workshop participants.

The ideas in both courtyards will now be integrated into an overall design concept for each of the spaces. In 2024 we will construct and realise the planned nature-based interventions with the help of the users of the spaces.