Technical University of Munich: Urban gardens – ecosystems for people and nature

Urban gardens provide a new perspectives for nature conservation and nature connection. How can urban gardens contribute to the conservation of biodiversity and to what extent do they benefit human health? Monika Egerer, Professor of Urban Productive Ecosystems at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), will explain how ecosystems in our neighborhood can provide habitats for animals, plants and people at her TUM@Freising lecture on Monday, December 13, 2021. The event is held in hybrid.

In the coming decades, more than two-thirds of the world’s population will live in urban regions. Urbanization brings both challenges and opportunities for society. Challenges include loss of green space, public health issues, and harm to the coexistence of people and nature. These aspects of urbanization are linked to the loss of ecosystem services – the properties and processes of ecosystems that benefit us as a society and ultimately contribute to our well-being.

Urban gardens offer many advantages
Urban gardens can counteract this development. From an ecological perspective, these ecosystems can provide habitat for plant and animal species and their complex interactions, and also provide cooling mechanisms to reduce urban heat. From a social perspective, they can provide a place for people to relax and unwind, reconnecting with food and nature. Understanding how ecosystems such as gardens function is therefore of paramount importance to science and society.

“However, we still know relatively little about how these ecosystems function and how ecological and social factors interact in these systems to produce such benefits,” says Monika Egerer, Professor of Urban Productive Ecosystems at TUM. Researchers therefore want to find out what specific environmental structures and social mechanisms need to be in place to harness the potential of urban gardens and to create and enhance these habitats for people and nature.