Natura Urbana: The Brachen of Berlin
The prize-winning documentary tells the post-war history of Berlin through its plants, as we encounter an extraordinary variety of spontaneous vegetation from all over the world that has sprouted along railway lines, on street corners, and in the distinctive Brachen of Berlin. The changing vegetation serves as a parallel history to war-time destruction, geopolitical division, and the newest phase of urban transformation. The encounters with urban nature are set to a compelling acoustic atmosphere, along with diverse electronic music from the city including compositions by Thomas Fehlmann and Manfred Miersch.
Documentary: 72mins UK/Ger
Writer/Director: Matthew Gandy
Access to nature is well documented as being important for human health and wellbeing. As more and more people live in cities, urban nature has a critical role to play in the future liveability of cities. We all love our local bushland and urban parks – but what about other forms of urban nature?
What about the urban cracks, the parts of the city left abandoned from planning: the edges of railway lines, the abandoned lots, the disused warehouses? The unplanned and often unmanaged parts of cities succumb to natural succession and begin to host evolving ecosystems. These ostensibly empty sites are often teeming with life, provide important ecosystem services, and provide space for rare and threatened species. These are often the spaces that on our doorstep when the public park is too far away.
As cities sprawl and property market values are high – these are the spaces that are most at risk to redevelopment. But maybe they are more valuable for ecosystem and human health than we give them credit for.
This event is part of the Wild Wild Inner West project run by NPA. This project is supported by the Greater Sydney Local Land Services through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.