Natura Urbana – the Brachen of Berlin
The vegetation of Berlin is a silent reminder of its turbulent history. Post-war rubble landscapes and the wasteland of the former border between east and west Germany are home to an extraordinary variety of spontaneous vegetation that spread from all over the world. Long seen as blind spot in the city’s design, those empty spaces are used as “accidental laboratories” for cultural and scientific curiosity. In times of a speculative urban transformation those unique places are in danger to be lost forever.
Natura Urbana takes us on a journey through Berlin ranging from the botanical microcosm of cracked paving stones to elaborate attempts to map the entire city.
Matthew Gandy is a geographer, urbanist, and cultural critic. He is Professor of Geography at the University of Cambridge He has published widely on urban and environmental themes. He directed and produced the documentary Liquid City (2007). Natura Urbana is his second film.