Location: Bonn, Germany
City population: 305257

Project duration: 2013 – ongoing
Scale of the project: Micro-scale: District/neighbourhood level, Sub-microscale: Street scale (including buildings)
Area of the NBS: 1800 m2
Type of area before: Previous derelict area, Residental, Public Greenspace Area

'Nature Island' Community Garden - Pennenfeld, Bonn

Gemeinschaftsgarten "Naturinsel Pennenfeld"

The Nature Island Pennenfeld-Bonn ("Naturinsel Pennenfeld") is a community garden project of the Lebensqualität im Alter - LeA (Quality of Life in Old Age) Association, the District Management (QM) of Pennenfeld and the municipal housing company VEBOWAG (9). The project started in 2012 and its aim was the transformation of a 1,800 sqm large tree-lined lawn area (9). The lawn was to be transformed into a park-like natural community garden for recreation where elderly residents have more opportunity to experience nature, while at the same time it is a place of encounter that promotes social stability by encouraging all other residents to get engaged in the planning, implementation and maintenance processes (1,3,9). Besides enhancing the quality of life for residents and elderly people living with dementia, other project objectives were to foster and increase the local biodiversity as well as to strengthen community building and mutual support in the neighbourhood (2).

More information

Nature-based solution

  • Parks and (semi)natural urban green areas
  • Pocket parks / neighbourhood green spaces
  • Allotments and community gardens
  • Community gardens
  • Blue areas
  • Wetland/bog/fen/marsh

Key challenges

  • Green space, habitats and biodiversity (SDG 15)
  • Green space creation and/or management
  • Regeneration, land-use and urban development
  • Promote naturalistic styles of landscape design for urban development
  • Social justice, cohesion and equity (SDG 10)
  • Social cohesion
  • Social interaction
  • Health and well-being (SDG 3)
  • Enabling physical activity
  • Improving mental health
  • Creation of opportunities for relaxation and recreation
Creation of new green areas, Creation of semi-natural blue areas, Transformation of previously derelict areas
Project objectives
1. Create a barrier-free place for the encounter between elderly people with dementia and the neighbouring communities and thereby strengthen the local community (2,5). 2. Enhance the living conditions of residents and elderly people with dementia living in the adjacent supervised flat-sharing community by providing a space for light physical activity and a tool helping to bring back memories connected to garden and nature (2). 3. Contribute to the increase of the local biodiversity by renaturation and the use of indigenous plants that attract and give a home for various insects and other animals (2).
Implementation activities
Implementation of the and the different garden elements is structured into 24 modules all of which are executed in communal work, supported by the neighbours, nature and youth associations and volunteers. Those elements consist of 1. Building of raised flower and herb beds surrounded by pathways accessible for walkers and wheelchairs alike. (1, 3) 2. Installation of a raspberry spiral, natural hedges and garden sculptures (3) 3. Planting of trees, wildflowers and other native plants. Major emphasis is on the accessibility of all trails and parts of the garden with wheelchairs (3). 4. Creation of a swamp bed with native marsh plants (1)
Main beneficiaries
  • Citizens or community groups
  • Marginalized groups: Elderly people

Management set-up

  • Led by non-government actors

Type of initiating organisation

  • Non-government organization / civil society
  • Private sector / Corporate / Company

Participatory approaches/ community involvement

  • Co-planning
  • Consultation (e.g. workshop, surveys)
  • Joint implementation (e.g. tree planting)
Details on the roles of the organisations involved in the project
The project was initiated by the Lebensqualität im Alter - LeA (Quality of Life in Old Age) non-profit association whose overall goal is fostering communal residential projects for people with dementia in Bonn and surroundings. The project planning was supported by the communal-oriented municipal real estate company VEBOWAG who owns the surrounding residence buildings and the land of the natural garden. The company was represented by a manager to help with the project implementation and it also provided most part of the project costs (3,5). In addition, local environmental associations and NGOs, such as the "BUND Kreisgruppe Bonn" or the local fraction of the green party, joined efforts along with the residents of the neighbourhood to help implement the natural garden (1,3).
Project implemented in response to ...
... an EU policy or strategy? Unknown (No information was found on that matter but the additional information gathered in the email correspondence suggests a no. )
... a national policy or strategy? Unknown (No information was found on that matter but the additional information gathered in the email correspondence suggests a no. )
... a local policy or strategy? Unknown
Total cost
10 000 - 50 000 EUR

Source(s) of funding

  • Public local authority's budget
  • Corporate investment
  • Funds provided by non-governmental organization (NGO)

Type of funding

  • Direct funding or subsidies
  • Donations

Non-financial contribution

Type of non-financial contribution
  • Provision of land
  • Provision of goods
  • Provision of labour
Who provided the non-financial contribution?
  • Citizens (e.g. volunteering)
  • Other

Environmental impacts

  • Green space and habitat
  • Promote naturalistic styles of landscape design for urban development
  • Increased green space area
  • Increased number of species present
  • Enhanced support of pollination
  • Restoration of derelict areas

Economic impacts

  • Unknown

Socio-cultural impacts

  • Social justice and cohesion
  • Improved social cohesion
  • Improvement of liveability
  • Increased visibility and opportunity for marginalized groups or indigenous peoples
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Improved physical health
  • Improved mental health
  • Gain in activities for recreation and exercise
  • Cultural heritage and sense of place
  • Increased sense of place identity, memory and belonging
Type of reported impacts
Achieved impacts

Presence of formal monitoring system

No evidence in public records

Presence of indicators used in reporting

No evidence in public records

Presence of monitoring/ evaluation reports

No evidence in public records

Availability of a web-based monitoring tool

No evidence in public records
Source: http://www.bonn.bund.net/themen_und_projekte/gemeinschaftsgarten_pennenfeld/
Source: http://www.bonn.bund.net/themen_und_projekte/gemeinschaftsgarten_pennenfeld/
Source: http://www.bonn.bund.net/themen_und_projekte/gemeinschaftsgarten_pennenfeld/