The city as a dead desert: Left-wing proposals on animal-supported design are put to a vote in the city council ⋆ News from Leipzig

The climate crisis is not the only thing that has us under control. The loss of biodiversity has also been felt everywhere for a long time. Or not felt. Because when the animals disappear from our surroundings, there is silence, a dead silence sets in, which in a city like Leipzig is only drowned out by the traffic noise. But Leipzig’s administration did not really react euphorically to Linke’s application for a consistently applied “Animal Aided Design”.

This proposal must finally be voted on at today’s city council meeting, which the left-wing faction notes somewhat grimly because it was put forward in April. And it is the same with the loss of species as with the climate crisis: for a long time now, every year, every month, every week, with which the rudder is turned and even a city like Leipzig is finally consistently chasing climate and species protection and anchored in ordinances, counts.

But also this time prevent, as the city planning office put it in November – laws in the way that were written in another age for a society where all resources were used as if they could be supplied indefinitely. This also includes land, green areas, habitats for animals.

But the federal legislation does not go a step further to amend the building code accordingly. Because it always reflects the primacy of those who own the land and who are allowed to do (almost) anything they see fit.

The administrative view of the Animal Aided Design application.

No obligation in Germany is so perforated and rendered sapless as the formula “property obliges.”

But this is precisely what no longer works when cities come under climate stress and the space for flora and fauna shrinks with each new building.

Where is the space for animals in the city?

Therefore, the Left faction submitted their proposal to make “A home for Maya the Bee and Karl the Beetle – Animal Aided Design (AAD) a standard”. Which would introduce a basic condition in urban planning, which is not yet anchored in the building regulations.

“Our goal is to include the needs of city-dwelling animals in urban, landscape and open space planning right from the start. This is the only way we can develop sustainably as a city,” said the left-wing faction.

“The fact that Leipzig is growing is no longer a secret. More residents of course also need more living space, daycare centers, schools, etc. That more space for people inevitably means less space for wild animal species is not a law of nature,” explains Michael Neuhaus, spokesman for the Environment. of the parliamentary group Die Linke in the city council of Leipzig.

But citizen initiatives that have fought for green wasteland and vacant lots have repeatedly failed with a city administration that sometimes even hastily granted trapping permission – as at Wilhelm-Leuschner-Platz – and afterwards believed that there were enough opportunities for the homeless in the area become animals to evade there.

Declining freedom

“Vacant vacant plots have become a rarity. Private investors speculate with land and buildings, and in the hope of handsome profits, modernization and renovation are carried out at a rapid pace – regardless of losses,’ sums up the left-wing faction.

“Anyone who builds should also bear responsibility for the preservation of biological diversity. The development plan for Parkstadt Dösen has shown that this works. For different species such as the green woodpecker, the dark-fringed bumble bee and the blue bumble bee, individual profiles were drawn and elements developed to meet their needs. As a group, we had hoped that AAD would become the standard after the dissolution. That hope was not fulfilled.”

In its statement, the City Planning Office explained in great detail which legal framework conditions prevent the introduction of a basic animal-supported design in Leipzig. So it seems that the management’s compromise proposal may find a majority in the city council meeting today, December 14, which at least promises to be investigated and taken into account.

So instead of the left faction’s desired “The planning approach ‘Animal Aided Design’ will be used for all construction projects by the city of Leipzig and its companies.” ‘ marked.”

But for Michael Neuhaus, it is far too little at a time when species are becoming more and more obvious. Because the old way of thinking about “compensating” for “nature” somewhere outside the city when you’ve destroyed the habitats in the city itself doesn’t work.

Instead, it becomes more of a horse trade, where one ecologically valuable area is replaced by another, while the inner city becomes more and more a built-up desert.

“We need to move away from urban and building planning that always tries to compensate for damage to nature and towards a planning that actively promotes the diversity of animal species and by default takes into account the habitat requirements of animals,” says Neuhaus .

“The polluter pays principle applies: Those who build must ensure that Maya the Bee and Karl the Beetle continue to find a home.”

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