A community garden that serves as intercultural meeting place for a neighbourhood in Dortmund

Bürgergarten Kleine Heroldwiese

date 2013

“Bürgergarten kleine Heroldwiese” is an intercultural community garden that is driven by several citizens’ initiatives in Dortmund. Before the establishment of the garden, the vacant green space was not accessible for people because of its unkempt and dangerous state. Aim of the project was to create a sustainably managed intercultural garden that is accessible for the residents of surrounding neighbourhoods. The residents themselves showed interest in shaping their environment and were actively involved in the process. (City of Dortmund, Family Portal, 2016)

The site is set in the inner-city district Innenstadt Nord (ibid.). The districts population is made up of different cultural groups (City of Dortmund, Innenstadt Nord, n.d.). The neighbourhoods surrounding the site are densely built-up residential areas (City of Dortmund, Family Portal, 2016).

Three local action groups initiated the process of establishment: the citizens’ initiative “Bürgerinitiative Brunnenviertel”, “die Urbanisten” (the urbanists), and the family office “Familienbüro Innenstadt-Nord” which cooperatively formed the project group “Projektgruppe Bürgergarten”. With the help of resident participation a concept for the site was developed. Several further initiatives and city offices, including the environmental office and an integration agency, helped realizing the plans. In March 2013, the district government decided the establishment. (City of Dortmund, Family Portal, n.d.)

Since its opening, workshops and garden parties are arranged at the site. Interested citizens participated in furnishing the space with benches, planter boxes, a compost area, and a hedge. Children of a nearby elementary school engaged actively in the set-up and cultivating. (Urbane Oasen, n.d.)


City of Dortmund, Family Portal (n.d.), Bürgergarten Kleine Heroldwiese, available from http://www.dortmund.de/de/leben_in_dortmund/familie_und_soziales/familienportal/kein_kind_zuruecklassen/netzwerk_infamilie/aktionen_massnahmen_und_projekte/buergergarten_kleine_heroldwiese/index.html [accessed 30.01.2016]

City of Dortmund, Innenstadt Nord, (n.d.), Leben in der Innenstadt Nord, available from http://www.dortmund.de/de/leben_in_dortmund/stadtbezirke/stbzportal_innenstadtnord/leben_in_in/index.html [accessed 30.01.2016]

Urbane Oasen (n.d.), Bürgergarten Kleine Heroldwiese, Dortmund, available from http://urbaneoasen.de/gaerten/burgergarten-kleine-heroldwiese/ [accessed 30.01.2016]

Image: (c) Stadt Dortmund, permission sought.