Subproject 7


Animals in the city - environmental justice in times of climate change

Biodiversity loss and climate change-related alterations in animal distribution and behaviour are normally expert knowledge. This is particularly true for city dwellers where most people have little daily contact to nature. For city dwellers, urban greenspaces are the places where they can experience nature, and in particular wild animals, yet those greenspaces are under pressure as cities grow and densify. Methods such as “Animal-Aided Design” (Weisser & Hauck 2017) aim to integrate animals into the planning of urban greenspaces, to improve human experience of nature and animal conservation, but they require the agreement and active participation of citizens. 


This project aims to involve citizens into the collection of data on animals inside and outside cities, to understand how climate change and urbanisation affects animal distribution and behaviour. In addition, it aims to explore human preferences for particular animals and the factors that influence whether humans like to have wild animals in their vicinity. The results of the project will increase our understanding of how city dweller perceive animals and how their awareness can be raised. The knowledge acquired in the project and the tools developed will help future urban planning projects to better design cities and their greenspaces, not only for humans, but also for animals. 

Principal investigator: 

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang W. Weisser

Chair for Terrestrial Ecology

Department of Ecology and Ecosystemmanagement

Technical University of Munich

Hans-Carl-von-Carlowitz-Platz 2

85354 Freising

Tel: +49 8161 713495