The Fifteen Minute Forest

Have your heard of the Fifteen Minute City? Well, the Feria Urbanism team are developing the concept of the Fifteen Minute Forest. Addressing the climate crisis is the critical question of our age. It is clear to us that grassroots action, if taken everywhere, will become global action. In our capacity as community facilitators and neighbourhood plan writers we are helping communities to put ecology at the centre of their neighbourhood plans.

Sometimes working locally can feel like taking very small steps but if all individual gardeners, streets, neighbourhoods, and communities, adopted a wilding or greening strategy we could collectively deliver real change. These are conversations that have been high on the agenda when our team meet up so when we were approached by the In Between Time Festival based in Bristol, to undertake a four year research project we started to apply ideas the established ideas of the Fifteen Minute City to address concerns about dwindling biodiversity and access to green space.

This has led to us developing ideas around a “visual podcast” that invites people to re-think the idea of urban density. We are also asking what it would mean to take down fences and dig up the high street. The project may manifest as an audio archive that explores small scale city rewilding projects whilst simultaneously exploring broader “urban vision” type ideas. We will ask people to rethink the city as a forest. To imagine, for example, a city where all back gardens join together to create communal wild spaces? Or to rethink the idea of urban density? Density is typically a reference to number of people living in a given area but what is this referred to how densely the city could be populated by multiple species in order to rebuild broken ecosystems? We hope this project develop further to explore how architectures can be designed as co-working co-living spaces. And explore how city centres can be reimagined for multiple species to interact and thrive.

This research project will explore contemporary perspectives and tactics to transition urban spaces from post-industrial and then consumer-led towards more multi-faceted systems that can support greater levels of biodiversity. Watch this space for more details on this exciting research project.