Beyond the Exhibition

What is Particular about Munich’s Environment?
Behind the Scenes


What is Particular about Munich’s Environment?

RCC fellows travel from far and wide to come to Munich and because of this, the center hosts projects based on environments all over the world. With Ecopolis München our intention was to study the city in which the RCC is based, to zoom in our local environment. We were curious about how the fellows see Munich. So we asked some of them: What strikes you as particular about Munich’s environment? Here are the answers that we received.

View of Ecopolis München.

Lisa FitzGerald, Ireland, RCC Fellow 2016–2017

For me, Munich’s unique character is evident at the Eisbach’s standing wave in the English Garden. The artificial wave epitomizes the intersection and codependency between humans and nature. It is this relationship—between our bodily actions and the environment that shapes us—that makes the wave such an archetypal model for urban ecology.

Ruth Morgan, Australia, Visiting Scholar 2016–2017, RCC Fellow 2015

From the cold, grey months of winter to the sunshine of spring, Munich is a dynamic and prosperous city of brisk business, chic shoppers, and friendly frolickers, who are clearly living la dolce vita in the parks and on the pavement, where the air is clean, the sun is warm, and the waters inviting. What a treasure!

Philippe Forêt, Kazakhstan, RCC Fellow 2017

I used to cycle in Beijing in the early 1980s. I had the feeling that my bike and I, as well as millions of cyclists, were revolutionary participants in the building of a classless utopia. Today Beijing has become an environmental disaster. The “Made in China” ‘Fahrrad’ I have in Munich feels more at home here than there. I could not imagine an ecopolis without bikes of all types, conditions, and ages since low-tech slow mobility and the quality of urban life go so well together. Let’s don our helmets and prepare twenty-first-century Munich for a return to its car-free environmental history!

Monica Vasile, Romania, RCC Fellow 2016–2017

Munich’s environment strikes me as a promise of green and natural beauty. Intense day-to-day life—taking the U-Bahn, constantly being in a built-up environment—obscures for me a lot of what I imagine to be the other Munich. I hear birds, I smell chestnut flowers and fresh earth after storms, yet I imagine more: the beautiful riverbanks of the Isar that I have not yet seen, or mushroom wonders in the English Garden.

Jane Carruthers, South Africa, Honorary RCC Fellow

Munich! Meshing medieval and modern, moments and memories, mountains, meadows, monuments … Livable, lovable, and local. For an African, Munich has such a strong sense of place, at one with the environment, arching towards the future, honoring its past.

Azeez Olaniyan, Nigeria, RCC Fellow 2017

Munich on my mind!

It’s the greenery! From arriving at the airport, the managed farmlands lead you to a well-kept city with an alluring environment spiced with trees, beautiful gardens, and parks. You see a city at peace with nature. You cannot but love Munich!

Jim Webb, USA, RCC Fellow 2017

I am struck by the cleanliness of the various canals that pass through the English Garden. It is remarkable that the water quality is sufficiently high to support an interest in urban surfing.

Jennifer Carlson, USA, RCC Fellow 2017

Spring’s riot of ‘Radln,’ trams, cars, ‘Fußgänger,’ pigeons, and ‘Hunde’ explodes amid leafy pathways and rain-slick pavements. Buzzing BMWs fill lungs with the anticipation of exhaust; just beyond the Treppenhaus, plastic bins brim with separated trash and green optimism.

Hayal Desta, Ethiopia, RCC Fellow 2017

The planning and management of open spaces in Munich are amazing. As one of the open spaces, the English Garden is an interesting outdoor public garden that strikes me not only because of its landscape design and management, but also because of its size.

Paula Ungar, Columbia, RCC Fellow 2016–2017

I have lived close to the English Garden for an entire year. That’s how lucky I am. What I will remember most when I go back to the tropics is the close contact with a changing landscape: the infinite shades of brown and orange of the fall; the naked branches of the winter, the fragrant blooms of the spring, the solid green of the summer.

Gregg Mitman, USA, RCC Fellow 2016–2017

I am particularly struck by the reach of Munich’s public transit and bike path systems, along with the amount of publicly accessible green space for a city of its size. 


Behind the Scenes

Realizing the exhibition required many meetings, research excursions, and buttered pretzels. Here is a peak behind the scenes.

Photos 4 and 5 are used by permission of the copyright holder. All other works are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.