The #NatureOrNot survey is part of an extensive study on nature in the city, for which scientists at the University of Antwerp and Liège are joining forces. The aim is to investigate thoroughly the ‘new nature’ in Western Europe: what do these new ecosystems look like, and which species feel at home there? With this survey they go a step further: how is this new nature experienced by people themselves?
Our region no longer has any wilderness: untouched nature without any human influence. However, there is still a lot of greenery, in all shapes and sizes. The ever-increasing human pressure on the land, however, often makes this remaining greenery look very different from what used to be here. This ‘Nature 2.0’ has to deal creatively with the available space, taking full advantage of abandoned land, deserted corners, and unmown verges.
But where is the boundary between nature and culture? Do we see these abandoned lands as nature? Does the extensive greenery of a corn field fulfill our definition of ‘nature’?
Nature 2.0 also involves a shift in species: the ‘original’ inhabitants of our forests and fields do not always thrive in this new nature. They are often replaced by newcomers, so-called exotic species that come from other continents and settle here. A selection of these newcomers can cope very well with the new nature. But how are these newcomers welcomed by humans? Do we like to see them come, with their bright colours and unique shapes, or are we rather nostalgic for the nature that used to be here?
This, and many other questions you can help us answer by taking part in our survey.