Urban Wild Pollinators

bee hotel

How can urban areas become a refuge for biodiverse ecosystems in rapidly expanding cities? ... How can humans and the wilderness thrive together in our modern cities? ...

Problems & Opportunities

The project aims to explore these topics and encourage citizens to create more biodiverse habitats in order to tackle a severe ecological problem all over the world: pollinators decline (Zattara & Aizen, 2021). Due to high urbanisation rates and extensive landscape homogenisation for agricultural use, many insect species are experiencing massive habitat loss, and decreased floral and nesting material supply (Hall et al., 2017) – consisting as the main factors of pollinators decline. The importance of wild pollinators abundance and biodiversity is inevitable – many plants (wild and cultivated) rely on specific insect species for reproducing (Zattara & Aizen, 2021).

At the same time, cities provide an important opportunity to become a refuge for biodiverse insect species and play a key role in conservation (Hall et al., 2017). The project tries to leverage on these opportunities, in order to make easier and begin with the many steps that still lie ahead to create a balanced habitat where citizens and nature would co-exist.

pollinators decline chart Biodiversiy needs biodiversity:
Different plant species are pollinated by different pollinator species. Sources: Rader et al. 2016, Woodcock et al. 2019
Delft, The Netherlands

Wildflower strips along canals. Delft, The Netherlands

Project overview

For this project a workshop has been developed to promote awareness and let urban dwellers explore the meaning behind humans, and wild flora and fauna. In addition, a newly created open-source toolkit provides tools for action to fast-forward a regenerative urban transformation. Together, the workshop and the toolkit have one coherent vision - a symbiotic urban environment, where cities do not cast out nature, but treasure and nurture its wild and biodiverse essence.

The toolkit

Instructions for making the toolkit can be found here:


The toolkit is made open-source under CC BY-SA license. You can easily download all the working files from here:

toolkit picture


Giardino San Faustino, Milan

On Friday 25 June, at the San Faustino Shared Garden , in Milan in the Lambrate area, thanks to a network of people and realities that have quickly aggregated around the topics presented, a workshop will be held in which the toolkit will be tested, thanks to to the collaboration with OpenDot FabLab which made the machines available. More information on HYPERINK.

Reference list

Hall, D. M., Camilo, G. R., Tonietto, R. K., Ollerton, J., Ahrné, K., Arduser, M., Ascher, J. S., Baldock, K. C. R., Fowler, R., Frankie, G., Goulson, D., Gunnarsson, B., Hanley, M. E., Jackson, J. I., Langellotto, G., Lowenstein, D., Minor, E. S., Philpott, S. M., Potts, S. G., . . . Threlfall, C. G. (2017). The city as a refuge for insect pollinators. Conservation Biology, 31(1), 24–29. https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.12840

Rader, R., Bartomeus, I., Garibaldi, L. A., Garratt, M. P. D., Howlett, B. G., Winfree, R., Cunningham, S. A., Mayfield, M. M., Arthur, A. D., Andersson, G. K. S., Bommarco, R., Brittain, C., Carvalheiro, L. G., Chacoff, N. P., Entling, M. H., Foully, B., Freitas, B. M., Gemmill-Herren, B., Ghazoul, J., . . . Woyciechowski, M. (2015). Non-bee insects are important contributors to global crop pollination. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113(1), 146–151. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1517092112

Woodcock, B. A., Garratt, M. P. D., Powney, G. D., Shaw, R. F., Osborne, J. L., Soroka, J., Lindström, S. A. M., Stanley, D., Ouvrard, P., Edwards, M. E., Jauker, F., McCracken, M. E., Zou, Y., Potts, S. G., Rundlöf, M., Noriega, J. A., Greenop, A., Smith, H. G., Bommarco, R., . . . Pywell, R. F. (2019). Meta-analysis reveals that pollinator functional diversity and abundance enhance crop pollination and yield. Nature Communications, 10(1). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-09393-6

Zattara, E. E., & Aizen, M. A. (2021). Worldwide occurrence records suggest a global decline in bee species richness. One Earth, 4(1), 114–123. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.oneear.2020.12.005

Project funded by:
JRC makers-in-residence programme

European Union

Together in collaboration with:

SIAM Hyperink Giardino di San Faustino
Cascina OpenDot

Developed and distributed under CC BY-SA license by Justė Motuzaitė CC BY-SA
Contact: juste.motuzaite@gmail.com