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Transformative Local Initiatives: Wuppertal’s Peace Garden

12. September 2023 – 13:00 - 15:00

  1. As a group of silent diplomats, three members of the team present several projects done in the context of urban planning for social cohesion and peace-building. We present examples in the micro- and macro-level as we see them connected.

Official presentation document:

Burcu Eke-Schneider:

Peace Garden

The transformative power of cities is key to delivering a just and sustainable future, but this can’t be executed without recognizing that cities are shared spaces with people from variety of cultures.

In this regard, Peace Worker Burcu Eke Schneider started a local and transformative peacebuilding in Wuppertal. Generally, it conveys new meanings of collective struggle for a common future in different languages, cultures, and sacred places.  Henceforth, the process started in 2019 with peace science on a micro (individual) level led to new ideas and scientific solutions for urban transformation.

Empirical work

The study became an empirical example for the scientific community in transformation of cities and communities for a just and sustainable future. Hence it also inspired many actors to use nature for intercultural and interreligious dialogue in between parties.

Consequently, we can observe how peacebuilding efforts contribute positively to social innovation and ecological transformation. Even more, a positive change in the behaviours and actions of the participants. Moreover, by creating a dialogue with various actors in the city, the idea was implemented. Markedly diverse friends from Bosnia, the Czech Republic, Syria, and some local representatives of a marginalized community participated. Overall, representatives of these communities had experienced war, violence, or the destructive effects of Communism.

In order to heal the traumas passed down from generation to generation, the idea of creating a Peace Garden was born. It uses a “nature-based approach” as a dialogue method for a sustainable and just future in an urban context. Obviously, all actors involved are able to meet at eye level – a prerequisite for any transformation.


Over time, the Peace Garden became an educational platform for out-of-school methods. Simultaneously, we exchanged knowledge and learned from each other. Thanks to intercultural and interreligious dialogue, while growing organic vegetables, fruit, and herbs, and learning about local biodiversity, we strengthened women, and changed consumption behaviours.

Andreu Ginestet (politics): Competence Centre for Peace Wuppertal. Micro meets macro in the context of Silent Diplomacy in the local and the global (academic): BOB-Kulturwerk e.V. goes Family-House (FAMOS) (art), arts and transformation. Working with children on the creation of an identity: Eine Fabelhafte Wand und wer sie erfand!

Asli Telli: Peace and Democracy

Further members of the team are i.e.

Bernhard Trautvetter: Ökologie und aktive Friedenspolitik

Frank N: TBFKA 

Rochus Ehlen: Networking

Transformative Local Initiatives: Wuppertal’s Peace Garden
Date and time 12.Sept. 2023 13:00 Amsterdam, Berlin, Rom, Stockholm, Wien


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