From Lausanne: “Sauvageons en ville” - Discovering nature in the city in surprising places, questioning the links we have with it and experimenting with ways to make the city wilder.

Are nature and the city two contradictory terms? How does nature manifest itself in the city? What does it bring us, or how does it disturb us? How can we live well with it? How can we act as citizens to develop or cultivate it?

The “Sauvageons en ville” (“rewilding in town”) programme plays with these questions and many others with the population, in the heart of the city, in the street. These exchanges are intended to be participatory, inviting citizens to become rewilding actors in the debate.

Sauvageons en ville was born one evening in July 2017 near the lake, with the very strong desire to show that it is enough to sit back and observe to realise how much we are constantly rubbing shoulders with wild plants and animals in our city. The intention? To motivate other Sauvageons to join in questioning each other, to find together ideas to favour this nature in the city and to improve our urban living environment.

By questioning our conceptions of Nature, the City and Citizenship, this project brings out reflections on the consequences (destruction/protection) of human activities on nature in the city and encourages the rewilding citizen to take the liberty of acting in his or her city by confronting his or her questions with the possibilities of action.

Researchers from the University of Lausanne, gardeners, urban planners from the City of Lausanne, biologists and active citizens meet the population of Lausanne to create change and support them in their desire to rewild our city.

For its 4th edition, Sauvageons en ville has devised sixteen events in and around Lausanne, between April and September 2021, to create a link between professionals and nature lovers in the city. Among many other things, participants in these workshops were able to track cats equipped with GPS, identify butterflies and promote their environment, track tiger mosquitoes or understand how lichens help determine air quality.

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