On March 11th a nice group landed at the diner table in Graaf Florisstraat in Rotterdam, after a tour around the Essenburg Park – nature embracing the district.

The interest in nature, specifically in the city, connects us this evening. The discussion therefore starts with the question: what is urban nature exactly? That’s easy: We determine where the plants and animals are given a chance and where not. We live in the Anthropocene.

We like to live in harmony with all living creatures. That’s a gut feeling from everyone on the table. How to get this done as the “wipkip” is the nature reference of the city child. In Essenburg Park shrubs are removed, dogs allowed, children released. In the setting of the germ primeval nature they experience what nature is like. As an intensive farming on the road has put a cuddling cow, so Rotterdam has Essenburg Park. For real nature head out of town.

Meanwhile, there is a brutal nile goose on the roof of the adjacent flat wachting us. He took over the nestling box made by mankind for the peregrine. The antropocene has it’s limits too.

Main course is served with the question of who wants urban nature and who cares for it. Living things can not exist without our support. Love goes through the stomach, compassion for nature goes through fun. Dinners are organised with pancakes and local harvested birch syrup. The parody of the “Baardmannetjes” (Koefnoen) on modern “Staatsbosbeheren” topped the cake.

The dessert is accompanied with the question how to communicate the need for nature. The photographer Walter Herfst shows a paradise which turns out to be a neglected willow grove, we fall for it.

The United Nations decided that having biodiversity is a universal right? In 2020 we should all increase biodiversity and the city is the best place to reach your goals! Biodivesity in the city is decreasing less than on the countryside. So municipality and NS where are you waiting for. Get started, Switzerland has reached the goals of 2020 and we still have doubts about the usefulness and necessity of the Essenburg Park?

The diner was organised by Vereniging Deltametropool and AFFR.