Petitioning Municipality of Osnabrück (Stadt Osnabrück)

Save the Wagenburg Osnabrück, our home!

The WabOS (short for Wagenburg Osnabrück, meaning “wagon burg” / “trailer park”) is an alternative community project existing at the address Am Hirtenhaus in Osnabrück (Germany) since 1997. We are (+/-) 10 people of differing ages, who live in trailers reconstructed by ourselves, at a site that represents an urban green oasis.

Here, we try a different form of community living, without the social isolation and separation that prevail in the nowadays society, also because of conventional residential circumstances. Together, we organize events and parties, and we take decisions according to the principle of consensus. Each voice counts in an assembly where everyone is considered.

The site is leased from the Municipality of Osnabrück by the means of our legal association WabOS e. V. The site is not developed, meaning that we produce our own solar energy and use collected rain water, except for the little amount of drinking water that we have to get from elsewhere.

Although we are living here for 19 years by now, the town's council is currently planning to convert our home into a residential building plot. Just a short while ago we had to be fearing the (im-) possibility of a removal of our wagenburg in the frame of the construction of a beltway that had been among earlier plans. Now, the menacing situation has gotten into a new shape: while the Western beltway has been a politically highly discussed topic, the council's parties however seem to agree regarding the plans of residential building, as allegedly, more residence areas are needed. Meanwhile, they overlook that we already constitute such (affortable!) space for living, and that in this town as much as elsewhere, there is a sufficient number of empty dwellings. That's why it becomes clear that the council has no social motivation, but that it is rather the quite high prices of plots in this part of the town that entice them to sell the ground. Local policy's self-made constraints of a continuous generation of population influx in order to gain euros for the city treasury do not aim to assure every inhabitant of the town has a place to stay. This political attitude, whose only objective is the valorization of assets, virtually turns us into second class citizens and shows that there is ever less space left for so-called subcultures.

The site in question offers a diverse habitat to animals, plants and humans, shaped by ancient house gardens, a formerly managed meadow with scattered old fruit trees of different sorts (“Streuobstwiese” / traditional orchard) and a precious (mesophile) grassland. Our wagenburg is excellently integrated into this landscape without endangering these biotopes. It is ever more important to develop strategies that counter the consistent extermination of ecological niches and the on-going destruction of our environment and that hence should also imply ideas about new forms of housing and living, such as ours.

We, as the WabOS, want to stay at home at this beautiful place and are going to advocate the preservation of the site. Support us with your signatures, that we are going to hand over to the Municipality of Osnabrück!

This petition will be delivered to:
  • Municipality of Osnabrück (Stadt Osnabrück)


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