Disused railway tracks, overgrown by plants.

Temporary nature – dynamic habitats for transport development sites

Development of valuable habitats in temporarily unused areas.

Promoting biodiversity

The concept of temporary nature promotes the development of valuable habitats in selected, currently unused areas. These include areas that may be designated for transport purposes in the future.

Here, natural processes can be allowed to take place for a defined period. The absence of use or the discontinuation of maintenance measures opens possibilities for unguided succession.

As a result, valuable habitats for nature conservation will develop. Species of the early stages of succession will benefit.

Periods of at least one to a maximum of 10 years are envisaged.

Aim of the project

The research project on temporary nature aims to identify suitable types of transport development sites. This involves the characterisation and description of areas alongside roads, railways, waterways and ports in terms of location and ecology.

In addition to nature conservation aspects, transport-related criteria also play an important role in the selection of suitable sites.

The potential as well as the existing species inventory of flora and fauna are decisive in the assessment. Economic aspects and the possibility of implementation are also taken into account.

The results shall show the advantages and disadvantages of allowing temporary nature as compared to the previous use and maintenance of the potentially suitable types of site. The results are planned to be included in recommendations for action, directives or guidelines as a scientific reference for all modes of transport.


The research project comprises three work packages:

  1. Identification and characterisation of sites typical of the respective mode of transport that are suitable for temporary nature
  2. Species spectrum of temporary nature areas typical of the respective mode of transport
  3. Assessment of the effect of the temporary nature measures

Further information