URBAN TINY FORESTS are the next logical step to bring the MIYAKAWAKI methodology (TINY FOREST) in to our urban and suburban environment.
Introduced to North America by Jörg Breuning 2016

Vertical Tiny Forest

Nature, the phenomena of the physical world around us, is a concurrence of circumstances. What ever circumstances WE create, nature reacts. We have limited control of nature's reactions. Over centuries we have tried to gain more control over nature or to predict nature better by eliminating nature. This didn't go well.

Fortunately (or for some unfortunately) humans evolved from nature and so we can only sustain with nature. It is as simple.

URBAN TINY FORESTS create the awareness that working with nature puts us in a much better situation, makes us more sustainable and more resilient against the problems we caused in the first place (Climate Change is only one). We all know that prayers don't work and that actions speak louder than words.

Jörg Breuning

Environmental Innovator

Air Temperature on a sunny day in the city (F)


Temperature Asphalt same day (F)


Temperature Brick walkway/sidewalk (F)


Temperature in the shade of urban tree (F)


Jorg Breuning Roof Forest

URBAN TINY FOREST on ground remote locations

What is an

URBAN TINY FOREST reclaims barren land and toxic lawn monocultures within urban and suburban areas by natural succession or also known as ecological succession.
This process is a natural but controlled change of plant species structure into an ecological community with high plant diversity including dense trees.  over time under the supervision of plant community experts.

URBAN TINY FOREST bring the benefits of a forest and help mitigating the impacts of climate change and heat island effect. Besides these key effects URBAN TINY FOREST is providing nature-rich habitat patches to support urban wildlife and reconnect people with nature.

Controlled Natural Succession 

Controlled natural succession over 5 years create the foundation for an Urban Tiny Forest on soils that are poor, neglected over decades, consist of rubble and construction waste or tortured over the year with chemicals to keep these sterile.

What I Do Different

Breuning Tiny Forest

Our society reached a point where can't continue seeing nature as a necessary evil, a decoration for bad architecture, or a handy item for green washing.

Actually we are a part of nature and we evolved from nature. Within our dense cities and extensive suburbs we have created environments that have nothing in common anymore with the land before it was colonized.

Some common sense understanding:

  • We cannot restore the land as it was before (some refer to1492)
  • Over centuries we have introduced plant species from all over the world to any place on earth (including us). A process that cannot be reversed - nature is too complex.
  • Based on the global environmental issues we have created, we need all (plant) species that can help restoring our environment under these changed and changing conditions.
  • It is always wise to make considerations for native species but acting as a "plant Nazi" doesn't help when the native environment doesn't exist anymore in the first place.
  • I like to work with environmentalist who see the bigger picture for the future.

The Start of Natural Succession

just by changing mowing routine and pattern  

Before URBAN TINY FOREST Contaminated land with invasive warm season grass. Surface water from lawn flooded basement multiple times.

Checking the self healing capability of soil and plants by smart mowing techniques. North side is mostly shaded - slow process - stormwater issues decreased.

In the third year a high variety of native and introduced plants found their way. Honey Bees enjoyed the food source into late fall. Different birds collecting nesting material.

Jorg Breuning Roof Forest


What are the costs of an

Certainly it depends on the size, location, orientation, and the starting conditions.
In general costs are 50-70% less than lawns. Just the maintenance time (and costs) are 40% - 50% less than on common lawn. Fertilizers, chemicals, and irrigation are not needed (100% saving).

In late fall, leaves should remain within the forest as protection for flora and fauna. these leaves provide also the nutrients for following years.

After 5-7 years it is possible that the soil structure allows adding native species that replace pioneer plants that might grow more aggressive. This adjustment can be done gradually and at less costs that common lawn maintenance.

The next step can be adding "valuable" trees that produce fine wood for carpentry over the next decades.

Reduce your Carbon Footprint

An URBAN TINY FOREST of around 800 square feet or 75 square meter produces Oxygen for at least two adults. This lush woodland can reduce an entire Carbon Footprint of a person including his/her Carbon produced by natural energy resources (e.g. electricity, gas, heating, cooling, travel) in a short time.

tiny Forest Jorg


Think about:

5% of the emissions in the United States are caused by gas powered lawn mowers. Converting 50% of these lawns into a species-rich Urban Tiny Forest would reduce volatile organic compounds (dangerous air pollution), reduce noise pollution, millions of gallons of chemicals, and mower accidents/injuries by 15,000 per year.
Only 25% Urban Tiny Forest on each lawn would easy eliminate the Carbon footprint of the lawn mowers from the remaining area. Less noise and more time to enjoy nature with friends.


Instead of wasting our resources to combat nature or to make embarrassing healing attempts, humans have to start focusing on the survival of their own specie. Since we are from nature, this survival only works hand in hand with nature.

Concurrence of circumstances are not scary - they are exciting, rewarding, and fulfilling!

URBAN TINY FORESTS are one easy way to reconnected people with nature, that people talk about nature, and that our future generations learn about nature.

Start acting now!


It doesn't interest me what you do for living. I want to know what you ache for - and if dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing. It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool - for love - for your dreams - for the adventure of being alive and greening the world.

Oriah Mountain Dreamer,

Jorg Breuning