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inter-species footpathes

We live on the 39th floor and have a fantastic view over the city of Cologne. Right in front of the skyscraper we live in there is the zoo. We see the pens and the animals who live there every day. We had the idea to change their situation to a more open one.

The concept of zoos refers to the time of colonialism where collections of exotic animals and even humans were shown, who were treated like curiosities only because nobody could understand them. Nowadays we begin to understand the language of animals. We measure their perception and emotions. Using a MRI Scanner we found out that the reactions of the brains of animals is similiar to the of us humans. That´s why we think that the tradinal concept of zoos -putting creatures in cages- is antiquated.

We suggest to create corridors between all the parks for example in Cologne and where necessary to build bridges. Different kind of hedges are planted next to the footpathes depending on the animals who are supposed to use them. The last step is to tear down the walls of the zoo and to open up the cages. Using their new pathes the animals discover our urban space. Predators have their own pathes. The citizens may take the same footpathes or watch the dangerous animals from observation towers. It will be a special pleasure to watch animals following their own decisions. Maybe they nibble at the parktrees, take a bath in the Rhein or gallop through Cologne. More and more cities will invent the new concept and will build inter-species footpathes. All the zoos will be connected to each other by these pathes. The animals meet each other, the gene pool will become bigger and stabilized. That is real protection of endangered species. The animals have even the chance to go back to where they belong to. And the animal keepers have to follow them of course. Crossing borders has to be made much easier then nowadays because the animal keepers are needed by the animals and don´t have the time to follow a long bureaucratic procedure when for example an elephant is own his way. So frontiers will loose their meaning...

concept: Alice Stepanek and Max Victoria

photos: Alice Stepanek

King-Kong-Animation: Timothée Ingen-housz

Animation & Sound: Graw Böckler

more info at

available on the dvd "ideas for europe - 24 commercials for a concept", published by