Plants in our City’s Fountains?

If you have walked through the city center recently, you may have noticed that some of Basel’s beautiful fountains are currently filled with soil, plants, and flowers rather than fresh flowing water. This initiative is part of the urban-space festival called Flâneur, which this year runs from May to September, offering numerous colorful, wild, crazy, and emotional experiences for everyone, with the aim of fostering a “positive attitude towards life.” The idea behind turning some fountains into lush meadows is to bring attention to these beautiful fountains. More than just symbols of Basel’s cultural heritage, the city’s hundreds of fountains provide fresh, cool, and clean drinking water to residents and visitors 24/7—a luxury often taken for granted by Basel’s residents. While some residents are clearly questioning the value of repurposing the refreshing fountains during the hottest months of the year, the current intervention certainly brings home the idea that “we often don’t realize what we have until its gone.” The IWB fountain team devotes great efforts to keep the fountains clean and in good functioning order, constantly monitoring and maintaining the quality of the drinking water.

For the month of June, the four fountains-turned-large-flower-pots are the Pisoni-Brunnen at Münsterplatz, the Samson und Delila Brunnen at Barfüsserplatz, the Neuer Lyssbrunnen at Rümelinsplatz, and the Johannes der Täufer Nischenbrunnen at Spalenberg. Four more locations will follow for the month of July.

These and a variety of other creative activities throughout the summer at different locations in Basel will culminate into a 10-day festival of concentrated activities from September 8-17, with the last 3-days filled with special highlights—stay tuned for more information about Basel’s Flâneur Festival!