Friedensreich Hundertwasser

The Earth once was a desert full of gas and slime. Then, slowly a vegetation layer formed with forests, rivers and meadows. Then, man came and started to spread and overexploit. To compound matters, he has been retrieving from below the gas and slime, which vegetation overgrew in millions of years, for the last fifty years so that it is now on top again. This results again in a state of hell, as it was before and in which man is killing himself.

It is therefore every individual’s duty to help the vegetation layer restore itself to its own right with all available means. We are in a state of war. The roofs must turn into green forests, as well as the roads. Traffic can easily flow in arcades.

THE HORIZONTAL BELONGS TO NATURE, THE VERTICAL TO MAN. So, everything that is horizontal under the sky belongs to vegetation, and man can only claim for himself what is vertical. In other words, this means: FREE NATURE MUST GROW WHEREVER SNOW FALLS IN WINTER.

Since we are in a state of emergency, this type of forestation of the cities would not be enough to restore the strongly disturbed balance. One would have to install vegetation layers on floors. Because the missing oxygen can only be produced by vegetation, and not by chemical manipulation. It is a slow and responsible process, which takes very long. It would probably take 1,000 years to repair the harm done in the last ten years.

But since there is no other way out, one must start immediately: invention of a manually operated garbage disposal machine, which turns garbage into compost, which can in turn be used to enrich the roof vegetation, use of human excrements right then and there, without having to transport them as far way in a toxin producing sewer system as from where one must bring the food needed by man.

Every family must have the right to at least 100 cubic metres of vegetation area, and respectively 100 or more square metres of soil to accept their garbage and excrements, and from which they could sustain themselves. The ratio and details will have to be worked out by technicians, inventors, botanists, vegetation experts etc. It is definitely possible for man to have 100 or more cubic metres in terraced municipal houses, where every large garden becomes the roof of the inhabitant underneath.

The flat soil must be fully covered with vegetation, that is the road from the side of one house to another. The sidewalks and traffic can easily be accommodated in bright arcades.

Government must pass a law that does not allow for a house to be built unless a one metre layer of soil is spread over the entire roof surface and the entire area of the flat soil, on which the house is situated. So a law must be passed, and if it is not passed immediately, it will definitely be passed later, whether the government wants it or not, that from a bird’s-eye view any vegetation only consists of green forest and meadow areas, and not a piece of road, asphalt or bare roof. This also includes gas stations and churches, as well as train stations, official buildings and especially manufacturing plants and their premises.

When creating factory grounds, a factory will only be allowed to exist if all roofs and access roads and the entire factory surroundings are much greener than the Vienna Woods normally are. A factory may only be given an operating permit if the chimneys emit three times the amount of stale air in pure oxygen, not to mention toxins. If a factory emits toxins, it must be closed down immediately.

The relationship between man and trees must gain a religious dimension and replace the adoration of Christ or God. Only when a divine adoration of all vegetation takes hold, a gradual improvement of the environment can begin from the inside of people. Then, there will also be a better understanding of the phrase:


Written in Venice, Guidecca, March 1971.