Where appreciation for the importance of biodiversity meets the New Urbanism movement, one can find the pursuit of the creation of urban wilderness. Key traits of urban wilderness that differentiate it from lawns and other ecologically questionable forms of plantings are:
- Biodiversity - a wide range of species, both of plants and animals
- Minimal maintenance required for viability - plants that can survive without frequent waterings, can withstand local pollution levels, and do not depend on infusions of fertilizers or other periodic soil amendments (see xeriscaping)
- Deep beds - deep soil allowing the creation of mature root growth, protection from drought and destructive temperature changes, and the development of a healthy colony of microorganisms, worms, and other beneficial small lifeforms
- Native species - considered use of local varieties rather than exotic species
- Unstructured aesthetic - plants allowed to grow as they wish, where they wish, with minimal space devoted to paved walkways, trimmed grass, or other artificial environments
- Tolerance of groundcover and thick undergrowth - healthy ecosystems depend on "messy" microenvironments like decaying logs, thick brush, and muddy ground.