Building and Area Greening - Instruments and Strategies for Implementation and Activation in Municipal Climate Change Adaptation

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Initial Situation

Figure 1: Greening buildings as an effective climate adaptation measure in cities (Source: ISB)

The consequences of climate change, such as summer droughts, heavy rainfall events and urban heat island effects, pose a particular challenge for cities. Climate adaptation measures are necessary to minimize negative consequences for residents, urban nature (plants and animals), buildings and transport infrastructure. Particularly in densely populated urban areas, the expansion of building greening is a sensible adaptation measure that can help to mitigate the consequences of climate change due to the lack of space and land use conflicts. They are suitable both as measures to reduce heat stress and for water retention. Many German municipalities have already become active at the implementation level. Throughout Germany, there are already projects dealing with green roofs and façades (e.g. Dickhaut et al. 2017; Brune et al. 2017), but so far there has been a lack of analyses of the decision-making framework conditions of users (see Minn, 2021) and the contents of these projects are rarely implemented to the necessary extent (e.g. UBA research mandate BauGB amendments). Without implementation, however, climate adaptation strategies are ineffective. Therefore, the aim of the project is to develop measures together with the two project cities of Eschweiler and Aachen (NRW) that promote the actual implementation of building and property greening.


Objective and Goals

The aim of the project is therefore to compile effective instruments and to develop and test strategies for the feasibility of greening buildings and sites. In this way, the proportion of climate-relevant green spaces can be increased at municipal level and previously untapped potential for sustainable adaptation to climate change can be activated. The main aim is to identify obstacles to implementation and possible solutions for overcoming them. Both motivation for personal initiative and voluntary commitment for the common good of various stakeholders are seen as central components. The project therefore focuses on investigating the motivation and acceptance factors of different target groups and on the process of communication and participation. The main objective of the project is to develop an implementation roadmap for the cities of Eschweiler and Aachen to increase the implementation of greening of buildings and properties. In addition to the selection and prioritization of measures, this includes a strategy for communication and organization.


Contents and structure of the project


One result of the project is the development of a concept to increase the feasibility of adaptation measures in the form of greening buildings and properties in the two cities of Aachen and Eschweiler and the implementation of prioritized measures. The results are to be made available nationwide in the interests of transferability.



In order to achieve the objectives of the project, a wide range of qualitative social research methods will be used to identify and evaluate factors that are necessary for the successful implementation of measures for the greening of buildings and properties. For and in cooperation with the two cities of Eschweiler and Aachen, a target group-specific modular system is to be developed for the three defined areas of action "green roofs", "façade greening" and "front gardens and other green spaces" with cross-sectoral measures, as well as a system for estimating the impact intensities. The "GoGreen" project focuses, among other things, on a special segment of measures that must also be supported by the participation of citizens and companies. The modular system is designed in such a way that the measures can be transferred to other cities. For the two cities of Eschweiler and Aachen, individual measures are examined in more detail and embedded in the strategy. Selected measures will be implemented and tested as part of real-world laboratories in the two project cities. This is primarily intended to support the testing and evaluation of the participatory approach.



As part of the "Deutsche Anpassungsstrategie an den Klimawandel" (German strategy for Adaption to climate change) the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV) supports municipal pioneering projects and the establishment of local and regional cooperations.


Funding Code



Project Sponsor

Zukunft - Umwelt - Gesellschaft (ZUG) gGmbH supports the Federal Ministry for the Environment in achieving its funding policy objectives.


Project Partners

City of Eschweiler (Collaboration Partner)
Stabstelle nachhaltige Entwicklung (sustainable development), Mr. Büttgen
Johannes-Rau-Platz 1, 52249 Eschweiler

City of Aachen (Cooperation Partner)
Fachbereich Umwelt (environment department), Mr. Dr. Ruckert
Reumontstr. I, 52064 Aachen


Duration of the Project

02.2022 - 08.2025



Simon Hein, M.Sc. (coordination)
Dr. Andreas Witte