Green aeration corridors in Stuttgart City

Landeshauptstadt Stuttgart, Amt für Umweltschutz, Stadtklimatologie
Published: 27 October 2017
Last edited: 05 March 2018
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Summary

In Stuttgart, important green belts and green divides stretch between the built-up settlement areas, mitigating the climate heat stress. Greenery now covers more than 60% of the area. Furthermore, over 39% of Stuttgart’s surface area has been put under the protection of nature conservation orders. Incorporating these as important features in a Land Use Plan along with green belt policy are the most promising areas of municipal influence in respect of their impact on urban climatology and climate protection.

Classifications

Region
West and South Europe
Scale of implementation
Local
Ecosystem
Green spaces (parks, gardens, urban forests)
Urban Ecosystem
Theme
Adaptation
Biodiversity mainstreaming
Cities and infrastructure
Health and human wellbeing
Mitigation
Terrestrial spatial planning
Urban planning
Hazards addressed
Extreme heat
Floods
Increasing temperatures
Loss of biodiversity
Sustainable development goals
SDG 3 – Good health and well-being
SDG 11 – Sustainable cities and communities
SDG 13 – Climate action
Aichi targets
Target 5: Habitat loss halved or reduced
Target 8: Pollution reduced
Target 14: Ecosystem services
Sendai Framework
Target 1: Reduce global disaster mortality by 2030

Location

Stuttgart, Germany

Challenges

The location of the city, its climate and the heat island effect contribute to poor air quality and to frequently human heat stress. Furthermore, heat stress from heat waves is likely to increase under climate change, impacting vulnerable people such as the elderly. The supply of fresh air and the reduction of heat stress must be prevailed against endeavours to provide additional housing and acquire building land.

Beneficiaries

The inhabitants of Stuttgart City benefit in a twofold way: air quality is improved and heat stress is reduced. Also biodiversity benefits from the solution.

How do the building blocks interact?

A climate Atlas for Stuttgart (building block 1) provides the basis for planning measures for the creation and protection of green spaces and corridors (building block 2), which are implemented through a Land Use Plan (building block 3).  Add to this the "Klipps– Climate Planning Passport Stuttgart” (building block 4) , which is an evaluation tool to help identify areas and plan actions against heat stress suffered by people. Finally stakeholder participation and partnerships (building block 5) underlies the success of the scheme.

Impacts

The urban climate, including air quality, is improved and heat stress is mitigated through green corridors and green spaces. Communities are thus more protected from the impacts of climate change, such as raising temperatures or precipitation changes. Furthermore, the green areas provide important recreational and well-being benefits. Finally, biodiversity is conserved through maintenance of green space and green corridors, which also contributes to carbon sequestration.

Story

Landeshauptstadt Stuttgart, Amt für Umweltschutz, Stadtklimatologie

The municipality of Stuttgart has operated a Department for Urban Climatology within the Office for Environmental Protection since 1938, to take into account climate in urban planning and to make sure that the local climatic situation will not be deteriorated by planning.

Thermal stress and sensitivity to the effects of heat are common in combination with the mild climate of a wine-growing region. Stuttgart’s second handicap in respect to climate and air hygiene stems from its lack of wind, namely the episodic rise in air pollution.

Indeed the primary objective in terms of climate protection for the region of Stuttgart is to facilitate air exchange in the city, thereby enhancing the potential for cool air flows from the hills towards the urban areas on the valley floor. A land use plan, based on the recommendations from climatic studies, made provisions for green corridors and spaces to be protected and created. Precise recommendations for these green spaces to maximise air flow are included.

Green corridors and spaces that are well designed have been shown to ensure ventilation throughout the area, bringing numerous climate benefits such as cooling down the air temperature which buffers climate stress during heat waves and reducing air pollution, while also bringing many other benefits such as biodiversity conservation, carbon sequestration and recreational benefits.

Stuttgart is one of the rare cities in Germany to have over 39% of its surface area put under the protection of nature conservation orders. Other innovative green spaces have also been created within the built-up city, e.g. green roofs, facade greening and green rails (grass grown in between tramlines).

 

A short vision of the future could come true:
Imagine yourself wandering through the Stuttgart streets. It’s a really hot summer day, but you hardly have to sweat. Crowns of trees along the street provide shade. You use a small park as a thoroughfare, here it is more pleasant again. The air you breath is pure. The afternoon in your office is comfortable too, the building has a green roof and a green façade. Some bigger leaf-bearing trees save a direct sun radiation into your office, so you don’t need air conditioning. Later, you finish your work and enjoy the evening. Before you go to sleep you open the window in your bedroom. A cool breeze lets you fall asleep.
A deep sleep is very beneficial!

Contributed by

Rainer Kapp Municipality of Stuttgart

Contributors

Municipality of Stuttgart, Office for environmental protection, Department of urban climatology