Federal Government presents White Paper on Urban Greening in Essen

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Federal Minister Barbara Hendricks presented the White Paper "Urban Greening" to the public on 9 May 2017 in Essen as part of the 2nd Federal Congress "Green in the City - for a Future Worth Living".

This marks the end of an intensive discussion process lasting more than 4 years. As is well known, the Federal Government put the topic on the political agenda for the first time in 2013, comprehensively and across all ministries. The Green Paper on the subject was published in 2015. A number of partial successes had already been achieved as part of this process. For example, it was possible to establish a future investment programme for urban green spaces within the framework of urban development funding with a funding sum of approx. 50 million euros per year.

The bdla has intensively accompanied the development of the green and white papers. "With the Initiative Stadtgrün, the federal government has finally recognized its responsibility to also develop this topic strategically. I hope that this will initiate a continuous process that will enable us to better network urban open spaces with each other" said Till Rehwaldt, President of the Association of German Landscape Architects (bdla), at the same time formulating the expectations of the professional community. Shortly, BGL, BdB and bdla will present election positions, which also refer to the recommendations for action of the White Paper on Urban Green Spaces.

Work programme for the next few years

With the White Paper on Urban Greening, the Federal Government has given itself a work programme for the next few years, the Federal Ministries stressed in Essen. This work programme is essentially a voluntary commitment and contains a wide range of objectives and measures. These include better anchoring of the urban green infrastructure, more targeted funding measures, the development of guidelines, the implementation of model and research projects and also improved communication between the players. During a panel discussion in Essen, the representatives of all four parliamentary groups present at the meeting agreed in principle to this political commitment on the part of the federal government.

The White Paper defines 10 central fields of action for securing and qualifying green and open spaces in cities. Each field of action is assigned "objectives, design options and concrete measures". The fields of action are also concretised in specific "federal policy approaches" in each case.

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