Associations call for support programme for municipal green spaces

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The Bundesverband Garten-, Landschafts- und Sportplatzbau e.V. (BGL), the Association of German Landscape Architects (bdla), the Association of German Nurseries (BdB) e.V. and the Central Horticultural Association (Zentralverband Gartenbau e.V.). (ZVG), together with the environmental umbrella organisation Deutscher Naturschutzring (DNR), are calling for an effective funding programme for municipal green spaces.

The Alliance of Associations emphasizes that parks and green spaces are systemically important.

The lockdown has clearly shown that people need gardens, parks and green spaces to stay healthy. Economic stimulus packages must now help local authorities with this provision of public services,

Till Rehwaldt, bdla President

The alliance of business and environmental associations believes it is essential to support municipalities with a climate-friendly innovation and stimulus package for more green space right now. "We as an alliance of associations appeal to the federal and state governments to establish a long-term funding program for green-blue infrastructure in urban and rural areas. Health care and climate adaptation need this support now", said BGL President Lutze von Wurmb.

Incidentally, this is also in line with the efforts of the German government in the upcoming EU presidency to support the economy through the so-called "Green Deal" with investments in sustainability, von Wurmb continued. He therefore expects a great deal of support from federal politicians.

DNR managing director Florian Schöne added that "the areas are not only green lungs for humans, but also have a high importance as habitat and networking structure for urban biodiversity".

The Corona-related lockdown in particular has highlighted the importance of attractive and naturally maintained parks and green spaces in urban areas. In the current difficult time with the many restrictions, people are drawn back outside after the gradual relaxations. There is no better place for them to enjoy their new-found freedom of movement and do something good for body and soul again than in the greenery right outside their door.

Walks, sports activities or nature observation in diversely designed green spaces offer a welcome distraction from the restricted daily routine. In terms of environmental justice, the availability of green spaces for all citizens is crucial. The city of the future will be characterised by short distances to green spaces, and both the quality and quantity of open spaces are important.

The municipalities therefore need sufficient financial resources and planning security for the long-term maintenance of green spaces. Against the backdrop of the major challenges facing people and the climate, a funding programme must be geared towards continuity and run for several years in order to enable the more than 10,000 municipalities in Germany to make the necessary investments in green spaces.

In addition, such a federal programme for greenery is an important contribution to the biodiversity strategy and generates an economic policy effect. Especially the green industries offer secure jobs and apprenticeships and their small and medium-sized enterprises and planning offices are important pillars of the economy in a turbulent time.

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