Setting the course for a green, climate-proof city

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Parliamentary evening of the "Green for urban and rural areas" initiative on November 7, 2023 in Berlin

In the second half of this legislative period of the German Bundestag, the framework conditions for green infrastructures must be consistently improved. The Bund deutscher Baumschulen (BdB) e. V., the Bund Deutscher Landschaftsarchitekten (bdla), the Bundesverband Garten-, Landschafts- und Sportplatzbau e. V. (BGL) and the Zentralverband Gartenbau e. V. (ZVG) drew attention to this at the joint parliamentary evening on November 7, 2023 in Berlin.

The presidents: Thomas Banzhaf, BGL, Jürgen Mertz, ZVG, Prof. Stephan Lenzen, bdla, and Hajo Hinrichs, BdB. © manuel frauendorf photography

The four associations had invited guests to the German Parliamentary Society for an exchange of ideas. The patron of the evening was Anja Liebert (Bündnis 90/DIE GRÜNEN), member of the Bundestag and member of the Committee on Housing, Urban Development, Construction and Local Authorities. MEP Liebert thanked the four associations for their trusting cooperation. "In times of advancing climate change, we have an obligation to future generations to implement significantly more climate adaptation measures in urban development. Whether it's heavy rainfall, pollution or heat - we are feeling climate change first hand. It is therefore crucial to make cities liveable and lovable with more green-blue infrastructure."

The patron of the evening, Anja Liebert, Member of the Bundestag, Bündnis 90/DIE GRÜNEN, member of the Committee on Housing, Urban Development, Construction and Local Authorities, welcomes the attendees to the Haus der Parlamentarischen Gesellschaft. © manuel frauendorf photography

The discussions with the 14 members of the German Bundestag focused on the numerous climate and energy policy projects of the federal government as well as the major amendment to the German Building Code (BauGB), which is important for urban green spaces. The presidents of the BdB, bdla, BGL and ZVG emphasized that the members and member companies carry out a daily practical check of government policy. Against this background, the economic, funding policy and legal framework conditions for the green sector were discussed; recommendations for setting the right course for the upcoming social transformation were discussed.

The newly elected BGL President Thomas Banzhaf stated: "With the 'Natural Climate Protection Action Program', the German government has sent an important signal for more climate adaptation with greenery. The funding offers must now be designed in such a way that they can be implemented quickly by the municipalities. In addition, the programs need to be made permanent because cities and municipalities need a long-term funding perspective from the federal government to make the transition from grey to green."

Hajo Hinrichs, BdB President, pointed out that urban areas are an extreme location for woody plants. The right choice of varieties is just as important as the will to plant large trees, hedges and shrubs. Together, this guarantees a rapid and lasting ecosystem performance of the plants used.

ZVG President Jürgen Mertz emphasized the importance of green building blocks for sustainable urban (green) development: "The flowers and plants that ensure more biodiversity and a better urban climate are produced on our farms. In view of rising production costs and bureaucratic requirements, however, the performance of our businesses is being restricted and threatened.

In his remarks, bdla President Prof. Stephan Lenzen pointed out, among other things, that climate adaptation must become a joint task of general interest. © manuel frauendorf photography

bdla President Prof. Stephan Lenzen referred to the concrete need for action by the federal government in the ongoing major amendment to the German Building Code. He explained to the MPs the specific recommendations for modern urban planning law in order to adequately address climate change in new housing developments and urban redevelopment.

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