Bund Deutscher Landschaftsarchitekt:innen has effective remedy for heat stress

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The summer heat wave has Berlin in its grip again. With outside temperatures of 30 degrees and more, everyone longs for a shady spot in the green. Those who live on a green street or in a planted courtyard are lucky, and even better if their homes are protected from overheating by green facades and roofs. This is only possible if we retain as much of the scarce rainwater as possible and make it available for vegetation in the city. Such sustainable development toward a climate-smart city requires forward-looking planning and the right tools. The Berlin/Brandenburg regional group of the Bund Deutscher Landschaftsarchitekt:innen (bdla) therefore calls for the introduction of a mandatory qualified open space plan as part of the building application.

© bdla

In 2022, the bdla federal association published a brochure explaining the open space design plan .

The qualified open space plan represents an effective instrument for presenting all relevant aspects in a bundled and coordinated manner. By integrating environmental, water and nature conservation aspects as well as requirements for escape routes, recreational facilities, playground provision and the like into an overall concept at an early stage, it enables a rapid and holistic review as part of the building permit process. It has been used successfully in several cities in Germany for some time, most notably in the city of Munich for over 25 years. In May, Frankfurt (Main) introduced a "Design Statute for Open Space and Climate" with a mandatory qualified open space plan. Representatives of the housing and real estate industry associations (GdW and ZIA) also recently spoke out in favor of the general introduction of the qualified open space design plan at an event held by the German Federal Ministry of Building, because they expect it to speed up planning and improve the quality of open space in the building environment.

"The introduction of a mandatory qualified open space plan in the Berlin building code is a decisive step towards increasing efficiency in urban development," emphasizes Eike Richter, chairman of bdla Berlin/Brandenburg. "By combining and coordinating all relevant aspects, this bundling will significantly speed up the review process. This leads to more efficient processing of building applications and creates planning security for all parties involved.

The qualified open space plan helps to identify and avoid possible conflicts between different protected assets and protection goals at an early stage. Through integrated planning and coordination, high-quality and sustainable design concepts can be developed and the requirements of the urban community can be taken into account. This not only promotes faster processing of building permits, but also the acceptance and quality of life of residents."

The tool would apply to both new construction and changes to existing buildings. Daniel Sprenger, landscape architect bdla and board member of the Berlin Chamber of Architects, notes, "A qualified open space design plan allows us to integrate all aspects from tree protection to stormwater management, even in existing courtyards and housing developments, and to sustainably increase the quality of living and life in the neighborhoods. For this reason, the Berlin Chamber of Architects recommended the Qualified Open Space Plan to the Senate as an important tool during the hearing on the Faster Building Act."

The bdla Berlin/Brandenburg is therefore strongly advocating that the introduction of a mandatory qualified open space plan in Berlin be implemented promptly. By speeding up the procedures, efficient and sustainable urban development will be ensured and the necessary climate adaptation will be harmonized with the design of the living and working environment.

Download open space design plan

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