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Germany’s soluble solution to changing climates

Germany is fighting changing climates with innovations in water management.

Modern German cities need to find a way to adapt to the world’s changing climates. With increased flooding from heavier rainfall, cities like Frankfurt and Berlin need to adjust to prepare for the future. At the Institute for Social-Ecological Research (ISOE) in Frankfurt, Martina Winker and her team have researched and implemented innovative projects with major German cities to develop a soluble solution. The netWORKS 3 project was a partnership between ISOE and the city of Frankfurt that used city planning models and assessed criteria for water management to find new ways to approach complex and changing ecological and social systems in major German cities. The project has been implemented in Frankfurt and Hamburg and the ISOE is currently assessing the new system with prospective tenants and interested buyers.

Another solution to rapidly changing climates can be seen in cities like Berlin, where innovation is incorporated into construction and city planning. Experts and entrepreneurs such as Prof. Dr. Heiko Sieker have been assessing ways to change the approach to rainwater run-off to become a part of a green city system. A solution driven by Heiko Stock at the Senate Department for Environment, Transport and Climate Protection - Schwammstadt, or “sponge city” encourages cities to adopt more water-permeable surfaces to allow absorption and drain-off from flood water. The future outlook – all parking areas and median strips are resurfaced to be permeable, and all new buildings have rooftop gardens, providing a soluble solution to changing climates.

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