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Strategy document / outputs of the ClimArchi.Net project Czech Republic

The Climarchinet expert group is made up of experts who, beyond their own line of expertise and professional interest, deal with obstacles and challenges that stand in the way of sustainable, carbon-neutral construction.


The project cooperation aims at specific results applicable in practice, not only in the Czech Republic.

  • Tomáš Vanický = expert sponsor of the ClimArchiNet project / CPD director
  • arch. Josef Tlustý = Architect/ČKA, member of the CPD Board
  • arch. Jan Soukup = Architect/ISU ČKA
  • Ing. Tomáš Matuška, Ph.D. = Specialist on building energy management, associate professor at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the Czech Technical University in Prague
  • Radim Kohoutek = Energy Specialist / APES, DS Energy Consulting
  • Ing. Anna Francová = Lawyer / Frank Bold Advokáti
  • Stanislav Kutáček = Economist / Frank Bold Advokáti
  • Vladimír Kubeček = Economist/University of Economics, Prague

Objective of the document

  • Summary of findings, available documents and expert opinions from individual fields who have participated in the implementation of the project as part of discussions, workshops and international conferences.
  • Summary of recommendations resulting in faster transformation of the designers (in the role of architects) and contracting authorities (public administration) in public contracts with the aim of designing and constructing buildings with very low energy demands, adapted to climate change, political situation, and social and energy security.
  • Taking into account PESTEL multi-criteria requirement

The document is intended for the following target groups:

  • Architect (Czech Chamber of Architects)
  • Public administration (level of regions, cities & municipalities)
  • Ministry of Environment
  • Ministry for Regional Development
  • Ministry of Industry and Trade
  • Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports
  • State Environmental Fund
  • State Investment Support Fund
  • Cities and municipalities

About the ClimArchiNet project

The project is mainly funded by the EUKI. EUKI is an initiative of the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Protection (BMWK), the mission of which is to encourage cooperation within the EU in terms of further development and implementation of ambitious climate-related policy. Through the EUKI, the stakeholders in the field of climate can learn from each other. The initiative promotes intra-European dialogue, exchange of best practices, awareness raising and knowledge transfer.

The project implementation is ensured through the cooperation between:

Centrum pasivního domu, z.s(CZE) /Passive House Centre

Inštitútprepasivné domy(SK) Institute for Passive Houses

The aim of the project is to identify the current situation and support development of innovative processes, materials and technologies for the preparation and implementation of buildings with very low energy needs throughout their life cycle. Support transformation of the building sector towards carbon neutrality, building adaptation to climate change and social and energy security. More information about the project and its activities in the Czech Republic can be found on the CPD website and on the climarchi.net information platform.

Main activities of the Czech project in a brief summary

In 2020-2022, the project focused on discussions with experts and on sharing of examples of good practices in sustainable architecture:

For more informations about the Czech project activities visit the  Climarchinet project homepage.

Prof. Wolfgang Feist / The “Father” of the Passive House Idea

In 2021, the world’s first passive house celebrated its 30th birthday. That was the main reason why among the three foreign speakers of the conference was Prof. Wolfgang Feist.  The “father” of the Passive House standard and the founder of the “Passivhaus Institut” in Darmstadt, Germany. The first passive houses under his leadership were established in 1990. He was at the beginning and implementation of the passive house pilot project in Darmstadt, where he lives. He is dedicated to educating professionals and the public.

With his contribution we started the first topic of our conference “Correct assignment of sustainable architecture – how to combine the principles of sustainability with the overall architectural quality of buildings and urban units without the expense of aesthetic, user or technical values.”

Professor Wolfgang Feist in his video presented goals focused on decarbonization of the building sector, the benefits of the Passive house philosophy, which has been successfully implemented in all continents of the world and has become increasingly popular and important in recent years.

⇒  You can listen to his personal opinion on Sustainability in everyday life.

Another 17 video presentations of the conference speakers, which are stored in the virtual CENTRE, can be viewed free of charge via registration on the conference website. The conference and discussions were held in Czech.

Dr. Jürgen Schnieders / Development of Energy Efficient Buildings

Dr. Jürgen Schnieders

studied physics with a focus on solar energy and energy efficiency. Since 1997, he has been a member of the “Passivhaus Institut” in Darmstadt, where he is The Chief Operating Officer since 2019. The Passive house Institut in Darmstadt has a wide range of activities. From the certification of materials and technologies suitable for the construction of passive houses to the determination of passive house impact methodologies for larger areas.

The main idea that sums up his inspiring contribution:

“Let’s act now! The moment a building is modified or new buildings are constructed, let’s use the most efficient technologies and materials available. In this way, we will achieve a gradual improvement in the quality of the building stock. “

How does Dr. Jürgen Schnieders see the impact of implementing energy efficient buildings and their subsequent impact on climate change? Let’s take a look at that right now.

Summary of contribution: 

  • The main goal is to achieve a state where buildings do not negatively affect the climate and its protection. The way to achieve this is a climate-neutral building stock. This needs to start now, especially with buildings with long lifetimes (e.g. public buildings). 
  • According to the Paris Agreement, we only have about 10-20 years to achieve climate-neutral buildings. 
  • The Passivehaus Institute is working on how to achieve these goals technically, economically and socially. Therefore, they have created a model of all buildings in Germany (their energy needs for heating, hot water and electricity) and based on this they have modelled different scenarios for achieving a neutral building stock. 
  • The current legislative constraints (in Germany) are very light and even in 50 years buildings will not meet these criteria. With the use of quality materials (at a level suitable for passive houses) and components in gradual renovations while constructing new buildings in passive standard, about 80% of the energy will be achieved in 50 years. In combination with renewable energy sources, neutrality can thus be achieved by 2050. 
  • Continuing to build and renovate buildings at the current quality will not allow the targets to be achieved and is also the most expensive way to go given rising energy prices. 

⇒  Listen to his personal opinion on Sustainability in everyday life.

Another 17 video presentations of the conference speakers, which are stored in the virtual CENTRE, can be viewed free of charge via registration on the conference website. The conference and discussions were held in Czech.

ClimArchiTrip / Six Pieces of Experience from Berlin

In cooperation with the Technical University of Berlin, we prepared a 3-day study trip for a group of 24 experts from the Czech Republic visiting inspiring buildings with professional guides and an interpreter into Czech. The aim of this trip was to present 6 examples of current construction projects in Berlin, buildings with very low energy intensity and current technologies such as controlled mechanical ventilation, PV, gray water management systems, green façades and roofs. We monitored technical parameters and other information from the project preparation process, construction implementation and the actual operation of buildings meeting sustainability parameters. We were interested in these buildings not only in terms of energy operating demands but also the energy needed for the production, construction and demolition of the building (LCA).  Sustainable measures such as natural and recyclable building materials, water management, green façades and roofs, and the development of community renewable energies in cities were subject of lively discussions during the program. More information about the visited buildings can be downloaded HERE.


” People cannot live in greenhouses.”

” Sixty percent of harvested timber is burnt – it needs to be used in construction.”

“In Berlin, electricity may not be used to cool buildings.”

” We do not need any new buildings any more – we only need to optimize the old ones.”

These are some of the ideas we heard on a trip visiting low-energy buildings in Berlin.

Author’s article by journalist and architecture promoter Karolína Vránková

We could subscribe to some of the participants’ ideas and (passionately) argue with some others. For example, with architect Eik Roswag-Kling, who is the founder of the ZRS Architekten studio and also manages the Natural Building Lab at the Technical University of Berlin.

His objective is to return to “low-tech”, i.e. to reduce technical installations in the buildings – this also applies to ventilation systems and heat recovery. His visions are buildings made of natural materials, he prefers wood and clay plaster. This type of plaster can, to a certain extent, regulate the indoor environment, such as air humidity. “In such a building it suffices to air the rooms by opening the windows twice a day, and no ventilation systems will be needed,” explained architect Roswag-Klinge.

But does this not mean an increase in CO2 inside the building? Does not ventilation without heat recovery mean unnecessary energy losses? There was a long discussion about that at the Technical University without any clear result.

Nevertheless, all participants agree on most of the sustainable principles – they are guided by them in Berlin as well as in the Czech Republic: optimal orientation in relation to cardinal points, compact shape, quality insulation and windows, alternative energy resources such as waste heat or heat pumps, use of wood as a construction material even for multi – story buildings.

We visited six buildings, each of which providing us with new experience.

NO. 1 FLEXIM, 2016

ZRS Architects

usable area 9,900 m2

The building located in the largest German housing estate Marzahn greeted us with a “Trabant” in the hall and the hall surprised us by its monumentality – a timber structure stretching over three floors, which is much more than the timber buildings we are used to seeing in the Czech Republic.

Our guide here was architect Andreas Pohl from ZRS Architekten.

It is actually a hybrid construction – the basement is made of reinforced concrete, the upper floors offer a combination of concrete and timber, the outer shell is a timber-framed civil structure. As this is a production building, it was necessary to oversize the civil structure in terms of its structural stability. According to the regulations, it was necessary to ensure a 90min fire rating and therefore the timber elements had to be oversized by 1/3 of the volume.

Waste heat is used for heating. The waste heat comes from a nearby wastewater treatment plant using a heat recovery system. The building is shaded by louvres and ventilation is provided in accordance with the “low tech” principles using windows only.

Flexim manufactures measuring instruments. It was established as a small garage company shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The company has grown ever since and hopes to continue to grow. The head office is ready for that. Production and office workplaces are concentrated in three atrium buildings, three other equally large modules could be added to the land plot. Flexibility, use of timber, low energy consumption – all this is what the owners want to use to point out that their company is looking into a (sustainable) future.


carpaneto architekten, fatkoehl architekten, BARarchiteten

60 flats in three  block of flats

price 2,100 EUR m2 including land

Spreefeld is a housing estate, experimental in almost all respects.

It is fitted with shared common rooms and terraces, the residents maintain the spaces between houses, the houses are in passive standard, there are photovoltaic panels installed on the roof and it is not possible to get access by car here. So, in fact, nothing here looks or works the way we are used to from block of flats in the Czech Republic.

Silvia Carpaneto, one of the architects and also a resident in this estate, was our guide here.

Even the design of this non-standard estate did not proceed in a standard way. The promoters invited three architectural studios, which then developed the design together. They emphasized the function, rejected all the more luxurious design solutions, everything is made of standard elements. Three blocks of flats were built offering various types of spaces: standard flats, cluster flats, and the inhabitants share the kitchen and the living room. Furthermore, they include social spaces, commercial spaces and offices.

The flats are of co-operative ownership, each co-operator has made an investment – twenty percent of the flats are provided to people without the necessary funds. They acquired the land on the basis of their innovative project from the federal state of Berlin.

Technically, it is a hybrid construction: it combines concrete load-bearing elements with timber, the outer shell is a frame construction insulated using wood wool. The building is low energy. It is heated geothermally and by means of a common gas cogeneration unit. Solar panels supply the inhabitants with 30 percent of the electricity demand. Each flat has its own ventilation system with recuperation.

While most activities, including maintenance of greenery between the buildings, are performed by the residents themselves, the heating and ventilation systems are controlled by a professional. “It took two or three years to find an optimal set-up. We do not want to mess with it”, says Silvia Carpaneto.

NO. 3 WALDEN 48, 2020

Scharabi Architekten & Anne Raupach

usable area 4800 m2

price 11 million EUR

Walden 48 is a timber block of flats but it has a “city-like” façade made of gray slate facing Landsberger Allee street.

On the other side, the house faces cemetery greenery and has a wooden façade with loggias. However, we learn that the wooden façade is not allowed in Berlin – for fire safety reasons. Scharabi Architekten just tried it and it worked out. “We do a lot of things that are not allowed. We believe that it is necessary to try and then see that it is possible, “says architect Susanne Scharabi, who was our guide here.

The façade is not the only innovative element.

This building with 43 flats and 6 floors is probably the largest timber construction in Berlin. Everything is made of wood, including the elevator shafts and staircases. The only thing made of concrete are the staircase and fire-rated walls. The load-bearing wooden beams are glued from beech wood and, according to the architect, their load-bearing capacity is similar to concrete. The outer walls are of frame construction with wood wool insulation, interior partition walls are made of solid wood. It is heated by a geothermal pump with supplementary gas.

The building was constructed by the so-called “Baugruppe”, a group of individual families that jointly invested in the construction project.

Thus, the residents have known each other since the construction period and they use common areas on the ground floor and a shared roof terrace. The atmosphere is therefore homely and the wood along staircases and in the corridors emphasizes it.


Berlinovo Topteam

usable area 3747 m2

price 1,928 EUR/m2

The Berlinovo real estate agency focuses on cheap rental housing.

And this is the case of a 129 micro-apartments for students in the Lichtenberg district of Berlin. This place shows that timber is also a suitable material for such buildings. Timber enables inexpensive and fast construction – in this case, 9 months.

This six-storey building has been constructed as hybrid civil structure – the load-bearing elements are made of concrete, the partition walls and outer cladding are made of wood. In this case, a wooden façade was not permitted. The building is therefore plastered and the exterior plaster has a wood motif – above life-size.


Augustin und Frank Architekten

usable area 9700 m2

The building was designed in the late 1990s, at a time when urban warming seemed insignificant and distant.

It is therefore a typical “greenhouse” – a concrete structure with a glass façade. As a rule, such buildings suffer from overheating and are dependent on intensive cooling. However, electricity-driven cooling systems are not allowed in Berlin. That is why rainwater cooling and the most low-tech system – climbing plants on the façade – come into play here.

The building is not connected to rainwater drainage but rainwater is retained in five tanks in the atrium and used for flushing and also for the so-called “adiabatic” cooling – it is injected into the air that enters the ventilation system and cools down through water evaporation. The water that does not fit into the tanks overflows into a pond in one of the atriums, and evaporation from it also improves the micro-climate in and around the building.

Rainwater is also used to irrigate the climbing plants that cover the façade in the atriums and on the southern side of the building.

The plants grow from the ground and also from containers installed on higher floors.

The costs of these plants are about ten times lower than the costs of louvre shading. The efficiency is higher – the plants do not get hot, on the contrary, the evaporated water cools down the microclimate. Of the ten tested plant species, wisteria (Wisteria sinensis), which is hardy and grows to a height of up to 40 meters, proved to be the best option. “The only disadvantage is that the plants cannot be controlled,” as our guide Marco Schmidt, who monitors the experimental system as part of the Berlin Senate project, told us with a pitch of salt. Although the climbing plants cannot be pulled out like louvres and sometimes it is a little dark inside, they can turn a hot greenhouse into a pretty pleasant place to live.


ZRS Architekten Ingenieure

“According to forecasts, the population in Europe is not expected to increase until 2100. That is why we do not need any new buildings,” said architect Eike Roswag-Klinge from ZRS Architekten at the introductory presentation. In her view, it is necessary to optimize the existing ones at the moment. An example of this radical way of thinking is the reconstruction of a panel building from the 1970s in Tierpark, the zoo of the former East Berlin.

As Tierpark was in the East, the head office was located in a small panel building.

However, in the new millennium, the building became obsolete, with gaps between the panels in the winter and getting overheated in the summer. A decision was made to demolish it. ZRS Architekten came up with an alternative solution. They proposed replacing only the façade and windows and continue to use the rest of the building.

Concrete panels from the time of the GDR were thus replaced by timber ones, insulated using cellulose and fitted with insulating windows. The façade is made of larch wood, no one would recognize from the outside that this is a panel building. However, almost everything remained in its place inside, including floors, ceilings and built-in furniture. Energy consumption has been halved. In particular, CO2 and the so-called “grey energy” were saved thanks to the built-in materials.

The building is insulated and its cladding is sealed according to the latest parameters, only the windows are used for ventilation.

The last excursion during this trip thus sparkled a similar debate as during the introductory presentation. Can low-energy, highly sealed buildings be built without technologies? Can they do without recuperation and forced ventilation? Can they really be “low-tech”? The ultimate answer was not found this time, either. After all, all the other buildings we visited brought out a number of questions in addition to answers. It is clear that sustainability is a comprehensive concept and will be defined much more broadly in the future. This is not only about energy demand for heating or hot water. Built-in energy and CO2 will need to be assessed, too. It will also be about material flows and their reuse. It will be necessary to look at the entire construction system.

Nothing simple but the motivation is quite strong:

“According to the latest forecasts, the Earth may warm up by 1.5 degree as early as 2030. That is in 7 and a half years. What are we going to do by then? ”asks Eike Roswag-Klinge.

Thus is one of the questions we brought back with us from Berlin.

The unique virtual “SUSTAINABILITY CENTRE” / online meeting platform

Virtual Centre environment will take you back in time to 8bit graphic arcade games. You can move around the centre and decide on viewing content that interests you the most with your personalized avatar. We created a place where you can present and network openly and/or privately and maybe even get a virtual coffee.

We prepared whole day live stream program with moderator.

Each of the sustainable topics was followed by a panel discussion with our speakers and other guests. We called together lead experts in the field of sustainable construction (18 Speakers + 11 guests). Architects, designers, engineers, energetic specialists, city representatives, government officials, private investors and students.


Thanks to the conference programme, 18 visually attractive video presentations were produced, sharing practical experiences in the preparation and implementation of sustainable architecture, especially in the Czech Republic.

The recording of the 8-hour conference programme is now stored in the main hall of the Virtual Centre of sustainability and is freely available. The recordings of the panel discussions are located in secondary halls for professionals, investors and municipalities.


During the filming of 18 video presentations, the expert’s response to the question of the importance of Sustainability in their daily lives, was also recorded. These personal perspectives were then used as 18 short PR videos during Facebook campaign of the conference. You can watch them on the conference website in the programme section, under the name of each speaker.

We want the newly created virtual centre to pulsate with sustainability.

We are working with Members of the Passive House Centre, our partners, industry experts, public administrations, ministries, associations and professional organisations and others to further develop its content.

We will be adding more examples of good practice and concrete approaches to the proper procurement and implementation of buildings with sustainability parameters.  We will continuously update the content of the Sustainability Centre during the events that will take place in this on-line space.

Some outputs of the ClimArchiNet project will be published in this virtual centre during 2022.

396 professionals and stakeholders from the construction sector in the Czech Republic,registered participants of the Conference, expressed support for the Sustainability Declaration,with its total number.

We look forward to meeting you in this CENTRE OF SUSTAINABILITY !

The team of the Passive House Centre of the Czech Republic.

ClimArchiNet: Students designing a Brownfield Transformation in Slovakia

As part of the ClimArchiNet project, we organized a workshop for architecture students, which took place on October 27, 2021 in cooperation with the Faculty of Architecture of Slovak university of technology in Bratislava. The subject we participated in was „Design studio of Urban planning“. The student assignment was to design a transformation of a brownfield area in Žilina, a county town in northern Slovakia.

Part of the brownfield site in Žilina

The brownfield is located North of the city center, it is an area of unused railway tracks, which are in contact with the river Váh, which makes it an attractive location with great potential to connect the city center with the river. This assignment was created in cooperation with the Department of the Chief Architect of the City of Žilina, Rudolf Chodelka. The results of student work will form the basis for the elaboration of the new city zoning plan. The city of Žilina is one of the cities with the worst air quality in our country. From the perspective of application of climate solutions, Žilina is in desperate need for a new vision, because of its worsening problems with traffic and industrial pollution and also the lack of housing and other issues.

Main assignment questions were:

What is the potential of the space that will be released along the track – between the city and the water?

How can you “recycle” areas in a city?

What values ​​are important to you in creating our environment?

How would you like to live in 2050?

Where should the city of the future go?


During the workshop, expert speakers from the Climarchinet project presented experiences to students and were addressed with questions. Martin Stohl had a presentation Carbon-neutral districts and urban planning, presentation of Andrea Borská was on the Example of good practice – Seestadt Aspern in Vienna in Austria and Juraj Zamkovský was presenting a topic of Regional Energy Centers and renewable energy in Slovakia.

A few weeks after the workshop, during the design process, the experts were consulting with students, addressing their questions and concerns about the design. During the semester, students studied environmental concepts and this was evident in the designs.

Students during their final presentation

The final presentation

We had the opportunity to be at the final presentation, which took place on January 12, 2022, to see and comment on the great results of their work. The chief architect of the city of Žilina also participated, and together with lecturers we saw what a great difference it makes, when students are led to think about the climate solutions from the early stage of design. Their designs were proposing pedestrian zones, energy efficiency, green areas and roofs, renewable energy, sustainability, inclusion, community gardens, refurbishment of old buildings to housing or cultural functions etc. It is excellent that it was possible to create such a connection of practice, academy and experts from NGOs and business. We hope that these visions of sustainable urban development will be incorporated as a zoning plan and that we will eventually see these ideas as real projects. These students are the architects of the future, therefore we should listen to their concerns and understand their different views, their approach and values.

Student work: Drozd & Bertová

Students had an additional opportunity to participate in finding visions and concrete solutions. Their task was to write a short essay with illustrations on the topic “City vision 2050 – the role of architecture”. We evaluated their essays together with ClimArchiNet experts. As a reward, the authors of the three most inspirational essays will take part in an excursion of sustainable architecture in Austria. Together we will visit buildings exceptional not only in their architecture but also in technical solutions and innovation.

We would like to thank prof. Ľubica Vitková and doc. Katarína Smatanová for great cooperation on this student adventure.

Three4Climate: Cities from Portugal and Germany explore climate action projects in Slovenia

First stop: Maribor

The study tour started in Maribor, a charming city with rich historical and cultural heritage surrounded by the Pohorje Massif and picturesque vineyards, with a video welcome speech and an overview of local climate action by the mayor Aleksander Saša Arsenovič. Through various measures to strengthen sustainable mobility and green infrastructure, as well as by setting ambitious targets in this regard, Maribor is striving to maintain a high-quality living environment.

In the further course, the city’s projects related to nature conservation, improvement of biodiversity and the spread of green areas, parks and corridors were examined in more detail.

The city park Three Ponds and the small island in the Drava River, carefully maintained by the municipality and home to many birds and plant species, are great examples of the protection of nature and biodiversity. On the Drava promenade, the swans have even become its symbol. Every year the municipality erects a fence around the swan nests and passers-by can witness the rearing and growing of the young swans.

Great attention is also paid to the tree rows and flower beds in the city. Public green spaces destroyed by improper parking are being renewed, and projects to create “urban forests” in industrial areas and conurbations are planned.

Next, the programs in Maribor aimed at reducing car traffic and promoting cycling, walking and the use of public transport were presented. These include closing large areas to car traffic, building new bike lanes, establishing a bike parking facility (Kolesodvor) in front of the main train station, providing free parking for alternative fuel cars, establishing an electric car sharing system, improving public transport, etc.

Second stop: Kranj

The tour continued in Kranj, the third largest municipality in Slovenia, located on a rock below Šmarjetna gora at the confluence of the Kokra and Sava rivers. The mayor Matjaž Rakovec welcomed the participants in a video message and introduced the town and its climate action activities.

Kranj’s sustainable mobility strivings and projects were presented, especially in the field of e-mobility. One of them is KRsKOLESOM – the largest electrified bike rental system in Slovenia with 75 electric bikes. KRsKOLESOM goes beyond the city limits and other municipalities in the Gorenjska region in a joint Gorenjska.bike system. Other projects include the Prostofer Project – a volunteer service of active drivers providing free rides to elderly people who need transportation and Kranvaj – a free e-minibus service running through the Old Town.

The participants were then able to learn about Kranj’s various greening, infrastructure and digitalization projects, all of which are part of the city’s efforts to achieve a sustainable transformation.

Among the examples of projects presented was the greening of the roof of the Stane Žagar elementary school, with positive environmental impacts (water retention, cooling of the building on hot summer days and heat conservation in winter), as well as educational and social ones, as it is used by students and school staff as a classroom and outdoor terrace. Other efforts include a commitment by the municipality to plant 1000 new trees over the next 4 years.

Among the infrastructure projects and future plans are the creation of shorter connections between different parts of the city by public transport and the connection of the urban area with the surrounding natural environment through a pedestrian bridge and a new bicycle path. Digitalization efforts also include the Smart Settlement Mlaka pilot project, which will make it possible to gather all the settlement’s energy and water data in one place and make it available to the city administration, as Tomaž Lanišek, from the Unit for Development, Smart Community and Projects explained in his presentation.

The closing topics of the tour were regional approaches to climate change mitigation and adaptation as well as plans to increase energy efficiency in public buildings in Maribor and Kranj. Both cities shared their experiences and touched upon aspects such as the potential for using wastewater for heating purposes, the development of a sustainable energy plan for the region, and the involvement of stakeholders in and financing of public building renovation projects.

With the virtual study tour to Slovenia, the Three4Climate municipalities completed showcasing their local climate action activities within the project. Having virtually visited each other, the community representatives and the relevant departments in the three countries were able to build connections which will enable further exchange of tested measures and ideas in the future.

Online Conference: Blue and Green Infrastructure for Urban Climate Change Mitigation

Online conference: Blue and green infrastructure for urban climate change mitigation

The event was addressed to city officials, local government employees, planners, designers and landscape architects actually involved in the management of greenery, rainwater management and development of blue-green-infrastructure in cities.

The online conference, broadcasted live from the studio was watched by 252 people. Participants had the opportunity to ask questions in a chat. The interactive online workshops brought together 42 participants and were conducted in three small groups using the Zoom platform and the Mural interactive online whiteboard.

Climate NBS Poland Online conference: Blue and green infrastructure for urban climate change mitigation © Ewa Iwaszuk

Online conference: plenary session

The first panel started with a presentation “Good Practices from Germany as an inspiration for Polish local-governments: presentation of innovative nature-based solutions from Berlin”, conducted by Ewa Iwaszuk from Ecologic Institute. It served as a starting point for a discussion with study visit participants: Jacek Kisiel (City of Warsaw) and Bożena Zając (City of Mysłowice), moderated by Tomasz Bergier from the Sendzimir Foundation. The panelists shared their observations from the visit and perspectives for the introduction of similar solutions in Polish cities.

Panel discussion: perspectives on introduction of innovative nature-based solutions and implementation of best practice examples from abroad in Polish context © Ewa Iwaszuk

The next item on the agenda was a discussion on the experiences of transferring solutions from abroad to Poland, using the example of the Biotope Area Factor (BAF) from Berlin, conducted by Ilona Gosk with urban planner Agnieszka Kowalewska. During the discussion, the provisions of Polish law, which limit the introduction of similar solutions in local land use plans, were discussed.

Discussion on the experiences of transferring solutions from abroad to Poland, using the example of the Biotope Area Factor (BAF) from Berlin ©Fundacja Sendzimira © Ewa Iwaszuk

The last panel presented the results of technical trainings, during which planners and designers developed concepts of specific blue and green infrastructure investments for the cities hosting the trainings. The panel opened with presentations of sample studies from Warsaw, Krakow and Gdynia. Tomasz Bergier, who led this part of the conference, discussed with the guests sitting in the panel: Łukasz Pawlik (Krakow) and Jacek Wiśnicki (Warsaw), who discussed the prospects of implementing the developed concepts. Other investments in nature-based solutions undertaken by cities were also discussed.

At the end of the conference, Ilona Gosk reminded the participants that we all face the challenge of implementing the European Green Deal. She expressed the hope that the presented inspirations will allow the conference participants to take better actions to adapt cities to climate change, achieve climate neutrality, and that the presented cooperation mechanisms will allow the effective use of external funds.

The recording of the online conference is available on YouTube (in Polish).

Interactive workshops

Thursday’s workshop was an extension of the discussions started during the conference. Small groups and use of cutting edge software allowed for interactive discussion and exchange of experience.

The workshop entitled “Cooperation of designers and officials in the implementation of green and blue infrastructure solutions” was conducted by Agnieszka Czachowska and Karolina Maliszewska from the Sendzimir Foundation. During the workshop, the readiness of cities for the implementation of nature-based solutions was discussed and the main difficulties encountered by municipal staff in the process of commissioning, supervising and using blue-green infrastructure facilities were identified. The participants searched for solutions to help implement pilot projects in line with the expectations of cities and designers.

The participants of the second workshop, conducted by Ewa Iwaszuk from the Ecologic Institute and Tomasz Bergier from the Sendzimir Foundation, entitled “How to implement comprehensive and multifunctional blue and green infrastructure systems in Polish cities”, wished there was more time to discuss all the issues raised in the workshop. The participants reported the need for further work on recommendations on how to adapt foreign solutions to Polish realities.

The last workshop entitled “Adaptation of local law solutions from abroad to promote the development of nature-based solutions to Polish conditions” was conducted by Ilona Gosk from the Sendzimir Foundation and urban planner – Agnieszka Kowalewska. During the workshop, participants discussed the conditions that must be met in order to successfully adapt solutions from abroad to the reality of Polish cities. A map of Polish good practices, submitted by the training participants, was also created.

Map of best practices in Polish cities, created during the interactive workshop: “Adaptation of local law solutions from abroad to promote the development of nature-based solutions to Polish conditions” ©Fundacja Sendzimira

Conference materials

The conference was held in Polish. Recordings from individual panels and presentations of the speakers are available on this website.

Addressing Climate Change in Cities: Berlin study tour for Polish nature-based solutions and local government experts

Berlin: a frontrunner in urban nature-based solutions

Nature-based solutions (NBS) can be implemented in urban settings to deliver a suite of services to address climate change, such as reduced demand for heating and cooling, stormwater management, microclimate regulation but also support human health and recreation. Thanks to their multi-functionality and sustainability NBS are increasingly applied as measures to address climate change in cities – in Berlin, a number of innovative NBS projects have been implemented in Berlin already since the 1990s to address such challenges.

Constructed urban wetland in the Kreuzberg district of Berlin forms part of rain-, grey- and blackwater management system, combined with urban farming at pilot site RoofWaterFarm © Ewa Iwaszuk

“I was very impressed by the fact that twenty years ago, when the climate crisis was not yet a widely discussed issue, such solutions were already being proposed in Berlin” said Monika Pec-Święcicka, Deputy Director of the Wrocław Municipal Green Spaces Management Authority. “The reasons were different, and they were the same as those which made our parents save water and collect paper, bottles and metal”.

Visiting the most innovative NBS sites in Berlin

During the two-day tour, the Polish experts visited the complex application of the sustainable urban drainage system (SUDS) at Potsdamer Platz, the Roof Water Farm and Block 6, a test-site for innovative urban grey and black water management combined with urban farming, ufaFabrik a cultural centre and home to Berlin’s oldest green roofs and a solar-powered “sustainable oasis of culture”. On the second day, the Polish experts learned about thermal management and on-site water management concept at the building of the Department of Physics of Humboldt University. Finally, the participants visited Rummelsburg Bucht, an eco-district with a complex rainwater management system and an exemplary model of the “Sponge City” concept.

Mr Werner Wiartalla of ufaFabrik explained the synergies between green roofs and solar panels: the lower temperature on green roofs, compared to traditional roofs, prevent overheating and allow for more optimal energy production in the hot summer months. Solar panels, on the other hand, provide shade which helps with maintenance of vegetation on an extensive green roof.© Ewa Iwaszuk

“The trip to Berlin was extremely inspiring”, said Aleksandra Zienkiewicz, Public Relations Coordinator of the Wrocław Municipal Green Spaces Management Authority”. What impressed me the most were the really very technical projects, such as the water treatment on and in the buildings at Potsdamer Platz, where the treated water fed an artificial lake that could cool down the area in a hot summer. On the other hand, however, the simplest solutions, connected with appropriate shaping of road surfaces, adapting roadside infrastructure to accept rainwater, or directing rainwater through from a paved up square to green areas, which are an integral part of that square, seem to be the easiest to implement quickly in Wrocław. What I hope will happen and become a standard solution”.

“I think that the selection of site visits was very appropriate It has fully shown that nature-based solutions require broader and interdisciplinary thinking, but ultimately lead to savings and an increase in quality of life” added Monika Pec-Święcicka. “I was most impressed by ufaFabrik’s actions, especially the solar panels that rotate in relation to the sun, and do not require manual operation, but rather use the laws of physics”.

Exchange between Polish and German NBS experts

The Polish participants had also an opportunity to exchange with Berlin-based sustainable urban development experts: Brigitte Reichmann from the Senate Department for Urban Development and Housing, Dr. Darla Nickel, Head of the Berliner Regenwasseragentur and Dr. Carlo Becker founder of bgmr Landschaftsarchitekten. The expert discussion addressed issues such as the involvement of private investors in the planning and implementation of NBS, application of ecological building criteria or the Berlin regulations for rainwater infiltration and implementation of decentralized approaches.

Mr Marco Schmidt from the Technical University of Berlin explained the details of the natural energy- and water-saving solutions implemented at Potsdamer Platz in Berlin © Ewa Iwaszuk

“My dream for the city of Wrocław is that, in new developments, all rainwater would have to be managed on site and that buildings would drain grey and black water separately, giving great opportunities for further use of such wastewater – which we could already see in Berlin – for the benefit of people and the environment” commented Aleksandra Zienkiewicz.

The study tour was part of the “Climate NBS Poland” EUKI project. The project aims to increase the understanding, acceptance and uptake of multifunctional NBS as a cost-effective urban climate mitigation and climate protection measure. By initiating and fostering cooperation and exchange between Polish and German planning, engineering and policy experts, the project seeks to build capacity, knowledge and skills among city officials, municipal staff and landscape planners to enable the conceptual and technical design and implementation of NBS.

Aleksandra Zienkiewicz and Monika Pec-Święcicka from the Wrocław Municipal Green Spaces Management Authority agreed the study visit served as an inspiration for innovative solutions that could be implemented in Wrocław © Ewa Iwaszuk

© Ewa Iwaszuk

© Ewa Iwaszuk

© Ewa Iwaszuk

© Ewa Iwaszuk

© Ewa Iwaszuk

© Ewa Iwaszuk

Addressing climate change in cities: order your free copy of the publications

“Addressing Climate Change in Cities” publication series

On behalf of the Ecologic Institute and Sendzimir Foundation, we are pleased to announce the launch of the “Addressing Climate Change in Cities” publication series which are freely available for download or in hard copy.

The two publications – the Catalogue of urban nature-based solutions and Policy instruments to promote urban nature-based solutions – were produced within the “Climate NBS Poland” EUKI project. The project aims to increase the understanding, acceptance and uptake of multifunctional NBS as a cost-effective urban climate mitigation and climate protection measure. By initiating and fostering cooperation and exchange between Polish and German planning, engineering and policy experts, the project has successfully managed to build capacity, knowledge and skills among city officials, municipal staff and landscape planners to enable the conceptual and technical design and implementation of NBS.

Urban nature-based solutions, such as green roofs and facades can deliver energy savings through cooling and thermal regulation, contributing to efforts to mitigate climate change in cities. Photo: Ewa Iwaszuk

The books aim to support planners, designers, landscape architects as well as policymakers, city officials and engaged citizens. Together, they offer a comprehensive introduction to the world of urban nature-based solutions (NBS).

  • Illustrated with real-life application examples and detailed technical drawings, the Catalogue of urban nature-based solutions introduces multifunctional NBS that can be implemented in cities for climate mitigation and to address diverse urban challenges. The publication includes ten case studies, showing how individual NBS can be combined to address multiple urban challenges in parallel.
  • Policy instruments to promote urban nature-based solutions highlights a range of policy and supporting instruments, such as regulations, strategies and financial incentives relevant for NBS design, implementation and maintenance. Case studies from Germany and Europe illustrate how different cities approach NBS and integrate these solutions into their policy frameworks.

You can now order a free printed copy

We invite you to download a digital copy or order a free hard copy of these publications using our order form. Please note that we can only guarantee a limited amount of free deliveries inside the EU on a first come, first serve basis.