Conservation of Green Space
23% of the district of Stuttgart is covered by forests managed according to the concept of multifunctional forestry, with the additional focuses of leisure use and climate protection. This percentage has remained virtually constant for many years now. Large sections of the forest are landscape protection areas preserved under the so-called Flora-Fauna-Habitat (FFH) Directive of the European Union.
Public parks and green spaces cover approximately 4% (around 1,100 ha) of the total surface area of Stuttgart and are protected and developed in accordance with urban land use planning regulations. The continuous extension
and linking of these parks and green spaces over the past 25 years has led to an increase in green space by two thirds (319 ha) since 1980.
The areas of landscape and nature conservation as well as those protected under the FFH Directive together cover some 39% of the city's total surface area (36% in 1997). The ultimate aim of conservation is often also the securing of climate-active areas. The replanting of trees (for example on meadows previously planted with fruit trees), laying of a network of hedges as well as targeted extensification all support climate protection within the conservation areas.
Picture credit: City of Stuttgart. Jürgen Baumüller
City-Internal Contracting as a Financing Tool for Energy Efficiency
City-internal contracting was set up in 1995 under the direction of the Stuttgart environmental agency with the specific aims of establishing prefinancing for measures to conserve energy and water more rapidly, as well as implementing the measures themselves. The costs saved through these measures flow back to the environmental agency from the energy cost budgets of the individual departments and city-owned enterprises until the investments have been paid off. After this, the funds then become available again.
Since the concept's launch, 221 measures have been implemented and 8.1 million Euros invested. Both small (improvements to control technology) and large-scale (building of wood pellet heating systems) projects have been implemented. These haven't only led to reductions in energy usage and in the related costs, but have also helped protect the climate. The average period of return on invested capital is 7 years. Annual savings meanwhile amount to over 1.2 million Euros, which represents some 32,000 m3 of water, 15,000 MWh of heat energy and 2,000 MWh of electricity. In addition to an increase in energy efficiency, city-internal contracting has also allowed the construction of systems for the use of renewable energy sources (27% of investments).
Biomass in the heart of the city
Stuttgart uses wood that is a by-product of landscape conservation in the city to heat public buildings.
Heating with biomass - an idea that is a matter of course in many rural communities is still something of a rarity in densely-populated areas like the state capital of Baden-Württemberg. But renewable energy sources are right at the top of a list of priorities at the centre of Stuttgart's climate protection programme. That is why the city took a decision to start using the 18,000 cubic metres of wood and tree cuttings that are collected each year by the city's gardeners. The city previously disposed of nearly two thirds of the biological waste, at a large cost to the council. It therefore selected three buildings from the city's 1,400 public buildings to have wood-chip heating facilities installed. The buildings chosen for the biomass heaters - a school, an indoor swimming pool and the city gardens - have enough room to store the wood and accept deliveries. A clever logistical plan ensures that the facilities receive enough fuel. Two of the facilities are already in operation and the third has been approved. The third furnace will see the proportion of the city's public buildings heated by energy won from renewable sources increase to more than two per cent.