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55 Signatories
SINCE 2. Sep. 16
55 Signatories
SINCE 2. Sep. 16

The associations and campaign groups who have signed the Open Letter represent over 200,000 members and supporters.

Open Letter

to the Mayor of the City of Cologne

Dear Ms Reker,

Compared with other German cities, Cologne has a fairly small percentage of green space, according to an evaulation of satellite images carried out by the newspaper “Berliner Morgenpost”. Our city only ranked 65th among the 79 German cities surveyed. This finding, which came as a great surprise to many, has focused our attention on the significance of Cologne’s two green belts and the connecting radial axes.

This green infrastructure is clearly a visionary system in terms of urban air circulation, providing environment-friendly air conditioning and offering quick access to a green space for all residents. It recently inspired a green belt system in Mongolia for the new Maidar Eco-City built by Cologne architect Stefan Schmitz as a home to over a million people. The city administration of Chengdu in Central China has responded to dramatic air pollution by creating two green belts with radial axes.

Cologne also has problems with polluted air. Nitrogen dioxide thresholds are repeatedly exceeded in many parts of town, prompting the non-government organisation Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) to sue several German cities including Cologne’s Regierungspräsidium. Protecting Cologne’s urban greenery should, therefore, be a major priority. The study “Klimawandelgerechte Metropole Köln” published by the federal state of North-Rhine-Westphalia in 2013 points out that Cologne’s unique green infrastructure, designed in the 1920s, performs important functions for our urban climate and ecology, and it concludes that preserving and expanding it must be the supreme objective of urban planning. Buildings Officer Franz-Josef Höing has proposed talks about “enhancing the already spectacular green network” in Cologne. Quite rightly, therefore, the manifestos of all major parties extol the uniqueness of Cologne’s green belts and affirm that they must not be used for development. In 2013, Cologne City Council adopted its “Green Belt Charter”, protecting the Inner and Outer Belt and the connecting radial axes.

We, the signatories to this letter, cannot understand, on this basis, how more than 350,000 square metres of this green infrastructure in different parts of the city can be under threat from soil sealing, construction and privatisation. For example, land protected under monument and landscape byelaws in the Northern Inner Green Belt, along the race track, but also smaller parks and green spaces with a climate function, are currently being examined with a view to residential development (current status of the Urban Development Strategy/StEK Wohnen: here). In Ehrenfeld, also in the Inner Green Belt, avenues listed as monuments from the founding years of the Green Belt are to make way for high-rises and car parks. Moreover, numerous construction projects along the Outer Green Belt are jeopardising the ecological function of the regional green belt and introduce sealed barriers within Cologne’s green system.

We urgently appeal to you, Ms Reker: stand up for the preservation of the historical, climate-relevant green spaces in Cologne.

The Urban Development Committee meets to prepare Council decisions about many of these green spaces. Equip yourself in advance to protect the land on the agenda. For the future, we ask you: provide clear planning material for residents, politicians and administrators showing all the green spaces that are historically significant, important to the functioning of the climate, and under protection.

Make Cologne’s green system, and Adenauer’s legacy, the city’s unassailable cultural heritage.



Yours sincerely,

the signatories

Signatories

55 Signatories
ICOMOS-IFLA International Scientific Committee on Cultural Landscapes (ISCCL)
Jochen Martz, Vice-President
Deutsche Umwelthilfe e.V.
Sascha Müller-Kreanner, national secretary
German Society for Gardening and Landscaping, Working Group Historical Gardens,
Inken Formann, 2nd chair
NABU NRW
Prof. Dr. Anna von Mikecz, spokesperson for ecotoxicology
BUND NRW e.V.
Holger Sticht, regional chair
Society for the Promotion of Garden Culture, branch NRW
Dorothée Waechter, spokesperson
Initiative Gärten des Grauens, Berlin
Ulf Soltau
Civic campaign group GRÜNE LUNGE KÖLN
Barbara Burg, spokesperson
Extinction Rebellion
Cologne
#ratherseefrei
Cologne, Plenum of the initiative
#GießtKölle
Ingo Burbach, Initiator of #GießtKölle
Parents for Future
Plenum Cologne
Ende Gelände
Cologne
#KoelleForFuture
Plenum of the initiative
Rheinischer Verein für Denkmalpflege und Landschaftsschutz e.V.,
Regional Association Cologne

Prof. Dr. Barbara Schock-Werner, chair
Fortis Colonia e.V.
Konrad Adenauer, chair
The Encke family, descendants of Chief Garden Architect Fritz Encke
Nadja Encke, Dr. Dag Encke, Kirsten Encke, Björn Encke, Karin-Bettina Encke, Walther Lehnert, Sophie Lehnert
Deutscher Werkbund (North-West)
Ute Becker
NABU Cologne
Jakob Risch, spokesperson politics and administration
BUND NRW e.V., Cologne
Gabriele Falk, member of the Board
Radkomm e.V. Forum Cologne Cycling
Harald Schuster, member of the Board
ADFC Köln e.V., German Cyclist´s Association
Joachim Schalke, 1st chair
District Association Kölner Gartenfreunde e.V.
Armin Wirth, chair
Initiative Stadtoasen Cologne
Dr. Henriette Meynen
Friends of Landschaftspark Belvedere
in the Outer Green Belt

Roland Schüler
Förderverein Freiluga e.V.
Angelika Burauen
CARLsGARTEN
Melanie Kretschmann, leader
VHS-Working Group Biogarten Thurner Hof
Birgit Scherer-Bouharroun
De Jecke Rebelle
jrün – bunk – vun aller höchste Zick e.V, Cologne
“Das gute Leben im Veedel” with the magazine VEEDELFUNKER
Dunja Karabaic
Civic campaign group GRÜNE LUNGE RENNBAHN e.V.
Regina Bechberger, 1st chair
Civic campaign group GRÜNGÜRTEL FÜR ALLE
Friedmund Skorzenski, chair
Civic campaign group JOHANNES-GIESBERTS-PARK
Michael Brückner, spokesperson for the civic campaign group
Citizen's interest group Junkersdorf e.V.
Astrid Franzen, 1st spokesperson
Civic campaign group MEHR GRÜN IN KALK
Plenary of the initiative
Pflanzstelle Kalk
Plenary of the community garden
Naturfreunde Kalk
Regional group Kalk
Citizen's interest group WEIDEN e.V.
Elisabeth M. Spiegel, chair
Civic campaign group INNERGRÜN EHRENFELD
Rainer Kiel, spokesperson
Civic campaign group STOPPT den GÜRTEL
Dr. Peter Redlich, spokesperson
Civic association Köln-Müngersdorf e.V.
Hildegard Jahn-Schnelle
Civic campaign group Colonia ELF
Andreas Wulf, spokesperson
IG Künstler für Bickendorf
Sonja Zens, secretary
IMMUN – Initiative Müngersdorf Mensch-Umwelt-Natur
Dorothea M. Schwab, spokesperson
Kölner Neuland e.V.
Dorothea Hohengarten, chair
Querbeet e.V. – Kölner Ehrenamts-Preis 2016
Yana Yo, organizer
BÜRGER für BÄUME
Harald von der Stein, founder and spokesperson
Civic campaign group Bäume in BiOs
Michael Schmitz, spokesperson
BiK - Tree Protection Cologne
Judith Langer
RhEWe Tree Protection Rheinufer Ensen Westhoven
Martina Boxberg, initiator
NABIS e.V.
Ottmar Lattorf, 1st chair
DIE GRÜNE STADT, Düsseldorf
Peter Menke, chair of the foundation
Förderkreis Rechtsrheinisches Köln e.V.
Bernhard Lob, 1st chair
Bruno Odenthal
Civic campaign group Innerer Grüngürtel am Eifelwall (BIGE)
Erhard Puhl, spokesperson

Statements

Statements by signatories

Cologne’s Green System, with its exemplary conception, laid important foundations for preserving and developing Cologne into the future as an attractive city worth living in. It contributes decisively to providing Cologne, with over a million...
Cologne’s green system, with its exemplary conception, laid important foundations for preserving and developing Cologne into the future as an attractive city worth living in. It contributes decisively to providing Cologne, with over a million inhabitants, with fresh air.

That Cologne has a problem with air pollution must have filtered through to local politicians too since we took the city’s administration to court for exceeding the nitrogen dioxide limits. Besides, the two green belts with their radial axes play an important role in regulating the urban climate. They create an important network of habitats for many domestic animals and plants, and last but not least they also provide numerous places where children, teenagers and adults find a chance near home to experience nature, spend their leisure and enjoy some recreation.

While other cities have long since recognised the importance of location factors like this, Cologne is currently sacrificing its unique basis for sustainable urban developemnt to short-sighted political interests. We believe this is irresponsible, not only in the light of climate change, and so we naturally support the demand to preserve Cologne’s green system in its current form and to extend it.
more...
Sascha Müller-Kraenner,
National Secretary Deutsche Umwelthilfe e.V.
At present, because of their size and their exemplary arrangement as an urban green system, Cologne’s Green Belts and the connecting radial axes act as a green lung with supraregional significance...
At present, because of their size and their exemplary arrangement as an urban green system, Cologne’s Green Belts and the connecting radial axes act as a green lung with supraregional significance . The green system constitutes a network of nature conservation areas and numerous protected landscapes that are characterised by alternating woodland, tree-lined avenues, gardens, open meadowland and ponds.

This urban greenery performs essential ecosystem functions in the Cologne conurbation such as soil formation, immission control, and regulation of the urban climate. Green corridors work for the citizens as ecological air conditioning.

This air conditioning system needs to be strengthened to cope with climate change and to provide protection from emissions like particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxides (NOx). This includes the extension of the green belts, of the connecting radial axes and of the web they form to create a green system of supra-regional significance.

NABU opposes the creeping fragmentation of this green system by soil sealing, removal of existing green infrastructure and installation of illuminated barriers.
more...
Prof. Dr. Anna von Mikecz,
Spokesperson on Ecotoxicology for NABU NRW
How the concerns and protests of millions of people can be ignored on the international stage we just experienced with the minimal consensus results obtained at the world climate conference in Madrid. Thus, it is even more...

How the concerns and protests of millions of people can be ignored on the international stage we just experienced with the minimal consensus results obtained at the world climate conference in Madrid. Thus, it is even more important that politics at the regional level seizes responsibility for the next generations. The Cologne branch of Extinction Rebellion commits itself for the preservation of the historic green system Cologne, since our natural, green CO2 sinks are existentially needed in current and future heat weaves. The network of green infrastructure also serves us as important pollution filter and recreation area in a city that has too much of exhaust fumes and to little urban green. If we are not able to green-keep our small front yard just at our front door, how should we be able to keep our very home – the earth – a place worth living? Climate protection starts with us: In Cologne, in Germany, in Europe – and from there we will win the entire world. ”

more...
Extinction Rebellion
Cologne branch
Cities play a vital role in the fight against man-made climate change. Meanwhile half of the world’s population live in cities and 2/3 of global energy consumption, e.g. 70% of respective emissions, result from urban activities...

Cities play a vital role in the fight against man-made climate change. Meanwhile half of the world’s population live in cities and 2/3 of global energy consumption, e.g. 70% of respective emissions, result from urban activities.

Cities represent a major target of global warming: urban construction gives rise to city heat islands that significantly hamper the life of the citizens. In comparison to other metropolitan areas Cologne is badly positioned.

Cologne simply lacks sufficient green and blue infrastructure. Preservation and extension of green space and water surfaces has to remain the top priority for the climate change-resilient metropolitan area of Cologne.

#KoelleForFuture supports the initiative gruensystem.koeln and calls our political representatives and the city of Cologne to preserve our green system according to the Charta green belt and strengthen it for the future. ”

more...
#KoelleForFuture
Cologne’s Green System is my grandfather’s legacy. If you ask the citizens of Cologne what the most important thing was that my grandfather did for Cologne, the answer is...
Cologne’s Green System is my grandfather’s legacy. If you ask the citizens of Cologne what the most important thing was that my grandfather did for Cologne, the answer is always: “the Green Belt”, and they mean Cologne’s Green System, consisting of the Inner and Outer Green Belt and the connecting green axes. My grandfather took great pleasure in observing how actively the people of Cologne made use of his achievement and how much they loved it. As Cologne has less green space than comparable towns, we must do all we can to preserve, care for and expand my grandfather’s legacy.
more...
Konrad Adenauer
Chair, Fortis Colonia e.V.
We, the association ‚De Jecke Rebelle jrün – bunk – vun aller höchste Zick e.V.‘ aim to win the hearts and brains of the people and create awareness of emergency our world faces within the climate crisis. A crisis that prompted the city council...
AWe, the association ‚De Jecke Rebelle jrün – bunk – vun aller höchste Zick e.V.‘ aim to win the hearts and brains of the people and create awareness of emergency our world faces within the climate crisis. A crisis that prompted the city council of Cologne to officially proclaim climate emergency already. With great concern we observe the global vegetation dieback and burning of entire forests due to increasing droughts, while our cities become temperature hot zones. Such times demand for extension of urban green infrastructure, not its diminishment. Therefore we push for the preservation of Cologne’s green system for us and future generations.

Globally major cities make efforts to recultivate their structures covered with concrete. Likewise in Cologne home owners are asked to apply facade greening and unseal their property.

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De Jecke Rebelle jrün – bunk – vun aller höchste Zick e.V.
Cologne
Both the Inner and Outer Green Belt perform important functions for the city of Cologne: habitats for flora and fauna, connection of biotopes, a wide variety of ecosystem services, local...

Both the Inner and Outer Green Belt perform important functions for the city of Cologne: habitats for flora and fauna, connection of biotopes, a wide variety of ecosystem services, local recreation. The list could doubtless continue.

Green belt development in any form is wrong, if only to protect the people living in Cologne. The city’s planners focus on the availability of housing and commercial space. However, to ensure healthy living, green open spaces are especially important too.

The latest scandals about pollution levels in German cities have demonstrated how important the green spaces are for Cologne. For many residents, they are the only opportunity to escape the toxic emissions for a brief period of the day. That is why absolute priority over all other interests must be given to safeguarding these spaces, so they can be used freely by a growing population as a key element of public health provision.”

more...
Gabriele Falk
BUND, Cologne branch
Ever since North Rhine-Westphalia adopted its own Constitution in 1950, Article 29 has enshrined a duty to promote small gardens. NRW is the only federal state with a constitutional provision of this kind. Consequently, the...
Ever since North Rhine-Westphalia adopted its own Constitution in 1950, Article 29 has enshrined a duty to promote small gardens. NRW is the only federal state with a constitutional provision of this kind. Consequently, the small gardens enjoy a special status that must be considered in any development project. That particularly applies to the historical allotment colonies that sprouted in the 1920s under Konrad Adenauer. They are part of the Public Green Space, which means that not only over 13,000 allotment gardeners and their families benefit from these small gardens, but so too do all residents of the city who are in need of recreation. We must preserve and defend that!
more...
Armin Wirth, chair
Kreisverband Kölner Gartenfreunde e.V.
In July 2019 the city council of Cologne has declared the state of climate emergency. The droughts of 2018 and 2019 weakened and thereby significantly damaged the green system of Cologne. The irreversibility of Cologne’s green system...
In July 2019 the city council of Cologne has declared the state of climate emergency. The droughts of 2018 and 2019 weakened and thereby significantly damaged the green system of Cologne. The irreversibility of Cologne’s green system and its functionality concerning the cooling of the city, as well as the urgent need for its expansion for a climate change-resilient and forward-looking environment is not completely understood by the society as a collective. What we, the citizens of Cologne need – now – are many helping hands under the #GießtKölle in order to fight the worst scenario. From politics we need courage and the determination to do the right thing. And an ounce of patriotism.
more...
Ingo Burbach
Initiator of #GießtKölle
The regional association of the Rhine Association for the Preservation of Monuments and the Protection of Landscapes, which I chair, recognises the need to build as many homes as possible in Cologne. No doubt this will sometimes...
The regional association of the Rhine Association for the Preservation of Monuments and the Protection of Landscapes, which I chair, recognises the need to build as many homes as possible in Cologne. No doubt this will sometimes mean building on a garden or meadow. However, land in protected landscape areas should certainly be exempted; for the Rhine Association, these zones are especially worthy of protection. Similarly, these essential parts of Cologne’s green system, the Inner and Outer Belt and elements of the radial links, which are listed monuments, should under no circumstances be touched. I signed the Open Letter to emphasise that point.
more...
Prof. Dr. Barbara Schock-Werner, chair of the Cologne branch of RVDL
Cologne doesn’t just have the Cathedral and the Romanesque churches, but also the Green Belts that lend structure to the urban layout. These green zones link up through the radial axes, and all of them together make up Cologne’s Green...
Cologne doesn’t just have the Cathedral and the Romanesque churches, but also the Green Belts that lend structure to the urban layout. These green zones link up through the radial axes, and all of them together make up Cologne’s Green System. Like the churches, this green web is known all over the world as a unique hallmark of the city.

Back in the 1970s, I was commissioned by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation to document the Green Belt, which was already under threat then, and so I know from my research how this green web functions and how extremely valuable it is. As the city’s Deputy Conservation Officer for many years, I should not fail to mention the design qualities of these green zones. There are historical, artistic and urban design arguments to support this. Our planning, and the broad reach that was part of the original objective, bear the marks of this unusual green system, which airs the city through to its core. Precisely because of this extensive reach, there is always a risk that parts will be redesignated, not merely impairing and reducing the special flavour of Cologne’s green urban structure, but ultimately obliterating it.

I have signed this letter to urge that the green system be preserved as a whole and that not even subsections are converted to other uses, which would destroy the Cologne Green, the unique gift to the people of Cologne in the 1920s.
more...
Dr. Henriette Meynen, Initiative Stadtoasen Köln
In April over 100 citizens of Cologne attending the founding event of the civic campaign group GRÜNE LUNGE KÖLN felt that the city council had broken a taboo with its declared aim of reviewing small gardens in the Inner Green Belt...
In April over 100 citizens of Cologne attending the founding event of the civic campaign group GRÜNE LUNGE KÖLN felt that the city council had broken a taboo with its declared aim of reviewing small gardens in the Inner Green Belt – which have protected landscape and monument status – as potential sites for housing development. The petition launched to save the Inner Green Belt closed with more than 20,200 signatures. It was very soon clear that GRÜNE LUNGE KÖLN is only one of the campaign groups affected, and the Northern Inner Green Belt is only one of the threatened sections of Cologne’s Green System. There is great concern among experts and residents. The Open Letter to the Mayor of the City of Cologne has now been signed by 44 associations, clubs and civic campain groups, and behind these are over 170,000 members and supporters. The signatories want to promote a strong awareness of the visionary Green System in Cologne and to enforce special protection. To this end, we shall push for an interdisciplinary Green Dialogue in Cologne.
more...
Barbara Burg
Spokesperson for the civic campaign group GRÜNE LUNGE KÖLN
Fritz Encke’s vision was about granting the urban population access to nature within walking distance for their edification, the protection of their health and their instruction, without regard for social status. With spreading...
Fritz Encke’s vision was about granting the urban population access to nature within walking distance for their edification, the protection of their health and their instruction, without regard for social status. With spreading development and urban expansion, the need to preserve the existing green spaces and to create additional unsealed, unbuilt green zones has substantially increased. Children and the elderly in particular rely on finding woods, meadows, gardens and parks within a reachable distance.
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The Encke family, descendants of Chief Garden Architect Fritz Encke
Nadja Encke, Dr. Dag Encke, Kirsten Encke, Björn Encke, Karin-Bettina Encke, Walther Lehnert, Sophie Lehnert
Our civic campaign group ‘Grüngürtel für Alle’, backed by 18,000 people who oppose the application from [football club] 1. FC Köln to build a huge service centre...
Our civic campaign group ‘Grüngürtel für Alle’, backed by 18,000 people who oppose the application from [football club] 1. FC Köln to build a huge service centre and three fenced-off pitches with artificial turf and floodlighting next to the Geissbockheim club house on Green Belt land that is protected by monument and landscape conservation rules, supports the Open Letter because this is the kind of development project that must be prevented in the Green Belt for once and for all.
Adenauer’s Green Belt System is an immeasurably valuable cultural heritage. It is known across the world. It was given to the people of Cologne in the 1920s thanks to an extremely far-sighted policy: as a free-of-charge, open-access recreation amenity for the general public, as a permanent, indispensable green lung for the health of citizens, to ventilate the city. It must be permanently respected and preserved in its totality.

This once-in-a-century achievement must, consequently, not fall to pressure from short-term political challenges, nor be violated and treated as random putty under pressure of private interests. The City of Cologne must pledge to this for the good of all its citizens.
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Friedmund Skorzenski
Chair of the civic campaign group “Grüngürtel für Alle”
In the west of Cologne, the landscaped park Belvedere has expanded the Outer Green Belt by 300 hectares. We cannot allow the green space in Cologne to be destroyed at another point. By drawing on best...
In the west of Cologne, the landscaped park Belvedere has expanded the Outer Green Belt by 300 hectares. We cannot allow the green space in Cologne to be destroyed at another point. By drawing on best practice, land that has already been sealed over can be used for building homes and the necessary infrastructure. The existing protected green spaces, big and small alike, and the green areas that have been planned for years (like Grünzug West) are significant for all residents of Cologne, for our visitors and for the climate.
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Roland Schüler
Friends of Landschaftspark Belvedere in the Outer Green Belt
Initiated by Konrad Adenauer, who was mayor of the city at the time, the blueprint for Cologne’s Green Belt was conceived by Fritz Schumacher, a brilliant urban planner and co-founder of the Werkbund. The basic...
Initiated by Konrad Adenauer, who was mayor of the city at the time, the blueprint for Cologne’s Green Belt was conceived by Fritz Schumacher, a brilliant urban planner and co-founder of the Werkbund. The basic features were designed by the social reformer Fritz Encke, who was Director of Gardens in Cologne. It is to these three great figures that Cologne owes its unique Green System. They were ahead of the times in recognising aspects of the urban climate which remain just as relevant today and in acknowledging the social significance of public green spaces. These values must be upheld for everyone in Cologne.
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Ute Becker
Deutscher Werkbund (North-West)
The ‘Bürgerinteressengemeinschaft Junkersdorf’ is a residents’ association which has been fighting all development in Cologne’s Green Belt and in Grünzug West for over 30 years. The Green Belt, a gift from Konrad Adenauer to the people...
The ‘Bürgerinteressengemeinschaft Junkersdorf’ is a residents’ association which has been fighting all development in Cologne’s Green Belt and in Grünzug West for over 30 years. The Green Belt, a gift from Konrad Adenauer to the people of Cologne, is indispensable and inviolable as our cultural heritage and ‘green lung’! The adjacent Grünzug West was created decades ago to compensate for the massive pollution in the surrounding industrial zones by acting as a fresh air corridor and providing a local recreation space for nearby dense housing. It is clear from the 2nd Climate Change Report published by the Environmental Agency in our federal state that the consequences of climate change are becoming increasingly tangible in North Rhine-Westphalia. Under these circumstances, destroying green spaces is a crime against the future provision of essential public services!
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Astrid Franzen
Bürgerinteressengemeinschaft Junkersdorf e.V.
My doctor, the tree: current scientific research shows that the time we spend in woodland or green spaces aids physical recovery and regeneration, strengthens our immune defences and improves our quality of...
My doctor, the tree: current scientific research shows that the time we spend in woodland or green spaces aids physical recovery and regeneration, strengthens our immune defences and improves our quality of sleep...

The findings of studies worldwide are striking: stress reduction after only a few minutes in the woods or among greenery is reflected in a lower pulse rate, blood pressure and muscle tension, while we secrete less of the stress hormone cortisone, and more of the mood hormones serotonin and dopamine. A Japanese study was recently able to show that the stress hormone cortisone falls 16% more during a walk in a wooded landscape than during a walk through an urban setting.

A study in 1984 showed that patients in hospital rooms with a view of vegetation recover faster than those who look out onto grey concrete.

What dose of this woodland therapy do we need before we start to feel the effects? Five minutes of visual contact with trees can demonstrably lower blood pressure and muscular tension, says the latest research. So those of us who prefer natural prevention are better off spending regular periods in a green environment rather than a lengthy stint, which means that it is better to go to the park around the corner every day than to drive out to the countryside for the weekend.

So we can only hope that the City of Cologne will not destroy all the little parks and green spaces ‘around the corner’ with its housing offensive, and that we residents of Cologne will be able to preserve our health and quality of life in future without great effort.

Facts drawn from the German Medical Gazette
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Regina Bechberger
1st Chair, GRÜNE LUNGE RENNBAHN e.V.
The Green Belt and its offshoots are a lung for our city, recreation spaces, leisure areas for the whole population, sports and playgrounds for all children, safe links for cyclists...
The Green Belt and its offshoots are a lung for our city, recreation spaces, leisure areas for the whole population, sports and playgrounds for all children, safe links for cyclists, and so on and so forth.

One of Fritz Schumacher’s historical green radials runs through the Nippes district. Starting at Fort X in the Agnesviertel, the Inner and Outer Green Belts are connected here by a ribbon of parks like Nordpark and the race course. By developing the Belt as a ring road from Mauenheim to Mülheim, political forces still want to sever this green radial and sacrifice the greenery along the Belt and the entire Nordpark, privileging motorised traffic by applying the recipes of the day before yesterday.

But we should listen to progressive urban designers in European cities. That means preserving the Green Belt, thinking big as we tackle the vital expansion of public transport, calming traffic in the worst affected neighbourhoods (such as Mauenheim, Weidenpesch, Nippes and Ehrenfeld), investing in a safe cycle network and reducing motorised traffic in the inner city to a necessary minimum. An aspiring city like Cologne, which is getting younger and younger, needs nature within its boundaries. Our response to the sins of the past are our visions of a metropolis offering a better quality of life, where uninterrupted sequences of green are not destroyed by flows of cars.
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Günter Isemeyer
Civic campaign group ‘Stoppt den Gürtel’
The idea that Cologne, as a growing city, should not implement this growth by sprawling outwards but by increasing the density within its boundaries is a good one...
The idea that Cologne, as a growing city, should not implement this growth by sprawling outwards but by increasing the density within its boundaries is a good one, and it tallies with the national objective of reducing the amount of land under sealed surfacing. But this must not happen at the expense of green spaces which people can reach on foot, and which also perform a valuable function for animals and plants as areas where nature can be experienced. Open spaces, especially vegetation and water, are necessary in any city as a counterweight to the things cities produce: density, noise, hard surfaces. We very much advocate moderate topping up and the preservation of the green spaces that are distinctive features of Cologne’s urban landscape.
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Peter Menke
Chair of the foundation DIE GRÜNE STADT
The topic ‚green belts of Cologne’ always meant a lot to us. Thus, it seemed self-evident to participate in the initiative ‘Masterplan Grün’ for the optimization of the green belt. From the wholistic urban perspective...
The topic ‚green belts of Cologne’ always meant a lot to us. Thus, it seemed self-evident to participate in the initiative ‘Masterplan Grün’ for the optimization of the green belt. From the wholistic urban perspective it is our duty to keep an eye on the fresh air corridors on the right side of the Rhine! This is in obvious contrast to the planned acceleration of residential building. We therefore appeal for the privileged usage of in-fill development and industrial wasteland. We the people in the right side of the Rhine love the green belt. Since 150 years parts on this side of the Rhine serve as local recreation areas which can be seen amongst other by the terminals of the local trams. Our ‘Gremberger cops’ (Gremberger Wäldchen) is older than 1000 years. We know that we are blessed with our green belt ! Three times it was significantly fragmented: by construction of the interchange Gremberg, the interchange Cologne-East and the headquarters of the AXA-Insurance Corporation within our cultivated land. This is enough!
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Bernhard Lob, 1st Chair und Bruno Odenthal, Advisory Board
Förderkreis Rechtsrheinisches Köln e.V.

Gruensystem.Koeln

Background information

gruensystem.koeln represents a project under the roof of the civic campaign group 'Grüne Lunge Köln' (“Cologne’s Green Lung”). It is sustained by leading experts of interdisciplinary fields such as eco(toxico)logy, public health, monument protection as well as horticulture and specifically by the citizens of Cologne.

“Cologne is a growing city.” That is why the Department of Urban Development is keen to identify new land to build housing. One of the sites up for review was Flora, a colony of small gardens protected by monument and landscape conservation laws, founded in 1922 in the northern section of the Inner Green Belt.

This prompted the creation of GRÜNE LUNGE KÖLN. Since April 2016, they have been fighting to save the garden colony in its historical boundaries. It very soon emerged that the Inner Green Belt is just one of the green spaces in the city with a climate function and a historical value that are now under threat.

Contact

Photo
Todd Klassy / www.shutterstock.com

Coding & Scripting
Leonard Burg for Palladium Publishing, Cologne

Angaben gemäß § 5 TMG:

BI Grüne Lunge Köln

Barbara Burg
Sprecherin der Bürgerinitiative

Blumenthalstraße 19
50670 Köln

Telefon: +49 (0) 221 9541423
Email: info@gruensystem.koeln

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Dipl. Des. Barbara Burg graduated in Design after studying Visual Communication at Dortmund University of Applied Sciences. As an architectural photographer, she focuses on architecture as well as on the urban environment and city development. (www.palladium.de) In addition, she acts as a top level creative consultant to companies and corporations. She approaches this work holistically in dialogue with her clients. She and her students completely redesigned the interdisciplinary seminar called “Structural Change”, for this they received the Epson Art Class Award – the highest distinction in the context of teaching photography.
Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Anna von Mikecz is a biologist who has taught and done research in environmental medicine for 20 years at the Heinrich-Heine University in Düsseldorf, focusing among other things on the effect of pollutants (mercury, nanoparticles, particulate matter). Before this, she did research at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California as well as at the University of Konstanz and the University of Freiburg.

She is the author of 55 publications in international scientific journals.
Prof. (cumt.) Dipl.-Ing. Stefan Schmitz has been the owner and managing director of the Cologne architecture firm "stefan schmitz bda, architect and city planer” since 1990. He is a founding member of the planning group “Rheinschiene” (2003) which later became the firm RSAA where he is now partner. In this capacity, he has designed and supervised numerous large-scale projects in China and Mongolia.
In 2009, after his voluntary activities in Cologne as Chair of the Design Committee and Chair of the Association of German Architects BDA, he became speaker for the Initiative “EcoCity+” for sustainable urban development in China. In 2010 he was appointed Guest Professor in Xuzhou, China. At present, his largest project is the planning of Maidar Eco City, the new capital of Mongolia, which was awarded the Platinum Certificate by the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB). Stefan Schmitz is a frequent speaker at international conferences and at universities on the topic of ecological urban development.
Dr. Martin Turck Studied art history, history of architecture and economy at the universities of Aix-la-Chapelle and Leiden (The Netherlands). He worked as an academic referent in the saxonian federal Conservation Department, Cologne City Conservation Department and in the office for european affaires of the City of Cologne. Curator for modern art at RWTH Aachen and for media arts in Museum Ludwig Cologne. Editor and numerous publications on modern and contemporary art, architecture and land art.
Dipl. Ing. Jutta Curtius is a professional gardener and landscape architect. Her research focuses on sites of historical garden and landscape culture. She is a publicly appointed and sworn expert in the areas of gardening and landscaping, their execution and maintenance and the additional area of historic garden conservation. She is the author of numerous expert opinions and articles in this area. In her voluntary position as the head of the monitoring group in the DGGL, The German Society for Gardening and Landscaping, she is an advocate for the preservation, protection and restoration of historical sites of garden and landscape culture.