19. January 2019
A new year has started and quite a lot of us have taken the chance to commit to some kind of personal change, whether it is a healthier lifestyle, spending more time with the family or making changes in your career. While the first few days work out fine, at some point we will face resistance, and far too often, return to old patterns. We might have underestimated the work that change needs, or have wanted too much in too short a time, so we start to play down the need for change and find...

09. December 2018
Ok. Actually, today I‘m talking about Germany. Especially, after a hot summer like the last one and a seemingly endless drought in many parts of the country, it seems clear to me that we all have to do something for climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation. Only then, we can maintain the quality of life and economic power in our cities, towns and regions. Climate change mitigation and adaptation are the foundations of general public services which the state and municipalities...

26. October 2018
One could assume this and I am delighted that, together with the adelphi team, we have reached an important milestone in our project "Successfully connected in Europe – shaping cities and regions together" on behalf of the German ministry responsible for urban development. The borough of Lörrach and Weil am Rhein, the Geopark Vulkaneifel, the cities of Gudensberg and Munich have just been selected as the winners of the competition, which is an important part of this project. Congratulations!...

21. October 2018
Last month, I attended the Congress for National Urban Development Policy in Germany where urban densification was one of the topics. Many cities - in Germany and elsewhere - have become more attractive again, not only as a place for businesses but also to live in. They are experiencing high migration rates and intensive construction activity. The topic of densification is more relevant than ever. In terms of sustainability, this is much appreciated - with multi-storey apartment buildings, we...

19. August 2018
Most of us probably appreciate green roofs as a clever adaptation action that has not just many additional benefits but can be simply nice. We know inspiring examples from Basel, Malmö, Copenhagen, Rotterdam, Frankfurt and many other cities. So I was wondering, when I flew in to Valencia at the beginning of summer and saw all the empty flat roof tops: What a wasted potential! The next morning I walked from my hotel to the meeting venue and enjoyed the fresh air of the huge park of the City of...

05. August 2018
Usually, we wish us a nice summer here, but for weeks it is just hot and hotter here in the Frankfurt am Main area and else in Germany. Day temperatures around 35 degree became the new normal these weeks. Ok, some southern countries have even more. So, we probably should not complain so much? The main difference to southern European cities is that we are not prepares and can hardly get any relief. Apartments are heated up and night temperatures are too high to cool them down. Private air...

13. June 2018
Recently, I have met a colleague that told me, that even the participation in workshops and trainings for climate adaptation can be too much for many smaller municipalities. Is it really that effort? Or is it missing clarity on the extent to which the own municipality is affected at all? Where should you start to sort the tangle of information, impacts, options and necessities to act to obtain at least a rough overview?

13. June 2018
It strikes me always to see how little awareness and practical knowledge is with people, house owners, enterprises or operators. With the nice summer weather in the centre and northern part of Europe over the last weeks, I had quite some reminders where we stand in everyday reality: ...

26. April 2018
Some years ago, the German government introduced a funding scheme for municipalities enabling them to employ a climate change mitigation manager. The scheme became increasingly popular. However, there had not been a similar funding programme for climate change adaptation managers yet. Nevertheless, one can observe that an increasing number of municipalities report that they are actively implementing adaptation measures as well. Sounds good. Are we on the safe side?

11. February 2018
Back in 2009, I was among the first members of the evaluation team of the European Green Capital Award (EGCA), when it was initiated by the European Commission. While I was happy to see the attention of the European Commission for the urban environment, at a time, when this issue was hardly handled at the European level, I also had some doubts: Does it make sense to add another award? There are many city rankings going on and you hear all over the place: “the best city is …”, “the most...

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