Dusseldorf A car park in Flingern is being converted into green space for a model project. This should help the district against heatwaves and droughts. Politicians already have other ideas for places. You can see the example in France.
The Federal Government has approved the funding request for the “City: Woods – Woods: City” project – now planning can begin. By the end of 2023, a car park on Albertstraße in Flingern-Süd will be converted into a new style of green space. This is part of the district’s development from industrial to residential area – and a model project for the city’s adaptation to climate change.
Düsseldorf is thus resuming an international trend towards eco-friendly cities. The declared model can be seen in France – and has already been shown to members of the environmental committee on an excursion. In the Parisian suburb of Aubervilliers, the Fieldwork architecture firm has developed an exemplary solution to make a previously sealed area greener while still meeting the needs of city life.
The area of 1850 square meters in Flingern belongs to the city and has been separated from the neighboring garden association due to the construction of the subway. It is currently leased to a car dealership. The conversion plan will be presented to politicians in August. The total costs are estimated at one million euros, but the city pays only 100,000 euros for the subsidy.
The imagination of local politicians is already on. The CDU in district 2 – where Albertstraße is also located – could envision a similar use for the property at Dorotheenstraße 90/92, a former industrial area right next to the S-Bahn tracks. And the FDP in the city council proposes a similar project on the left bank of the Rhine. It puts into play an area between Brussels Street and Paris Street in Heerdt, behind the tennis courts near the bunker house. In fact, other locations will follow. But first the city wants to plan the model project.
The project is expected to benefit the Flingern-Süd district in several respects. On the one hand, it supports continued development in a residential area. The Flincarré residential project with 184 residential units was built in the direction of Kruppstrasse. The green area at the back would greatly improve the quality of life.
In addition, the designers are hoping for great benefits for the microclimate. The green area is intended to provide cooling during hot spells, which have hit residents in such densely populated and closed neighborhoods particularly hard. Furthermore, new models of retention, or storage, of rainwater will be tested.
The French model shows what the new Flingern area could look like. A car park has also been converted in Aubervilliers, a small town with little green space. The result looks more like a park, despite the name “Tierce forêt” (third forest). The choice of substrate shows the questions that the designers of such a project are asking. The architects opted for water-permeable concrete, a material that didn’t initially look green. In the background were the needs of the place. “It is one of the few materials that lets water through, is readily available and has the stability needed for the fire escape route across the square,” says Andrej Bernik, founder of the Paris-based office.
Scientists from the University of Paris and Météo-France have studied the consequences for the microclimate, with significant results. The perceived temperature according to the widespread UTCI standard has dropped an average of 2.5 degrees for the shade of the trees, and up to six at the peak.
A German pioneer for these small urban green spaces, also known as pocket parks, is Nuremberg. In recent years, two small parks have already been created on previously sealed areas and a third will follow.
They do not replace the large green stripes, says Elisabeth Most, president of the Nuremberg-Altstadt citizens’ association. “But pocket parks bring a new quality of stay to the district.” They are particularly interesting for people who come to stay there for a short time. Most have tips for the people of Düsseldorf. “The planning process should involve local residents if possible,” she says. There should be a discussion about what people really want and need. “Then even a park like this will be better accepted.”