November 2020 Regular Meeting via Zoom

How does a densely populated metropolis like Frankfurt respond to climate change?


November 11 marked an innovative historic first in the history of the IWC: the regular monthly meeting was held digitally with 44 participants on the Internet via video conferencing. In line with this year's annual club theme, the motto of the lecture was: "The city of Frankfurt is getting fit for climate change! The climate is changing, it is getting warmer, many regions are suffering from drought and heavy rainfall is increasing."

Those who have walked along the banks of the Main during the summer months will agree that a green bank of the river should look differently. Also, the trees in the city forest have suffered enormously. The extreme temperatures are not only damaging the health of residents in cities whose temperatures are warmer than in the surrounding countryside, but also affecting animals such as swifts that live under house roofs. In addition to the air temperature, the radiation temperature of the sealed surfaces (streets, buildings, stone gardens) plays a very critical but negative contributing role in overheating the city.  This situation is a huge challenge for our future. The question is: what can be done?

Unsealing, shading and water management are concrete constructive measures presented to us by Mrs. Mohr as examples of the greening of roofs, facades and courtyards. 

These are also measures where the climate team of the Federal Environmental Agency in Frankfurt can advise, develop concepts and make planning specifications. For example, the plants must meet certain criteria: they must tolerate heat and be able to cope with the limited ground surface. Green roof gardens, flat and sloping roofs are not only attractive for humans, but also appealing to insects, birds and other small animals. A green coating is also a noise protection.

Photovoltaic items with green areas on the roofs offer a two-fold advantage: the area underneath heats up less because the solar plant provides shade and the installation function is augmented, since the foot of the plant stands on the roof green.

Such positive environmental measures are required for new buildings but not for old ones. Thus, the city of Frankfurt supports the greening of roofs, facades and backyards, the construction of cisterns or public drinking fountains as ways to promote cooling. The support is offered not only in the form of consultation, but funds are available for costs incurred and subsidized up to 50%, with a maximum of €50,000 until the end of 2021.

IWC Frankfurt e.V.