Hamburg has become the first big German city to agree a package of measures to ensure clean air throughout the city and to lower pollution, a press release said Friday (July 28, 2017). A recent verdict by the Administrative Court in Stuttgart does not impact Hamburg’s plan. The Ministry for the Environment and Energy as well as the Ministry for Economics, Innovation and Traffic have ruled out route restrictions. Some of them apply to older diesel-run vehicles and unlike Stuttgart, exceeding limits is not a widespread problem in Hamburg.
Frank Horch, Senator for Economics, said: “Apart from expanding bicycle networks and transport on underground and fast trains, the city is purchasing 200 clean buses, building 1,000 charging stations for electric vehicles and is creating a fleet of vehicles wherever possible for hybrid and e-mobile vehicles.” Hamburg is also using external energy sources to lower air pollution in the harbour.
Verdant house fronts to improve air
Hamburg’s Ministry for the Environment is also working on a strategy to make house fronts verdant as part of the “Experimental Housing and Urban Development“ programme. Barbara Hendricks, German Minister for Construction recently approved EUR 158,000 for the project (Bau nie ohne! Urbanes Grün in allen Dimensionen), according to Jens Kerstan, Senator for the Environment. Such a strategy can limit the effects of climate change including heat and heavy rainfall and can lower noise pollution and reduce dust levels in the air. “Greenery is one of the most valuable urban assets. It is characteristic of our beautiful city and has health, aesthetic and climatic functions. Apart from green areas on level ground and rooftop gardens, we are also trying to find building solutions for more verdant house fronts,” said Kerstan.