Inter- and transdisciplinary approaches to develop strategies for increasing the resilience of trees in growing cities and urban regions (GreenLung)

Project description

Trees and urban forests mitigate heat-stress, purify air, and provide multiple other ecosystem services. They are often referred as the Green Lungs of city. However, urban trees and forests could be vulnerable to climate change impacts such as drought, heatwaves etc. Pollution from motor vehicles and other sources, mechanical damage from human activities could assert additional stresses on plants’ health and physiological activities.

In addition, rapid urbanization in growing cities (e.g. Karlsruhe) poses new challenge to maintain a sustainable green cover and healthy population of plants inside or near cities. In this context; increasing the awareness of citizens and involving civil society organizations and city administrations are vital for maintaining a green city with healthy trees and forests. There is an urgent need to develop an adaptation planning system for management of single trees and forested areas in urban region based on scientific evidence.

The aim of the BMBF Zukunftsstadt (“Future City”) project which was funded with 1.41 million Euro is to assess the ecological, social and economic resilience of urban tree species and forests by applying trans- and interdisciplinary approaches in urban regions of City Karlsruhe and City Rheinstetten. The project will be carried out by a transdisciplinary consortium in which ITAS has the leadership. Communal partners are the Cities of Karlsruhe and Rheinstetten; scientific partners, both located in Freiburg, are the Forest Research Institute of Baden-Württemberg (FVA) and the Research Centre Human Biometeorology (ZMMF) of the German Weather Service.

Together with FVA we will study the impacts of droughts, heatwaves, and pollution on the vitality of trees using dendroecological and ecophysiological approaches. In addition we will assess the potential of different tree species and forest types to mitigate heat stress in urban areas. For this purpose the ZMMF will carry out measurements and model calculations. Grounded on data obtained from these on-site measurements and from other data sources we will valuate multiple ecosystem services from urban trees and forests and develop strategies to reduce trade-offs between different types of ecosystem services.

We will apply transdisciplinary methods (e.g. Real World Lab “District Future – Urban Lab” of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology) to increase the public awareness on the importance of a green city with healthy population of plants.

Public statement “Plant more trees in cities and provide them space to grow big”

In view of increasing drought and heat in cities as a result of climate change, researchers from the GrüneLunge project spoke out in August 2022 with a detailed statement (PDF). To reduce temperatures and retain moisture, they recommend, among other things, increasing the number of trees in cities.


Journal Articles
Conference Papers
Saha, S.; Matzarakis, A.; Albrecht, A.; Fricke, A.; Collet, F.; Almeida, I.; Hirsch, M.; Gangwisch, M.; Cueva-Giron, J. M.; Köhler, M.; Beckmann-Wübbelt, A.; Schobert, M.; Fröhlich, K.; Trenks, H.; Parodi, O.; Böddeker, H.; Kienzler, U.; Reuter, M.
Inter- and transdisciplinary research approaches to increase the resilience of urban and peri-urban forests (UPFs) to climate change impacts - lessons learned from the first phase of the “GreenLung” (“GrüneLunge”) project, Germany
2022. UFFU 2022 : International Conference Leuven : Urban Forests, Forest Urbanisms, and Global Warming: Developing Greener, Cooler and more Resilient Cities : Book of Abstracts, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven) 
Beckmann-Wübbelt, A.; Almeida Yakouchenkova, I. M.
Urbaner Wald im Wandel
2022. technik.kontrovers "Wald im Wandel – Der Wert des Waldes und wie wir ihn für die Zukunft erhalten können" (2022), Karlsruhe, Germany, February 24, 2022 
Book Chapters
Arzt, I.; Fricke, A.
Sonnendeck für Eidechsen
2021. Baden-Württemberg macht einfach - 17 Ideen für eine Welt von morgen, 44, RENN.süd 
Fricke, A.; Noel, A.; Trenks, H.; Eberhagen, I.; Frank, R.; Senk, M.; Wolff, U.; Mayus, M.; Reuter, M.; Saha, S.
Naturnahes Gärtnern: Mein Beitrag zum Erhalt der Artenvielfalt und zur Verbesserung des Stadtklimas : Info-Broschüre aus dem Projekt GrüneLunge
2021. Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT) 
Fricke, A.; Trenks, H.; Frank, R.; Eberhagen, I.; Senk, M.; Reuter, M.; Saha, S.; Wolff, U.
Naturnahe Gärten - Mein Beitrag zum Erhalt der Artenvielfalt
2021. Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT) 
Journal Articles
Beckmann-Wübbelt, A.; Fricke, A.; Sebesvari, Z.; Yakouchenkova, I. A.; Fröhlich, K.; Saha, S.
High public appreciation for the cultural ecosystem services of urban and peri‑urban forests during the COVID-19 pandemic
2021. Sustainable Cities and Society, 74, Art.-Nr.: 103240. doi:10.1016/j.scs.2021.103240
Albiez, M.; Fricke, A.; Meyer-Soylu, S.; Seebacher, A.; Trenks, H.
Methodenvernissage: Transformation trifft Forschung – eine Methodenvernissage aus dem Reallabor Quartier Zukunft
2021. 3. Darmstädter Tage der Transformation (2021), Online, March 15–19, 2021 
Almeida, I.; Fricke, A.; Saha, S.; Fröhlich, K.; Cueva, J.
Wie kann man Ökosystemleistungen von Bäumen messen?
2021. EFFEKTE im Juni: Von Digitalbauern, Mischwäldern und Nachhaltigkeit (2021), Online, June 15, 2021 
Fricke, A.; Beckmann-Wübbelt, A.; Saha, S.; Almeida, I.
Kulturelle Ökosystemdienstleistungen von Bäumen in Karlsruhe
2021. EFFEKTE im Juni: Von Digitalbauern, Mischwäldern und Nachhaltigkeit (2021), Online, June 15, 2021 
Parodi, O.
Nachhaltige Entwicklung
2021. Workshop "Kulturförderung jetzt in Zukunft" (2021), Freiburg, Germany, July 20–21, 2021 
Parodi, O.
Quo vadis Reallabor?
2021. Fachtagung "Herausforderung Reallabor" (2021), Online, February 18, 2021 
Parodi, O.
Perspektive Reallabor: Grenzenlose Möglichkeiten der urbanen Transformation?
2021. Difu-WebSeminar "Impulse für die Zukunft : Kreative Methoden und Prozesse in der Stadtentwicklung" (2021), Online, January 28–29, 2021 
Parodi, O.; Wagner, F.
Reallabor Karlsruhe: „Quartier Zukunft“, Karlsruhe und die Zukunftweltstadt
2021. IQ-Netzwerktreffen (2021), Online, February 25, 2021 
Book Chapters
Goldschmidt, R.; Fricke, A.; Trenks, H.
Praxisbeispiel GrüneLunge : Die Journalmethode
2020. MONARES : Leitfaden zur Unterstützung bei der Evaluation von Maßnahmen zur Steigerung der Klimaresilienz. Mitarb.: T. Kaiser. Stand: Mai 2020, 27, adelphi 
Goldschmidt, R.; Fricke, A.; Trenks, H.
Praxisbeispiel GrüneLunge : Die Posterbefragung
2020. MONARES : Leitfaden zur Unterstützung bei der Evaluation von Maßnahmen zur Steigerung der Klimaresilienz. Mitarb.: T. Kaiser. Stand: Mai 2020, 21, adelphi 
Parodi, O.
Das Konzept „Reallabor“ und Einblicke in das „Quartier Zukunft – Labor Stadt“
2020. Forschungsseminar „The Future of Modernist Housing“ (2020), Karlsruhe, Germany, December 17, 2020 
Parodi, O.
Reallabore: Transfer und Transformation Richtung Nachhaltigkeit
2020. Trio-Forum: Reallabore - virtuelle Impulsveranstaltung (2020), Online, May 13, 2020 
Journal Articles
Parodi, O.; Seebacher, A.; Albiez, M.; Beecroft, R.; Fricke, A.; Herfs, L.; Meyer-Soylu, S.; Stelzer, V.; Trenks, H.; Wagner, F.; Waitz, C.
Das Format ,,Reallabor“ weiterentwickeln: Best-Practice-Beispiel Karlsruher Transformationszentrum
2019. Gaia, 28 (3), 322–323. doi:10.14512/gaia.28.3.17Full textFull text of the publication as PDF document
Albiez, M.; Meyer-Soylu, S.; Seebacher, A.; Späthe, J.; Trenks, H.
Klimaschutz mit Herz und Hand: Eine Methoden-Vernissage
2019. K3 Kongress zu Klimawandel, Kommunikation und Gesellschaft (2019), Karlsruhe, Germany, September 24–25, 2019 
Parodi, O.
Reallabore: Experimetierräume für eine Ökonomie der Nachhaltigkeit
2019. Auf zu neuen Ufern : Der Beitrag der Wirtschaftswissenschaften zur nachhaltigen Entwicklung (2019), Bern, Switzerland, September 25, 2019 
Parodi, O.
Reallabore als Rahmen tranformativer und transdisziplinärer Forschung
2019. Tagung “Transformative Wissenschaft” (2019), Würzburg, Germany, September 30, 2019 
Parodi, O.
Konzeptionelle und praktische Erkenntnisse aus dem Reallabor “Quartier Zukunft - Labor Stadt”
2019. Abschlusstagung des Projekts "DoNaPart" (2019), Dortmund, Germany, October 11, 2019 
Parodi, O.
Impulse für den CoLiving Campus: Das Konzept “Reallabor”
2019. Workshop “CoLiving Campus” (2019), Brunswick, Germany, November 19, 2019 
Parodi, O.
“Quartier Zukunft - Labor Stadt” - Erfahrungen aus dem Karlsruher Reallabor
2019. Denksalon (2019), Görlitz, Germany, September 13, 2019 
Parodi, O.
Das Leben in der Stadt von morgen: ... menschlich und nachhaltig?
2019. Zukunftsforum (2019), Dresden, Germany, May 30, 2019 
Parodi, O.; Seebacher, A.
Real-world Labs - as transdisciplinary and transformative infrastructure
2019. 3rd Indo-German Dialogue on Green Urban Practices: Co-creation of the Living Environment (2019), Pune, Indien, December 5–7, 2019 


Dr. rer. nat. Somidh Saha
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)
P.O. Box 3640
76021 Karlsruhe

Tel.: +49 721 608-24644