The city of Potsdam will also be able to benefit from a new financing fund of 55 million euros for projects against the fatal consequences of climate change. The head of the Potsdam building department Bernd Rubelt (independent) said at a press conference on Friday to present the program financed by the EU and the Land of Brandenburg that the city wants to promote, if possible, automatic irrigation systems, for example for the Friendship Island.
Rain gardens next to the street could act as a buffer in case of extreme rainfall, such as that expected in the new district of Krampnitz. Financing requests are also being prepared here, says Rubelt.
It is unclear whether the city will receive 80% funding for such projects. From next January all cities and municipalities, as well as sponsors of protected parks and gardens such as the Potsdamer Schlösserstiftung, will be able to apply for financing, which will even be financed at 100%. The director of the gardens, Michael Rohde, said that among other things they want to finance nurseries for the necessary replanting in the parks, but also, for example, more durable paths that are not immediately washed away in case of heavy rain.
The foundation has complained for years that the majestic trees in the parks are often affected by heat and drought stress or are already dead. Rhode said they are trying to combat this problem with more resistant tree varieties. An example: the oak could eventually replace the oak to a greater extent. The funding represents a “big step” in making the gardens sustainable, Rohde said.
However, it will only be seen in five or ten years whether there will be improvements, especially since the growth of an oak tree, for example, can take dozens of years before it can actually be described as magnificent.
For such projects to protect valuable gardens, €30 million in EU and state funding will be available in the new financing fund by 2027. Culture Minister Manja Schüle (SPD) said that parks and their flora were increasingly put at risk by drought and storms. Fewer trees would also be able to store less climate-damaging carbon dioxide: the aim is to counteract this vicious cycle.
Another approximately 25 million euros will be allocated to preventing heavy rains. Regional Environment Minister Axel Vogel (Greens) said Brandenburg must prepare for the increase in extreme weather events.
He praised Potsdam for having already done pioneering work. Department head Rubelt presented the heavy rain risk map created in 2021, which shows in detail which places in Potsdam are at risk of flooding in the event of heavy rain. In the fight against this phenomenon, it is also necessary to consider how the large amount of water in the region can still be retained, explains Rubelt, in view of the increasing periods of drought. So far, the rain has often flowed through the Havel and Elbe into the North Sea.
Environment Minister Vogel referred to the devastating flood catastrophe in Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia in 2021: more than 180 people died as a result of the floods. In Uckermark, for example, more rain per square meter fell at the same time than in Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia, explains Vogel. However, a different ground condition saved the Brandenburg region from a catastrophe. (with dpa/epd)