part of the North West Climate Change Action Plan

<< Back To Search

Berlin Digital Environmental Atlas

Date: 2005 - Present

Evidence type: Delivery

Organisation: Senate Department for Urban Development, Berlin

URL IconView original document here


The Environmental Atlas is an on-line presentation of nearly 500 maps, text and figures for about 80 environmental topics. Topics include soil, water, air, climate, biotopes, land use, traffic, noise and energy. They focus on pollution and dangers emanating from them, as well as existing positive qualities and development potentials.

The maps are used as a planning tool. Against the background of competing planning objectives, the availability of area-related information is a fundamental resource for the appropriate appraisal of applications. 


Key Messages

The 'climate function' map for Berlin combines a green and open space inventory, settlement areas, traffic related air pollution, and air exchanges. This is then translated into a 'planning advice for urban climate' map which has the facts relevant to planning.

The goal of the climate maps is to define spaces of the city according to their different climatic functions (i.e. their effects on other areas) and to evaluate the sensitivity of these functions in relation to structural changes. Planning advice includes protection and development measures for the improvement of the climate and air quality. The advice provides information on the sensitivity to usage changes. It states that this is an important consideration in adapting to climate change.  


(a) Green and open space inventory - classified according to their ability to produce cold air (and therefore act as compensation areas for heat and air pollution). Planning advice includes:  

- Avoidance of exchange barriers against built-up border areas  

- Reduction of emissions  

- Cross-linking with open spaces  


(b) Settlement areas - classified according to the extent to which they are 'climatically burdened' (dependent on flows of cold air into them from green and open spaces). Planning advice includes:  

- No further aggregation  

- Improvement of ventilation and increase of vegetation  

- Conservation of all open spaces  

- De-sealing and, if necessary, planting of inner courtyards  


(c) Traffic-related air pollution - in particular on intra-urban main roads, and their proximity to green and open spaces  


(d) Air exchange - structures allowing cold air to flow from green and open spaces to settlement areas, these generally have a lower surface roughness. Planning advice includes:  

- Prevention of constructional barriers, which could induce a cold air congestion  

- Keep building heights as low as possible  

- Align new development to stream channels  

- Prevention of peripheral development  

- Conservation of green and open spaces

Green infrastructure type
Non-specific green infrastructure
Climate change role/function
Managing high temperatures

There are a number of maps relating to the 'water' topic.

These include maps of: water quality; vulnerability of groundwater to pollution; depth to water table; management of rain and waste water (type of canalisation, catchment areas of rain water canalisation, rainwater drainage); water conservation districts and groundwater use; surface runoff, percolation and total runoff from precipitation.

Green infrastructure type
Non-specific green infrastructure
Climate change role/function
Managing water supply; Managing riverine flooding; Managing surface water

There are a number of maps relating to the 'biotopes' topic.

The maps include: vegetation, valuable areas for flora and fauna, age and inventory structure of forests, balance sheet of breeding bird population, nature protection areas and landscape protection areas, groundwater dependent ecosystems.

Green infrastructure type
Non-specific green infrastructure; Woodland
Climate change role/function
Helping other species to adapt
Document Analysis


Level of document
Geographical area to which document refers
Is 'green infrastructure' mentioned?
Relevant to climate change...
Is it relevant to other (non-climate change) benefits of green infrastructure?
Back To Top