Working together for the future

”Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”
(Brundtland Report)

Stuttgart has set itself ambitious goals for the so-called energy revolution: in 2020, the state capital aims to be consuming 20 per cent less energy than in 1990. In addition, starting from 2010, three billion kilowatt hours of energy must be saved – roughly the amount of energy that the residents of Stuttgart use to heat their homes every year. Furthermore, in the future, renewable energy should cover 20 per cent of the city‘s energy requirements. The research project ”Stadt mit Energieeffizienz – SEE Stuttgart” (”Energy efficient city – SEE Stuttgart”) supports the implementation of these energy goals and is developing Stuttgart‘s long-term energy plan, right up until 2050. In Stuttgart, the Centre for Sustainable Urban Development deals with issues such as climate-neutral municipalities, strategic urban development concepts, urban redevelopment, the government-funded urban development promotion programme, small and medium-sized towns as well as the necessary evaluation of any findings. The Centre for Sustainable Urban Development at the University of Applied Sciences Stuttgart is a centre for various research activities concerning urban and regional planning, and urban development and redevelopment. The issues raised by the interaction between urban development policy and educational policy, urban redevelopment, neighbourhood management and energy efficiency are explored with an understanding of interdisciplinary planning. Research is combined with teaching modules and scientific work on the bachelor‘s and master‘s degree courses in architecture, town planning and infrastructure management. Stuttgart sees sustainability as a communal, cross-sectional issue that is firmly anchored in political policy. ”In the future, cities will become increasingly important centres of technological and social innovation. This makes our efforts to create sustainable development in our cities even more important” says Dr Wolfgang Schuster, managing director of the Institute for Sustainable Urban Development in Stuttgart and member of the government-appointed Council for Sustainable Development.

Twenty-five years for the environment

The environmental protection agency is 25 years old. With 130 permanent posts and 150 employees, it is one of the largest municipal environmental protection agencies in Germany. Since its establishment, areas placed under protection have increased by approximately 87 per cent. Today, nature reserves and areas of outstanding natural beauty make up 39 per cent of the Stuttgart urban area. 60,000 people use the mobility consultancy service every year. Clean-up agreements with the operators of the Stuttgart fuel depot in the port mean that the Upper Neckar suburbs are now subjected to 1,000 fewer tons of hydrocarbon emissions every year. The automotive industry has switched from solvent-based to water-based paints. Some contaminated sites have been cleaned up, at great expense.

The agency‘s remit includes nature and water conservation, air pollution control, waste legislation, permits for filling stations and even chimney sweeps – all formerly the responsibility of the federal government. The agency is also active in the areas of energy management, urban climatology, environmental consultancy as well as local geology. The Chemicals Research Institute was integrated into the agency as the Chemical Institute. At the beginning of the 1990s, the agency also took on the duties of the soil conservation and contaminated sites local authorities. Environmental information systems such as the contaminated sites information system ISAS, the borehole information system BOISS and the bodies of water information system GEWISS were developed early on.