The city of Potsdam can also benefit from a new financing fund of 55 million euros for projects against the fatal consequences of climate change. At the press conference to present the program financed by the EU and the federal state of Brandenburg, the head of Potsdam’s construction department, Bernd Rubelt (independent), stated on Friday that the city wants to promote, if possible, automatic irrigation, for example on Friendship Island.
Roadside rain gardens could serve as protection in case of extreme rainfall, such as those planned in the new district of Krampnitz. Funding applications are also prepared here, said Rubelt.
It is unclear whether the city will receive 80 percent of the funding for such projects. Starting next January, all cities and municipalities, as well as listed park and garden sponsors, such as the Potsdamer Schlösserstiftung, will be able to apply for funding, which will even receive 100 percent funding. The garden’s director, Michael Rohde, stated that, among other things, they want to finance tree nurseries for the necessary replanting in the parks, but also, for example, more durable paths that are not immediately washed away by heavy rains.
The foundation has complained for years that the parks’ majestic trees are often affected by heat and drought or have already died. Rhode said they are trying to counter this with more hardy tree varieties. An example: oak could replace English oak to a greater extent. The funding is a “big step” toward making the gardens sustainable, Rohde said.
However, only five or ten years from now will it be seen whether improvements have occurred, especially since, for example, the growth of an oak tree can take dozens of years before it can be described as magnificent.
For projects of this type aimed at protecting valuable gardens, €30 million of state and EU funding will be available until 2027 in the new funding fund. Culture Minister Manja Schüle (SPD) stated that parks and their flora are increasingly threatened by droughts or storms. Fewer trees could also store less climate-damaging carbon dioxide; The goal is to counteract this vicious circle.
Another 25 million euros will be allocated to preventing heavy rains, it was reported. State Environment Minister Axel Vogel (Greens) stated that 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 drawn up 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, we must also take into account how the large amount of water in the region can be conserved, in view of prolonged periods of drought, Rubelt said. Until now, rain has frequently reached the North Sea via the Havel and the Elbe.
Environment Minister Vogel referred to the devastating floods that took place in 2021 in Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia: more than 180 people died in the floods. In Uckermark, for example, at the same time it rains more per square meter than in Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia, Vogel said. However, other ground conditions saved the Brandenburg region from a catastrophe. (with dpa/epd)