Dr-Ing Joachim BAUER
Institution: Office for Landscape Management and Green Spaces of the City of Cologne- Germany
About: born in 1957, Dr- Ing. Joachim Bauer studied land management at the TU Hannover. From 1978 to1980 he worked as a teacher in gardening and landscaping, followed by a position as landscape planner at Raderschall, Möhrer and Peters in Bonn Bad-Godesberg (1987-1989). During 1989-1993 he worked as a Research Associate at the Institute for Green Planning and Garden Architecture, University of Hannover. Since 1993, he is the Head of Department of Urban Green and Forest, and since 2012 Deputy Head of the Office for Landscape Management and Green Spaces of the City of Cologne.
Keywords: Cologne, Urban Development, Green System, Forest Development
Cologne is a growing city. The associated challenges are manifold and open up opportunities for green and forest development in the big city as well as risks.
The city of Cologne can look back on more than 2,000 years of history. The floor plan of the Roman city is recognizable in the city plan. Today’s urban structure is essentially shaped by modern times and is representative of the European city. Cologne was never the seat of a secular ruler, palace gardens or similar there is therefore not. The city growth of the Wilhelminian era, and especially the fortification of the city by the Prussians at the end of the 19th century, have characterized the urban structure to this day.
The foundation stone for today’s green system was laid in the 1920s by the city builder Fritz Schumacher and the Lord Mayor of Cologne, Konrad Adenauer. The formal design of the green system is based on the contemporary urban planning objectives of a radially structured city body. Thus, in the area of the inner fastening ring, the inner green belt and in the area of the outer ring the outer forest and meadow belt were created. For Schumacher, however, the plan of radial green compounds was also of great importance, so that the citywide green system received a wheel-like basic structure.
Despite Schumacher’s basic framework of the green system, it has proved to be particularly sustainable, despite changing urban planning concepts. With this urban development and green planning continuity over decades, Cologne stands out clearly from other cities in German-speaking countries. The basic structure of the green system, which can be traced back to the historical plans and concepts, has remained the basis for urban planning and green planning activities to this day. The Cologne green system can therefore be described in its shape and dimension as unique in Europe. Current developments build on this and develop the city-wide green system in terms of content and space.
Closely connected with the development of the urban green system is the development of the forest in Cologne. The city of Cologne had until the end of the 19th century initially no significant forest ownership. It was not until about a hundred years ago, with the large-scale reforestation of agricultural land and extensive forest purchases, that a forest-based development began, which is exemplary for forest propagation in the metropolitan area. With the expansion of the outer green belt in the 1920s, an extensive forest and meadow belt was created around the city, which was supplemented by extensive plantations after the Second World War. Today the forest covers a total of 6,000 hectares, of which 4,000 hectares are owned by the city. With the “Forest Laboratory Cologne” and the citizen project “A forest for Cologne”, the forestry administration faces the current challenges.