We are very pleased to announce that member of Association of Municipalities Polish Network „Energie CItés” - city of Bielsko-Biala - by a resolution dated December 21, 2021. of the City Council adopted the ,,Green Roofs Program for the City of Bielsko-Biala", subsidizing the construction of green roofs and walls. Bielsko-Biala has been active in recent years in the GRAD project, which aimed to initiate bilateral exchanges and cooperation with experts in the creation of local strategies for the development of green roofs.
The aim of the GRAD project was to develop in 8 Polish cities: Bielsko-Biala, Bydgoszcz, Gdynia, Lublin, Kalisz, Krakow, Warsaw and Wroclaw model strategies for the development of green roofs using the experience of the city of Hamburg, which since April 2014 has had and is implementing its own strategy on stimulating the establishment of green roofs in the city.
After over two years of the work on pilot green roof strategies, which foresee innovative approaches towards the achievement of local sustainable development and climate adaptation targets, the results were presented at the final conference of the GRAD project. The conference, held under the name „Green roofs as a tool for climate adaptation in urban areas”, took place on the 11th of December 2020 and gathered a significant pool of participants interested in comprehensive approaches towards green roof development in cities.
Building green roofs is a good response to many environmental challenges that we are currently facing, strating from droughts, which affect farmers, gardeners and our wallets, and ending with summer heatwaves amplified by city heat Island effect, which are especially bothersome for young babies and elderly. Existing funding programmes might be an important driver encouraging more cities and more people to build green roofs and benefict from their positive impact on building, local environment and local climate.
On the 16th and 23rd of April 2020 consultation workshops were organised for 8 Polish pilot cities working on their green roof strategies. The on-line events gave an opportunity to discuss in detail the overall structure and contents of the strategies proposed by Izabela Małachowska-Coqui, expert in the project, and then to think together what local support schemes could be implemented in different cities to promote green roofs and what should be their boundary conditions. Cities’ representatives also shared their reflections on the most important local challenges connected with climate change, as well as the role that the green roofs can play in tackling those challenges and ensuring better citizens’ comfort. Moreover, they exchange experiences from the works on strategies conducted so far.
During the first session of the Polish Sejm this year, the Deputy Minister for Climate Ireneusz Zyska informed that projects ensuring better rainwater management will be co-financed under the new financial perspective of the European Union for 2021-2027. Also activities in the area of green and blue infrastructure development initiated by local self-governments will be supported. Work on the preparation of the national perspective in the area of climate adaptation already started at the Ministry. Already this year calls for proposals open for local self-government units will be launched within the EEA and Norway Grants. They will include calls for infrastructure projects aiming to retain rainwater in cities. These funds will be an important opportunity for those cities that want to develop green roofs as elements of rainwater management system.
On the 5th and 6th of June 2019 representatives of 8 Polish pilot cities took part in the study visit in Hamburg, during which they got familiar with the city’s green roof strategy, observed how it changes the cityscape and visited the most interesting buildings and facilities covered with green roofs and living walls. And their number is increasing from year to year - Hamburg’s objective is to cover with plants up to 100 ha of roof area within the city. New green roofs are constructed both on public utility and private buildings (residential and commercial) and significant part of them will be accessible for people.
The catalogue of presented model projects was very vast and included the ones shortly described below. Many of them have been realised within the strategy and support Hamburg in better management of rainwater and in flood prevention.
The first open event of the GRAD project tok place on the 6th and 7th of December 2019 in Cracow, Poland. It was a seminar and workshop held under the theme „Green roofs as a tool for climate adaptation of urban areas”. They were addressed to the representatives of local self-governments from all over Poland interested in the topic of climate adaptation and development of green infrastructure. During the seminar the participants had the opportunity to get more familiar with the German and Polish climate policies, as well as green roofs’ role in cities’ sustainable development. They also learned more about the Hamburg’s Green Roof Strategy, which will be used as a model for 8 Polish pilot strategies. The initial presentations were followed by a series of good practice examples in the area of city greening. The workshop part was more practical and focused on the key elements that an efficient green roof strategy should contain, as well as what aspects should be consider when developing such a strategy. More information on the event may be found here.
The GRAD project is financed from the European Climate Initiative (contrach number: 81232154) of the German Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU). The EUKI competition for project ideas is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. It is the overarching goal of the EUKI to foster climate cooperation within the European Union (EU) in order to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.