D.he large leisure gardens in the middle of the densely populated north of Frankfurt are exclusive idylls. “Only for tenants” is written on a gate. Behind it, roses are blooming, children’s voices can be heard, the smell of barbecue is in the air. The gardeners took part in protests for years. The city planned a new quarter, the so-called Günthersburghöfe, with 1,500 new apartments, many of which were subsidized, as well as new schools, an extension of the park. Many of the gardens should give way. The posters on the fences still bear witness to the protest. But they are long out of date. The project is overturned.
Ironically, the Frankfurt Greens, whose former planning department had initiated the project, turned against the building project. Climate change is changing everything, it was said as a reason. In the local elections in mid-March, the Greens became the strongest force, together with the SPD, FDP and the tiny Volt party they forged a coalition that is due to start work in September. The coalition agreement now says: A new design should be drawn up for the Günthersburghöfe and only built on the areas that are already sealed. But they are small. A maximum of 400 apartments could be built. Apartments are still in short supply in Frankfurt, but one of the few large residential construction projects in the city is now off the table.
Not only at this point did the Greens prevail. In the exploratory and later coalition negotiations, they are said to have appeared very wide-legged. The joint treaty could hardly be greener. Scoffers in the city parliament say that the Greens won 24.6 percent in the local elections, but 90 percent of the contract is theirs. Countless projects, some of them very far-reaching, are listed on 224 pages, primarily in the areas of climate protection and mobility. And even when it is formally about other topics, such as economy and housing, everything actually revolves around the climate. If only half of it is implemented, Frankfurt will soon be a very different city.
Wildflower meadows and insect houses
“All planning decisions are thought from the green against the background of the climate crisis,” says the contract. Frankfurt should be climate neutral by 2035. For this purpose, the energy supply of public buildings should be converted to green electricity as quickly as possible, the city energy supplier should completely abandon the use of fossil fuels, old gas lamps, some of which still exist, must be replaced, and “substantial” investments should be made in renewable energies. New parks are to be created with “wild flower meadows” and “insect houses”, and if possible in every part of the city there should be “mini forests” in the future to improve the “micro-climate”. For high-rise buildings, too, there should be an “obligation to green facades”, plus more drinking fountains in the parks, trees in previously treeless streets, green electricity as a standard tariff and much more.