Nature Based Solutions - Implementation Models Database

Pioneer Case

Eco District Freiburg Vauban

A short description of the NBS project

The suburban redevelopment project ‘Quartier Vauban’ (QV) is situated in the foothills of the Black Forest in Freiburg, south-west Germany, and is “one of the most celebrated model sustainable districts” (ITDP, 2011, p. 96). Vauban illustrates the development of a sustainable urban district, adopting a cooperative planning process and socio-ecological values (Schroepfer & Hee, 2007). This project is a very good example for a dense green city and a perfect conversion of old military bases. The complete project was from the beginning a Partitive process to enable the inclusion of the residents wishes and suggestions to the planning process. All buildings are built to a low-energy consumption standard. Many buildings have solar collectors or photovoltaic cells and produce more energy than needed. Vauban is the first housing community worldwide with a complete positive energy balance. In the whole district the number of cars is reduced by 50%. The coverage and great usage of plants make Vauban to look like a big garden with houses. This image helps to convey the importance of green city structures and illustrates the ecofriendliness of Vauban. Often referred to as the ‘solar capital city of Europe’, Freiburg is a regularly mentioned forerunner in environmental practice and policy. The objective was to create an environmental community and movement for an ecological, socially and self-organized city quarter with a lot of green spaces and affordable housing to meet the extremely high demand on living space in the city.

NBS Implementation context
Location Germany, Freiburg
Latitude 47.9758333
Longitude 7.82472222
Status Project delivered
Dates 1995.0
Description of the NBS
NBS Scale neighbourhood
NBS Impacts scale neighbourhood
Urban density/ Soil consumption high (dense city center, etc.)
Combined with other(s) environmental friendly solution(s)?
if other
NBS Typology
Open the NBS Solution Explorer
NBS Uban Challenges
Climate Issues Climate mitigation
Climate adaptation
Other 0;
Urban water management and quality Urban water management and quality
Flood management
Other 0
Air Quality Air quality at district/city scale
Air quality locally
Other 0
Urban Space and Biodiversity Biodiversity
Urban space design
Urban space management
Other 0;
Urban Regeneration and Soil Air quality at district/city scale
Other 0
Resource efficiency Food, energy and water
Raw materials
Other 0;
Public health and well-being Acustic
Quality of life
Other 1;
Environmental justice and social cohesion Environmental Justice: Recognition
Environmental Justice: Procedural Justice
Environmental Justice: Distributional Justice
Environmental Justice: Capabilities
Environmental Justice: Responsibility
Social Cohesion
Other 1;1;
Urban planning and governance Urban planning and form
Governance in planning
Other 0
People Security Control of crimes
Control of extraordinary events
Other 0
Green economy Circular economy
Bioeconomy activities
Direct economic value of NBS
Other 0;
Stakeholder and Governance
Who Started this initiative? A public institution, a local organization (city or metropolitan)
Contracting Authority City of Freiburg
Project manager (leader and main partners): entities names, and know-how involved Leader: Green City Freiburg Main partners: NGO Forum Vauban
Who (else) was involved in the project ? (Inhabitants, local association, etc.) Community
More detail on the process and the role of the different stakeholders (How did it happen?)
OPTIONAL Considering the actual impacts, who are the primary beneficiaries of the project. residents
Cluster Governance Model Description
cluster2_new_public_ management
Global Estimated cost of the project
Cluster cluster4_public_private
Description of the financing mechanism
Business Model
Class Type Description
SocialEncourage sufficiency
Temporal Factor
Expected time for the NBS to be fully effective after its implementation large (beyond 5 years)
Expected life time of the intervention around 25 years
Already feedbacks on the project? In case, the project has already been adapted to new requisites, please explain the modifications brought
Success and limiting factors
Process Enablers
Class Subclass Type Description
Process Inhibitors
Class Subclass Type Description
What makes this project a pioneer?
Field The_implementation
Brief description of the innovativeness
Has the project received a prize, an award?
Has the project received a media coverage? (in reviews, in press, etc.)
IM Keywords
  • eco-district

  • public participatory

  • green roof