DivAirCity H2020

Potsdam

About Potsdam

Potsdam is known for its Prussian palaces, lakes and gardens that have been built in the past 300 years and embody a harmonious balance between the architecture and landscape. Special mention goes to the palace of Sanssouci and the Orangerie Palace. 

The city is over 1000 years old and was house to Prussian Kings and the German Kaiser until 1918. It sits on the River Havel and lies on the hilly morainic landscapes.

Potsdam has approximately 180,000 inhabitants and borders Berlin.

The city was proclaimed one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites of parks and palaces along the idyllic lakes of the Havel River.

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Why was it chosen as a ‘Pilot City’

The Potsdam case study is particularly innovative because of its private dimension through a Housing Association. Postdam case in DivAirCity is a unique one because it doesn’t involve the Local Authority but the private no profit housing association that is involved through the LOS. They have committed to putting their own funding into DivAirCity for delivering the work and resources that are needed from their side, so not only they don’t leverage any previous EU project, but they will self-found their employees. The costs of the physical interventions will be partially covered by the DivAirCity budget as explained in the cost section. The rest of the investment is private.

The main objectives of the city of Potsdam are:

Low threshold access for all different participants and citizens

Better air quality

More biodiversity

More accessibility to public green space

The Potsdam Living Lab is focused on establishing a bottom-up network of “green-hot-spots” (digital-analogue-spaces), based on a shared system of facilities and local produce (e.g. urban farming products), with a strong component of social inclusion and education across all the diversity categories.

Area of Intervention

The intervention area has been identified in the centre of Bürgerhaus am Schlaatz, a facility built in 1986 in the former German Democratic Republic. The citizen centre is located close to a school and a residential area (housing association) consisting of several apartment blocks with a representation of vulnerable groups (minorities, elderly, disabled people, women, LGBTQ+).  

Potsdam has increasing periods of high temperatures and humidity and lacks spaces with sufficient shade and cooling effect for citizens to occupy as part of their relaxation or exercise. 

Activities in the City

The goal is to establish a bottom-up network of “green-hot-spots” (digital-analogue-spaces), based on a sharing system of facilities and local produce (e.g. urban farming products), with a strong component of social inclusion and education across all the diverse categories. The solutions are yet to be decided as part of the co-creation activities within the project, but some actions have been suggested:

  • Temporary co-curated gardens” during festivals and cultural events, related to improving social cohesion, and green infrastructure at the scale of the district.
  • Retrofit of common outdoor areas in existing social housing districts including vegetation barriers, parks, green infrastructure elements, etc. The idea is to substitute conventional green infrastructure projects and turn them into cultural interventions with a positive impact on AQ and inclusive communities.
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