The City of Hannover is the state capital and economic center of Lower Saxony. Vehicle machinery manufacturing, office equipment, consumer electronics, and foodstuffs have traditionally formed the basis of the City’s economy. However, Hannover has recently developed into a center for service industries, especially banking, insurance, and tourism, which now employ 70% of the working population. The close connection between science, trade, and industry is one of Hannover’s trademarks and the city is a center for environmental technology with about 70 important rms located in the city. Nearly 40% of the city’s area is covered by gardens and woodland.
Hannover is one of the leading exhibition, or ‘messe’, cities in the world. The Hannover Messe, which takes place each spring, brings over 700,000 visitors from around the world. Each year Hannover hosts over 60 international and national exhibitions. The largest employer in Hannover is Volkswagen with a large plant in the city. Other employers include Continental and many major insurance companies. Hannover is also a cultural destination with numerous concert halls, museums, galleries, and gardens. The famous Herrenhausen Gardens is internationally famed and attracts numerous visitors each year.
The City of Hannover has worked to take global responsibility for the environment seriously at a local level for many years. It was one of the first municipalities in Germany to set and then meet visionary objectives for climate protection and sustainability and has won national and international acclaim for its many activities. In 1994, The City of Hannover established a climate protection coordinating office within the local government. Hannover joined the Covenant of Mayors in 2008, setting the ambitious target to save 40% CO2 by the year 2020 compared to 1990 levels. Aims by 2050 are a climate neutral region with up to 95% reduction in CO2 emissions and up to 50% reduction in energy consumption. The City of Hannover is an ICLEI member and a founding member of the Climate Alliance.
In 2012, the Board of Trustees Climate Protection Hannover Region was founded, which functions as an advisory board for the “Master Plan 100 % for the Climate Protection.” The goal of the Master Plan is to see what a climate neutral Hannover Region can look like in the year 2050, and which steps and actions are necessary to reach these goals. The Master Plan is a result of active community participation, experts, and strategy groups. The key activities the Master Plan focusses on are energy supply, economy, building energy efficiency, space and mobility, regional economic cycles, waste management, and everyday life.
With the creation of the Master Plan and ambitious targets for 2050, Hannover recognizes that it is necessary for social powers and groups, especially inhabitants, political, academic, and private actors, to work together to achieve these goals. Hannover works with a long list of companies, associations, and institutions to implement the climate protection programs. Hannover has prioritized education for citizens to rethink behavior and practices and provides numerous consulting programs for inhabitants, including building and remodeling private homes.
In order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2020, Hannover has united with citizens, companies, energy suppliers, and organizations to form the Klima Alliance. With almost 80 stakeholders for all sectors, the Klima Alliance is committed to these reduction goals. These partners have identified various activities and implementation measures at the local level including renovation and modernization of buildings, construction of energy- efficient buildings, intelligent and efficient energy use, power generation, and education.
As part of the World Exhibition, hosted in Hannover in 2000, 32 terraced Passive Houses were constructed as model projects for energy efficient and green buildings. Passive Houses adhere to a specific standard, a very low specific heat energy consumption of 15 kWh, which is about 75% conservation compared with other buildings. Since 2012, additional detached houses have been built and a total of 7,150 people live in Kronsberg in over 3,200 apartments. The neighborhood is within walking distance to trams and has open public spaces and playgrounds for families. The neighborhood has integrated various green approaches including hollow trenches, green roofs and facades, green roadside drainage using, and utilization of rainwater. Social infrastructure is also an important component as part of Kronsberg is used for social housing. Four kindergartens, a primary school, an art and community center, and church center were built for the neighborhood.
Since Kronsberg was founded, other energy efficient neighborhoods have been built. Zero: e park is an advanced development of over 300 detached houses and shops in the south west of Hannover. It is currently being built, with many houses already occupied. The goal is for the neighborhood to be a zero-emission development project. The supermarket on site is the first in Germany to have Passive House standards.
Hannover’s Adaptation Strategy action program consists of eight components: ood protection, rain water management, preventative soil and ground water protection, roof and façade greening, climate-appropriate vegetation, climate-appropriate town planning and construction, speci c map climate adaptation, and public awareness work.
In 2010, the Mayor of the City of Hannover approved the preparation of a “Local Climate Effects Adaption Strategy Plan,” which includes three working groups:
- Town Planning: Focuses on urban heat islands, heat waves, and tropical nights and well as the effects on human health;
- Water Management: Examines and deals with changes in the distribution of precipitation, the increase in extreme precipitation, and the consequences for the urban drainage which would result in increased risk of flooding; and
- Landscape Planning: Looks at the increase of summer droughts and the impacts this has on agricultural and forestry areas, green spaces, and bodies of water.
Goals: Hannover’s goal in the exchange is to learn more from other local governments on managing climate change and other resilience and adaptation initiatives.
As one of the 2011 European Biodiversity Capitals, Hannover has signi cant experience in ecosystem services that it would like to share in the context of this project. The City’s action plans for its natural areas emphasize the importance of citizen involvement, and it has developed institutions such as its school biology garden and a forest station which provide the opportunity to learn about and experience biodiversity.
Goals: Hannover looks forward to sharing its accomplishments and discussing new developments with project cities.
Low carbon development in Hannover is focused on houses, energy production (solar), e-mobility, and changing citizens’ behaviour and life style. Hannover aims to be a climate neutral city and region by 2050. The City is particularly interested in innovative city planning aspects and encouraging stakeholder involvement.
Another example of Hannover’s low-carbon development is an energy efficiency program for companies that is centered around the e.coBizz campaign. The campaign’s goal is to reduce the consumption of energy in regional small and medium sized enterprises. The campaign does this through providing professional consultancies and advice to the business. Businesses are able to refurbish and renovate with an increase in energy efficiency to lower their energy consumption. About 100 consultations take place amount SMEs each year.
Goal: Hannover is interested in supporting partners and learning from other local government’s about their efforts to become carbon neutral and the steps and meassures taken to acheive this. Hannover is also interested in others projects related to green buildings and alternative energy.