Rechneigrabenweiher in der Obermainanlage in Frankfurt (©Fotolyse/Fotolia)

INTERESS-I – Integrated strategies to strengthen urban blue-green infrastructures

Increasing periods of drought entail the necessity of irrigating urban green spaces more intensively in order to develop their climate-regulating effect and secure the quality of life it provides for residents. New forms of water management for urban green spaces are gaining in importance. The INTERESS-I research project develops and tests suitable strategies for sustainable management of the green and blue infrastructures in cities together with experts from administration and economy in Frankfurt and Stuttgart.

Research approach

Warmer and drier summers as well as heavy rainfall events constitute new challenges for cities. The INTERESS-I research project is working together with the cities of Frankfurt am Main and Stuttgart to develop principles, concepts and implementation proposals that show how urban green spaces should be managed in the future. The research team will identify alternative water resources and determine their suitability for irrigation. They will also try out storage methods and novel forms of urban greenery. INTERESS-I develops and tests the necessary integrated strategies together with experts from administration and economy in Frankfurt and Stuttgart.

Within the research network, ISOE – Institute for Social-Ecological Research concentrates on the municipal actors as well as on the urban society in Frankfurt am Main and Stuttgart. With the help of social empirical and participatory methods, ISOE determines how urban green spaces in cities can be strengthened, expanded and supplied with the necessary water from alternative resources  from the point of view of tenants, homeowners and municipal actors. The results form the basis for measures to manage urban infrastructures in times of climate change. ISOE is also responsible for knowledge integration and transdisciplinary exchange within the research project.


The preservation and further development of urban green spaces and open spaces is of great importance for cities. Urban green spaces are not only of major importance for the urban climate, they also take on many other tasks that citizens consider to be important for a good quality of life within their district. In fast-growing cities, green spaces are increasingly in danger and the necessity for maintenance in order to preserve their functionality is on the rise, while at the same time the demand for services is growing. This includes, for example, the buffering function of green spaces in cases of heavy rain. These developments illustrate the growing importance of sustainable management of urban water resources.

Project partners

  • TU Munich, Professorship for Green Technologies in Landscape Architecture (Project Management)
  • University of Stuttgart, Institute for Landscape Planning and Ecology and Institute for Sanitary Engineering, Water Quality and Solid Waste Management
  • TU Kaiserslautern, departments Resource Efficient Wastewater Technology and Environmental Engineering (Urban Water Management)

Practice partners

  • State Capital Stuttgart, Amt für Umweltschutz, Garten-, Friedhofs- und Forstamt
  • City of Frankfurt am Main, Grünflächenamt, Stadtentwässerung Frankfurt
  • HELIX Plants Ltd.


The research project “Integrated strategies for strengthening urban blue-green infrastructures (INTERESS-I)” is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the funding measure "Implementation of the flagship initiative “Zukunftsstadt” (City of the Future)” under the funding priority Social-Ecological Research.


Eisenberg, Bernd/Carlo Morandi/Philipp Richter/Friederike Well/Martina Winker/Ralf Minke/Heidrun Steinmetz/Ferdinand Ludwig (2021): The Impulse Project Stuttgart-Stimulating Resilient Urban Development Through Blue-Green Infrastructure. In: Hutter, Gérar/Marco Neubert/Regine Ortlepp (Hg.): Building Resilience to Natural Hazards in the Context of Climate Change. Knowledge Integration, Implementation and Learning. Studien zur Resilienzforschung.

Deffner, Jutta/Gesa Matthes/Melina Stein/Martina Winker (2020): Ich geh' jetzt mit anderen Augen durch die Stadt. Ergebnisse von Zukunftswerkstätten zur Wahrnehmung und Bedeutung blau-grüner Infrastrukturen in Frankfurt am Main und Stuttgart. ISOE-Materialien Soziale Ökologie, 60. Frankfurt am Main: ISOE - Institut für sozial-ökologische Forschung

Schramm, Engelbert/Marcus Klein/Kaja Warczok/Martina Winker (2019): Regenwassernutzung im Frankfurter Norden. Erfahrungen aus Quartieren mit Zisternenpflicht. fbr-wasserspiegel 25 (1/20), 15-19

Winker, Martina/Jutta Deffner/Fanny Frick-Trzebitzky/Engelbert Schramm (2019): Städtisches Grün unter Druck. Potenziale von Wasserquellen für Anpassung an den Klimawandel. Stadt + Grün 68 (5), 33-38


2018/11 – 2021/10