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How Was the World Green Infrastructure Congress 2023?

Laura Puttkamer

From 27 to 29 June 2023, the World Green Infrastructure Congress took place in Berlin. Over 600 participants attended the conference on the topic of green roofs. 

Image: Bundesverband GebäudeGrün e.V.




The congress is the place to be if you want to learn more about building greening as well as related topics such as urban climate and sustainability. Topos magazine was there – what did we get out of it?

Practical solutions for green roofs

After the World Green Infrastructure Congress had to be cancelled due to the Corona pandemic in 2020, it could now take place in June 2023. This was the first World Green Infrastructure Congress since 2017 and the event took place on site and online, attracting almost 1,100 participants from 41 countries. The colourful programme around the topic of the roof programme consisted of more than 90 presentations. 100 speakers from 29 countries contributed to five parallel series of lectures.

The congress was opened by German Federal Minister for Building Klara Geywitz, who, together with State Secretary Dr. Britta Behrendt from the Berlin Senate Department for the Environment, Mobility, Consumer and Climate Protection, addressed the audience with words of welcome. Keynote speeches by Düsseldorf architect Christoph Ingenhoven and Patrick Blanc, the well-known façade greener, followed.

At the same time, there was a sold-out trade exhibition at which 60 companies and organisations were present. They all showcased solutions around green roofs and offered practical solutions to the participants.

Almost 60 exhibitors contributed ideas on green infrastructure. Image: Bundesverband GebäudeGrün e.V.

Climate adaptation strategies from practice

On 27 and 28 June, lectures and events on five main topics took place. For example, participants discussed urban strategies. The urban dialogue dealt with subsidies for green roofs, water- and climate-sensitive urban development and resilience in the city. The topic of sustainability was also very important: the experts discussed overall ecological concepts, sustainable urban development, and the economic viability of certain measures. In addition, the World Green Infrastructure Congress 2023 dealt with health, biodiversity, economy, and politics. Climate adaptation strategies, species and insect protection, green roof index and building green in different countries were in the foreground.

Some events focused on practical examples from architecture and urban planning, such as greening high-rise buildings or urban farming. High-tech solutions and rainwater management measures, from blue-green infrastructure to flood prevention and retention roofs, were also discussed.

On 29 June, the organisers offered excursions to various projects in Berlin. Under expert guidance, projects on green roofs, green facades, green interiors, and green buildings in the city received visits.

In Germany, an increasing number of buildings has a green roof. Image: Unsplash

The BuGG Market Report on Green Infrastructure 2023

As part of the World Green Infrastructure Congress 2023, the Bundesverband GebäudeGrün e.V. (BuGG) also presented the BuGG Market Report on Green Infrastructure 2023. This contains current figures on the German green roof and façade greening market. The report also includes an overview of the indirect and direct funding programmes for green buildings in Germany.

The World Green Infrastructure Congress is one of the most important events on the topic of green roofs and façades and thus contributes significantly to the dissemination of ideas for climate adaptation. We can only hope that it will not be another six years until the next congress, because there is not that much time left to tackle the consequences of climate change in our cities sustainably and with the expertise demonstrated in Berlin. The patronage by the Federal Ministry for Housing, Urban Development and Construction and the Berlin Senate Department for the Environment, Mobility, Consumer and Climate Protection are important signals.

Are green roofs suitable for every building? How do they function altogether? Find more out here.

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