Forty Percent of Hamburg Will Be Green SpaceHamburg, Germany, named Europe’s 2011 Green Capital by the European Union, is implementing an ambitious plan to create and link 27 square miles of new and existing green space, comprising 40 percent of its land area. The result will put nature within easy reach of every resident, provide connectivity for walking and bicycling to eliminate automobile traffic by 2035 and make the city more resilient to flooding caused by global warming. The metro area population currently numbers 4.3 million as Europe’s 10th-largest city.
Since 2000, Germany has converted 25 percent of its power grid to renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and biomass. The architects of the clean energy movement energiewende, which translates as “energy transformation”, estimate that 80 percent to 100 percent of Germany’s electricity will come from renewable sources by 2050.
Angelika Fritsch, a spokeswoman for the Department of Urban Planning and the Environment, says, “The more important result may be the provision of green infrastructure to absorb rain and flood waters.” Sea levels in the port city have risen by 20 centimeters over the past 60 years and are expected to rise another 30 centimeters by 2100.