GNF - Green instead of Grey – Industrial Parks in Transition

Green instead of Grey – Industrial Parks in Transition, Phase II

Collaborative Project within the Research Program "Sustainable Transformation of Urban Spaces"


After a successful first project phase with many achieved goals and newly gained knowledge, the project "Green instead of Grey" enters its second phase, with new partner cities and established scientific institutions.

Industrial parks – Potential for climate and biodiversity

In particular old industrial parks have a high degree of surface sealing and a low level of greenery as well as other structural deficits leading to considerable problems in terms of urban climate, construction and ecology. They are currently gaining more attention because – especially in growing cities – a sustainable transformation of those industrial parks will be necessary. The general subject of "green and climate smart urban areas" is moving up the agenda of cities and municipalities. In the course of this, industrial parks, industrial parks show a wide range of potential to contribute to sustainable urban development, climate protection, climate adaptation, biodiversity and visiting qualities.


The project is coordinated by the Science Shop Bonn (Wissenschaftsladen Bonn e.V.). The first phase of the project was used to analyse the sustainability potential of existing industrial parks and to develop and test possible approaches for sustainable transformation of urban spaces. Now, the second phase is to further develop and consolidate the approaches, experiences and methods as well as the network of stakeholders.

Practical support for companies with industrial parks

The GNF's main tasks are support and initial advices for companies, the collection of information on natural design und multifunctional construction of industrial premises. At the same time, the GNF will monitor long-term development of the first pilot companies that were involved from start. This information will be used for the further development of transferable solutions. Furthermore, the GNF will share all its experience with and provide training courses for the partner municipalities to qualify them to provide independent consultations.

These partner cities and municipalities are involved

Bocholt – The “Bocholt-Industriepark” and three other business parks are participating in the project. The “Industriepark” is characterised by manufacturing industry, logistics companies and small businesses, while the “Technologiepark” is characterised by companies in the sector if advertising, printing and computer technology.


Iserlohn – The city's administration is currently getting involved in nature-oriented design and therefore works interdisciplinary across departments. In the course of the project, the city has deliberately worked with different types of industries, companies and locations in order to have an optimal starting position of selecting industrial parks with the highest expected benefit.


Remscheid – The city of Remscheid participates since the first project phase and continues with a focus on stabilisation and quality assurance. In addition, experimental and pilot areas will be established in the “Großhülsberg” industrial park.


Vreden – The town of Vreden gained experience in the first project phase and now plans to actively integrate this knowledge into its urban development process. In cooperation with the "Förderverein Kulturlandschaft Vreden" (an association promoting cultural landscapes) nature and urban development have already been reconciled in numerous projects.

Contact person

Mr Stefan Hörmann

Global Nature Fund – Office Bonn

Phone: +49 228 184 86 94 12


Project Logo:

 To the German project webpage ...
 Colourful diversity on the company premises
 The greening of parking lots with bushes and trees not only provides shade, but also offers a habitat for flora and fauna.
 Green verges along roads and paths
 The flowering areas are attractive for insects, even on the company premises.
 Green "islands" in grey concrete

Project partner:

 Wissenschaftsladen Bonn (WILA)


 Forschung für Nachhaltige Entwicklung (FONA)
  Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)

The German brochure "More Nature in Industrial Parks - Guidelines for Local Authorities for Advising Businesses / Mehr Natur im Gewerbegebiet – Leitfaden für Kommunen zur Beratung von Unternehmen" offers assistance for those responsible and active in local administrations who want to initiate and accompany measures for a near-natural design in their industrial parks.

Further information (in German) is available at


Further information (in English) in the framework of the first project phase 

Green instead of Gray – Industrial Parks in Transition, Phase I

 Mehr Natur im Gewerbegebiet 
Leitfaden für Kommunen zur Beratung von Unternehmen, erweitert um „Pioniere des Wandels“

Contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals

The project should make a concrete contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

 Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
 Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
 Goal 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

Project period:




Project partner:





October 2019 - January 2022




Bonn Science Shop (Wissenschaftsladen Bonn e.V.), City Bocholt, City Iserlohn, City Vreden, City Remscheid, Technical University Darmstadt, Osnabrück University, Global Nature Fund


German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)