GNF - Green instead of Gray – Industrial Parks in Transition

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

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


Industrial parks don’t need to be gray and dreary, but rather can be an important element of green cities. In a model project coordinated by the Bonn Science Shop (WILA Bonn), the Global Nature Fund (GNF) will investigate how sustainable rearranging of existing industrial parks can succeed in the cities Frankfurt (Main), Marl and Remscheid.


In the mentioned cities space is limited. Companies need space for business, citizens need recreational areas. But also in industrial parks several needs exist for the use of different areas. The research project “Green instead of Gray – Industrial Parks in Transition” involves all relevant stakeholders in the planning of a potential reshaping of industrial parks. The project considers ecological, social and economic perspectives. Even smaller actions as the greening of parking spaces, the conscious choice of materials in construction projects or the planting of streets with green traffic islands can contribute for an increase in urban climate.


Industrial Parks in Frankfurt, Marl and Remscheid

Starting points in industrial parks Seckbach / Fechenheim-Nord (Frankfurt), Lenkerbeck (Marl) and Großhülsberg (Remscheid) are quite different:

  • The industrial park Seckbach / Fechenheim-Nord is located in close proximity to the Frankfurt green belt and is well connected to the traffic. The main focus of the project is to find a solution for how the industrial park can increase urban climate with help of landscape planning and urban development actions.
  • The industrial park Lenkerbeck is located between a residential area in the south and a recreational area in the north. Typical cultural landscapes of the Münsterland region is only rudimentary available in the area. The industrial park is supposed to be further developed under the implication of all interests and desires and is supposed to be connected to the neighboring areas.
  • The industrial park Großhülsberg is also adjacent to a residential area and is conveniently located. The optimization of the integration of surroundings and the issue of energy saving are the main focuses during the project.


Model for the Industrial Park Development of other Cities

Priority tasks in the joint project are support and initial advices for companies, the collection of information on natural design of the company premises and commercial areas as well as their target group preparation and communication. Furthermore, GNF supports the facilitation of corporate dialogues and the dissemination of results and provides technical and methodological input on environmental surface features and their evaluation.


In cooperation with the Lake Constance Foundation GNF brings experience and knowledge from other projects – for example from the award-winning project "Greening of Company Premises”. The Technical University of Darmstadt and the Osnabrück University are partners in the project. The municipal partners ensure that companies, government and civil society are involved in the development of industrial parks. The WILA Bonn links project partners and their responsibilities with each other and provides knowledge from other projects. In addition, experiences and concepts gained from "Industrial Areas in Transition" is supposed to be transferred to other cities as well.

Logo of the Project:

 Industrial buildings with solar panels, embedded in a natural environment
 Roof greening as a habitat and natural air conditioning, Lake Constance Foundation
 Parking limitation with natural stones as dry biotope, Lake Constance Foundation

Project Partners:

 Wissenschaftsladen Bonn (WILA)


 Social-Ecological Research FONA
  Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)

Project period:




Project partners:





July 2016 - June 2019




Bonn Science Shop (WILA Wissenschaftsladen Bonn e.V.), City Frankfurt/Main, City Marl, City Remscheid, Technical University Darmstadt, Osnabrück University, Global Nature Fund


German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)