Subproject City of Heidelberg

"Settlement areas – biodiversity in settlement areas"

The City of Heidelberg is developing central key points of a biodiversity strategy together with the research partners. These will be implemented and tested at a test site. In this way, the City of Heidelberg will be executing its own measures that serve to support inner city biodiversity and coordinating the monitoring. Various stakeholders will follow this process on location as well as throughout the city. Part of this is conducting an intensive public participation programme.

Initial conditions: The City of Heidelberg has already implemented and/or initiated the groundwork of many projects and measures for the preservation of biodiversity. Heidelberg’s new city district, Bahnstadt, is taking shape at the derelict site of the former goods station and the surrounding area. Due to species occurrences in these areas, continued ecological functionality (CEF) measures were necessary prior to the start of construction. Habitats typical to wall lizards and fence lizards as well as to grasshoppers were created in compensatory areas in the direct vicinity. Thereafter, 3500 lizards were relocated. The compensatory area was seeded with the same plant species as in the original area; some of the seed was even obtained from the goods station.

Project area: The project area borders on two of the abovementioned compensatory areas. Areas adjacent to these areas shall be shaped, maintained, and used in such a way to strengthen biodiversity. Even the buildings and private gardens already present in the test sites shall be integrated into the plan. The Heidelberg project site consists of approx. 37 hectares, most of which is in public ownership (schools and sports fields). Extension of the area is possible through the conversion of adjacent areas. The project area shall add a focus area to the existing species protection plan, which takes the biodiversity of the inner city areas open and green areas as well as in and around the buildings into account. Furthermore, the measures in the test sites shall strengthen and complement the existing connectivity between biotopes. The compensatory measures already take on the function of network axes between both the Oberrheinebene and Odenwald natural areas.