Rostock: Together Towards Tomorrow

by Janes von Moers

The Hanseatic city of Rostock is part of the national ‘Masterplan 100 % climate change mitigation’-program intended to develop solutions and know-how on climate change mitigation that can be transferred to other communities in Germany. Its main objective is to reduce carbon emissions by working with industry, administration and citizens. Additionally an emphasis has been put on strengthening inclusive, participatory decision making processes. Complementary the citizen council took the decision to draft a guideline on public participation. In consequence the ‘local agenda 21’ initiated a task force on public participation.

Coherently the executive department for climate change mitigation in Rostock initiated a series of planning-for-real workshops. Target groups were - the in conventional planning processes less represented groups – teenager, students and seniors. In order to create multiple benefits the executive department chose a rather abstract topic to work on with the focus groups, integrating efforts on climate change mitigation in other planning disciplines. The chosen topic was ‘climate mitigation and urban planning’. To generate some commitment for this rather abstract topic a subject of great public interest was chosen – the inner city harbour.

In the densely built and compact city centre the harbour is most important recreational area for teenagers, students and residents. About 40 percent of individual traffic in Germany is related to recreational purposes. Thus a share of traffic-related emissions could be saved by developing attractive and lively recreational areas in the old city harbour.

Some lessons could already be learned while addressing the target groups. To address the graduate students the workshop was integrated into the universities sustainability week. Flyers and posters were distributed, info screens used and e-mails sent via the student council. Due to the lack of direct involvement in the university and personal contacts the feedback was poor. Therefore a different approach was chosen to approach the teenagers. On several levels teenagers were contacted personally through a graffiti workshop in the harbour, the youth forum, the student council, the parcours group and the local scout organisation. Accordingly participation in the workshop was good and participants were highly heterogenous, which added interesting perspectives to the brain-storming and model-building.  

Teens participating in one of the workshop

The outcome of the three workshops was analysed and documented. This documentation was handed over to the urban planning department and will be taken into account for the upcoming update of the development plan ‘inner city harbour’. Additionally the harbour models fashioned by the target groups will be made accessible in a public exhibition by the urban planning department and the executive climate change mitigation department. The documentation and the information about its further application in the city’s urban development planning were shared with the workshop participants.

Contact Rostock’s climate change mitigation office for further information:

klimaschutzleitstelle [at]