Bielefeld, Germany
City population: 326277
Duration: 2014 – 2017
Implementation status: Completed
Scale: Micro-scale: District/neighbourhood level
Project area: 18000 m2
Type of area: Building, Other
Last updated: October 2021

The Bohnenback Park project was one of the first urban redevelopment measures in Bielefeld and was opened its gates for the public in May 2017. The park is the combination of blue and green areas in the Bethel district. It was created by exposing the Bohnenbach stream which previously had been piped and been flowing underground. The park consists of free, bright spaces and lawns with few individual groups of trees. Along the naturally meandering course of the brook, there is a long, north-south oriented promenade, which also forms the backbone of the park. It separates the neighbouring buildings from a parking lot while also connects the Bethel district to its surrounding areas via a green corridor favourable for recreation (1, 7).



Nature-based solution

  • Parks and urban forests
  • Large urban parks or forests
  • Pocket parks/neighbourhood green spaces
  • Green corridors and green belts
  • Blue infrastructure
  • Rivers/streams/canals/estuaries

Key challenges

  • Green space, habitats and biodiversity (SDG 15)
  • Green space creation and/or management
  • Regeneration, land-use and urban development
  • Promote natural styles of landscape design for urban development
  • Social justice, cohesion and equity (SDG 10)
  • Social justice and equity
  • Social cohesion
  • Health and well-being (SDG 3)
  • Enabling opportunities for physical activity
  • Creation of opportunities for recreation


Creation of new green areas, Management and improved protection of rivers and other blue areas

Project objectives

1. Expose the once underground flowing Bohnenback stream to the surface and integrate it into the city landscape (1); 2. Separate the neighbouring building from a parking lot by the use of greenery (1); 3. Link Bethel district to its surrounding neighbourhoods (1); 4. Adapt urban development to the structural changes the city experienced regarding its demography and economy (3).

Implementation activities

1. The exposure of the underground stream (1); 2. Creation of extensive green areas on approx. 18,000 m² (1); 3. Building of a barrier-free promenade along the stream with benches and playground. (8).

Main beneficiaries

  • Public sector institution (e.g. school or hospital)
  • Citizens or community groups
  • Marginalized groups: Elderly people, People with functional diversities


Management set-up

  • Co-governance with government and non-government actors

Type of initiating organisation

  • Local government/municipality
  • Non-government organisation/civil society

Participatory approaches/ community involvement

  • Dissemination of information and education
  • Consultation (e.g. workshop, surveys, community meetings, town halls)
  • Citizen oversight (e.g. boards, advisory)

Details on the roles of the organisations involved in the project

In August 2008, the city of Bielefeld, together with the v. Bodelschwinghsche Stiftungen Bethel launched an urban and open space planning competition called “Core area Bethel in Bielefeld”. The design of the 1st prize winner (DeZwarteHond, Rotterdam with Breimann & Bruun, Hamburg) was to be incorporated into the area-based urban development concept for the Bethel area that was being drawn up. The Bohnenbackpark project was one of the first urban development measures within this framework called INSEK Bethel draft. The draft was presented to the public and discussed at the Bethel local assembly on 29th September 2011. All interested citizens and other affected parties (e.g. property owners, tenants, leaseholders, etc.) were invited to see the plans and, if necessary, comment, make requests and suggestions. Following the assembly, the feedback of public interest groups was revised and incorporated into the plans. In 2012, with the support of the environmental and climate protection committee and the urban development committee, the City Council approved the draft. (4)

Project implemented in response to ...

... an EU policy or strategy? No
... a national policy or strategy? Yes (In Bielefeld, four neighborhoods are currently under the redevelopment program within the projects "Stadtumbau West" and "Soziale Stadt". The project of the park is being realized within the state subsidy program "Stadtumbau West" (2). )
... a local policy or strategy? Yes (As a result of the demographic and economic changes in Bielefeld, the city council commissioned the building authorities to develop an integrated urban development concept (Stadtumbau Bielefeld) ( ISEK Stadtumbau ) within the framework of the "Stadtumbau West" promotion program (4).)


Total cost

€2,000,000 - €4,000,000

Source(s) of funding

  • EU funds
  • Public national budget
  • Public local authority budget

Type of funding

  • Earmarked public budget (e.g. governament grants or subsidies)
  • Direct funding

Non-financial contribution


Impacts and Monitoring

Environmental impacts

  • Unknown

Economic impacts

  • Unknown

Socio-cultural impacts

  • Social justice and cohesion
  • Increased visibility and opportunity for marginalised groups or indigenous peoples
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Gain in activities for recreation and exercise
  • Education
  • Increased knowledge of locals about local nature

Type of reported impacts

Achieved impacts

Presence of formal monitoring system


Presence of indicators used in reporting

No evidence in public records

Presence of monitoring/ evaluation reports

No evidence in public records

Availability of a web-based monitoring tool