Bielefeld, Germany
City population: 326277
Duration: pre-1990 – unknown
Implementation status: Completed
Scale: Micro-scale: District/neighbourhood level
Project area: unknown
Type of area: Industrial, Previous derelict area, Public Greenspace Area
Last updated: October 2021

On the derelict industrial plant in Brackwede, which was independent until 1973, a large leisure facility with an extensive range of leisure activities was planned. However, due to more recent findings, this direction was rejected and a natural green corridor was created with unique biotope areas that had developed over time from the abandoned bleaching ponds and meadows. The Luttertal is located in Bielefeld Quelle, south of the The industrial plant in Brackwede was intentionally abandoned since 1973, due to the local municipality recently cancelled the project of the redevelopment of the area and kept it intact. Till now, a “natural green area developed with very interesting biotope areas, which had evolved over time” at the abandoned site.


Nature-based solution

  • Parks and urban forests
  • Green corridors and green belts
  • Blue infrastructure
  • Lakes/ponds
  • Rivers/streams/canals/estuaries

Key challenges

  • Green space, habitats and biodiversity (SDG 15)
  • Habitat and biodiversity restoration
  • Green space creation and/or management
  • Regeneration, land-use and urban development
  • Conversion of former industrial areas
  • Promotion of naturalistic urban landscape design
  • Health and well-being (SDG 3)
  • Creation of opportunities for relaxation and recreation


Creation of new green areas, Ecological restoration of degraded ecosystems, Transformation of previously derelict areas, Management of rivers and other blue areas

Project objectives

1. Creation of diverse biotopes on the territory of the former industrial site (1); 2. Increase of the biodiversity of the area (1).

Implementation activities

The city of Bielefeld declined the project of construction of the shopping center at the place of the former industrial production and let it develop naturally (1). Until the 20th century wastewater coming from industrial activities was discharged to the ponds of the Luttertal in Brackwede. After the industrial activities were discontinued nature conquered back the area, while the contamination of the ponds continued due to untreated domestic waste water discharge. Following some civil protests against the pollution of the water, numerous discharges were discontinued in the following period and today the Lutter has a water quality II to II-III again, so it is only moderately polluted.

Biodiversity conservation or restoration-focused activities

Biodiversity restoration:

  • Rehabilitate and restore damaged or destroyed ecosystems
  • Restore ecological connectivity

Main beneficiaries

  • Citizens or community groups


Management set-up

  • Government-led

Type of initiating organisation

  • Local government/municipality

Participatory approaches/ community involvement

  • Unknown

Details on the roles of the organisations involved in the project

Project implemented in response to ...

... an EU policy or strategy? Unknown
... a national policy or strategy? Unknown
... a local policy or strategy? Unknown (The intervention was implemented according to a decision of the Bielefeld city government from 1973, however without any supporting regulations (1). According to the later regulations analysed, the notion of the "derelict area" started to be conceptualized as a space with positive environmental impact only in the 1990s. Accordingly, this initiative can be considered as a unique example of the early positive evaluations of the derelict sites in Bielefeld.)


Total cost


Source(s) of funding

  • Unknown

Type of funding

  • Unknown

Non-financial contribution


Impacts and Monitoring

Environmental impacts

  • Water management and blue areas
  • Improved water quality
  • Enhanced protection and restoration of freshwater ecosystems
  • Green space and habitat
  • Promotion of naturalistic styles of landscape design for urban development
  • Increased green space area
  • Increased conservation or restoration of ecosystems
  • Increased conversion of degraded land or soil
  • Restoration of derelict areas

Economic impacts

  • Unknown

Socio-cultural impacts

  • Health and wellbeing
  • Gain in activities for recreation and exercise
  • Cultural heritage and sense of place
  • Increased appreciation for natural spaces

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

No evidence in public records