Essen, Germany
City population: 576013
Duration: 2015 – ongoing
Implementation status: Ongoing
Scale: Micro-scale: District/neighbourhood level
Project area: unknown
Type of area: Other
Last updated: October 2021

The Green Corridor Bernetal developing on the site of the former sewerage system will link the downtown of Essen with the districts of Altenessen and Freiräumen in the North of the city. New green and blue infrastructure will be introduced along the modernized way available also for pedestrians and cyclists. The project is developed along with the city policy towards environmental regeneration of the Emscher region (Ref. 1).


Nature-based solution

  • Parks and urban forests
  • Green corridors and green belts
  • Blue infrastructure
  • Rivers/streams/canals/estuaries
  • Green areas for water management
  • Sustainable urban drainage systems

Key challenges

  • Climate action for adaptation, resilience and mitigation (SDG 13)
  • Climate change adaptation
  • Water management (SDG 6)
  • Stormwater and rainfall management and storage
  • Improvements to water quality
  • Green space, habitats and biodiversity (SDG 15)
  • Green space creation and/or management
  • Environmental quality
  • Waste management
  • Regeneration, land-use and urban development
  • Conversion of former industrial areas


Creation of new green areas, Transformation of previously derelict areas

Project objectives

1. To improve connection conditions (Ref. 1) 2. To improve environmental conditions (Ref. 1) 3. Regeneration of the city sewage system (Ref. 1) 4. Networking of the existing green areas (Ref. 3)

Implementation activities

1. Planning of the underground sewage channels and new green spaces once finished (Ref. 1). "The Bernetal provides a green connection. It will be an inner city there Green corridor created away from the busy streets the Essenes Downtown with Altenessen and Free space in the north of Essen connects, especially with the regional network of trails along the Emscher and the Rhine-Herne Canal. The Berne is in the section south the Grillostrasse as Piped wastewater sewer stay. A new river along the planned route with rainwater from neighboring Areas (e.g. university, RWE premises). The historical course of the brook, of its origin in the middle of the City in the Bernewäldchen is like that in parts accessible again and made tangible" (Ref. 1). "It has been shown that such programs have a lasting impact on entire areas of the city and have created essential prerequisites for residential and commercial development to develop on previously unsightly brownfield sites" (Ref. 1). "The Bernetal extends from the university quarter north of downtown Essen via the Altenessen district to Vogelheim and Bergeborbeck to the Rhine-Herne Canal / Emscher. The Berne still serves as an open wastewater canal, but is to be renatured within the next decade. This enables a new and attractive green connection along the Berne. In the piped section of the Berne south of Grillostrasse, new flowing water is planned that will be fed with rainwater from neighboring areas such as the university or RWE premises. The historical course of the brook, which has its origin in the middle of the city of Essen in the Bernewäldchen, comes a little closer to its source. In connection with the new paths along the Berne, the north park is also to be opened up and rebuilt towards the Bernetal. The university quarter on Berliner Platz and the Rheinische Bahn cycle and walkway continue the green corridor into the western parts of the city" (Ref. 5).

Climate-focused activities

Climate change adaptation:

  • Renaturalization of rivers and other water bodies

Main beneficiaries

  • Citizens or community groups


Management set-up

  • Government-led

Type of initiating organisation

  • Local government/municipality

Participatory approaches/ community involvement

  • Citizen oversight (e.g. boards, advisory)
  • Unknown

Details on the roles of the organisations involved in the project

"The program "ESSEN.Neue Weg zum Wasser" is a project of the Essen Consensus. All work is carried out as a municipal labor market policy project for employment, qualification and integration of the unemployed into the labor market. This takes place under professional guidance and in close cooperation between Grün and Gruga Essen and Arbeit & Bildung Essen GmbH (ABEG). Partners and companies from the region are also involved in the work on a project basis" (Ref. 2).

Project implemented in response to ...

... an EU policy or strategy? Unknown
... a national policy or strategy? Unknown
... a local policy or strategy? Yes (The century project "Conversion of the Emscher system" opens up new municipal and open space planning and development opportunities along the existing watercourses in Essen. This impulse by the Emschergenossenschaft was acted on by the City of Essen with the Master Plan "Open space creates city space" (2007). The main objective of the Master Plan is the networking of green areas and open spaces along three continuous north-south axes, and hence the connection of countryside spaces in the Ruhr Valley with the Emscher Valley and the regional open space system of the Emscher Landscape Park (Ref. 3).)


Total cost


Source(s) of funding

  • Public local authority budget

Type of funding

  • Earmarked public budget

Non-financial contribution


Impacts and Monitoring

Environmental impacts

  • Environmental quality
  • Improved waste management
  • Water management and blue areas
  • Improved water quality
  • Improved stormwater management
  • Green space and habitat
  • Increased green space area
  • Increased ecological connectivity across regeneration sites and scales

Economic impacts

  • Stimulate development in deprived areas
  • Attraction of business and investment

Socio-cultural impacts

  • Social justice and cohesion
  • Improved access to urban green space

Type of reported impacts

Expected 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