Hannover, Germany
City population: 514110
Duration: 2016 – ongoing
Implementation status: Ongoing
Scale: Meso-scale: Regional, metropolitan and urban level
Project area: 10790000 m2
Type of area: Public Greenspace Area
Last updated: November 2021

Allotment gardens have a long tradition in Hannover, with approximately 20.000 gardens stretching around the city as a green belt. In the last decades, some gardens were threatened by disappearance due to investment interests (Reference 1). With the goal to protect these gardens, the city employed a so-called "Kleingartenkonzept" (allotment concept) in 2016 with the help of the association of allotment gardens (Bezirksverband Hannover der Kleingärtner e.V.). The concept aims to keep the number of existing gardens for social and ecological considerations while allowing for new residential investments which is vital for the growing city. (Reference 2). As part of the concept, extensive inventory examinations were conducted on areas affected by conversion and restructuring, along with the start of implementation of smaller development projects for housing and the creation of replacement gardens in some areas. Because the need for residential spaces has been covered for until the end of 2019, the conversion of allotments for the said land use has been stopped; it will be revisited in 2024. (Reference 2) To address the problem of future allotment garden losses, gradual elimination of permanent vacancies has started by creating new smaller and more attractive gardens from oversized ones, by improving accessibility and optimizing spaces, and by modernizing allotments (Reference 2).


Nature-based solution

  • Parks and urban forests
  • Green corridors and green belts
  • Community gardens and allotments
  • Allotments
  • Community gardens

Key challenges

  • Green space, habitats and biodiversity (SDG 15)
  • Habitat and biodiversity conservation
  • Green space creation and/or management
  • Environmental quality
  • Air quality improvement
  • Regeneration, land-use and urban development
  • Regulation of built environment
  • Promotion of naturalistic urban landscape design
  • Social justice, cohesion and equity (SDG 10)
  • Social cohesion
  • Social interaction
  • Health and well-being (SDG 3)
  • Creation of opportunities for relaxation and recreation
  • Sustainable consumption and production (SDG 12)
  • Sustainable production


Creation of new green areas, Transformation of previously derelict areas

Project objectives

The goals of the project include: - reaching a compromise with allotment garden-owners and the local association of allotment gardens; - securing the culture of allotment gardens; - securing the number of allotment gardens that provide a quality life for its owners; - securing the allotment gardens having important social and ecological functions in the life of the city and an important role in climate change adaptation and fresh air provision; - ensuring new building site for residential and commercial purposes; - modernization of the existing allotment garden system (Reference 2, 3, 4).

Implementation activities

Extensive inventory examinations were carried out in the areas affected by conversion and restructuring. At the same time, the implementation of smaller development projects for housing began. The production of replacement gardens in the existing building was supported. The need for new residential construction is covered for the next few years so the conversion of allotment garden areas for residential construction is therefore currently no longer being pursued, and no further for allotment garden areas will be converted into building land in the next five years. It will be revisited again in 2024 to check whether and by when the originally intended housing development on allotment areas will actually be implemented. (Reference 2) To compensate for future allotment garden losses, the gradual elimination of permanent vacancies has already started. (Reference 2) 813 plots of land which must give wat to housing and commerce, will be replaced by buildings. The tenants are offered new allotment gardens elsewhere. The replacement will be done by reducing the size of oversized gardens and creating smaller and more attractive ones. Moreover, modernization of colonies, redevelopment of paths, and removal of oversized arbours will be implemented. All measures are processed in close coordination between the administration and Hanover district association of allotment gardeners and coordinated in a socially responsible manner with the tenants concerned (Reference 2, 4, 6).

Biodiversity conservation or restoration-focused activities

Biodiversity conservation:

  • Protect and enhance urban habitats
  • Preserve and strengthen existing habitats and ecosystems
  • Protect species
  • Control and clean invasive alien species
  • Means for conservation governance
  • Raise public awareness
  • Public engagement
  • Create and use scientific knowledge for conservation
  • Capacity building

Main beneficiaries

  • Local government/Municipality
  • Non-government organisation/Civil Society
  • Private sector/Corporate/Company
  • Citizens or community groups
  • Food producers and cultivators (i.e. farmers, gardeners)


Management set-up

  • Co-governance with government and non-government actors

Type of initiating organisation

  • Local government/municipality
  • Non-government organisation/civil society
  • Citizens or community group

Participatory approaches/ community involvement

  • Co-planning
  • Dissemination of information and education
  • Consultation (e.g. workshop, surveys)

Details on the roles of the organisations involved in the project

The concept was developed by the association of the allotment gardens and the municipality (Reference 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 municipality undertakes to secure the number of allotment gardens in the 'Allotment garden concept' [Kleingartenknonzept]. Besides there are policies that affect the creation of allotment gardens: 'Gardenregulation, 06.03.2004' [Gartenordnung Hannover vom 6.3.2004], 'Guidelines for the creation of building sites in allotment gardens in the State Capital of Hannover, 19.11.2004' [Richtlinie für die Errichtung baulicher Anlagen in Kleingartenanlagen der Landeshauptstadt Hannover vom 19.11.2004], 'Guidelines for determining the appropriate compensation in the case of tenant change in allotment gardens, 01.2002, last amendment 01.04.2004' [Richtlinie zur Ermittlung einer angemessenen Entschädigung bei Pächterwechsel in Kleingärten (Bewertungsrichtlinie) vom Januar 2002, letzte Änderung 1.4.2004] (Reference 3, 5).)


Total cost

More than €4,000,000

Source(s) of funding

  • Public local authority budget
  • Other

Type of funding

  • Earmarked public budget
  • Asset-backed funding (e.g. leasing)

Non-financial contribution


Impacts and Monitoring

Environmental impacts

  • Environmental quality
  • Improved air quality
  • Improved soil quality
  • Green space and habitat
  • Increased green space area
  • Reduced biodiversity loss
  • Increased protection of threatened species

Economic impacts

  • Attraction of business and investment

Socio-cultural impacts

  • Social justice and cohesion
  • Improved social cohesion
  • Improved liveability
  • Improved access to urban green space
  • Increased opportunities for social interaction
  • Increased involvement of locals in the management of green spaces
  • Increased access to healthy/affordable food
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Gain in activities for recreation and exercise
  • Cultural heritage and sense of place
  • Protection of historic and cultural landscape / infrastructure
  • 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

No evidence in public records