Leipzig, Germany
City population: 502920
Duration: 1994 – 2012
Implementation status: Completed
Scale: Micro-scale: District/neighbourhood level
Project area: 65000 m2
Type of area: Industrial, Protected Area
Last updated: June 2024

The biotope Schladitz is the regenerated remains of a former installation for the dehydration of sewage sludge implemented in 1952 by the communal waterworks company which used to pump its sewage sludge into the municipality of Rackwitz North of Leipzig. Upon its termination (1990), the company conducted large regeneration works of the contaminated sites from 1991 until 2011. The area was renaturalized, a biotope was implemented with plants species to retain the toxic substances. Now the area is also used for nature experience, observation and environmental education for children and adults (4, 7).

Source: http://www.biotop-schladitz.de/fuehrungen


Nature-based solution

  • Blue infrastructure
  • Lakes/ponds
  • In-land wetlands, peatlands, swamps, and moors

Key challenges

  • Environmental quality
  • Green space, habitats and biodiversity (SDG 15)
  • Habitat and biodiversity restoration
  • Regeneration, land-use and urban development
  • Conversion of former industrial areas
  • Water management (SDG 6)
  • Improvements to water quality
  • Social justice, cohesion and equity (SDG 10)
  • Environmental education
  • Economic development and employment (SDG 8)
  • Tourism support


Management and improved protection of rivers and other blue areas, Ecological restoration of degraded ecosystems, Transformation of previously derelict areas, Knowledge creation and awareness raising, Monitoring and maintenance of habitats and/or biodiversity

Project objectives

1. Natural rehabilitation and renovation of the contaminated wetland area (1); 2. Through regeneration measures the implementation of a green/blue corridor reconnecting the area with adjacent biotopes (2); 3. Creation an interactive educational service young visitors who want to learn more about sustainable development and nature conservation (3); 4. Maintenance of wetland biotope as an important retreat for water, vading and singing birds (2).

Implementation activities

After the plant's termination, the waterworks company was confronted with removing the toxic substances of heavy metals of the former sewage sludge and decided to implement an ecological solution, favoured with the NABU Leipzig and other environmental associations. This solution retrieves highly toxic substances from the soil by strategically using plants that have the capacity to absorb these substances (called phytoremediation), further organic compounds are mineralized by biological processes. The whole area on 65 ha is now a wetland biotiope with several ponds that accommodate a variety of flaura and fauna (7). Since 2012 (end of the regeneration process), guided tours and project days are organized where participants can experiment with nature at interactive educational and observation stations. Also several measures for increasing biodiversity were set. To maintain the water bodies, groundwater is continuously pumped into them via solar and wind energy (2, 3).

Biodiversity conservation or restoration-focused activities

Biodiversity restoration:

  • Rehabilitate and restore damaged or destroyed ecosystems
  • Restore species (native, endangered, or unspecified)
  • Public engagement

Main beneficiaries

  • Local government/Municipality
  • Public sector institution (e.g. school or hospital)
  • Citizens or community groups


Management set-up

  • Led by non-government actors

Type of initiating organisation

  • Public sector institution

Participatory approaches/ community involvement

  • Dissemination of information and education
  • Citizen science

Details on the roles of the organisations involved in the project

The intervention was initiated by the Leipziger Wasserwerke, the water works company which is a subsidiary of the city of Leipzig formerly managing the sewage treatment. In 1994, in cooperation with Bioplanta GmbH they designed the solution for its contaminated sites and renovated the area. Environmental organizations such as the Local group of NABU supported this ecological solution. The citizens are involved as participants of the guided tours and the nature experience stations. (1, 3, 7)

Project implemented in response to ...

... an EU policy or strategy? Unknown
... a national policy or strategy? Yes (According to national law, the "Bundes-Bodenschutzgesetz (BBodSchG)", contaminated sites, such as terminated waste disposal systems are required to reduce or eliminate harmful substances via decontamination measures and prevent the spread of these harmful substances (8). )
... a local policy or strategy? Unknown


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
  • Increased number of protection areas
  • Increased conservation or restoration of ecosystems
  • Increased conversion of degraded land or soil
  • Increased number of species present

Economic impacts

  • Reduce financial cost for urban management

Socio-cultural impacts

  • Health and wellbeing
  • Gain in activities for recreation and exercise
  • Education
  • Increased support for education and scientific research
  • 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


Source: https://www.l.de/gruppe/wir-fuer-leipzig/veranstaltungskalender/veranstaltung/mounted_games_spannender_reitsport_im_biotop_schladitz/5,1,YToxOntzOjg6ImV2ZW50X2lkIjtzOjM6IjIzNyI7fQ%3D%3D
Source: http://www.biotop-schladitz.de/
Source: http://www.biotop-schladitz.de/
Source: http://www.biotop-schladitz.de/
Source: http://www.biotop-schladitz.de/