Nürnberg, Germany
City population: 485137
Duration: 2017 – 2018
Implementation status: Completed
Scale: Micro-scale: District/neighbourhood level
Project area: 55000 m2
Type of area: Public Greenspace Area
Last updated: October 2021

New recreation zone "Norikus Bay" in Nurenberg was completed in 2018 on the south bank of the Wöhrder lake, an artificial lake created in 1968 to protect the city from flooding. The dam itself, which is a 400m long path separating a part of the water surface from the bigger part of the lake, has become a tourist attraction with a water playground and other recreational amenities being offered. The water is naturally cleaned through the regeneration zone with natural plant filter, and simultaneously improves the habitat of fish and makes recreational swimming in possible in the cleaner water. New green areas are organized on the shore in order to improve environmental, aesthetic and recreational conditions of the area (1, 7, 8).

Bay at Norikus
Photographer: Christine Dierenbach, retrieved 09/20/2018 from Data Exchange Service (City of Nürnberg)


Nature-based solution

  • Parks and urban forests
  • Large urban parks or forests
  • Blue infrastructure
  • Lakes/ponds
  • Other

Key challenges

  • Water management (SDG 6)
  • Flood protection
  • Improvements to water quality
  • Green space, habitats and biodiversity (SDG 15)
  • Habitat and biodiversity restoration
  • Habitat and biodiversity conservation
  • Green space creation and/or management
  • Environmental quality
  • Soil quality improvement
  • Waste management
  • Health and well-being (SDG 3)
  • Creation of opportunities for relaxation and recreation
  • Cultural heritage and cultural diversity
  • Preservation of natural heritage


Creation of new green areas, Ecological restoration of degraded ecosystems, Monitoring of habitats and/or biodiversity, Management of rivers and other blue areas

Project objectives

1. To create a new recreational area (1) 2. To sustain and enhance biodiversity (1) 3. Ecological improvement of the lake and surrounding areas (2) 4. To protect the city from flooding (2) 5. To improve the water quality in the lake (2) 6. To increase a flow velocity in the lake (2) 7. To reduce sludge deposition (2) 8. Improving the recreational quality of the shore surrounding the bay (7)

Implementation activities

1. A 400-meter long dam was created, separating a part of the water surface from the bigger part of the lake (1) 2. Reed plants for natural water filtering were planted (1) 3. New trees and greenery were planted on the shore (1) 4. A barrier-free access to water and recreational facilities were provided (1) 5. Benches and walkways were arranged (1) 6. A solid spillway was erected in order to allow water and fish to move freely (2) 7. 300,000 cubic meters of mud were removed from the bottom of the lake (3) 8. A water playground was created on the dam (8)

Biodiversity conservation or restoration-focused activities

Biodiversity conservation:

  • Protect and enhance urban habitats
  • Preserve and strengthen existing habitats and ecosystems
  • Reduce negative impacts and avoid the alteration/damage of ecosystem
  • Protect species
  • Undertake specific measures to protect species
  • Undertake specific measures to protect native species
  • Undertake specific measures to protect valued species

Biodiversity restoration:

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

Main beneficiaries

  • Citizens or community groups
  • Young people and children
  • Other


Management set-up

  • Government-led

Type of initiating organisation

  • Local government/municipality

Participatory approaches/ community involvement

  • Consultation (e.g. workshop, surveys)
  • Citizen monitoring and review

Details on the roles of the organisations involved in the project

The project was initiated and led by the local government. The company GAUFF Engineering was commissioned by the Water Management Office Nürnberg (Wasserwirtschaftsamt Nürnberg) to prepare and implement the construction measures for the "Wöhrder See Water World" at Norikus bay. (4) The reconstruction of the bay was funded by the state of Bavaria, while the recreational facilities financed by the city of Nurnberg (5)

Project implemented in response to ...

... an EU policy or strategy? Unknown
... a national policy or strategy? Unknown
... a local policy or strategy? Yes (1. GAUFF Engineering was commissioned by the Wasserwirtschaftsamt (WWA) in Nuremberg to prepare and implement the construction measures for the "Wöhrder See Water World" within the execution of the security and health protection regulations (SiGeKo) at Norikus bay (4) 2. The project is realized within the Nurnberg urban development plan "Wöhrder See Water World" aimed at the regeneration of the Wöhrder lake (3))


Total cost

More than €4,000,000

Source(s) of funding

  • Public regional budget
  • Public local authority budget

Type of funding

  • Earmarked public budget
  • Direct funding or subsidy

Non-financial contribution


Impacts and Monitoring

Environmental impacts

  • Water management and blue areas
  • Improved water quality
  • Increased protection against flooding
  • Improved stormwater management
  • Green space and habitat
  • Promotion of naturalistic styles of landscape design for urban development
  • Increased conservation or restoration of ecosystems
  • Increased conversion of degraded land or soil
  • Reduced biodiversity loss
  • Increased number of species present
  • Increased ecological connectivity across regeneration sites and scales

Economic impacts

  • Unknown

Socio-cultural impacts

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


Presence of monitoring/ evaluation reports

No evidence in public records

Availability of a web-based monitoring tool

No evidence in public records


Bay at Norikus
Photographer: Christine Dierenbach, retrieved 09/20/2018 from Data Exchange Service (City of Nürnberg)