Wuppertal, Germany
City population: 340237
Duration: in planning stage – ongoing
Implementation status: In planning stage
Scale: Micro-scale: District/neighbourhood level
Project area: 60000 m2
Type of area: Previous derelict area
Last updated: October 2021

Based on an urban regeneration project in the city district of Arrenberg, an association called “Awakening of the Arrenberg” formed in 2008, consisting of citizens, entrepreneurs and real estate owners seeking to transform their district. Under the umbrella of the project “climate quarter Arrenberg” initiated in 2014, whose goal is to make the district CO2 neutral by 2030, the development of a city farm covering 60,000 sqm on former railway premises - a Europe-wide unique project in urban farming – is one of their most important plans that make up their vision of becoming carbon neutral. (Ref. 1, 2 and 3). The goal of the farm is to produce healthy and locally produced food, while creating employment opportunities and remaining carbon-neutral, using power only from the sustainable power plant that will be installed for the project. (Ref. 2) In February 2020, the implementation has not yet started, but the “Awakening of the Arrenberg” association says the vision of the urban farm is stronger than ever before and that the project has received funding approval, with experts now working on feasibility studies. (Ref. 8).

Aerial view of the planned site
Reference 8: https://www.wz.de/nrw/wuppertal/neuer-schwung-fuer-die-arrenbergfarm_aid-49252837


Nature-based solution

  • Grey infrastructure featuring greens
  • Railroad bank and track greens
  • Community gardens and allotments
  • Allotments
  • Horticulture

Key challenges

  • Green space, habitats and biodiversity (SDG 15)
  • Green space creation and/or management
  • Regeneration, land-use and urban development
  • Conversion of former industrial areas
  • Promotion of naturalistic urban landscape design
  • Economic development and employment (SDG 8)
  • Economic development: industry
  • Employment/job creation
  • Sustainable consumption and production (SDG 12)
  • Sustainable consumption
  • Sustainable production


Creation of new green areas, Transformation of previously derelict areas, Other

Project objectives

Producing healthy and locally produced food while creating employment opportunities and remaining carbon-neutral, using power only from the sustainable power plant that will be installed for the project. (Ref. 2) Efficient cultivation of healthy vegetables and fish farming. Using hydroponic technology for vegetable farming where the plants are seeded in a special nutrient solution. This facilitates year-round sustainable food production according to biological standards. (Ref. 8) Contributing to the long-term goal of the district to become carbon neutral. (Ref. 8) By breaking up existing logistics chains and to be accessible to consumers, the urban farm attempts to bring the place of production as close as possible to the place of consumption. (Ref. 9)

Implementation activities

In 2020, the implementation has not yet started. (Ref. 8) The planned implementation activities are the creation of an urban farm "Arrenbergfarm" on 60,000 sqm on a former railway brownfield, the creation of an aquaponic farm on 3,500 sqm which represents a closed energy, nutrient and water cyle. Following a modern agricultural concept, it combines fish farming in large tanks with vegetable farming where the latter are seeded in a special nutrient solution. The harvest is planned to be used in the kitchen of the farm or further processed to other products such as the self-brewed beer to be sold in the farm shop / brewery and earthworms are to be bred in the organic waste (Ref. 1, 2, 3 and 5).

Main beneficiaries

  • Local government/Municipality
  • Private sector/Corporate/Company
  • Citizens or community groups
  • Other


Management set-up

  • Co-governance with government and non-government actors

Type of initiating organisation

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

Participatory approaches/ community involvement

  • Crowd-sourcing/Crowd-funding/Participatory bdget
  • Dissemination of information and education
  • Consultation (e.g. workshop, surveys)
  • Joint implementation (e.g. tree planting)
  • Co-management/Joint management

Details on the roles of the organisations involved in the project

An association called “Awakening of the Arrenberg” formed in 2008 consisting of citizens, entrepreneurs and real estate owners seeking to transform their district (Ref. 4, 7). The association is funded through donations and project-specific funding (from foundations, companies, public funding). (Ref. 7) Under the guidance of the initiator of the project, Jörg Heynkes, a popular innovator, the vision for the urban farm was developed as a key element of the association’s goal to become a carbon-neutral district by 2030. According to this vision, alongside citizens, other local and regional collaborators such as the Wuppertal Institute, the Bergische University, the energy agency of North Rhine-Westphalia, the project KlimaWxpoNRW, the private sector (restaurant, distillery, farm shop, accommodation) will be involved (Ref. 1, 3, 4 and 5).

Project implemented in response to ...

... an EU policy or strategy? Unknown
... a national policy or strategy? Unknown
... a local policy or strategy? Yes (The city district Arrenberg is subject to an urban redevelopment programme called "urban redevelopment West" funded and led by the regional government of NRW, the national government and the EU with EUR 5.4 MIO which ran from 2006 to 2011 (Ref. 6). This already stimulated citizen engagement and independent civil society initiatives in the quarter, on which this project now builds. )


Total cost

€500,000 - €2,000,000

Source(s) of funding

  • Public regional budget
  • Funds provided by non-governmental organization (NGO)
  • Crowdfunding

Type of funding

  • Direct funding or subsidy
  • Donations

Non-financial contribution


Impacts and Monitoring

Environmental impacts

  • Climate, energy and emissions
  • Reduced emissions
  • Environmental quality
  • Improved waste management
  • Water management and blue areas
  • Enhanced protection and restoration of freshwater ecosystems
  • Green space and habitat
  • Increased conversion of degraded land or soil
  • Restoration of derelict areas
  • Other

Economic impacts

  • Increase of jobs
  • More sustainable tourism
  • Increase in agricultural production (for profit or not)
  • Increased market share for green economies

Socio-cultural impacts

  • Social justice and cohesion
  • Increased access to healthy/affordable food
  • Increased sustainability of agriculture practices
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Improved physical health
  • Cultural heritage and sense of place
  • Protection of natural heritage
  • Protection of historic and cultural landscape / infrastructure
  • Increased sense of place identity, memory and belonging
  • Increased awareness of flora and fauna as culturally and historically meaningful
  • Education
  • Increased support for education and scientific research

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