Joint press release by the German Environment Agency and Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety

How cities can respond to heat waves and heavy rains – creative projects show how it is done

Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze honours winners of Blauer Kompass 2018 contest

Gewinner des Wettbewerbs "Blauer Kompass" 2018 auf der Bühne im BundesumweltministeriumClick to enlarge
Mit dem Wettbewerb "Blauer Kompass" zeichnet das UBA Anpassungspioniere im Bereich Klimawandel aus.
Source: Raum11/Zappner/Umweltbundesamt

This year's winners of the Blauer Kompass contest: an innovative urban sewage system in Solingen, an educational programme on climate change for trainees in Heidelberg, a project to green a city neighbourhood in Cologne, and a shade provider operated with photovoltaic modules by the Kunsthochschule Kassel.

Federal Minister for Environment Svenja Schulze said: “We are already in the throes of climate change and we keep finding out more about its consequences. Our cities in particular can expect to experience more episodes of heavy rain and heat waves. This makes changes in building and planning necessary as well as the provision of more information to the public. Today we are honouring four innovations which address exactly these aspects and demonstrate creativity in their climate change adaptation strategies to both protect our infrastructure and enhance the quality of life in urban areas.”

Dr. Harry Lehmann, Head of Division "Environmental Planning and Sustainability Strategies" at the German Environment Agency (UBA), said: "I am particularly pleased with the diversity of the submitted projects. Themes ranging from roof greening and local flood protection to heat protection training courses for caregivers have generated many exemplary campaigns. There's been some rethinking done at local level and innovative action taken."

This is the third round of the Blauer Kompass prize in which the German Environment Agency awards projects in three categories which focus on how to handle the impacts of climate change. The jury selected three winners from among 111 projects this year. It was also the first time an audience prize was awarded in an online voting procedure which drew about 12,600 votes. All the winners and nominated projects can be seen in the ⁠KomPass⁠-Tatenbank database at

Winners 2018

Category 1: Private or municipal companies
Technische Betriebe Solingen, 42719 Solingen – "Municipal flooding precaution in times of climate change": The Technische Betriebe Solingen group developed an integrated concept for urban drainage that counts on more than only the sewage system.
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Category 2: Education and research institutions
Heidelberg University of Education, Department of Geography – Geco-Lab, 69115 Heidelberg – Geco-Lab: Trainees encounter climate change - klimAZUBI: The Heidelberg University of Education developed training modules on climate adaptation in cooperation with companies in the region and the Chamber of Industry and Commerce.
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Category 3: Societies, foundations and associations
Action group Unternehmen engagiert für’s Veedel”, 50739 Köln – „Gemeinsam für’s Klima in Bilderstöckchen: The action group starts community gardens together with local residents, is planting greenery on building facades and creating percolation areas.
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Audience award (online voting)
University Kassel and Kunsthochschule Kassel, Department of Experimental Design and Construction and Digital 3D Technology, 34127 Kassel – "Solar Spline": The university and the School of Art Kassel developed an ultra-lightweight construction with photovoltaic modules which provides shade and passive cooling for buildings. At the same time the unit uses sunlight to generate energy.
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Jury 2018

  • Christiane Grefe (Berlin desk, DIE ZEIT)
  • Prof. Andrea Heilmann (Harz University of Applied Sciences)
  • Dr. Thomas Holzmann (Vice President, German Environment Agency)
  • Ulrike Koch (Project management, Independent Institute for Environmental Issues e.V)
  • Jörg Sommer (Chairman, Deutsche Umweltstiftung)
  • Nadine Steinbach (Divisional director, Verband kommunaler Unternehmen e.V.)


Further information:
Wettbewerbsbüro Blauer Kompass
c/o co2online gGmbH
Tel.: +49 30 780 9665 23
E-Mail: blauerkompass [at] uba [dot] de

Umweltbundesamt Hauptsitz

Wörlitzer Platz 1
06844 Dessau-Roßlau

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