Climate, environment and social issues in the mission statement of the Siedlungswerk Stuttgart – business strategies illustrated by the projects "FreiburgLeben" and "Seelberg-Wohnen" in Stuttgart

Background and Goals

The Stuttgart -based building cooperative "Siedlungswerk gemeinnützige Gesellschaft für Wohnungs- und Städtebau mbH" ("Siedlungswerk" for short) pursues a corporate strategy that combines social and environmental objectives, yet always takes the specific local conditions and opportunities into account. This is illustrated in an exemplary way by two particular projects. The two projects concern inner-city locations in Freiburg ("FreiburgLeben") and in Bad Cannstatt, Stuttgart ("Seelberg-Wohnen") that were formerly commercial areas. In both reference projects, energy and climate concepts that take both ecological and social objectives into consideration have been developed and already partially implemented.

Objectives: FreiburgLeben

  •  ecology: In the Freiburg neighbourhood, all the heating is produced by means of renewable energy. A heat pump uses the groundwater of an existing well as a heat source. The power required for operating the heat pump is generated with the aid of a special spiral pump installed on the property. The peak loads in winter are dealt with by means of a wood pellet heater. This system has achieved a CO2 reduction of 90%.
  •  Social issues: The highly desirable residential neighbourhood is complemented by the child and family centre "Kinder- und Familienzentrum St. Augustinus", run by the "Sozialdienst katholischer Frauen e.V. Freiburg" (a welfare organization of the Roman Catholic Church in Germany). The organization concerns itself with the welfare of underprivileged and socially disadvantaged children, adolescents, women and families.

Objectives: Seelberg-Wohnen (Stuttgart)

  • ecology: In the Stuttgart project, a wastewater heat exchange system was installed. In other words, wastewater (sewage) is used as a heat source for a heat pump system that can supply the entire neighbourhood. A combined combined heat and power plant (CHP) generates the required power for operating the heat pump system as well as covering any peak heat requirements.
  •  Social issues: The social mix in the neighbourhood is achieved by means of its diversity: it offers family-friendly properties, senior citizens' housing, accessible accommodation, assisted living, 50 residential care places, a children's day centre and a neighbourhood meeting centre.

Content time


Research area/region

  • Germany
Region of implementation (all German federal states)
  • Baden-Württemberg
Natural spatial classification
  • Alp and North Bavarian hills
Spatial resolution 

Stuttgart, Freiburg

Steps in the process of adaptation to climate change

Step 1: Understand and describe climate change

Approach and results 

Recent regional climate projections, scenarios, and information are provided by the DWD (German Meteorological Service). Basic information on the specific urban climates in Freiburg and Stuttgart is also available from the DWD.

Parameter (climate signals)
  • River flooding
  • Heat waves
  • Extreme precipitation (incl. hail, snow)
  • Storm
Further Parameters 

extreme weather events

Step 2a: Identify and assess risks - climate effects and impact

Approach and results 

Changes in annual average values are normally not critical factors with regard to climate change adaptation in the real estate and housing industry. Far greater significance must be attached to the increase in extreme weather events.

Step 3: Develop and compare measures

Measures and/or strategies 

The focus of the research lies on business policies: The process sequence is examined, from the stated business and ecological policies to the realization and administration of the project, how the stakeholders interact in implementing urban development and technical factors, and where important points of approach lie. In addition to analysing the business strategies and processes, marketing measures, user behaviour, and internal monitoring are assessed.

The climate protection measures examined are: heat from renewable energy, use of groundwater as a source of heat, spiral pumps for producing electricity for heat pumps, wood pellet heaters to cover peak demands in winter, heat recovery from sewage, CHP plant for producing electricity for a heat pump while covering peak heat demands

Time horizon
  • 2071–2100 (far future)


Funding / Financing 

Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development (BMVBS) and the Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR): KlimaExWoSt - ImmoKlima

Project management 

Promoter: Siedlungswerk nonprofit Society for Housing and Urban Development Ltd.;

Project researchers: WEEBER + PARTNERS - Institute for Urban Planning and Social Research


Project partners: ImmoTherm, SW Management Company (SWV), EGS-plan;

Cooperation: G.A.S. build research plan, Operating and real estate industry in the Institute for Applied Research (IAF), School of Economics and Nürtingen-Geislingen


Siedlungswerk nonprofit Society for Housing and Urban Development Ltd.
Heusteigstraße 27/29
D-70180 Stuttgart

Printer-friendly version Send by email
Fields of action:
 building sector  spatial, regional and urban land use planning