Development of the solar energy settlement "solarenergetische Siedlung Erfurt Marienhöhe"

Background and Goals

The project is concerned with the development of the solar energy settlement "Marienhöhe", with between 60 and 80 planned residential units on a surface of approx. 10 hectares, in the west of the Erfurt inner city. The location is characterized as a premium location for a residential development by its excellent public transport connections (10 minutes per city rail to the city centre, trains approximately every 10 minutes), its proximity to the city centre, its south-facing hillside situation and its views over the old town of Erfurt.

Located in the heart of Germany, Erfurt, the capital city of Thuringia, has 200,000 inhabitants. The development potential of the city as an attractive place of residence and work allows it to expect a demographic development that will continue in positive contrast to the general decline in population in the remaining Free State of Thuringia.

Objectives: The strategy pursued in the pilot project combines climate protection and climate adaptation. The focus is on the prevention or reduction of CO2 emissions by relying on emission-free, renewable energy, and on the reduction of the energy demand by enforcing corresponding energy standards. In this respect, the project is about climate protection in conjunction with the use of residential properties and the mobility requirements of the population. The concept goes beyond the building-specific level and takes city-wide issues into account (green, cold air, particulate matter).

The primary objective of the project carrier and the cooperation partners is the economic success of the project. By way of a successful example, local market players are to be shown that investments in climate protection and adaptation are sustainable under normal market conditions and can create competitive advantages. The intention is to achieve a location profile of the highest quality and environmental standards that will live up to the changed environmental protection expectations of certain lifestyle groups . Moreover, for the state capital city of Erfurt, more general insights on realistic and reasonable climate protection and adaptation requirements are expected, which will have an effect on building development planning and urban development contracts.

Content time


Research area/region

  • Germany
Region of implementation (all German federal states)
  • Berlin
  • Thuringia
Natural spatial classification
  • Central low mountain ranges and Harz
Spatial resolution 


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). Climate projections at the neighbourhood level are lacking.

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

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

Approach and results 

Information on a small-scale, neighbourhood level is not available. 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 project pursues an integrative approach – in addition to technical solutions, this includes a sustainable urban development and a climate-conscious traffic concept (short distances, ecomobility, public transport, car sharing) as well as meeting the needs of future users. The focus lies on the tasks of project development and marketing.

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: State Development Corporation of Thuringia (LEG)


Erfurt, Schoppe / Dr. Anton GbR Erfurt, Thuringian Ministry of Construction, Development and Transport, Stadtwerke Erfurt GmbH energy;
Project researchers: Department of Urban Planning and Social Research Weeber + Partner (Stuttgart / Berlin) is commissioned in cooperation with GAS build research plan / Prof. Ing. Georg Sahner BDA E2D and the operating and real estate industry in the Institute for Applied Research (IAF), School of Economics and Nürtingen-Geislingen.


Bundesinstitut für Bau-, Stadt- und Raumforschung (BBSR)
im Bundesamt für Bauwesen und Raumordnung (BBR)
Deichmanns Aue 31-37
53179 Bonn

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Fields of action:
 buildings  spatial planning, urban and settlement development