"Green spaces to improve well-being and just recreation in the city center."

The City

Munich is the third-largest city located in the southern part of Germany that covers 310 km2 of land with over 1.5 million inhabitants. The city is known for its vibrancy, seasonal festivals, and rich cultural heritage. It can be characterized by a moderate continental climate where the weather conditions are often influenced by the Alps. Key urban green areas include the English Garden, the Nymphenburg Palace Park, the Olympiapark and other larger public green spaces. Due to high sealing, especially in the Inner City, Munich faces challenges of urban heat island and thermal comfort, where there is a lack of smaller multifunctional green and consumption-free open spaces for rest and recreation.

Developing and deploying modular green design elements to provide healthy, comfortable, safe, and attractive outdoor amenities in many different dense urban configurations lacking access to green.

Focus in JUSTNature

Exploration and Activation Site

The City of Munich aims to increase publicly accessible open space in the city centre, which is characterized by a high built density and some historical building structures. Linked to discussions about a sponge city as well as a car free city centre, the focus increasingly lays on the strategic-functional (re-)use of space. Many different interests influence the discussions, such as 

  • a citizen´s referendum for better bike networks.
  • a competition to green the city centre ring road and restructure traffic flows.
  • activities to restore one of the city’s smaller water streams and measures to strengthen the commercial sector.

The discussion/transformation of the city center offers a window of opportunity to adapt it to climate change and to reduce air pollution impacts, building on NbS. Multifunctional, publicly accessible open and green spaces help enhance thermal comfort and provide for just recreation. The demand for consumption-free open space providing shade and cooling in the city center has strongly increased, especially among vulnerable groups such as children and elderly people. 

The Department of Urban Planning and building regulations developed an open space district concept for the city centre, which includes the available data of the climate function map and analysis of historic green structures and identifies potential fields of action to greening the city centre. Within the framework of JUSTNature and the City Practice Lab Munich, temporary green space interventions by co-creative involvement and participation of different city stakeholders are planned to be established.


  • Increase the number and quality of consumption-free and green open spaces for high life-quality and just city centre.
  • Reduce the heat island effect and improve thermal comfort in the dense city centre.
  • Activate publicly accessible open space in the city centre
  • Develop an approach for climate adaptation/mitigation and greening.
  • Apply NbS with temporary green space interventions by a co-creative involvement and participation of different city stakeholders

Key Stakeholders

  • Greencity e.V. (association engaged in temporary and permanent greening of public space),
  • Klimaherbst e.V. (association engaged in raising awareness on climate protection), 
  • Spiellandschaft Stadt e.V. (Association engaged in participatory processes and Munich´s residents, especially children).