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Authored by Josefine Lysdal Wulffeld, green guide and master’s student in climate change

Parks, trees, and water – also known as green and blue infrastructure – is increasingly recognized for its number of advantages for cities. It does not only create a more aesthetic environment for citizens but is also valuable for biodiversity, climate adaptation, reduction of air pollution, and mental and physical health. Because of this, there is a call for proper management tools which can ensure these green and blue areas in cities. If you have ever been to the harbor area of Malmö, Västra Hamnen (maybe even with us!) then you would know that they work to incorporate green and blue infrastructure. But how? Let’s have a look!

The Green Space Factor

The Green Space Factor might sound boring, but it is actually one of the fundamental management tools used in for example Malmö, Berlin, Hamburg and Seattle to foster greener cities. The approach essentially assigns scores to different surface types depending on their greenness and blueness. Surface types that have a high score in the Bo01 district of Malmö include green roofs, vegetation in contact with groundwater, areas covered with climbing plants as well as large trees. Sealed areas like asphalt or concrete, on the other hand, receives a score of 0. By planning for higher overall scores, the green space factor is used to balance grey development with green and blue!

Managing the Green and Blue of Malmø

Exploring one of Malmø’s urban gardens!

The Green Point System

The Green Space Factor only gives scores based on the ground cover of a surface. It does not encompass the many other benefits green and blue areas can have like increased biodiversity and water retention. The Green Point System complements the Green Space Factor in Malmö by requiring developers to fulfil at least 10 green and blue parameters from a list of 35. Among many other things, the parameters include adding bat boxes and nectar-rich flowers to improve biodiversity, establishing vegetable gardens, and adding fruit trees and berry bushes to allow local food production, and ensuring greywater to be treated and reused to relieve the sewer system.

Managing the Green and Blue of Malmø

A look at blue surface cover in Malmø. This is what they try to protect and make even more of!

See it for yourself!

Malmö has been developing, using and refining green management tools like the Green Space Factor and the Green Point System for more than 10 years. The result is impressive. If you are interested to see it with your own eyes, then join us on a guided walking or biking tour in Malmö! Tag along on a public tour at https://greenbiketours.org/vare/the-sustainable-berlin-of-the-future/ or book a private tour at https://greenbiketours.org/the-sustainable-berlin-of-the-future-tour-by-bike/. We look forward to seeing you!

Managing the Green and Blue of Malmø

Freshly city-grown vegetable in Malmø city.