Green Volume 2010


Urban greenery plays an important role in our quality of life. Plants improve the air we breathe, the climate and help us relax. The reason is that they produce oxygen and filter our air of particulates and other pollutants. Trees and shrubs provide shade and cool the air through the evaporation performed by their leaves – both have a positive effect on the thermal burden. Parks and other green spaces offer the opportunity to exercise outdoors, go for a walk or to simply get some fresh air.

Ergo, the greener a city, the better. But how to measure this factor? First of all, the green spaces including their vegetation needed to be mapped. In a second step, the green volume number (GVZ) was calculated based on this data. In order to determine the vegetation heights on the green spaces, multiple aerial photography flights were carried out in 2009 and 2010. With the help of the aerial photographs, cylinder graphs were created. The volume of the city greenery was then derived from these photographs.

Berlin has a total of 4,877 cubic kilometres of green volume. On average, this corresponds to 5.8 cubic metres of greenery (= 5.8 m3/m2) to each square metre of the city area. A glance at the map reveals, however, that the green volume is very unevenly distributed throughout Berlin. Built-up areas have a much smaller share than non-built-up areas. Differences also exist based on the type of development – from 0.8 m3/m2 green volume in the core area to 4.7 m3/m2 for villas and town villas. In contrast, urban greenery is more abundant in the wooded peripheral areas. Visit the following pages to discover how your neighbourhood is doing in terms of urban greenery.