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Urban Climate Zones



Have you heard of the tree of heaven? And did you know that you can spot it all over Berlin? The tree is not indigenous to Berlin; it comes from Asia. Due to climate change and rising temperatures in the city, however, the tree of heaven feels right at home here. It grows quickly into the heavens and is unperturbed by dry weather. This is not always good news. As the tree of heaven is spreading rapidly, it displaces indigenous tree species.

This exotic tree is just one example of how climate change is shaping Berlin’s environment, both in terms of fauna and flora. Yet the impact is never the same at any two spots because climatic conditions differ across the city. For an overview of the overarching ecological status quo of the city, the urban area is divided into five zones. These are based on changes that have been made compared to the original conditions. Change criteria include thermal changes, moisture changes and the modification of near-ground wind conditions. The “unaffected” Zone 0 includes meadows and pastures, farmland, forests and sewage farms. Zone 1 comprises forests near the city’s periphery, large green areas, agricultural land in the surroundings and low-density residential areas outside Berlin. Zone 2 includes allotment gardens and large open spaces, such as the Tempelhofer Feld and parts of the Großer Tiergarten. Zone 3 comprises the outskirts of the city and small parks in the inner city. Zone 4 includes the densely populated inner city and the largely impervious industrial areas.

Take a look at our measurement results, maps and data on each zone here.

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