The Stockholm Solution is newly used in Austrian Cities and Towns and provides an integrated approach to trees and infrastructure within dense areas.
Tackling the effects of climate change and providing a sustainable environment is becoming increasingly crucial for European cities and Towns. In the Austrian Province of Styria, two good examples show the multiple benefits of an integrated and cross-departmental approach in planting trees with innovative solutions.
The Association of Municipal Authorities ‘Ökoregion Kaindorf’ (c6.000 inhabitants) and the City of Graz (c280.000 inhabitants) are both applying the ‘Stockholm Solution’ for planting trees in urban and sub-urban areas. The specific method was developed and promoted by Bjorn Embren in City of Stockholm, Sweden. Due to its structure and integrated approach, the Stockholm Solution provides trees with better growing conditions and has numerous ‘side-effects’ like stormwater management, infrastructure integration and climate change adaption. Improved conditions for city trees lead to enhanced positive effects of Green Infrastructure and to more cost-effective measurements for public authorities.
The Ökoregion Kaindorf is enhancing and adopting the Stockholm Solution by also integrating the benefits of bio-charcoal into the plant bed. Thus, the nutrient supply is enhanced and the potential as a CO2 sink is improved. Both examples in Kaindorf and Graz also show an increased cross-departmental collaboration (eg. between the green and road infrastructure department) because this method generates win-win-situations also in terms of cost-effectiveness.
Depends on the specific situation in the city/town. Resources are especially required in providing knowledge and best-practice learning-opportunities (e.g. excursions, seminars, on-site-visits etc.)
Evidence of success
The City of Stockholm is applying and constantly improving this Solution since 2001 and is constantly publishing the results of its monitoring. The authorities in Kaindorf and Graz started to adopt and enhance this solution in 2017 and also started monitoring programmes. Recent outcomes show a significant improvement in ecological (better growing rates), infrastructural (less damage), financial (less expensive) and multi-functional (improved water storage, better cooling) aspects.
Applying the Stockholm Solution requires coordination across various disciplines and departments. Spreading knowledge about the benefits is crucial for a successfull implementation.
Potential for learning or transfer
As explained above, the Stockholm Solution and its application in a growing number of Cities and Towns is a good practice on how to integrate and promote the multiple benefits of Green Infrastructure. Due to its wide-reaching effects it has a high potential for convincing authorities to lay their attention towards a more effective and more sustainable way of greening urban and sub-urban areas.
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