Berlin Biotope Area Factor – Implementation of guidelines helping to control temperature and runoff

Organization: European Climate and Health Observatory

Year: 2020

In inner city Berlin, plans for the development of new buildings are subjected to the Berlin Landscape Programme, which includes a regulation requiring a proportion of the area to be left as green space: the Biotope Area Factor (BAF) or BFF (Biotop Flächenfaktor). All potential green areas, such as courtyards, roofs and walls are included in the BAF. The regulation is a part of a larger set of documents relating to landscape planning and design as well as species protection. It responds to the need to encourage more green space in densely built-up urban areas.

Climate change is expected to increase and intensify heatwaves and water-related extremes; two impacts that are particularly relevant for the urban context. By encouraging the introduction of more green space, the BAF is an important mechanism to reduce local climate change vulnerability as its measures help to lower the temperatures and improve the runoff management. The implementation of the BAF started in 1994 and is still on-going. A considerable number of new built areas in the inner city centre have implemented this regulation, translating it into green areas.