Gartenstadt Drewitz
Garden city Drewitz towards zero-emission-city

Potsdam (Germany)
Potsdam City Council and Pro Potsdam Housing Agency



Leading case typology

   Leading case function



   Industrial, services, etc.

Main Targets for 2005


  • Reduce primary energy demand of buildings from 130 to 60-70 kWh / (m²) and set higher energy storage standards for new construction;
  • Develop an integrated climate protection concept to achieve a pioneer status in the safe and sustainable urban development of energy;
  • Develop a neighborhood adaptation model to combat the inevitable impacts of climate change (example: implement and maintain a more greener district and combat the heat island effect in urban contexts;
  • Contribute to a decentralized energy production and supply, innovative mobility concepts and an energetic modernization of residential buildings.


The urban district "Drewitz" in Potsdam was erected in the 80s of the last century. It is a residential district, with 6,000 dwellers in 2,900 apartments, made with precast concrete slabs structure buildings.

Drewitz is partly a low-income area with a high percentage of people receiving social benefits. The main target of the Garden city Drewitz towards zero-emission-city programme is to develop a modern and sustainable quarter with low CO2 emissions and with green infrastructures and good living conditions.

District development concept
The urban concept of the Garden City focuses in the redesigning of the main district avenue that crosses the residential area and the central public park, whose large-scale traffic should be significantly reduced.

The programme aims to improve the everyday life quality through the energetic renovation of the residential and public buildings, the reorganization of the transports and the improvement of quality of the open space. 

An investment concept should be part of the strategy to ensure that the residents are involved in the energy-related issues and the energetic urban development.

The concept will be implemented gradually over a long term period (target 2025). The concept results should be a model for future energy development of the district.

Economic apartments concept
The programme is mostly financed by the KfW (Reconstruction Loan) Bank Group fund, under the new funding line "Energetic urban renewal".

This fund comprises 65% of the total costs. The remaining 35% should be shared equally by the country's capital, the ProPotsdam (asset-holding company group of the state capital of Potsdam) and the Energy and water Potsdam (EWP). 

For socio-cultural and employment-generating projects, grants may be awarded. Residents, non-profit associations, organizations or consulting, and training organizations can apply for grants.

Participation concept
To implement the garden city concept and to ensure the civic participation under this process, the engagement of the citizens has been permanent, regular and crucial to the decision-making process. Therefore, it was elected a representation group of citizens to ensure the inhabitants interests, to provide updated information and to organize discussion sessions about the project next steps.

Financing concept
The total investment for the transformation of Drewitz into a garden city will reach about 300 million euros between 2009 and 2025. The Potsdam city applies for 2,7 million euros from the European EFRE program for the project development and implementation. The rehabilitation of the housing stock will involve about 140 million euros, and 17,8 million euros of has been used for the currently ongoing energetic rehabilitation of 200 apartments in Konrad-Wolf Alley. Due to additional funding by the Federal state of Brandenburg (around 10 million euros) the rents should stay at 5.50 € per m² after the renovation. These measurements will be finished by the end of 2014. Beside the rehabilitation of the blocks and apartments, the whole district will be transformed into a "Gartenstadt". The cost for the outdoor plants are calculated for 9,2 million euros, 1,7 millions for the Konrad-Wolf park.

To implement the project,the Postdam City Coundcil and ProPotsdam signed a cooperation agreement. The cost of the district management is expected to be about 120,000 euros / year.

The Next steps in the integrated concept development are the rehabilitation of the district school (6,1 million euros) and two Kindergarten (2,5 million euros each).