Probably you won’t believe it – but Frankfurt (the one and only german global city, the most americanized metropolis in Central Europe) is on the way to stand as a sustainable city. Frankfurt has entered the contest „Bundeshauptstadt im Klimaschutz“ hold by the environmental association ‚Deutsche Umwelthilfe e.V.‘. Frankfurt is not made the national capital of climate protection, the winner is Münster, closely followed by Freiburg, Hamburg and Heidelberg. But Frankfurt is number 6 in Germany. You can read the justification for this ranking here
I have found this information in an article by Mechthild Harting in the ‚Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung‘ (Nr. 67, 03/20/2007, p 43). The city of Frankfurt is operating a Department for Energy (‚Energiereferat‚), which is working on climate protection – since 17 years. The department is dealing with energy efficiency, energy saving, gives advice to citizens and companies. Their energy consultants have built a network of environmental companies, firms, organisations and associations. Since the year 2003 every new nursery or school building is constructed according to energy saving standards (for example the new basic primary school in Riedberg – another example is the tenement ‚Sophienhof‘ in Bockenheim. In the year 1990 Frankfurt acceeded to the Climate Alliance of European Cities (their agency based in Frankfurt). So the city committed to a 50%-reduction of CO2-emissions until 2010. The city council introduced the ‚Klimaoffensive 1991‚ (more informations here). I don’t know, if they attain this goal.
Finally, what does it mean to be on the way to an ecological or sustainable city (Ecopolis)? A more sustainable city, or Eco-city, has fewer inputs (of energy, water, food etc) and fewer waste products (heat, air pollution, water pollution etc) than a less sustainable city. Cities can be made more sustainable by the means of green roofs, green transport, sustainable urban drainage systems, energy conservation, energy efficiency and so on.