GreenClimeAdapt - Green tools for urban climate adaptation

LIFE07 ENV/S/000908

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Contact details:

Project Manager: Anna LINDBLAD
Tel: +46 40 34 21 29
Email: miljo@malmo.se

Project description:


Climate adaptation in Central and Northern Europe will need to focus on managing increased levels of precipitation that are anticipated, as well as tackling extreme heat waves that will affect the entire Continent. Urban areas are considered to play important roles in mitigating and adapting to climate change issues.


The GreenClimeAdapt project aimed to demonstrate appropriate climate adaptation technology for urban areas. Experiences from Canada and the UK were applied in a number of innovative environmental management tools, such as open storm water systems, green facades and a new type of ‘green roof’. A 45 ha industrial area in south-east Malmo served as a “Green Climate Adaptation area” in which the appropriate technologies were tested. This area included a storm water system designed to greatly reduce flood risks. Sedimentation and filtration ponds would also be used to clean run-off water prior to its re-use. The project site included climbing plants on two buildings that were grown to provide shade on the wall facades. Such plant shading acts as a natural cooling mechanism for the buildings and the vegetation cover can furthermore improve the efficiency of photovoltaic panels. Results from evergreen and deciduous plants were to be monitored and compared to assess optimum noise and temperature parameters.


The GreenClimeAdapt project managed to demonstrate how cities can respond to climate change by adopting measures that helped the City of Malmö to adapt to climate change, making the city more resilient.

Key climate challenges for the city concerned increased precipitation and heavy storms that enhance flood risks. The project thus demonstrated how urban areas can adapt to climate change by implementing innovative green tools such as open storm water systems, green facades, and green roofs.

Project activities were carried out in Augustenborg, a city district with an eco-profile and in Skogholms ängar, an area near Riseberga Creek in the Fosie industrial area. To reduce the risk of floodings in Malmö, the GreenClimeAdapt project focused on improving the resilience of the major stream in Malmö, the Riseberga Creek. With changed land use in the catchment the creek became the recipient of an increased amount of storm water from urban drainage, more rural runoff, and increased nutrient load due to intensive agricultural practices, which changed both its hydrology and water quality during recent decades. Flooding of the creek also caused damage to buildings, property, and infrastructure. To quantify possible future impacts of climate change on the Riseberga creek, the project investigated the current hydrological behaviour of the creek. It used a hydrological model and synthetic climate data flood frequency for estimating.present and projected climate conditions.

To improve the resilience of Riseberga Creek, 45 ha of an industrial area in south-eastern Malmö called Skogholms ängar were converted into a green climate adaptation area with open storm water management, enhanced biodiversity, and recreational opportunities. A large recreational area (more than 40 000 m2) has been partly reconstructed, maintained, and is now open for the citizens of Malmö. GreenClimeAdapt’s open storm water system successfully resulted in reduced peak-flows and reduced erosion risks for the Riseberga Creek. This system can now retain 90% of a 10-year peak event. The open storm water system also provides an existing wetland with better conservation conditions due to increased hydrological flows. Existing and new biotopes linked to the project activities have enhanced biological variety, which remains positive for wildlife and visitors.

GreenClimeAdapt tested installations of climbing plants detached from the facade, which were used for shading facades, cooling buildings, and cooling photovoltaic panels to render them more efficient. Green facades were shown to cool external facades by 8 °C, and by 1-1.5 °C for indoor temperatures (relative to the outdoor temperature). Lower amounts of ground-level ozone were recorded near the green facades, which also boosted biodiversity in the project area.

The productivity of solar panels was considered to be better on green facades. Other findings noted that hemp was beneficial for germination of seeded plants on roofs and hemp helped to achieve the best overall plant coverage. It was not possible to attain the desired coverage of vegetation on some of the green facades and this prevented assessments of their noise-dampening capacity.

The project tested and demonstrated alternative, environmentally friendly green roofs built using different substrates. The project showed that the two roofs with the best overall plant coverage and with the best germination of seeded plants contained hemp in the bottom. Using the hemp as a bottom layer beneath the substrate proved to be more beneficial than straw, since the hemp gave a solid base layer which did not mix too much with the substrate when the substrate layer was installed. Biochar has also been tested as a new type of substrate for green roofs. The project demonstrated that biochar should be used more often in the green roof market due to its lightweight and stable characteristics with the potential of being a carbon sink. The use of biochar as a green roof substrate in the project has sparked an interest amongst both resellers of biochar and some of the Scandinavian Green Roof Association’s members. Biochar lasts for a much longer compared to other organic green roof substrates, and is therefore an interesting product from the long-term benefits perspective.

Positive policy-related experiences highlighted opportunities for integrating climate considerations into building design and urban management plans.

Direct benefits from the project are tangible and immediate for the city. Whilst remaining localised, the project benefits show local people what can be done to tackle climate challenges. However, longer-term monitoring and evaluation is required to assess the real impacts of this project’s investments in terms of increased resource efficiency and biodiversity.

Indirect benefits include contributing to the city’s ecological and environmentally-friendly profile. Stakeholder dialogue formed a key part of the project, which organised a programme of dissemination events, where many visitors took an interest in the project’s technologies (thus aiding their potential replication elsewhere).

Further information on the project can be found in the project's layman report and After-LIFE Communication Plan (see "Read more" section).


Environmental issues addressed:


Risk management - Natural risks (Flood - Forest fire - Landslide)
Climate change Adaptation - Resilient communities


urban area‚  green building‚  flood protection‚  preventive measure‚  climate change adaptation‚  extreme weather events

Target EU Legislation

  • Water
  • Directive 2007/60 - Assessment and management of flood risks (23.10.2007)
  • Climate Change & Energy efficicency
  • Directive 2012/27 - Energy efficiency (25.10.2012)

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator City of Malmö
Type of organisation Local authority
Description The City of Malmö is the local authority of the third largest city of Sweden. It is responsible for the provision for various services including environmental, such as water and waste management.
Partners Malmö University, Sweden Swedish Environmental Research Institute Ltd., Sweden Scandinavian Green Roof Institute, Sweden


Project reference LIFE07 ENV/S/000908
Duration 01-JAN-2009 to 31-DEC -2013
Total budget 3,166,264.00 €
EU contribution 1,582,932.00 €
Project location Stockholm(Sverige) Östra Mellansverige(Sverige) Småland med Öarna(Sverige) Sydsverige(Sverige) Västsverige(Sverige) Norra Mellansverige(Sverige) Mellersta Norrland(Sverige) Övre Norrland(Sverige) Baltic Sea Sverige (S)(Sverige)


Read more:

Project web site Project's website
Publication: After-LIFE Communication Plan After-LIFE Communication Plan
Publication: Layman report "Green Tools for Urban Climate Adaptation : Prepar ...
Publication: Research findings "Översiktlig inventering av skalbaggar och dagfjär ...
Publication: Technical report "Green Tools for Urban Climate Adaptation: Final R ...


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version