Retrofitting the Building Stock
Hand in Hand with Efficient Energy Production
As early as 1996, the city of Münster developed an all-embracing concept for the refurbishment of old buildings with a funding programme, "energy pass", demonstration models and an extensive array of information. This was financed with over 5.3 million Euros and brought about investments in the city of more than of more than 45 million Euros. In 2005, this broad programme of funding was adjusted to support more challenging energy modernisations with total annual funding of 100,000 EURO.
A new gas and steam cogeneration plant was completed in 2005 with operating capabilities of 2 x 31 MW electricity (via gas turbines) and 1 x 38 MW electricity (via a steam turbine). The cogeneration plant is divided into two processing lines, each of which comprises a gas turbine and waste heat boiler with ancillary and fresh air furnaces.
District heating is generated from the waste gas produced by the steam turbines creating a total of 500,000 MWh of electricity and 510,000 MWh of district heating. Whilst there has been no increase in the amount of district heating produced in comparison to the coal-powered power plant of former times, triple the amount of electricity is generated through the use of more efficient technology. This means around half of the electricity requirements of Münster's inhabitants and 20% of their heating needs can be covered. With a combustion efficiency of 88%, the CO2 emissions of the city of Münster could be reduced by 190,000 tons per year, which makes the facility the most significant single measure for climate protection in the city.
Picture credit: City of Münster
Promoting an Environmentally-Friendly Traffic Concept
The city of Münster follows a model of systematic promotion of the most sustainable modes of transport and intermodal changes between them. The aim is for both inhabitants and visitors to be able to navigate the city without a car.
Regular public transport services, bus lanes, the priority switching of traffic lights and complimentary bicycle usage are just a few of the inviting alternatives. Moreover, the 'punctuality and connection guarantee', which sees travellers being offered the use of a taxi should delays mean a travel connection is missed, the request stop feature at night-time and a night taxi service for women all help add to the high level of acceptance for the bus and train services.
Münster has been known as the cycling capital of Germany for some time now. Amongst the countless measures enforced in the city count bicycle lanes, designated wait areas in front of the cars at traffic lights, and both covered and lockable bicycle storage facilities. The commitment to the needs of cycle enthusiasts has paid off: 37.6% of Münster's inhabitants opt to travel by bicycle, a significantly higher percentage than in other German cities.
One of the most important initiatives is the bicycle storage facility comprising 3,300 spaces that was built at the main railway station in 1999. With approximately 2,900 period ticket holders and up to 400 more tickets sold on a daily basis, the scheme proved popular from the offset. There is, however, more on offer than just storage: a repair station, bicycle shop, lockers, hire station and even a bike wash facility are also available. Along with other bike-and-ride schemes, this project is helping pave the way to the troublefree connection of bike travel with public transport.
The centrepiece of the inner city transport system is undoubtedly the socalled Promenade. What would be the main thoroughfare in other cities has here been converted into a green space exclusively for pedestrians and cyclists. The Promenade allows for rapid, pleasant and idyllic travel in an environmentally-friendly manner via tree-lined avenues at the heart of the city.
Overall it is a win-win situation: the highly appealing public transport system and extensive pedestrian and cycle facilities benefit from the aboveaverage willingness of Münster's inhabitants to opt for environmentallyfriendly modes of transport and vice versa. Special features for cyclists have been developed in the city since the Second World War, meaning that every possible structural and legal concept has now been implemented.
Extensive usage means that the range of offerings can continually be renewed and improved. Münster can be taken as a role model for the development of environmentally-friendly transportation systems by many other cities and municipalities.
Picture credits: City of Münster