- Citizen survey confirms greening as No. 1 improvement request
- CDU demands visualization of the proposal of Freie Wähler and FÜR Karlsruhe
- In order to continue working on the issue, the motions will be called in the municipal council before the end of April
The greening of the market square with trees is now on the agenda of the municipal council for April after all. Background is a supplementary request of the group parliamentary group. The group executive the Free Voters and the Voters’ Group FOR Karlsruhe, Micha Schlittenhardt, explains: “Our concern of a greening of the market place has been discussed for years, it must finally become more concrete. The CDU requests now newer visualizations of different tree types and growth stages. These pictures can Helfen the acceptance for trees on the local council to strengthen.” The city council group the free voters and FOR Karlsruhe would like to vote therefore the supplementing request of the CDU soon possible. “If our application for trees would be called only in the autumn and then only visualizations are brought into play, then again another year without greening will pass”, so Schlittenhardt.
Karlsruhe want more greening and shading
The Free Voters and FOR Karlsruhe feel confirmed by the current citizen survey. About 90 percent of respondents would like to see more greenery and shade in the downtown area. Jan Böhmermann also criticized the state of German city centers in his recent broadcast. Conclusion: Too few trees, too little shade.
In this context, the FW|FÜR Karlsruhe group regrets that its motion for trees in raised beds on Karlsruhe’s market square did not receive sufficient support in the last planning committee. The motion, which was already reintroduced last December by the FW|FÜR Karlsruhe city council group, was aimed at creating more shade on the market square through raised beds and trees in the city center. According to the specialist planners, five locations are possible.
Long process of debate and many pretextual reasons
The city councilors of the FW|FÜR Karlsruhe group, Friedemann Kalmbach and Jürgen Wenzel, criticize the lengthy process and the lack of will at the administration. The FW|FÜR Karlsruhe group emphasizes that the reasons given by the administration and other groups for rejecting the application are not yet valid. The thematized monument protection can be implemented with appropriate conditions, subsidies are available and the construction fields at the market place are no reason to reject the application. The Christkindlesmarkt can also live with trees.
Willingness to compromise present: Vote expected in fall
“If the symmetry of the arrangement of the trees should be an obstacle, we are gladly ready for a compromise,” Schlittenhardt concludes, “Four trees in the north of the market square are also already an important gain for this place and a small building block towards a greener and shaded downtown for the future.” A final vote is expected after the visualization is presented in September.
Frequently asked questions
The discussion about the greening of the market place in Karlsruhe has already been going on since the motions of the FW|FÜR group in 2019 and the reconstruction of the market place and has gained importance again in recent months. A recent citizen survey confirmed that about 90 percent of respondents would like to see more greenery and shade in the downtown area. The city council group Freie Wähler and FÜR Karlsruhe again submitted a motion in 2022 for the greening of the market square with trees, but this did not receive sufficient support in the planning committee in March 2023. The motion will be called up again at the local council in April after the CDU group requested that visualizations of different tree species and growth stages be presented to increase acceptance of trees in the marketplace. It is expected that a final vote will take place after the visualizations are presented in September.
The Free Voters and the Voters’ Group FOR Karlsruhe are committed to the greening of the market square. In addition, some councillors from other political groups expressed sympathy for the motion.
One reason for rejecting the application was Weinbrenner’s classicism, which was cited by some groups as a reason against general greening. What remains unnoticed is that Weinbrenner himself wanted to build an arcade around the northern market square. Other reasons were the monument protection, but trees are possible on the market place according to the state monument protection authority. Technical feasibility was also cited as a reason, with planners identifying five possible sites. Lack of grant money for implementation in 2022 was also cited, but it has since been approved, but the city wanted to use the money to purchase sunshades as a shading measure. The Christkindlesmarkt was also cited as an obstacle, but the responsible market office does not see any problems caused by the possible trees.
According to the 2022 Citizens’ Survey, the 7236 Karlsruhe residents surveyed rated suitable measures to make the city center more attractive. In first place was the desire “More greening” with 70.3% wishing to improve the aspect very much and 21% somewhat. This shows a desire for improvement among 91.3% of citizens. In second place is the item “More shading” with a total of 89% approval. Rank 3 resulted in the wish for “More seating” followed by “More public toilets”.