Tübingen – one of Germany’s greenest and youngest Cities

de Bild vergrößern Tübingen am Neckar (© colourbox)

With one of Europe’s oldest universities, its well-preserved medieval city-center and a young population (of only 40 years on average), Tübingen is well-known in Germany and beyond. Since Boris Palmer took office as  mayor in 2006, however, Tübingen has been attracting more and more attention for its efforts to become one of Germany’s most climate-friendly and sustainable cities. In 2008, Mayor Palmer started “Tübingen makes blue” (“Tübingen macht blau”), an important climate protection campaign that received numerous high-ranking rewards from the European Union and others.

Some praise Tübingen’s approach as a promising new model for city development. Recent goals and achievements include:

- Renewable Energies:

Tübingen’s green energy production has increased rapidly in the last few years. Nowadays 40% of the city’s energy demand is covered by renewable energy sources.  More than 10% of Tübingen’s citizens subscribed to the municipal energy supplier’s green electricity tariff and procure only electricity from renewables.

- Climate Protection:

Co2 emissions per capita in Tübingen have dropped by 18% since 2007 – one of the highest rates in Germany. Mr. Palmer’s goal is to achieve another 25%-reduction until 2022.

- Debt-free sustainable Economic growth:

Despite the financial crisis in recent years, Tübingen has managed to sustain a high level of economic growth and even amortize the city’s debts. For the future, Mayor Palmer promotes investment in the city’s new high-tech park.

- Eco-friendly Transportation:

More and more people in Tübingen take a bike or go by bus, since new and attractive bike paths have been created in and around the city center and intelligent traffic routing has been introduced, including priority green lights for buses. For those who still need a car, the local car sharing-program “TeilAuto” has become an increasingly popular option. Furthermore, Palmer plans to expand low-emission zones, and to further promote e-bikes.

- Eco-friendly Business:

Tübingen’s “Blue-Star-Companies”-project helps small and medium sized enterprises to establish an efficient energy-management system, and rewards companies that show a good environmental performance.

- Eco-friendly Buildings:

Tübingen’s government emphasizes energy saving in private households: among others, citizens are encouraged to improve insulation in their homes, subscribe to green electricity from the municipal energy supplier, and invest in energy-efficient household devices. The city government provides comprehensive information and assistance on various relevant subsidy programs.

 

Further information on “Tübingen macht blau”:

https://www.tuebingen.de/tuebingen-macht-blau (in German only)
http://www.klimabuendnis.org/tuebingen.0.html (in English and German)
http://greennewdeal.eu/energy/successes/tuebingen-macht-blau.html (in English)

Further general information about Tübingen:

Tübingen Tourist Board
Tübingen City Government