The ancient city of Magdeburgin Germany is situated on the banks of the River Elbe has had a long history. For over 1200 years it has been an important crossroads in the middle of the country, growing wealthy and important trade and being the seat of the archbishop. However, very little of the original city remains, having been destroyed twice; in 1631 and January 1945so much of the city is composed of post-war buildings. The dividing line between the eastern and western zones of Germany was just to the west of the city, leaving it in the Russian zone –meaning that much of the architecture was somewhat brutalist. After Germany was reunified in 1990, much of the city was rebuilt in a modern European style, providing good accommodation for the residents of the busy city –one which has large manufacturing plants and being centrally located, is a good centre for logistics.
In the northern New Town area, the PublicHealth Authority building had a large forecourt area with trees which needed renovation. Several trees had already failed, and the paving required replacement. The City Council commissioned studies to investigate the options available, and in January 2015 decided on a design which met their criteria, including sustainable drainage provision, adequate rooting volume for new trees and a paving design that allowed for multiple uses in the future. MagdeburgCity Council realised that this regeneration could support economic growth as well as social value and bring additional greening into the city for the long term.
Working with Magdeburg City Council, Greenleaf Deutschland –distributors of GreenBlue Urban products in Germany -the full GreenBlue Urban ArborFlow sustainable drainage system and tree planting system was designed and implemented below the plaza area –giving space both above and below ground to allow the 21 Persian Ironwood (Parrotia persica) trees to flourish and attain species potential life expectancy. The ground below the tree pits is heavily compacted ground, consisting of debris from the war, so the trees can only access nutrient that is provided within the RootSpace soil cell system –vital that enough soil is provided.
Completed in 2020, the new inner-city public realm area has proved a great success. Rainwater is drained off the hard-surfaced area into the tree pit, dealing with stormwater efficiently and sustainably. The trees look stunning –the Persian Ironwood tree has a bark which flakes off revealing new brightly coloured bark beneath; colours such as cinnamon, green, pink and pale yellow. In addition to the bark, the leaf colour, normally a glossy green, turns a rich purple to red giving a brilliant autumn display. These trees have an excellent chance of attaining old age, and become large trees –bring the massive benefits that only healthy big trees can. Yet again, GreenBlue Urban is thrilled to support Greenleaf Deutschland in greening urban Europe –turning our grey zones green