Small garden carbon sink project

this is perhaps a wild goose chase but one i am nevertheless not yet ready to stop pushing for.
just perhaps you can help me further.
we live in karow, berlin. in a small house with a smallish garden.
we garden green.
i attempt to make a wild garden in all possible aspects of the word, so that insects, birds, animals, amphibians, all would move in and live here, even though we practically live in the city.
i do bokashi and mulching, taking care of this wrecked soil we inherited.
well, that just in brief.
even when we are small, we are a carbon sink.
we hardly water, though in the hot summers, we are green and cool and shady, whereas our neighbors look like the kalahari.
lately i have been astounded to discover how the laws of the senat promote another sort of gardening, and that we actually, in this very late day and age, have less RIGHTS to go green, than one might think.
i spoke to my local (green) politician with an idea to promote green gardening through a tax cut incentive. one that he thought good, but we need more research and information on the subject before laws can be set in place etc.
so. my question is, do you perhaps know of anyone, anywhere at any university doing a research project on what green gardening can do for a city, and could you possibly be so kind as to point me in that direction?
i’d like to sign us up for such a project.
perhaps, if there are more data available after studies like these are done, politicians might be more willing to make small legal changes, that might just make a big difference, and in so doing also enabling normal little people like us in the suburbs to consciously contribute in a positive manner.
thank you for your time.
I look forward to hearing from you.


I don’t have links for you, but 2 things.

Urban heat island effect - so (good) green is better.

Permeable paving (we are expecting 80 to 100 mm of rain in the next 24 hours - weather warnings for wind and low surge too) Capture rain water to recharge groundwater.

Protect habitat for endangered or endemic species?


There are lots of people researching how to make cities more green. Unfortunately politicians (even green party ones) have to deal with lots of issues beyond just the environment, so they may not be up to date on the latest scientific research. They generally rely a lot on specialist advisors when drafting legislation.

So you would might have more luck reaching out to local urban gardening/environmental initiatives. I’m not very familiar with Berlin specifically, but there seem to be numerous grassroots projects:

You also might see if there are any relevant research projects being undertaken by these institutes:


yes… terrific pointers as arguments. thank you.

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THIS was what I was looking for, great tips.
I have already written to all of them. Let’s see what comes out of it.

I thank you warmly!

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As a fellow German, while I’m in favour of any scientific research done on these topics, these sort of things can be very infuriating.

I don’t see what further research is needed in order to prove that the kind of gardening you’re doing is more beneficial to the environment than the “green deserts” of your neighbours. It’s sort of self evident. The only thing really left to do (in my opinion) is define how much tax cuts you get for what amount of green gardening that you are doing. (I’d also include subsidies for growing your own food (without use of pesticides) as that can save a lot of emissions too)

I guess we have to live with the fact that the gears of bureaucracy are slow especially if you don’t happen to have a strong lobby, but oh well.

If you haven’t done so already, in the meantime you could maybe start an iNat project for observations in your garden? At best it would provide the researchers with data about how beneficial green gardening is, at worst it’d still probably be very interesting, even if it ends up only as personal use. :)

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Somewhere in USA is a city which offers rebates for hard paving removed to allow rain to sink in.

I’ve been doing lots of work with a rain garden and ‘bog bins’ under the dripline of my home… with the bog bins i’ve been including lots of dead plant matter in the substrate including wood and leaves and look at it to see if it seems to be sequestering the carbon or not. It doesn’t really do much on its own but we don’t really have good success in restoring peat-forming wetlands, anywhere really, so it’s an attempt to learn more of that. I’m trying to get sphagnum moss going in them, but it hasn’t really worked yet.


I like to think about the longevity and rot resistance of trees i’m encouraging. Especially if I can use the timbers in projects related to gardening. I don’t know if it makes any sense, but I like thinking about it. In North America Osage orange and black locust… but black locust is straight grained and a little more usable.

Black Locust is introduced in other parts of the world… so if you cut it down you’ll be removing an introduced species and gaining timbers that take a long time to rot.

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