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ErstTrees – Grüner Start ins Studium

Fast facts

About the project

200 trees were planted by the new architecture students at Fachhochschule Dortmund in the 2020/21 winter semester. They form the first part of a future urban forest near the UAS campus on Emil-Figge-Straße, which will be expanded at the beginning of each winter semester. With the "ErstTrees" campaign, the Faculty of Architecture wants to focus on the topic of sustainability right from the start of the course.

"Wood is our only building material that grows back," explained Prof. Ralf Dietz, Dean of the Faculty of Architecture, to the first-year students. The use of resources and the recycling of building materials are becoming increasingly important in architectural training at Fachhochschule Dortmund. In Germany alone, the construction sector is responsible for 30 percent of CO2 emissions, primarily through the production of building materials. Students should already consider which sustainable resources they use and how materials can be reused when planning buildings.

For the "ErstTrees" project, the City of Dortmund's Parks Department has made a 3500 square meter area available near Fachhochschule Dortmund between Dorstfelder Allee and Emscherpfad. For the next ten years, the respective first-year students will plant and care for trees here together, supervised by Guido Kollert, research assistant at Fachhochschule Dortmund, and his "TreamTeam".

Hornbeams, rowanberries and chestnuts

The campaign is also intended to strengthen identification with Fachhochschule Dortmund. "One day you might come back with your families and say: 'I planted this tree, this is where it started'," said project initiator Guido Kollert, handing out the spades to the students. Hornbeams, rowanberries and sweet chestnuts were planted.

The project is supported by the City of Dortmund's Parks Department. "In the wake of increasingly noticeable climate change, it is an important signal for young people to get to grips with this issue," says landscape architect Heiko Just, deputy head of the Parks Department.

Meeting with fellow students

"The tree planting campaign is not only based on a scientific approach, but also creates a tangible, sustainable connection to this topic, but also to Fachhochschule Dortmund and the city of Dortmund, through the students' own planting of a tree."

In view of the coronavirus pandemic, the campaign was a good opportunity for first-year students to meet their fellow students outside of digital video conferences - outdoors and wearing masks. In order to comply with all hygiene rules, the event was spread over four days with around 40 students on each day. Every year, around 150 prospective architects start their studies at Fachhochschule Dortmund.

Parks Department of the City of Dortmund

Contact & Team

Notes and references

Photo credits

  • Benedikt Reichel
  • Benedikt Reichel

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