GREeNvaluation - Real-time monitoring and performance evaluation

The aim of the project was the development of the GREeNvaluation toolkit, as a precursor to the implementation of green and liveable cities. The visualization and accounting (cost / benefit) of green infrastructure services makes the benefits more tangible and understandable. The GREeNvaluation toolkit aims to create awareness far beyond the target areas by means of target group-specific communication formats.

Short Description


completed (2022)

Starting point, content and results

The population of Austria's metropolitan areas continues to grow, leading to an increase in land sealing and building density. This trend further promotes the negative effects of climate change, such as urban heat islands. In order to meet the needs of a growing city, this limited area must be efficiently protected, linked and maintained through various green infrastructures in urban spaces. International, national and local guidelines and strategies on adaptation to climate change impacts also share this scientifically proven view and recommend the integration of green infrastructures in urban spaces (e.g. EU Green Infrastructure Strategy, Special Report IPCC, White Paper "Urban Greening", Urban Heat Island Strategy Plan Vienna).

However, the implementation of these guidelines and strategies has been very low so far, both in public spaces, urban developments and private building projects. A major reason for this are uncertainties regarding the effects of green infrastructures and their monetary evaluation as well as benefits. The available approaches to this are the valuation of trees or generic calculation models for CO2 storage only for woody plants. However, the benefits of urban green spaces in terms of CO2 storage provide just a very low return of investment.

Therefore, a GREeNvaluation toolkit is to be developed, which can process weather and measurement data in real time and calculate ecosystem services quantitatively and monetarily. The GREeNvaluation toolkit will go significantly beyond the scope of existing solutions. Three demo sites will be used to demonstrate which services different greening systems provide in real time depending on the current weather conditions in order to be able to show the importance of green infrastructures.

The combination of the particular skills of the GREeNvaluation consortium have allowed a new and previously unachieved approach. High-resolution microclimate simulations (ENVI-met) were used to produce analyses in the field of energy, water, and air under different climatic conditions, different greening scenarios, and seasonal conditions. The simulation results were matched with measured data from the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences during development. Since simulating the impact performance of green infrastructures is very time-consuming and cost-intensive and therefore cannot be implemented on an ongoing basis, a machine learning method (a neural network) was developed by GREENPASS. For this purpose, close-meshed weather data in high temporal resolution supported by real climate stations were generated, which automatically drive the machine learning via API. Expertise in environmental communication and stakeholder engagement was used to ensure that the GREeNvaluation toolkit would best meet the needs of the target groups. To this end, decision-makers were actively involved in the course of the project. For the economic evaluation, a selection of ecosystem services from the GREENPASS technology evaluation catalog was used (oxygen production, CO2 storage, water storage, radiation, evapotranspiration, indoor cooling capacity, green space value share). These impact services were linked to monetary valuation approaches from the literature. The results were made available to the target audience in a customized form via a GIS-based web application. It is also connected via API to the database generated by the machine learning. Thus, it is possible to retrieve the data related to individual green infrastructures (e.g., a specific tree) or green infrastructure types (e.g., all green roofs) for freely selectable time periods (day, week, year). The results can be publicly accessed on the web platform and are available for download.

This method was applied to three demo sites with different development typologies. The boutique hotel demo site, which is located in Vienna's 15th district in the middle of dense Wilhelminian-style perimeter block development, has a total of 2,126 m² of green space. This greening increases the value share of the property by €831,600 on a one-time basis. Ongoing savings from ecosystem services of €350,100 per year were calculated. The garden area of the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences Vienna in Vienna's 19th district is located in dispersed development and, with 73,700 m² of green space, represents the largest demo site investigated. The one-time increase in real estate value here resulted in € 21,598,600. In total, € 21,628,000 in running costs were saved in the demo location Boku in the examined period of one year. The Donauplatte, as a representative demo site for an urban development area, has a total of 13,960 m² of green space. The one-time increase in property value here is €26,949,800. Ongoing savings have totaled € 2,224,100 per year.

The goal of the research project - a proof of concept of the evaluation and monetization of ecosystem services in real time - was achieved. The project demonstrated that the GREeNvaluation tool can be applied to different development typologies with different green infrastructure typologies and that savings of different magnitudes can be calculated. Thus, the ecosystem services of green infrastructures could be made visible - also in monetary terms. A fact-based and economic argumentation basis for the implementation of green infrastructures has been created.

Project Partners

Project management

Florian KRAUS - Green4Cities GmbH

Project partner

  • Mag. Susanne Lins, MAS, MSc, tatwort Nachhaltige Projekte GmbH
  • Dr. Ulrike Pitha, Universität für Bodenkultur - Institut für Ingenieurbiologie und Landschaftsbau
  • Dr. Kasra Seirafi, Fluxguide GmbH
  • Dr. Daniela Meier, UBIMET GmbH

Contact Address

Green4Cities GmbH
Plenergasse 1/5
A-1180 Wien
Tel.: +43 (676) 67 00 215