Following an evaluation of its activities to date, the Foundation is committed to bringing a sharper focus to its support and promotion activities in public urban spaces. These activities can be assigned to the individual core themes of the Foundation – light, green or developed space - or simultaneously to more than one of these themes.

Trier: coolest town hall

sparing the environment and public finances

As of September 2010, the town hall of the city of Trier can call itself the "coolest town hall".


Trier won the European climate protection competition "Coolest Town Hall" staged by the "Lebendige Stadt" Foundation in 2008, to which 83 cities and municipalities submitted entries.


The competition

As the prize for the award, the Philips company drew up a tailored, sustainable illumination concept for Trier town hall free of charge, helping the city to make a key contribution to climate protection by cutting energy consumption and thereby achieving a significant reduction in energy costs. The "Lebendige Stadt" Foundation funded the implementation of the concept to the tune of 100,000 euros. Around 300 new light sources were installed in the town hall in Trier, and major emphasis was attached to lighting quality in terms of luminosity, glare, maintenance requirements, color reproduction and workplace atmosphere. The concept uses highly efficient T5 fluorescent lamps with the latest reflector technology and dynamic daylight-controlled lighting management. This reduces the required power from 77 kW to 45 kW, cutting the energy needed for lighting in the town hall by around 40 percent, and bringing it into line with the latest EU standard. The lighting installation saves roughly 44 tons of CO2 a year and benefits not just the environment but also the finances of the city, with energy costs for the town hall now 15 percent lower than was previously the case.


On its own initiative, the city has now implemented a second illumination plan to modernize the lighting in the conference rooms as well as outside the building, with the latter concept designed to highlight the entrance to the building. The total cost of the overall illumination concept was in the order of 250,000 euros, of which the "Lebendige Stadt" Foundation contributed 100,000 euros.


Alexander Otto, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the "Lebendige Stadt" Foundation

"In every city, the town hall serves as a focal point for the local population. This means it can serve as a role model by making a key contribution to sustainable climate protection. The aim of the Foundation in staging this competition was to once again draw the attention of the cities to their responsibilities in this respect and to show that climate protection and cutting costs are not opposing goals."


A total of 83 cities and municipalities took part in the nationwide competition staged by the Foundation, submitting concepts for the preparation of a tailored illumination concept for their town hall. In addition to reviewing the potential for savings and the resulting benefits to public finances, the expert jury chaired by former Hamburg Senator for Scientific Affairs Dr. Herlind Gundelach also looked at the previous activities of the cities in the area of sustainability and climate protection as well as the financial ability of the municipalities to bear part of the cost of implementation.


Due to their inefficiency and high energy consumption, outdated lighting concepts harm our environment and cause unnecessarily high costs for operation, maintenance and servicing. This makes it more difficult to finance important public projects in the city. Overhauling of the lighting concept accompanied by the redesign of the existing lighting system is therefore an important and sustainable investment in the future. In every city, the town hall serves as a focal point for the local population. It is generally at the heart of the city and therefore shapes its image, underpinning the identity of each individual with his or her home town. An energy-efficient lighting concept can combine sustainability and vibrancy while sparing the resources of the city. At the same time, the town hall can serve as a role model by making a key contribution to sustainable climate protection and encouraging the owners of other buildings to follow suit.


"Coolest Town Hall" Jury


Dr. Herlind Gundelach

Government Councillor, Urban Development and Environmental Affairs Agency, Hamburg

Other Members

Michael Batz

artist and member of the Executive Committee of the "Lebendige Stadt" Foundation

Robert Pfarrwaller

Chairman of the Lamps section of the Central Association of the German Electrical and Electronic Engineering Industry (ZVEI); member of the Advisory Committee of the Board of the Lighting section of the Central Association of the German Electrical and Electronic Engineering Industry (ZVEI)

Dr. Rainer Schubach

CEO, Vattenfall Europe, Hamburg

Hans-Jakob Tiessen

CEO, E.ON Hanse AG

Norbert Claussen

Lord Mayor of Schwerin

Thomas-Erik Junge

Mayor of Kassel

Folkert Kiepe

Associate Director, Federation of German Towns

Eberhard Neumann

Director of Planning and Construction, Schwäbisch Hall

Cornelia Schroeder-Piller

Head of the Wandsbek District Office, Hamburg

Franz-Peter Boden

Senator for Construction, Lübeck