Frankfurt: Frankfurt: Plans for environmental data center zoning updated

Aug 08, 2022 | Posted by MadalineDunn

Frankfurt recently announced an updated plan for commercial developments in the city, which will place a limitation on cloud and colocation data center buildings. This comes as a response to concerns around their land and energy usage. Alongside this announcement, the city also outlined its intention to create a city-wide district heating plan to recycle waste heat from facilities. It stated: "There is increased growth in data centers in Frankfurt's commercial and industrial areas. There is now a conceptual basis for enabling city-wide location control of data centers."

The city outlined that data centers can increase land prices and push out other sectors, including processing trades, crafts and industry, and are a big source of emissions. In a statement, it said: "In order to achieve the climate goals of the city of Frankfurt am Main, urban planning specifications for more sustainable land use and development must be formulated. Future growth of data centers is to be directed to suitable spatial focal points in Frankfurt's commercial areas, the so-called suitability areas. The aim is to limit the competition for space with other commercial uses and to enable synergies."

Lars Reubekeul and Philipp Moser of law firm DLA Piper commented: "Whether this will be sufficient to meet the city's climate targets will only become clear in a few years' time."

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