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Social City "Unterliederbach - Engelsruhe"

Integrated urban revitalization process as per the Federal/States “Districts in Urgent Need of Development – the Social City” program (section 171e BauGB)

Urban revitalization
District: Completed:

Project description

Reason for planning
The Engelsruhe estate is a purely residential area on the outskirts of Unterliederbach. Its origins are closely bound up with the foundation of Farbwerke Höchst, while its more recent development has been shaped by structural change.
In 1999 some 3,500 people lived in Engelsruhe, among them an above-average number of elderly people over 60, as well as children and youths. At 7.1 % the unemployment rate was slightly above the city average (6.7 %); the figure included many long-term unemployed persons (36.4 %) and people receiving social security benefits (9.8 %). While of the total population, around 27 % were foreigners. There were signs of increasing social tension and vandalism.
To support the residents at local level, from 1998 to 1999 the area was part of the EU’s “Third System and Employment Program”. As of March 1998 it was a focal area in the “Simple Urban Redesign, Section Integrative Urban Redesign” state program. In December 1999 it was continued in the “City districts with a special need for development – the Social City” project which the federal and regional governments had recently launched. It is limited to a period of 10 years plus a consolidation phase.

Development area
The planning area embraces the Engelsruhe residential estate in the east of Unterliederbach. The latter is in the west of Frankfurt, south of the A66 interstate at the Höchst exit. Downtown is approx. 9 km away.
Unterliederbach covers a surface area of around 36 hectares. It is bordered by Königsteiner Strasse in the southwest, Sossenheimer Weg (with Walter Kolb School) in the southeast, Höchst cemetery in the northeast, and in the northwest by the buildings on Cheruskerweg, which runs parallel to the A66 and serves as noise protection. The town of Sulzbach lies to the north of the A66 interstate.

Planning objectives
The “Social City” program, which includes the east of Unterliederbach and is run by the federal and state governments, provides an opportunity to spur urban renewal, mitigate social problems, promote local identity and develop approaches to foster local economy.
The aim is to get the local citizens on board in an effort to steady the district’s development and the local living conditions there and promote a vibrant social life in Unterliederbach.
Within the meaning of integrated district development, a number of different but complementary projects have been set up to transform the Engelsruhe residential estate into a viable area with positive future prospects.

Project progress
An integrated action concept adopted by the City Council (2001-3) forms the basis of the “Social City” program. For the most part the projects have several objectives. A range of different protagonists and cooperation partners ensure that they are carried out.
A “Social City” consultative council was constituted in order to ensure on-going resident involvement. There has thus been a district office at no. 135 Gotenstrasse since 2002.
Since the beginning of the program a whole host projects promoting social integration, urban planning and employment have been implemented, which are a positive influence on the development of the district and foster neighborly relations. Other construction projects with long-term prospects are currently on the drawing board and will be implemented during the extended consolidation phase.
The construction projects with predominantly long-term prospects date to the 2001-2 urban development framework plan. The renewal work concentrates on restructuring the footprints of the Hellerhof GmbH buildings on both sides of Markomannenweg with the introduction of a new district center.

The program officially ended in December 2012. It was followed by two years follow-up (=extended consolidation phase) in conjunction with the ‘Active Neighborhoods’ urban program as stated in the sustainability concept for Unterliederbach-Ost as decided in the City Council’s resolution of January 27, 2011. The follow-up program will provide district management for an additional two years (part-time position, Caritasverband Frankfurt) and allow the continuation of the neighborhood office as a low-threshold drop-in facility for residents. The community chest will be maintained for small local projects in the district. The City Planning Department, on the other hand, will be responsible for winding down the ‘Social City’ urban renewal scheme, including the implementation of the construction projects on the drawing board, the redesign of Cheruskerweg and ‘Neue Mitte’ district quarter in connection with the new buildings commissioned by Hellerhof GmbH / ABG. 


Neighborhood offices

More information

"Social City" Consultative Council

New local committees - The "Social City" Consultative Council

In order to include the residents in the “Social City” program on a permanent basis, a concept for a “Social City” Consultative Council was drawn up and implemented in collaboration with the Consultative Local Council 6 in 2003.

The “Social City” Consultative Council is a committee that gives local residents the opportunity to become actively included in the ‘Social City’ redevelopment process. Authorized by Frankfurt Municipal Council resolution on March 29, 2004, it comprises 11 residents and 10 representatives from institutions, associations and initiatives. The Consultative Council’s constituent assembly took place on April 28, 2004. The Rules of Procedure were adopted on the same day. A new Consultative Council shall be elected every two years and its composition confirmed by the Municipal Council.

The Consultative Council is a platform for ideas residents and those in office in the district to exchange ideas and opinions. Its duty is to represent the interests of the neighborhood, and as such the interests of the residents in the ‘Social City’ redevelopment area. It discusses and adopts recommendations on projects and measures initiated in the Integrative Action Concept (IHk) and on projects that come under the aegis of the annual ‘Social City’ funding application. The Consultative Council completed its work to coincide with the end of the ‘Social City’ period on December 31, 2012.

In 2012 the Municipal Council joined forces with the ‘Social City’ Consultative Council to formulate a concept that would redefine the work of the Consultative Council. The idea was to keep the public discourse on the future development of the area alive and to continue strengthening the residents’ involvement in the design of the quarter, even following completion of the renewal process. So-called neighborhood talks thus commenced in 2013. These were prepared by the Unterliederbach Neighborhood Association (nU) and set up with the support of the district management. Many members in the Consultative Council are also active in the Neighborhood Association, meaning that their experience and expertise can be drawn on to the benefit of the new system.

Residents' meeting point

A "beacon project" for sustainable urban development

Residents' drop-in center, photo: Freischlad+Holz, © Stadtplanungsamt Stadt Frankfurt am Main

The “Social Integrative City programme” run by the federal and state governments has spurred a number of initiatives and groups actively involved in upgrading the district and stimulating social and cultural life in the east of Unterliederbach. There was previously insufficient space se available in the district for these groups.
When the Nassauische Heimstätte gardener’s lodge was left vacant provided an opportunity to build a residents’ meeting point to be run and financed by a neighborhood association being established.

In 2005, following the negotiation of the financial and contractual agreements between the owner and the City, according to which following the conversion work, the City has secured the building for use by the community as a whole for a period of 25 years, the Frankfurt branch of the Caritas Association acted as the developer of the conversion. Katharina Wallenborn was the architect, and the work was financed with funding from the Social City program. The cost of the conversion is around 150,000. A good 60% of the work was carried out by unemployed youths to help them gain qualifications. 

Open day at the residents' drop-in center, photo: Freischlad+Holz, © Stadtplanungsamt Stadt Frankfurt am Main

The building now includes two small offices, a meeting room (for approx. 40 people) as well as a kitchen and toilets. There is a small outdoor seating area in the courtyard.
In September 2006, the converted building was assigned to the Unterliederbach neighborhood association, which administers the drop-in point. The association has set up a wide array of (consulting) services and an annual neighborhood festival to ensure that citizens engage actively in the life of their district – and likewise to encourage people to become involved. The neighborhood association works hand in hand with the facilities and institutions in the district and assumes a leading role in shoring up the work of the ‘Social City’ project.


New dwellings in 'Engelsruhe'

Urban restructuring around Markomannenweg

Approx. 11 hectares of the ‘Social City Unterliederbach-Ost’ project site (or almost one third of the total area) will be subject to gradual restructuring and new buildings. The restructuring of the sites earmarked for residential development on both sides of Markommannenweg and sections of Alemannenweg (owner: Hellerhof GmbH / ABG Holding) will be central to the urban renewal process. The existing 1930s residential buildings (180 small low-standard houses) will be demolished one by one and replaced with around 250 modern new edifices. The owner has declined the option to refurbish the existing facilities for economic reasons.

The 2000-1 urban masterplan by S.K.A.T. consortium and Speer & Partner, which is tailored to the development needs in the Social City zone, forms the basis for the new development. On that basis, the planners at Scheffler und Partner have now created a structural building plan. The majority of the new buildings will be erected on the existing grounds. A new element will be introduced in the form of the district center, which creates an extension of today’s Chattenweg (east-west axis) and is intended to give the district a new identity. ‘Neue Mitte’ will essentially comprise a district square flanked by two rows of buildings in the north and south. This way the square will be opened up to the east; a public stretch of green will run as far as the estate’s outer edge at Teutonenweg. With the district square and green section, the new east-west axis closes important gaps in the urban fabric and reduces the estate’s existing shortcomings.

The majority of the new buildings will have two or three stories, some of which will be set back from the line of the façade. Only ‘Neue Mitte’ will have perimeter structures of three or four stories high, complete with underground car parking facilities. Overall the new development will include 149 dwellings that are subsidized housing. The rents will be pitched to reflect those in the old buildings up for demolition and offer affordable residences in particular for the low-income brackets.

Construction on the so-called ‘Starterzeile 1’, a subsidized housing development on Markommennenweg 12-16, kicked off in 2005. It provided alternative housing for the first tenants from the old houses awaiting demolition. The construction of another ‘starter row’ in 2009 (Cimbernweg 5-7, subsidized housing), for which an additional site had to be purchased, provided additional tenants with living space and initiated preparation of further planning. 2011 saw the construction of two rows of residential buildings upside from the planned buildings on the square (Markomannenweg east and west, social housing), which were completed at the end of that year. They likewise accommodated tenants from the existing houses.

At the same time, preparations commenced building underground car parks and buildings on the square (rows of houses in the north and south, social housing). They were completed in 2014.

Subsidized housing (Starterzeile 2 on Cimbernweg), Architekt Gottschick, © Stadtplanungsamt Stadt Frankfurt am Main

In 2008, three privately-financed residential complexes on Alemannenweg were completed in addition to the subsidized apartment buildings. The remaining rows of residential homes will cater to people in the middle-income brackets in a bid to achieve a well-balanced residential mix. In total, 273 new dwellings will be built in the course of the redevelopment.

Privately financed residential dwellings on Alemannenweg, Architekten Scheffler und Partner, © Stadtplanungsamt Stadt Frankfurt am Main

Neue Mitte

Constructing a district center with a clear-cut identity

The 'Neue Mitte' project, which sets out to give the district’s center a clear-cut identity, is an important core project with a long-term focus which forms part of the integrated redevelopment approach for Social City Unterliederbach-Ost. It has been listed in the Integrated Action Concept since the City Council passed the relevant resolution in 2003. S.K.A.T consortium teamed up with Speer & Partner (2000/1) to develop an urban master plan for the design of ‘Neue Mitte’. It formed the basis for the construction plans tabled by Scheffler & Partner architects.

In 2004 the City Planning Department carried out a peer review for the redesign of ‘Neue Mitte’. Four landscape architects participated in the competition, which was won by Dittmann + Komplizen. The City Planning Department recommended that the design be taken as the starting point for further development and implementation.

The ‘Neue Mitte’ project is subdivided into two parts: In conjunction with the new construction work carried out by Hellerhof GmbH the plan is to create a new link that will extend east-west between the district’s prominent routes and thus extends today’s Chattenweg. At the intersection there will be a public neighborhood plaza, with a perimeter framed by residential complexes (height: 3-4 stories, builder: Hellerhof GmbH /ABG). The buildings will need to be completed before construction of the plaza can commence (as of 2013). East of the plaza, the site formerly owned by the Federal Institute for Property Administration (BImA) is earmarked for a public park that will run as far as Teutonenweg in an effort to create more green spaces in the district.  

"Neue Mitte" green zone

The purchase agreement on the acquisition of the land for the planned ‘Neue Mitte’ green space was concluded the end of 2010. The sale of the property was a sine qua non for construction of the park. In 2011, the planners took the proposal by Dittmann + Komplizen as a basis for the design and implementation planning, which was coordinated with the ‘Social City’ Advisory Committee and the relevant departments in question. In 2012 the plans were implemented in conjunction with the City’s Greens and Parks Department. 

The 4-meter-wide esplanade that culminates in a small square near Teutonenweg is the centerpiece of the new park. The grounds on either side of the esplanade have been designed to cater to a variety of uses: The north boasts flowerbeds and a climbing zone for kids, while the south of the park is embellished with carefully sculpted lawns arranged among the ancient tree population. The park can be accessed via Cimbernweg and Teutonenweg, and via Chattenweg down the road.


  • Plaza at the end of the green, © Freischland+Holz
  • Climbing Park after completion, © Freischlad+Holz
  • View of the green zone of the district plaza, © Stadtplanungsamt Stadt Frankfurt am Main
  • View from southwest eastwards, © Stadtplanungsamt Stadt Frankfurt am Main
  • Riverside promenade, view eastwards, © Stadtplanungsamt Stadt Frankfurt am Main
  • Inauguration, Neue Mitte Green Zone 2012, © Freischland+Holz

"Neue Mitte" neighborhood plaza

The “Neue Mitte” neighborhood plaza (Gepiden Forum) that extends along Chattenweg, together with the “Neue Mitte” green space, forms the heart of the new district. The plaza is enclosed by residential complexes (social housing) of three and four storeys high. Following completion of the structures on the plaza, construction work proper commenced in spring 2014, together with Hellerhof GmbH as developer. Today the plaza and greened area form a coherent zone: the new centerpiece of the district.
The concept by Dittmann + Komplizen landscape architects provided the basis for the design. In the course of advancing things further, plans were adapted to reflect on-site conditions and became eligible for implementation. In conjunction with these changes the opportunity arose to relocate the above-ground old transformer station at the entrance to the plaza (Alemannenweg) and erect a modern substation on the northern edge of the square in its place.
The plaza boasts a tranquil and honest design that respects the walls defining it. A gently rising flight of stairs with elongated steps bridges the height difference at the entrance to the plaza on Alemannenweg. A ramp provides barrier-free access not only to the plaza but also to the first house in the southern row of buildings. Design elements have been consciously placed to accentuate the spatial layout of the plaza and maximize the quality of leisure-time activities. Space-enhancing elements (copses arranged in a line / widely spaced out deciduous trees / grassy mounds to provide links with the green space) lend the plaza, which can be used for temporary events, a high quality appeal. The red concrete seating elements under the trees serve as an attractive eye-catcher.
The result of the “Neue Mitte” project: an urban, high-quality plaza with attractive features that will no doubt encourage youngsters and senior citizens to make their district more of a vibrant center.

  • Fun on the plaza, © Stadtplanungsamt Stadt Frankfurt am Main
  • Impressions of the plaza at night, © LA Dittmann+Komplizen
  • Design detail: seating element made of red concrete, © Stadtplanungsamt Stadt Frankfurt am Mai
  • Zoning: transition area northside, © Stadtplanungsamt Stadt Frankfurt am Mai
  • View of the district plaza from the green zone, © Stadtplanungsamt Stadt Frankfurt am Main
  • Center of the plaza with the adjacent green zone, © Stadtplanungsamt Stadt Frankfurt am Main

Open spaces for elderly people

Enlivening public areas through new open spaces

A nice spot for all, © Stadtplanungsamt Stadt Frankfurt am Main

The motto of the “Open Spaces for Elderly People” project is “designing using all the senses”. A connecting and eventful design created different open spaces, which appeal to the various senses (sight, hearing, smell and taste) and interests (chatting, resting, moving, being active and relaxing) of elderly people and can be used in several ways. In addition to being attractive places in their own right, the new open spaces are also intended to encourage different generations to mingle.

With the senior citizens’ club involved, in 2005-2006, together with the landscape architect Harms Wulf and the City Parks Department, a total of seven projects were conducted. These were financed with funding from the Social City program.

Letting the world go past, picture: Freischlad+Holz, © Stadtplanungsamt Stadt Frankfurt am Main

What’s new? (Engelsruhe kiosk plaza)
The plaza was divided into three sections: An area with plants facing to the houses on Alemannenweg, a hard-surfaced kiosk forecourt, and a resting zone facing the road with benches, flower beds, and an advertising column. A medium-high hedge cut in the shape of a box borders the kiosk plaza, which is a pleasant place to stop for a while.

Watching the World in Peace (the expanse of greenery between Engelsruhe and Cheruskerweg)
Circular seating was installed in the partial shade of old linden trees, from which it is possible to observe the activity in the park. Spiral-shaped paving adorns the plaza. From the semi-circular bench there is a view of small raised bed with flowering shrubs which is framed by artistic sandstone slabs.

Games for Young and Old (play street on Cheruskerweg)
A boule area and a play zone for small children provide space for games for young and old.

Garden of Tranquility (the expanse of greenery at Cimbernweg/Teutonenweg)
Set back from the road and beneath tall beech trees, circular seating was installed that is framed by woody plants and scattered ferns and shrubs providing shade. A slab of stone featuring a bird bath entices birds and insects.

The sanctuary, © Stadtplanungsamt Stadt Frankfurt am Main

A Plaza to Catch Your Breath (Rugierstraße)
This seating offers those making their way home from the bus stop with heavy shopping bags a welcome opportunity to catch their breath and have a short rest.

A Stroll through Greenery (path through the allotment gardens)
A circular trail through the allotment gardens is intended to make going for a walk attractive. The first section running as far as the cemetery is finished. Along the way, arched trellises with climbing plants and bedding plants encourage passers-by to stop. A shelter with seating offers protection from the rain and shade if it is sunny. The second section as far as Teutonenweg will be completed when “Zirkuswiese” is redeveloped. For the moment a track leads to Teutonenweg.

Plaza for Everyone (circus)
The quaint old plaza was remodeled and made into an attraction for young and old alike. A diagonal path divides it into two halves.
The northern half is surrounded by a bench and a hedge, and is a pleasant place to linger. Roses and shrubs adorn a raised bed in front. Under the motto “Germanic roots” the southern half of the plaza was laid out as an adventure playground for small children. In terms of what it offers the playground takes up the names of the surrounding streets in the district. Every year a neighborhood party is held on the “Plaza for Everyone”.

Redesign of the school playground/play areas

Play areas, © Stadtplanungsamt Stadt Frankfurt am Main

The redesign of the playground at Walter Kolb School and of other play areas in the area is an important core integrated action concept project. The redesign of the playground opens the school up, giving it a direct link into the district. By participating in all stages of the project the numerous children and youths there clearly improved their own living situation, being actively involved in the events in the district.

Playing areas, © Stadtplanungsamt Stadt Frankfurt am Main

The redesign of the school playground had as its motto “a life before our time”. From 2003 onwards it was completed in three stages in cooperation with the “Frankfurter Kinderbüro” and the associations Discorso and Impact.
In the first phase, theme-related playground equipment (a volcano slide / tree house) was built and a link created between the upper and lower areas of the school site.
In the second phase the existing play area was redesigned and a climbing dinosaur, climbing house, climbing trees and swings added. Youths were given their own area in the form of a “green class room”. Lastly the covered break area was symbolically redesigned as a prehistoric cave with the murals studied in art and history classes. Covered seating was added to the existing kiosk.
In the third phase, benches and information boards were erected in the school entrance area. A stand was built for the new sports field to enable everyone to enjoy sports events together.
A big celebration in April 2005 marked the completion of the redesign of the school playground.

Schlotterland playground, image: Freischlad + Holz, © Stadtplanungsamt Stadt Frankfurt am Main

Parallel to the school playground, between 2002 and 2005 four new play areas were created on the site in an interactive planning and construction process:

Schlotterland Castle with adjoining activity area with a seesaw, swings, and climbing poles is intended for 8-to-12 year olds. Integrating part of the allotments created a continuous play area at the end of Cheruskerweg.

Youth area with barbecue hut and basketball pitch
In the immediate vicinity there is a new barbecue hut, seating and a basketball pitch, which youths from the youth club helped build. The adjacent football pitch was resurfaced and given new goalposts.

Enchanted Forest
At the upper end of the expanse of greenery between Engelsruhe and Cheruskerweg and surrounded by the interplay between light and shade caused by tall trees, the existing playground for 3-to-10 year olds has been redesigned. A spiral tower complete with slide, tree house, and bird’s-nest swing round out the play equipment.

No Man’s Land
The small play street on the edge of Cheruskerweg has been upgraded; it now boasts a new surface and a seesaw, a climbing crocodile, springy animals, and a small children’s swing. The play area is intended to be integrated in the remodeling of the road.
The entire project was financed with funds from the Social Integrative City program.


‘HelpNet’ is a network that provides all kinds of everyday care and home help. The service is intended to support elderly and disabled people, as well as the infirm, in managing their lives and enable them to remain independent in their own homes for as long as possible. Through ‘HelpNet’ locals can contact home helps (including cleaning and shopping) and carers assisting with everyday tasks (managing doctor’s appointments and visits to the authorities, going for walks, doing small repairs etc.). The helpers are people on low incomes seeking employment and/or recipients of unemployment benefit (Arbeitslosengeld II). Most of them come from the Social City Area. They will have an induction session and training in their duties and tasks, and will be covered for liability and accident insurance for this part-time work. The Caritas Social Contact and Network Office puts people in touch with the ‘HelpNet’.

The project was initiated in 1999 as part of the ‘Social City’ renewal scheme in Unterliederbach-Ost ‘Engelsruhe’. At the time, a quarter of the district’s population was over 65 and care facilities were extremely poor. Moreover, in the area, desperately in need of redevelopment, many of the people had low incomes (single parents, low earners, unemployed) and were obliged to earn some extra money on the side.

The Caritas association of the St. Johannes parish put the project together with the district management and the Caritasverband Frankfurt am Main. In 2004-5 initial support was implemented under the terms of the LOS funding scheme. The project was fleshed out as a ‘Neue Partnerschaften für die Soziale Stadt’ (New partnerships for the Social City) further down the line. Until April 2011 it received funding from the Social City’s HEGISS innovation scheme, which is related to the program. In 2012 Caritasverband Frankfurt e.V. assumed patronage of the scheme which coincided with extending the HelpNets throughout the city. The cooperation with the parish will be continued.

In 2010-11 a total of 105 helpers worked some 12,000 hours in providing assistance with the shopping, cleaning, laundry, ironing etc. in Unterliederbach. These services were provided in 90 homes regularly – and in 30 homes on an as-needed basis. The model project got off to a very successful start, with an additional nine HelpNets in place by 2012. They are affiliated with the City of Frankfurt’s parishes.


Enhancing the image on the outside and inside:

Redesigning the front gardens on Alemannenweg & restructuring Alemannenweg

Situation at the beginning of the redevelopment process, © Stadtplanungsamt Stadt Frankfurt am Main

The row of houses at the east end of Alemannenweg was erected in 1929 under the aegis of Ernst May, who was the Head of Frankfurt’s Planning Department at the time. Since the start of the redevelopment project, eight of the ten municipal houses on Alemannenweg (nos. 52-70) have been privatized. They were predominantly sold to residents from Unterliederbach in an effort to increase the number of property owners as it was felt that this would encourage residents to stay in the district and broaden its social structure. When the houses were sold, the City retained a 2.50-meter wide strip along the road to facilitate the conversion of Alemannenweg, which has two-way traffic in this section.

Appearance following the redesign, © Stadtplanungsamt Stadt Frankfurt am Main

After the houses changed hands, the residents expressed the wish to enhance the appearance of the front gardens. Individual paths up to each house that in part cut across the neighbor’s garden, a dilapidated retaining wall along the erstwhile property boundary and the visible presence of the wheelie bins were among the prime issues they wanted addressed. In a first step in 2008 plans got underway to give the front gardens a functional and aesthetic makeover. Accordingly, Wittich landscape architects was commissioned to draw up a development concept, which then formed the basis for an interactive process with the residents culminating in a feasible master plan that was then fine-tuned to enable implementation planning. As a result, the retaining wall as the new boundary between the road and the front gardens was shifted by 2.5 meters and adorned with a continuous hedge facing the buildings. Every two houses now share a common front path. Steel-plate wheelie bin storage units were integrated into the new wall to create an aesthetic and homogenous finish. Following the landscaping, planting in the front gardens started in spring 2010, with each adorned with an individually selected tree, and a small seating area, if required.

Cityscape following completion, image: Freischlad + Holz, © Stadtplanungsamt Stadt Frankfurt am Main

Alemannenweg was transformed in a second step in 2010. The additional space gained from the front gardens was used to broaden the sidewalks and parking was reorganized into a separate parking strip interspersed with trees. The road was slightly narrowed and resurfaced.

In October 2010, the residents hosted a neighborhood party to inaugurate the results of the makeover, which has considerably enhanced the district’s overall appeal and upgraded its image – both on the outside and inside. The re-landscaped front gardens are exemplary in character and have inspired a whole host of exchange and debate. 

Creating new links in the district and enhancing the urban fabric

Links between Rugierstrasse / Sossenheimer Weg

Pedestrian network after completion, © Stadtplanungsamt Stadt Frankfurt am Main

In conjunction with the ‘Your City Close at Hand’ project, a new short-cut link was established by extending Alemannenweg southward in 2009-10. Cutting through the long residential block between Rugierstrasse / Sossenheimer Weg, the center of the estate is now connected directly to the ‘Grauer Stein’ day-care facility for children and Walter Kolb comprehensive school. The new link was part of the urban masterplan for the Social City Unterliederbach zone and responded to the wish expressed by the district’s residents when plans were still on the drawing board that such a short-cut be provided.

After the routing had been defined and the availability of the affected property sections established, the City teamed up with Wittich landscape architects (Frankfurt/Main) to develop a design concept; this formed the basis for the technical implementation planning (Büro Privat / Friedrichsdorf) in 2009.

The new link was completed in 2009-10 and duly inaugurated. The bituminous surface has a light finish of natural stone granules. A section with a low wall, which is flanked by a wild cherry tree, runs in the center of the path: The island is bordered by a jasmine hedge to separate it from the surrounding gardens. A wire-mesh fence has been incorporated in the center of the hedge to prevent trespassing to the allotment gardens. The east side of the path has been designed with a galvanized steel fence to provide orientation. The new route is illuminated by five streetlamps. The name ‘Ambronenpfad’ was adopted in line with a recommendation tabled by the Local Consultative Council.

District entrance at Teutonenweg

Situation before redesign, © Stadtplanungsamt Stadt Frankfurt am Main

Once work on the new grocery store and residential complex on the site formerly known as Zirkuswiese (Sossenheimer Weg / Teutonenweg) was complete, in 2011 the entrance to the ‘Engelsruhe’ estate at the lower end of Teutonenweg was redesigned to enhance the overall urban fabric. To this end, the City of Frankfurt purchased a strip of land (approx. 10 meters wide) east of Teutonenweg. The plans drawn up by Frankfurt’s Wittich landscape architects formed the basis for the makeover and inspired all further design and implementation planning down the road.

Entrance at Teutonenweg after completion, © Stadtplanungsamt Stadt Frankfurt am Main

A 2.40-meter-wide illuminated footpath cuts through the new green. Lawns with old and new trees extend on either side of the path. There will be two seating areas with benches flanked by fragrant shrubs. On the edge abutting the grocery store’s car park the entrance will be accentuated by a hornbeam hedge that at 1.50 meters high will obscure the parking cars. Around the townhouses a continuous galvanized steel fence will denote the border between public and private spaces.  

Facade of the youth club

A positive change in image - youths design their own youth club

Redesign of the front of the youth club, image: Freischlad + Holz, © Stadtplanungsamt Stadt Frankfurt am Main

In 1998 part of the car park on Cheruskerweg was transformed into a youth club in the context of the ‘Einfache Stadterneuerung’ scheme. The new facility with offerings for young people served to close an important gap in the district’s infrastructure and succeeded in getting the younger residents to identify with their neighborhood. The inhospitable appearance of the car park façade had dented the facility’s image for quite some time. In an effort to remedy this, art teacher Brigitte Orth teamed up with local youths to develop ideas to improve the youth club’s façade. The project was made possible through the LOS (Lokales Kapital für Soziale Zwecke/ Local Capital for Social Purposes) project.

The project was tailor-made to address the needs of unemployed youths and young adults. It kicked off with a basic course in façade painting and a concept presentation following which the group itself produced a range of possible designs for the façade..
In agreement with Nassauische Heimstätte, which owns the car park, the design entitled “The World as a Stage” was selected, and subsequently commissioned by the City Planning Department. The entire project was financed with funds from the “Social Integrative City program”. Together with Ms. Orth, a group of eight youngsters spent more than ten weeks painting the winning design on the façade. In early November 2006 a commissioning ceremony was held for the new youth club façade.

In 2012-3 the concrete and façade of the car park on Cheruskerweg is being refurbished. Though necessary, the work impacted the façade design, which was destroyed as a result. However, the image bears an important function as a symbol representing the start of a new era in the quarter. For this reason on completion of the redevelopment, the façade will be given a new picture. Once again the artist will team up with interested youngsters from the district to dream up the new image. The district itself is responsible for the development and organization of the project; it receives additional funds from a community chest. The redesign of the façade is a typical “bottom-up” project that has a beneficial effect throughout the district.


Concept: "The Stage", © Stadtplanungsamt Stadt Frankfurt am Main

Redesign of Cheruskerweg

Redesigning the streetscape on Cheruskerweg

Redesigning the streetscape of Cheruskerweg is an important core project with a long-term focus which forms part of the integrated redevelopment approach for Social City Unterliederbach-Ost “Engelsruhe”. The aim is to enhance the street in its entirety and transform it into a prime location.

Together with the residential buildings (subsidized housing), which extend along the A66 interstate and, at 7 or 8 stories high, double up as noise protection, the line of Cheruskerweg forms the backbone of the Engelsruhe residential estate. Prior to the redesign, the street was subdivided into various functional sections, which were neither readily comprehensible as such nor fully developed. In 2011, the City Planning Department carried out a peer review for a solution that was functional, aesthetic and enhanced the quality of the street for the residents. Four planning firms took part in the competition, which saw the concept by Mann landscape architects from Fulda come out tops. The proposal formed the basis for further development and execution.

Büro Mann prepared and coordinated the design and implementation planning in 2012. At the same time, the plans were debated and voted on in the Social City Consultative Committee and at a meeting of local residents. In addition, the plans were discussed in detail with local residents during a joint inspection of Cheruskerweg.

  • Design detail: surrounds for garbage cans, © Stadtplanungsamt Stadt Frankfurt am Main
  • New design of the Alemannenweg/Climbernweg section, © Stadtplanungsamt Stadt Frankfurt am Main
  • View from the east westwards after the redesign , © Stadtplanungsamt Stadt Frankfurt am Main
  • 04-Tree surrounds, opening to the east, © Stadtplanungsamt Stadt Frankfurt am Main
  • Design detail of wall element between the front garden area and the sidewalk, © Stadtplanungsamt Stadt Frankfurt am Mai
  • Opening to the east, overall setting, © Stadtplanungsamt Stadt Frankfurt am Main
  • Gotenstraße/Allemannenweg section, © Stadtplanungsamt Stadt Frankfurt am Main
  • Detail of new house entrance design , © Stadtplanungsamt Stadt Frankfurt am Main
  • Impressions of the pedestrian promenade, © Stadtplanungsamt Stadt Frankfurt am Main
  • Cheruskerweg view from west to east, © Stadtplanungsamt Stadt Frankfurt am Main
  • Appropriation of free urban space, © LA Mann

Construction work commenced in August 2013. The project advanced in five stages and was completed in June 2015. Prior to the transformation, the multi-storey car park owned by Nassauische Heimstätte (NH) underwent extensive modernization enabling all parking spaces to be used henceforth.
The transformation, which was handled in collaboration with the Road Construction Office, succeeded in revitalizing the overall situation and boosting the image of Cheruskerweg. Improvements include giving the streetscape a clear layout, which serves to augment traffic flow, structure parking possibilities and make the street a quality leisure space for residents. In addition, the front gardens that extend along the 350-meter-long residential complex were rezoned in cooperation with NH. The entrances to the buildings likewise received a makeover to upgrade the new overall design.
The redesign of Cheruskerweg in essence takes its cue from the existing road layout. The northern sidewalk was widened to 4 meters and in its new capacity as a boulevard functions as a vibrant backbone in the quarter. Together with the new high-quality open spaces it serves as a lively meeting point and leisure space for young and old alike. The setting is enhanced by adding a new design feature, a long attractive wall at seat height that clearly distinguishes the sidewalk from the front gardens and encourages passers-by to sit down and take a rest.

Traffic routing was maintained as before, with a single lane width of 4 meters. Four crossings structure road traffic flow and offer safe opportunities for pedestrians to get to the other side of the road. The parking lanes along the street provide 53 additional parking spaces; these are rounded out by a car parking facility with 14 spaces at Gotenstrasse.
Overall, the extensive redesign has resulted in an attractive, high-quality urban space that caters to different user groups and, thanks to its appealing look-and-feel, promotes social integration among residents to ensure lively co-existence.

Cooperative apartment construction in Gotenstrasse block
Multigenerational dwellings

In 2008 together with Bauverein Höchst und Umgebung the City Planning Department hosted a peer review for the Gotenstrasse block. Five planning firms participated in the competition for a high-quality concept featuring new small-parcel dwellings that would emulate the style of the existing houses on the estate and surrounding buildings in terms of height and volumes.

In the course of planning, the winning concept by Baufrösche architects and urban planners (Kassel) was amended to suit the changed requirements of the cooperative, and its economic feasibility assessed. The idea: top-quality dwellings that will complement the existing urban fabric and provide affordable residential space (8.50 – 9.00 euros/square meter).

The project was ready for construction in 2012. The quality of the new residential buildings is similar to that of the existing dwellings, but they offer a contemporary take on the familiar features. As with the established structures, the new dwellings on Gotenstrasse will be three stories high.

View: Town houses on Gotenstrasse, © Architekten und Stadtplaner Baufrösche, Kassel

The new three-story complex on Chattenweg with spacious wraparound balconies on the courtyard side and barrier-free apartments is intended to form a link between the compact buildings on Königsteiner Strasse and the town houses on Gotenstrasse. A versatile leisure space concept (including plots for allotment gardens, free spaces for community activities, gardens for the ground-floor apartments, and balconies for upper-floor apartments) serve to provide a versatile array of uses.

Illustration: View of the courtyard, © Architekten und Stadtplaner Baufrösche, Kassel

The project comprises 52 apartments of different sizes. There will be underground car parking. Flexible apartment configurations will enable residents to adapt their homes to changing requirements in different stages of life in a bid to facilitate multigenerational dwellings.

The realization of the project through Bauverein Höchst und Umgebung will impact positively on the development of Unterliederbach as a quarter. The apartment buildings were completed in the first quarter of 2015.