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Competition for Nordweststadt

"New ideas for Nordweststadt"
Results from the 2012 participation phase

Urban development draft, Housing
District: Completed:

Project description

Reason for planning
Taking a section of Nordweststadt as an example, an urban planning competition was held to find development solutions for the large district built in the 1960s. The brief was to adapt individual urban elements to the district’s requirements. The proposed solutions were debated and tweaked in working panels that had a number of different formats.

Development district
The area selected for the competition lies to the west of Praunheimer Weg on the northwestern perimeter of the Frankfurt district of Niederursel and extends beyond the current development boundary as it also embraces the area designated in the regional land use plan for an extension of the district. In the discussion sessions, the citizens focused on the following specimen solutions and how to adapt these to the given environment: the extension area surrounding Thomas Mann Strasse 18 including a selected sample inner courtyard, the small center at Thomas Mann Strasse 2-10, as well as the bridges and pedestrian paths extending across Gerhart Hauptmann Ring.

Planning objectives
On the basis of a competition (in all stages of which the citizens were involved) the competition results and the findings of the civic debate, the City of Frankfurt has opted for a careful development of Nordweststadt (a large estate dating from the early 1960s). The intention is to accommodate the changes in living requirements and residential environments since it was first conceived. The spotlight was on future options aimed at the revitalization of the small center on Thomas Mann Strasse, the careful construction of additional buildings to enhance urban structures, improving the layout, the feasibility of transforming the existing paths into a pedestrian-only network (with bridges extending across Gerhart Hauptmann Ring) and on enhancing public and private open space. Further topics included accessibility and the built and usage structure of the potential area for extension, bearing in mind issues of noise protection given the vicinity to the interstate.

Project progress
The two-stage inter-disciplinary ideas competition produced a number of options to develop the area. The winners were announced in May 2011. The residents of Nordweststadt were involved in all stages of the competition, thus enabling important incentives from the “local experts” to be included in the process.

Project progress
The competition marked an important first step in the civic debate on the future development of the Nordweststadt district. On June 22, 2012 a kick-off event to the next stage of the debate was held, which gave citizens and other interested parties the opportunity to become involved in four different workshops. Topics included: Residential Courtyards, Footpaths and Bridges, the Small Center on Thomas Mann Strasse, and New Development.

The participants’ findings and suggestions on the future urban development of Nordweststadt were presented to the public on December 14, 2012. The event served to distill several key recommendations from the wide range of proposals made by the citizens, some of which were very specific and revealed an in-depth expert knowledge of the matter at hand.

As part of this public event, the City Planning Office and the citizens who participated in the workshops explored findings on other topics such as densification, pedestrian bridges and structural change of the small center, laying the foundations for further debate by anyone interested.

After conclusion of the competition for urban design ideas, the core themes defined are then elaborated. Thus, for the “West of Nordweststadt” district, on Jun 26, 2014, the resolution to secure planning approval was taken for the development plan procedure, intended to lay the foundations for future housing development. As soon as new concepts are tabled, the Ortsbeirat and the general public will be involve din the planning from an early date.
Discussions with the owners are still ongoing as regards issues of redesigning and functionally modernizing the Small Center on Thomas Mann Straße and designing a specimen residential courtyard, discussions with the owners are still ongoing. In particular, in the case of the Small Center the first steps to advancing the development are now discernible as the discount supermarket has been modernized.