Urban planning for the future

Anyone driving past the major construction site in Mannheim’s north-east is in for a surprise: An urban vision of the future is to be realised here by 2028. Achim Judt, Managing Director of the municipal development company MWSP, and his interdisciplinary team are working to transform the former military site into a state-of-the-art urban district. The new “Quartier FRANKLIN” is also set to score points in terms of climate protection: The energy supply – heating, hot water and electricity – will be CO-free. In addition, the quarter will be fully equipped for e-mobility – including carsharing.

Photo credit: GBG Mannheim (l. & b.r.), sinai/MWSP (t.r.)

Neighbourhood of new opportunities

9,300 people will live here one day, 2,000 more will come here to work. Shops, cafés and schools are as much a part of the cityscape as gardens and chic residential areas. The new quarter has been planned in detail since 2011. And local residents were involved from the very beginning – around 1,000 ideas and suggestions came together.

The quarter also sees itself as a “testing ground” for the energy transition. Under the term Blue Village, for example, technological solutions are developed with a view to ecological sustainability, climate protection and energy efficiency. These include sustainable mobility with charging infrastructure, e-buses and e-carsharing, district heating partly using biogas, and emission-free household electricity. In addition, Quartier FRANKLIN is part of the C/sells research project and is using state-of-the-art storage technology to test the energy system of the future.

“It is exciting to work on the energy innovations of tomorrow.”

Sustainability is already shaping the planning. Resources are used responsibly and material cycles are taken into account. The sustainable conversion of the urban quarter is rounded off by climate-friendly greenery: 50 hectares of green space, almost a third of the site, will be used for sport and recreation; 1,350 trees as well as green roofs and facades will provide additional heat protection in summer.

At a glance: The project in figures

Fact 01
Fact 02
Fact 03
Fact 04
Achim Judt

Four questions for Achim Judt

Your greatest motivation?
To build a piece of the city of the future – an architect probably only gets this chance once in a lifetime.

The biggest challenge?
To develop all parts of the quarter in parallel, instead of proceeding hectare by hectare, for example.

Your personal highlight?
The special moment when the first residents moved in at the end of 2017.

Your insider’s tip?
Municipalities should take hold of such opportunities and potentials and manage projects themselves, instead of leaving it to third parties. But this also requires courage.

Share article: tweet share