Storyboard for Downtown Cologne
Thanks to the current re-focusing on the city as the preferred place to live and work, to do business and trade, the urban and functional qualities of downtown areas have re-emerged as key planning criteria. This is readily reflected in the international competition among cities and corporations to attract investments and highly skilled staff. Downtown Cologne, a magnet that pulls many citizens, commuters and tourists, has considerable potential with world-famous historical buildings, a large population that does not fluctuate much, and clear commercial and service structures. Yet it also has noticeable shortcomings. A lack of quality architecture even in sensitive locations, plazas and squares that are decidedly suboptimal in configuration, and a massive erosion of the quality of public roads and buildings. These are but the manifest signs of a multifarious problem. A long-term development strategy is called for in order to lock into the existing potential and rectify the shortcomings. The goal is to achieve a political and public consensus for new plans. The best-suited instrument to this end is an adaptable master plan process that can be updated continually. The overall objective is to create the urban planning framework that reflects visions and presents proposals for their realization in the long term.