Podcast Block-Denken – Applying cyclical principles to the development of districts


The podcast series Circular Economy is dedicated to the circular and thus resource-saving development of districts. Photo © Chamber of Architects Rhineland-Palatinate, Kristina Schäfer, Mainz

What does sustainable urban development look like that applies cyclical principles at the district level? Jürgen Häpp, Associate Partner at AS+P, discussed this together with other experts referencing the "Neue Ludwigshöhe" project in Darmstadt by way of example.

“Thanks to its location and urban structure, the Ludwigshöhe district is a suitable testbed for sustainable urban development and as planners, and we had the opportunity to fundamentally tackle central issues there. For example, by deploying green spaces as cooling islands, which also reduce the number of sealed surfaces, or through fresh air corridors across the hillsides of the Odenwald, which also help to cool the city. In addition, in keeping with sustainable energy management, no fossil fuels are used within the district. The mobility concept relies on public transport systems and has been planned in advance. In addition, the implementation process itself is sustainable. By involving citizens at an early stage, we were able to incorporate very many aspects of neighborhood development as early as the competition phase, and we also actively sought a dialog with citizens while we were further developing the structural concept. This allowed us to achieve a better consensus,” Häpp said in the podcast.

Das Mobilitätskonzept setzt beim öffentlichen Nahverkehr an und wurde vorgeordnet geplant. Darüber hinaus ist der Umsetzungsprozess an sich nach­hal­tig. Durch die frühe Beteiligung der Bürger konnten wir sehr viele Aspekte der Quartiersentwicklung bereits in der Wett­bewerbs­phase einbeziehen und haben den Dialog mit den Bürgern auch gesucht, während wir das Strukturkonzept weiterentwickelten. Dadurch konnte wir einen besseren Konsens herstellen.“, so Häpp in der Sendung.

The project, which is currently still under construction, received an award from the State of Hessen Chamber of Architects and Urban Planners (AKH) in 2021. It was the only project in the planning stage among the award winners to receive recognition in the “Exemplary Buildings in the State of Hessen” in the category of district planning and urban development. Podcast publisher: Chamber of Architects Rhineland-Palatinate, other guests: Prof. Dr. Antje Bruns from the University of Trier and Dr. Verena Brehm from cityförster Podcast Circular Economy (episode 7, duration about 55 minutes). Listen here or at Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Deezer (search word “Circular economy”)

“Urban open space as a place for leisure, a place for biodiversity, for supplying energy and for rainwater infiltration.” Associate partner Jürgen Häpp explains aspects of sustainable urban development in the podcast, using the new quarter Ludwigshöhe by way of illustration. Photo © AS+P Albert Speer + Partner GmbH