Sustainable reconstruction in the Ahr Valley: Overarching urban development concept presented for the Altenahr local authority
Since the beginning of 2022, AS+P has been supporting the Altenahr local authority on issues of urban development and planning law in the context of the consequences of the flood disaster of July 2021. Among other things, AS+P developed an overarching urban development concept, the draft of which was presented at a recent meeting of the municipal council.
“Shaping a livable future in the Altenahr municipality” – this was the motto for the roughly one-year planning phase for the overarching urban development concept. The concept addresses the question of how the 12 different communities who come under the aegis of the Altenahr local authority want to develop sustainably in terms of urban planning and future orientation. With an aspiration to link up the various action areas of planning in a holistic approach and thereby develop goals, concepts, and solutions, a volume of around 180 pages has been produced. It covers everything from future housing, life and work in the Ahr Valley through to sustainable management of the landscape and the environment, through to the question of how flood-adapted construction methods can be brought into harmony with typical regional building culture. Key objectives, measures, and priorities are formulated, and flagship projects identified. The focus was not only on the flood-damaged communities directly along the Ahr and its tributaries, but also – in view of the close spatial-functional interrelationships – on the higher-lying villages.
A total of 12 guiding objectives were defined for the municipalities covered by the local authority, and these basically form the heart of the concept. They show which urban specifications will be developed further, where there is a particular need for development, and which spatial conditions and effects can be expected. In terms of content, they can be structured in terms of the following themes: climate resilience, spatial planning precautions and hazard prevention, tourism, local and landscape design, housing estate development, public welfare, business, and mobility. In addition, three guiding objectives identify important structural and organizational aspects for stabilization, namely interaction and networking, strengthening the administration, financing and implementation of projects. All of the key objectives are backed up by strategies, measures, and project examples.
In the form of the draft of the guiding concept, the Altenahr local authority now has a strategic framework for action to guide sustainable reconstruction in the ambit of the local authority over the next 20 to 30 years. Discussions and citizens’ information events ensured the involvement of residents and regional stakeholders, while the key concern now is to further consolidate the planning for projects. The focus here is in particular on the implementation of those measures that have been compiled in recent months in the individual local development concepts. Priorities are currently being discussed and agreed in more detail, and in many cases it will be necessary to draw up development plans.
Over the next few weeks, the specialist committees of the municipal council will be looking at the concept in more detail. The plan is for the municipal council to then formally adopt the guiding concept in early summer.
In the meantime, AS+P continues to provide advice as a reliable partner and supports the local authority in its current planning efforts. The tasks discharged by AS+P include, among other things, further guidance for the local development concepts, planning law analyses and identifying solutions in places where there is currently a particularly urgent need for action, and coordinating planning issues for project implementation with the Ministry of the Interior and Sports in Mainz.