The design and appearance of public spaces is paramount to shaping the quality of life in cities and towns. In addition to fulfilling key transportation, economic and recreational functions, public spaces are platforms of social interaction. Not only do they provide orientation, serve representational functions and help citizens identify with their city, but they also serve as venues of integration where groups from different social strata come together.
A whole host of urban planning and socio-political criteria is associated with the notion of “public space”. In practice it bears considering how, given perpetually changing overall conditions and the ongoing demographic shift in society, sustainable concepts can be developed that will reflect the significance of public spaces also in the future.
Accordingly, the City Planning Department prioritizes the task of designing public spaces in Frankfurt/Main as something that citizens perceive frequently in their daily use of the space. Intensive work is being done on a broad spectrum of different concepts for numerous locations in Frankfurt with the aim of making Frankfurt more livable as a city and its public spaces more attractive by imbuing them with greater aesthetic appeal.
One the one hand, this involves many so-called consultancy projects, which steer investors in the right direction as regards the general conditions applicable to the public space. In addition, the City Planning Department supports projects that have been developed in other municipal departments.
On the other, a budget was approved to finance the “More Beautiful Frankfurt” development program. The money from this fund will be used to finance some 100 projects that the City Council in its resolution of February 18, 2000 decided on and ranked in a priority list. Since then, this list has been continually expanded.
As regards implementation, basic design principles have been formulated which aim to ensure long-term project sustainability: environmental aspects, permanence, ease of maintenance, barrier-free access. Likewise, reducing the volume of materials used, cutting down on maintenance levels by introducing practical components, using items of urban furniture that are both sturdy and appealing and, for example, making improvements in public lighting (type of illuminant, mounting point of the lamps, color of the light, alignment thereof, etc.) are all objectives that will ultimately culminate in modern concepts that spawn inviting streetscapes and plazas at relatively little cost and low cost implications.
The projects currently in progress are illustrated in detail, including plans and photos in the City Planning Department’s “Planwerk” yearbook.
Current public space projects
Mr. Michael Hootz
Telephone: +49 (0)69 212 33251
Fax: +49 (0)69 212 47644