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Alt-Niederursel masterplan

Masterplan, Urban development plan

District:




Completed:
2015

Reason for planning
Niederursel has a historical urban fabric that exhibits prime urbane design qualities and the old heart of the district has preserved the charm of a village. In recent years, important elements ensuring this were the shift of the thoroughfare from the center to the outskirts and the modernization of many historical half-timbered houses and courtyards.
The heart of the district would be in danger if vacancies increase, original usages get abandoned, traditional businesses and workshops close and concurrently new usages that are incompatible with those on site move in.
The Alt-Niederursel master plan is intended to nip urban degradation in the bud and by means of planning proposals mainly for public spaces outline the urban planning developments and urban design for years to come.

Development district
The master plan runs from the South through to Weisskirchener Weg and Niederurseler Landstraße, and ends in the West by the paths running along the edge of the built-up area. Moreover, the area is delimited by Oberurseler Weg, Spielsgasse, the Urselbach and the playground as well as the central utilities zone in the South.

Planning objectives
Large parts of the area covered by the master plan are subject to a preservation order or come under extensive monument protection laws. In addition to these legal restrictions, imposed above all to preserve the existing building fabric and structures, a master plan is being devised that is intended to cover potential urban development in Alt-Niederursel in the next 10 to 15 years.
With the present urban fabric being worthy of preservation, the master plan will focus on making circumspect advances to the existing buildings rather than on giving the area a major radical facelift. The concept involves dovetailing several small-sized proposals and plans, both in relation to privately-owned land as well as to specific public spaces, such as roads, paths, squares and green areas.
The intention is to give existing squares most of which today have a neglected appearance, a distinct design and a clear function, thus returning them to use, with the same design guidelines being applied to new plazas; there are similar plans for the handful of public green areas in the heart of town.
The streetscapes in Alt-Niederursel offer much potential thanks to the surrounding buildings; however, road proportions vary from overly large (such as is the case at the Weisskirchener Weg/Schüttgrabenstrasse intersection) to extremely narrow, rendering a traditional road layout flanked by sidewalks impossible. The aim is to find suitable solutions that are tailored in both function and design to the particular locations and provide uses that go beyond that of a pure thoroughfare.
The existing (foot) path structure will be retained, enhanced and in part extended.
As regards private properties, the situations and problems differ greatly from one property to the next, ranging from vacancies, abandoned and underused plots of land, buildings and facades of a poor condition, incompatible usages, shortfalls in the utilities and infrastructure, or in the availability of parking spaces.
The objective is to raise awareness among property owners for these various problems and with the support of the City Planning Department encourage them to initiates changes in the process of establishing the master plan. The goal is to achieve a well-balanced overall appearance on the basis of public and private proposals and measures.

 
Project progress
In the run-up to the project the City Planning Department teamed up with representatives of Local Consultative Council 8 and several organizations to take initial preparatory steps. These included analyzing the current setting and compiling a list of potential areas of action which could serve as a basis for civic discussion.
The first civic meeting held on May 22, 2012 marked the actual start of the project. Residents, citizens, property owners and business people were invited to air their wishes, ideas and suggestions and actively engage in the planning process right from the start.

The findings obtained at the civic event formed the basis for further planning and adapt the planning to the local inhabitants’ wishes. At the initiative of the Local Consultative Council street lighting was included in the masterplan as an additional topic. To this end, the number of existing streetlamps within the ambit of the masterplan was recorded and on this basis potential concepts for future lighting were proposed.
In the debate a number of topics emerged as being of primary interest to the 50 participants. The findings obtained formed the basis for further planning and adapt the planning to the wishes of the local people. At the initiative of the Local Consultative Council street lighting was included in the masterplan as an additional topic.

In the second civic meeting on September 3, 2013 the findings were presented. They included the framework concept, the analysis of existing street lighting, options for the cross-section design For Alt-Niederursel (street) and detailed proposals for the design of the streetscape and plazas. The findings and suggestions were subsequently summarized in a final report.

The masterplan for Alt Niederursel now demonstrates a variety of design suggestions and recommended solutions. Once individual steps have been decided on these will serve as a basis for the resolution to plan the implementation of specific measures.