Urban redevelopment in the Bahnhofsviertel
Stadtumbau Bahnhofsviertel Frankfurt am Main gemäß § 171 a BauGB
Urban revitalization, Residential space
Representation in the project map (German)
Reason for planning
Given its central location the “Bahnhofsviertel”, the district around Frankfurt’s main station, has always had formative impact on the city as a whole. With its prestigious buildings dating from the turn of the 20th century the district has a particular standing in Frankfurt. Furthermore as the location of numerous international cultural venues and spaces it is of regional and national importance. With its above-average proportion of residents and tradesmen with a migrant background, the “Bahnhofsviertel” has a function that extends far beyond the city limits as regards the social integration of immigrants.
Nonetheless, for several years now there has been a continuous decline in the number of residents. Originally built as a prestigious residential and commercial district, empty apartments, shops, and offices, as well as the decay of the precious building fabric are all very much in evidence in several parts of the district. In some areas, problematic conditions caused by various forms of usage and milieus have all served to an ambivalent image for the quarter in the public eye.
The “Bahnhofsviertel”, which covers approx. 52 hectares, is located centrally between the main station, the trade fair complex, downtown, and the residential areas Westend in the north, Sachsenhausen in the south, and Gutleutviertel and Gallusviertel in the west.
Together with the central location, the potential of the buildings in “Bahnhofsviertel” offers considerable opportunities for redeveloping the quarter. Precisely the vacant buildings come into question in this regard. A holistic strategy has been devised to make “Bahnhofsviertel” more attractive as a residential district and improve the compatibility between living there and traffic. That said, the existing facilities used by the drug-dealing scene and the red light district must also be taken into account. Public and private open spaces will be upgraded and new usage concepts developed for buildings that are standing empty. The plan envisages preserving the unique character and diversity of the “Bahnhofsviertel” but enhancing its image in a way that its residents, the city in general, and visitors can easily recognize.
Concepts for making over “Bahnhofsviertel” were first studied in 2004 in an ideas lab in the district in public discussion with property owners, residents, and local experts and in 2005 implemented in a framework plan entitled “Living in Bahnhofsviertel”. In 2006 this framework plan became part of the integrated urban development concept for the future renewal process.
Parallel to the development of the integrated district concept, public subsidies created new incentives for investments in the existing fabric. In 2004 the City of Frankfurt decided to use a municipal funding program to channel € 10 million into increasing residency levels in “Bahnhofsviertel”. In addition to modernizing apartments particular emphasis was laid on transforming office space into residential space. The successful response to the program led it to being increased to a total of € 20 million in 2007. These funds are initially available through 2015.
At the same time “Bahnhofsviertel” was included in the “Urban Renewal in Hessen” program run by the federal and state governments. As such, additional funding will be available for implementing the urban development concept in the years to come.