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Social City Sossenheim

Urban revitalization
District: Local district:
Size of area:
159 ha
Project management:

Ms. Bettina Boknecht
Telefon: +49 (0)69 212 37864
Telefax: +49 (0)69 212 30731

Ms. Daniela Evans
Telefon: +49 (0)69 212 44788
Telefax: +49 (0)69 212 30731

Project description

Planning reason
In late 2017, Sossenheim was included in the “Social City” program run by the Federal and Hessen state governments. Having grown historically from a village along a road, Sossenheim lacks a classic center with a corresponding retail infrastructure. In the 1960s and 1970s, as part of the subsidized housing construction program, four large satellite-like residential estates were built on the outskirts of the original settlement area, and to this day they to a large extent define the structural and social fabric of the district. For decades now, these mono-functional dormitory communities in particular have been characterized by social segregation, which has led to a concentration of low-income households. Unemployment, poverty in old age, a high proportion of single-parent families as well as low levels of both employment among women and participation in education among children are part and parcel of everyday life. On top of which local inhabitants are strongly international in composition, which poses particular challenges in terms of linguistic, economic, and social integration. Alongside the problems in terms of social structure Sossenheim also has to contend with the absence of an adequate retail and transport infrastructure for a district with 16,000 inhabitants. Nor does the ambiance of public spaces live up to its full potential, such that there are few points where public life can blossom. The “Social City” program is intended to promote development of the district with a view to improving the quality of life there in the long term.

Planning area 
For the moment the planning area embraces 159 hectares and around 10,000 inhabitants. It includes most of the Sossenheim settlement with the historical core and the four major residential estates. There are also significant areas of greenery and open space in the planning area.

Planning objectives
The aim of the support program is to step up the “soft measures” of district management and, as an investment, to advance the quality of life in the long-term through improvements to the living environment and amenities. One important topic will be to link the individual parts of the settlement, as well as the areas of greenery and open spaces so as to provide better access to and make better use of these and the existing public infrastructure. At the same time the plan is to enhance the ambiance of roads, plazas, and semi-public natural environments. As a result, the public domain will be accorded greater significance and attract more attention in the district and will encourage the inhabitants of Sossenheim to spend more time in it. Furthermore, the social, cultural, economic, linguistic, and health-related integration in particular of children, youths, women, the unemployed, migrants, and the elderly are important objectives. This also means that overall the “Social City” measures are intended to lead to improved co-existence and communal life among all the district’s inhabitants. However, it is not just about improvements in the district itself, but also about a positive change to the district’s image and how the city as a whole perceives it in terms of a local recreation area and a district with a high quality of life. The “Social City” support program is intended to bring to an end the long-term neglect on the part of planners of Sossenheim and its inhabitants.

Project Progress
The support program will begin with the drafting of an Integrated Urban Development Concept (IUDC), in which the district’s strengths and weaknesses will be analyzed and development goals for the future agreed. In a subsequent set of measures individual projects will be outlined which are intended to implement these development goals. The IUDC will be prepared with the participation of the inhabitants of  Sossenheim and local players. A district management team housed in a local district office will act as the focal point for inhabitants. The district management team will proactively provide information, advise on and coordinate all questions and issues associated with SOCIAL CITY Sossenheim. The City of Frankfurt/Main is currently calling for tenders for the IUDC and the district management. Work drafting the IUDC is expected to begin in early 2019. Public events will enable the inhabitants and local associations and institutions to be heavily involved in the drafting work, and thus make their ideas known. Furthermore, they will in future be able to play an active role through the “CONSULTATIVE COUNCIL SOCIAL CITY Sossenheim”. This makes important decisions relating to the SOCIAL CITY Sossenheim program and represents the interests of the district’s inhabitants on a permanent basis. The flyer “Consultative Council SOCIAL CITY Sossenheim” below contains further information.