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Am Römerhof / Zum Rebstockbad

Housing, Schooling
District: Local district:
2, 1
Size of area:
29 ha
Project management:

Mr. Tobias Vogel
fone: +49 (0)69 212 30076

Project description

Reason for planning
The municipal housing association, the AGB Frankfurt Holding, wants to have the municipal bus depot on Am Römerhof” street relocated within the city limits. It intends in this way to lay the foundation stone for converting the Am Römerhof commercial estate that straddles Schmidtstrasse to the east and west.

Relocation of the bus depot will free up land measuring about 50,000 m2 for a new mix of functions with the emphasis on housing. The development of the quarter will, so the plans, also include the area north of the bus depot that is currently a hostel for refugees. The “Am Römerhof” street with a future, extended cross-section, will likewise come under the new planning.

Development area
The development area is in the Bockenheim district to the south of Rebstockpark and the allotment gardens there. It includes the municipal bus depot run by In-der-City GmbH as well as parts of Rebstockpark and, to the west, the future section of the road Am Römerhof through to the temporary access ramp to the A5 autobahn in the west.

In the east, the development area is bordered by the road Zum Rebstockbad and the trade fair multistory carpark there; to the west it abuts on the second-hand car dealerships and a LRT train track; to the south it is delimited by an embankment. To the north, allotment gardens and Rebstockpark run along the perimeter of the zone.

The development area measures some 12.7 hectares.

In the Regional Preparatory Land Use plan, the land on which the bus depot currently stands is designated as land for communal use. The fringes of the Rebstockpark are categorized as a green zone and parklands and are stipulated as being an area reserved for a special climate function. They are assigned to the GrünGürtel green belt and classified as a nature reserve.

Planning objectives
The idea is for an urban, mixed-usage quarter to arise on the grounds of the current bus depot and the refugee hostel above it. The plan is to create urban densities commensurate with the location and a high proportion of houses.

Things will kick off with the first construction section for the Am Römerhof Quarter, and it is scheduled for realization under the terms of land-use plan no. 936. The intention is to develop the quarter along the “Am Römerhof” road. Following realization of construction sections 1 and 2, about 2,000 housing units will be available in a compactly built-up, mixed-function, and vibrant urban quarter.

The focus of developing the quarter is on providing housing. At the same time, the plan is also to provide commercial operations that are not a major source of disturbance to residents (service and crafts firms) with new locations – wherever possible in purpose-created commercial yards. The goal here is to underpin the functional mixture of the new quarter of town and breathe extra life into it. Moreover, this is the key prerequisite to realize the resource-sparing and sustainable principle of a “city where things are close at hand”.

The draft urban planning concept envisages dividing the area covered by the plan into four residential sections. To this end, three new roads are planned for the quarter that will run parallel to one another from North to South. Alongside these new roads for the quarter – “West”, “Mitte” (Central) and “Ost” (East) – a new primary school will be situated directly on the quarter’s plaza. Another residential zone will abut the north of this “Green Heart” of the quarter and the pedestrian and cycle paths there.

The “Nord” road through the quarter connects the “West”, “Mitte”, and “Ost”, functioning as an internal link road. It also acts to set the quarter off from the allotment gardens that run along the north limit of the area covered by the plans. In order to protect the quarter against unwelcome through traffic and vehicles searching for parking spaces (precisely during trade-fair times), the roads in the quarter will be connected by a circular road system. However, they will not in this context be connected to the existing street network in an east-west direction.

Two zones of special significance for the quarter and its inhabitants in terms of the urban fabric will arise within the planned area. One of these zones, namely the quarter’s central plaza, will be located on the “West” road through the quarter and will be the site for the future primary school. The plaza is devised to act as part of the “center of the quarter”. The idea is to incorporate a school, a supermarket or smaller stores, and service and hospitality outlets into the plaza’s (ground floor) perimeter. The plaza itself will thus become the heart of the quarter in terms of education and supplies. The other zone of importance for the quarter will be the “Green Heart” in the east of the planned area. It is destined to be a “green treasure trove”, meaning a non-commercial recreation area where neighbors can meet and children can play.

The street space in the quarter is flanked by perimeter blocks, which vary in height between five and seven stories. The highest structures are deliberately located in the corners of the blocks, meaning the corner buildings that stand at the points of entry into the quarter are especially highlighted in the urban planning context.

Two-story courtyard buildings inside the blocks in the quarters round out the range of housing offered by the perimeter blocks facing the streets. There are plans for additional, more personalized forms of housing, including (mixed-use) lines of houses, town villas, and townhouses. The resulting residential courtyards serve the neighborhoods as private playgrounds, as well as rest-&-recreation zones. At the same time, they provide spaces for social interaction, set in a protective framework by the perimeter blocks. That said, the courtyards with commercial and residential uses guarantee that the quarter boasts a functional mix and are desirable in urban planning terms. With restriction of the courtyard buildings to a maximum of two stories, the residential and courtyard buildings receive plenty of light and sun. This guarantees high-quality residential and leisure zones while at the same time improving conditions inside the inner courtyards for trees and plants of all kinds.

The new primary school designated for the planned area is centrally located between the quarter’s plaza and Rebstockpark. It is designed to have four wings and thus to accommodate about 400 pupils. The idea is to realize it as a hybrid school with residential premises on the stories above it.

The area covered by the planning possesses superb greenery thanks to the neighboring allotment gardens and nearby Rebstockpark. The latter’s outer reaches mean the quarter is embraced by parkland.

The planned area is connected to downtown by the “Am Römerhof” road and by the Katharinenkreisel roundabout to the local interstate network. At present, only buses provide public transport links to the area. In order to improve this state of affairs, the wish is to extend the U5 streetcar/subway line into the new area. With extension of the line into the “Am Römerhof” road and the setting up of two new stops – at Schmidtstrasse and at Gymnasium Römerhof as the (provisionally) last stop on the line – the quarter will potentially be smoothly hooked up to the public transport network in a way that allows for a strong future. The structural preconditions for this will be to expand the cross section of the “Am Römerhof” road and convert the intersection at Europaallee / Am Römerhof / Zum Rebstockbad.

Project progress
On December 13, 2018, under section 3475, the City Council adopted a resolution to draw up the land-use plan no. 919 “Am Römerhof”. Together with the resolution of the draft and as part of the aforementioned section, a special preemption bylaw (Preemption Bylaw no. 1 – Am Römerhof) for parts of the geographical scope of the planning law was passed in accordance with section 25 of the German Building Code. The special Preemption Bylaw makes the sale of land in the relevant geographical scope subject to approval and as such serves the city as a tool for ensuring that its municipal planning concept is implemented.

In the form of land-use plan no. 936, a sub-section of the area covered by land-use plan no. 919 “Am Römerhof” has been extracted from the latter plan and brought forward in time. In the course of later resumption of the procedure for land-use plan no. 919, the area covered by will be reduced to exclude the area that comes under land-use plan no. 936. The schedule envisages linking the draft resolution for land-use plan no. 936 to a block on changes as per section 14 ff. of the German Construction Code BauGB in order in this way to secure realization of the urban planning objectives.

As part of early public participation, at a special meeting of the Local Consultative Council 2 on July 5, 2019, in Margarethenhof – Seniorenresidenz Rebstockpark, representatives of the City Planning Department provided extensive information on the objectives and purposes of the planning. Moreover, they also outlined the progress with regard to the draft planning law as well as about the further procedure and possible ways to participate as regards land-use plan no. 919. The extent to which civic participation on the objectives and substance of planning as per land-use plan no. 936 will be possible is still undecided.

  • Frankfurt Light Railway Museum © City of Frankfurt Planning Dept.
  • Bus depot, traction current division, and the back of a multistory carpark on the trade-fair grounds © City of Frankfurt Planning Dept.
  • Road section at the Frankfurt Light Railway Museum, “Am Römerhof” road © City of Frankfurt Planning Dept.