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Managing higher densities in the ‘Mid-North”

Nachverdichtung, Housing
District: Local district:
9, 10
Size of area:
Rund 1.000 Hektar
Project management:

Ms. Frida Ludwig
fone: +49 (0)69 212 36474

Mr. Torsten Röschlau
fone: +49 (0)69 212 47616

Project description

Reason for planning
For the City of Frankfurt/Main, boosting densities of existing housing areas is an important element in the rapid creation of low-cost housing. The “Mid-North” district being evaluated is defined in the ‘Frankfurt 2030+’ integrated urban development concept as a focal district for the ongoing urban development and upgrading of existing housing areas. It features several row construction areas dating from the 1950s to the 1970s characterized by long, narrow residential buildings running at right angles to the traffic arteries. They are primarily the property of a single owner and offer great potential for upgrading and increased densities in the sense of “dual internal development”.

Development area
The overall “Mid-North” area is made up largely of the districts of Ginnheim, Dornbusch, Eckenheim and Preungesheim. Added to which there are some sections of the adjacent districts of Eschersheim, Bockenheim, Westend-Nord and West-End West. The area is located north of the Alleenring ring road and west of the LRT tracks running from Frankfurt-West to Eschersheim. The area is bordered to the northeast by the Preungesheimer Arc formed by the A661 interstate.

Planning objective
The densification management team’s objective is to investigate the potential for increasing densities in the individual housing districts in the “Mid-North” not in isolation but integrated into an overarching urban development context. For this reason, future development of housing areas within the framework of the project will focus on two levels of scale: First, the overall “Mid-North” area is considered at the macro-level, and second the individual housing areas within it are analyzed.

The masterplan will concentrate on studying how best to boost densities in existing housing areas. The prime focus will be on estates constructed between the 1950s and the 1970s. Overall, the potentials, objectives and restrictions will be examined that apply to a careful increase in densities that does not impair existing tenants. The study will investigate this at both the macro-level of the entire area covered and as regards the individual housing areas. The results will then be compiled to form a strategy plan.

At the macro-level, the intention is on the basis of an analysis initially to identify areas that have potential. On the one hand, sub-areas with great potential for increased densities will be defined (e.g., owing to good public transportation links) and, on the other, potential spaces for housing-related infrastructure (e.g., social infrastructure, traffic-calmed areas). Given the new multifunctional space requirements that arise from boosting densities, the emphasis must be on finding solutions for the area studied that straddle more than one housing area. On the basis of the analysis and the defined potentials, supra-ordinated objectives and restrictions will be elaborated that need to be considered when boosting housing densities (e.g., green belts, mobility).

The potential for constructing new housing units will be defined for each housing area within the overall scope of the masterplan on the basis of an analysis of what is already in place. Moreover, a hierarchy will be established for the order in which the housing areas can be converted based on their potential for greater densities and an assessment of the time required for the implementation to be made. Finally, the goal is to assess the specific objectives and stipulations for potential greater densities in each housing area and on this basis formulate recommendations for the next steps.

Project progressAn inter-departmental working party (called “AG Nachverdichtung”) was set up by the Frankfurt municipal authorities to ensure regular internal coordination and ongoing interaction between the various experts. The working party is intended to clarify factual issues regarding the masterplan and effectively clarify the details of other projects internally at as early a date as possible.

On March 3, 2020, a kick-off meeting was held with the owners of larger properties in the ‘Mid-North’ focus area to align the City of Frankfurt’s ideas with the owners’ intentions with regard to boosting densities.

At present, the densification management team is preparing a survey of the existing properties within the “Mid-North” focal area. The City of Frankfurt Planning Department will be reporting on the progress of the project on an ongoing basis on this platform.

PDF files relating to the project

More information


The “Mid-North” focal area as part of the IUDC

The Frankfurt 2030+ integrated urban development concept (IUDC)

The “Mid-North” as a focus area in the IUDC 2030+; map: City of Frankfurt Planning Dept., Ernst Basler + Partner AG; © City of Frankfurt Planning Dept.

Das Untersuchungsgebiet im Luftbild

Blick auf das Untersuchungsgebiet „Mittlerer Norden“.

Geographical scope of the ‘Mid-North’ focus area, © City of Frankfurt Planning Department, basis of map: City of Frankfurt Surveying Department