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Social Cohesion Sossenheim

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

Ms. Bettina Boknecht
fone: +49 (0)69 212 37864

Ms. Daniela Evans
fone: +49 (0)69 212 44788

Project description

Planning reason
In late 2017, Sossenheim was included in the “Social City” program run by the Federal and Hessen state governments and transitioned as part of the realignment of support for urban renewal in 2020 into the Federal and Hessen state government “Social Cohesion” support program. 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 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 Cohesion” 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 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 the support program.

The development of the IUDC began in the second quarter of 2019 and will presumably be completed in spring 2021. The inhabitants and local associations and institutions will be closely involved in drafting the IUDC. Public events and campaigns will enable all Sossenheim inhabitants to submit proposals and ideas. Furthermore, they will be able to play an active role in a consultative council. This council will make important decisions relating to the Social Cohesion Sossenheim program and represents the interests of the district’s inhabitants on a permanent basis.

More information

Integrated Urban Development Concept

Cover des Integrierten Städtebaulichen Entwicklungskonzeptes  © Stadtplanungsamt Stadt Frankfurt am Main;

The bidding syndicate consisting of Dr. Sven Fries from Speyer and BIERBAUM.AICHELE.landschaftsarchitekten from Frankfurt/Main has prepared the Integrated Urban Development Concept (IUDC) for the Social Cohesion Sossenheim development zone. THE IUDC will form the basis of the subsequent implementation of measures in the development area. THE IUDC is being prepared with the active participation of residents of Sossenheim as well as local players and initiatives.

IUDC party in the district management office on Nov. 11, 2022, © Stadtberatung Dr. Sven Fries

On the basis of a fact check and an analysis of strengths and weaknesses, the IUDC will formulate objectives-related statements with regard to relevant issues and problems in Sossenheim. Furthermore, with a view to achieving those objectives, it will propose individual projects, which will be implemented within development area boundaries that still have to be defined. All the individual projects form part of the overall portfolio of measures, in which for each proposed project there is an initial estimation of the costs and a schedule. Compilation of the IUDC will be coordinated with the funding body as well as Sossenheim residents and local players. The IUDC will then be formally adopted by the city councilors, from when it will serve as the guideline for action during the implementation stage.

SOCIAL CITY Sossenheim information market on June 24, 2019, © Stadtberatung Dr. Sven Fries

For the ten-year duration of the Social Cohesion Sossenheim subsidy scheme, on the basis of the Integrated Urban Development Concept applications will be submitted annually to the funding agency for financial resources to enable implementation of the individual projects listed in the set of measures. Realization of these projects will be planned and coordinated with Sossenheim players on an ongoing basis. District participation and city control structures that were put in place during the compilation of the IUDC will apply for the entire duration of the scheme.

In the following video, Executive Council Member for Planning Mike Josef explains the objectives of urban planning funding drive for West Frankfurt and the importance of involving local inhabitants in the urban renewal process. Subsequently, project managers Bettina Boknecht and Daniela Evans offer an insight into the scope and implementation process for the Integrated Urban Development Concept (IUDC) projects. Then the district management presents the “Social Cohesion Sossenheim” project in the form of a photo gallery.


The District Consultative Council is a committee that enables residents and representatives of institutions to participate in the “Social Cohesion” Sossenheim scheme.
The members of the Consultative Council represent the wishes and interests of Sossenheim inhabitants throughout the course of the project and offer advice with regard to project proposals and necessary changes in the district. The Consultative Council also functions as an advisory body for members of the District Council and the City Council. It convenes regularly and its sessions are public in order to include the suggestions and wishes of Sossenheim residents in the Social Cohesion project.
The Consultative Council is also involved in drawing up the INetgrated Urban Development Concept (IUDC) and makes recommendations in this regard.  During the iIUDC implementation phase the Consultative Council plays a key role in setting priorities for measures and acts as a multiplier campaigning among the local inhabitants for acceptance of and participation in the measures implemented.
The Sossenheim Consultative Council officially began its work on November 6, 2019. At its first meeting the Consultative Council elected Esra Kahraman as its first chairperson and Michael Weber as the deputy chairperson. The Chairpersons chair the meetings and, while management and minutes are the responsibility of the district management team. The Consultative Council consists of 14 inhabitants from all parts of Sossenheim and 13 representatives of local institutions. The 27 members represent the area’s interests in the framework of devising and realizing the support program as outlined above. Moreover, they make decisions with regard to neighborhood projects that can be financed with city funding through a contingent fund.

Council SOCIAL CITY Sossenheim, © City of Frankfurt Planning Dept.

District management

Since May 2019 the company Stadtberatung Dr. Sven Fries has been tasked with the district management for SOCIAL CITY Sossenheim. For the entire duration of the scheme (approx. ten years), the district management team will support the City Planning Department with implementation of the program and the participation of Sossenheim residents.

The district management team consisting of Ms Gwendolin Schwab, Mr Raoul Fessler, and Ms Anna Pohling (proxy) is the central point of contact for local residents as well as Sossenheim players and initiatives. As such it is an important link between the district of Sossenheim and the City of Frankfurt/Main, guaranteeing that the concerns of local residents are heard and ensuring the constant exchange of information between all those involved in the urban renewal process. In this way, local social issues are taken into account by politicians and the municipal authorities both in the preparation of the Integrated Urban Development Concept (IUDC) and in the implementation stage.

View of the district management office frontage, © Stadtberatung Dr. Sven Fries

Contact and opening hours of the district management:

District management:
Gwendolin Schwab, Stadtberatung Dr. Sven Fries
Raoul Fessler, Stadtberatung Dr. Sven Fries
Anna Pohling (proxy), Stadtberatung Dr. Sven Fries
Tel.: +49-69-21002061,

Neighborhood office:
Schaumburger Strasse 2 (corner of Siegener Strasse), 65936 Frankfurt am Main

Opening hours: Mondays             10 a.m. - 12 noon
  Tuesdays  2 - 4 p.m.
  Wednesdays  3 - 5 p.m.
  Thursdays  5 - 7 p.m.
  Fridays   by appointment


The district management team outside the neighborhood office (from l. to r.): Raoul Fessler and Gwendolin Schwab, © Stadtberatung Dr. Sven Fries

District management newsletter

Once a month, in its newsletter the district management updates everyone on the latest projects in the context of “Social Cohesion” Sossenheim.
Should you be interested in subscribing to the newsletter, simply send an email to the district management: quartiersmanagement.sossenheim@stadtberatung.info
She will then initiate the double-opt-in process registering you for the newsletter.
The district management office is responsible for the content of the newsletter.

Moreover, the district management is regularly out and about in the neighborhood using a cargo bicycle – chatting in the various parts of Sossenheim with the locals about the district and everyday life in Sossenheim.

Clean-Up Day, © Stadtberatung Dr. Sven Fries

Contingent fund

City of Frankfurt Contingent Fund for Areas that come under Urban Development Promotion, © City of Frankfurt Planning Department

With a view to strengthening its commitment to the common good, the City of Frankfurt is making available to those districts undergoing urban renewal a budget (contingent fund) for the execution of minor local projects and measures. In an unbureaucratic way the fund will enable independent civic activity in the non-investment field.
Do you have an idea that could be used to play an active role in your neighborhood? The City of Frankfurt will be pleased to reimburse you for your efforts.
Initial ideas for projects can be discussed informally with the neighborhood management team. The district manager Zlatica Niznanska also offers assistance with submitting an application and the implementation process.

Click here for the neighborhood office.