Project Description

Darmstadt grows smart … and reinvents itself! Together with our partner laboratory for urban locations and processes, we were able to develop future-oriented ideas for the “science and work city” of Darmstadt in a cooperative participation process, controlled by Urban Catalyst. In four citizens’ forums, our work was combined with the findings from the fields of work of four other teams and discussed intensively with the local citizenship in order to actively involve them in the development of the urban development model.

As a technology-oriented city of medium size, the dynamic science city of Darmstadt stands for a “productive city” of thinkers and doers, for a sustainable business culture involving crafts and trades, high-tech industrial production, cutting-edge research, internationally networked science and local commerce. This typical profile for Darmstadt has to be further developed with regard to the current drivers of urban transformations such as globalization and the knowledge society, migration and demography, digitization, social change of values and global warming in the sense of a holistic vision of the future.

Forum IV – Strategies and key spaces

At the final forum in September 2018 the results of the cooperative working phase were presented. The main focus of the event for the master plan process Darmstadt 2030+ was the elaboration of “Strategies and Key Spaces”. In a walk-in model we presented the key messages of the master plan for the field of work “City of Science and Work” as well as the resulting strategies and key areas. The combination with the results of the other teams gave rise to a multidimensional and colourful picture of the future of Darmstadt. The walk-through model vividly illustrated the individual topics, synergies and complexity of the process and was well received by the citizens present. A special format of youth participation enabled students to provide feedback and exchange ideas with planning teams. In a final step, Urban Catalyst Berlin will bring together the results of the teams and the participation processes in a superordinate master plan.

Forum III – Future Pictures and Scenarios

New visions of the future for Darmstadt are based on the guiding principle of overcoming the prevailing functional and spatial division of Darmstadt. “Sternstadt”, “Ringstadt” and “Regionalstadt” show different directions of development of a productive city. In the third Citizens’ Forum, the future scenarios and scenarios for Darmstadt 2030+ were up for discussion. Sternstadt places emphasis on increasing urban density and urban qualities in existing buildings. The focus of spatial development lies in the form of replanning, structural and / or functional restructuring or upgrading the urban space along selected development corridors. Ringstadt translates the question of sustainable mobility into the development of a ring of momentum spaces (“hubs”). These hubs are, on the one hand, mobility hubs and, on the other, the starting point or center of urban spatial and functional neighborhood developments. The regional city embeds the urban development of Darmstadt in the context of the economically strong region by focusing developmental focuses. In the discourse at the Dialogue Table, the future image of the Ringstadt crystallized out as the favorite of the present citizens. The concept of the spatial development ring with mobility links achieves the greatest popularity.

Forum II – Trends und Dynamics

The profile of the City of Science Darmstadt is already based on several sustainable key industries. These result from the long tradition as a science and technology location. These developments are clearly reflected in the morphology of the city. Currently, Darmstadt’s urban space is divided into two parts. While work sites in the west are concentrated, residential use characterizes an east-north-south axis. Identification bearers and recognition features, such as Darmstadt’s treasures, are mostly located in residential areas and are rarely found in urban areas of work. Against the background of a continuous increase in employment, the question arises of an available and diverse supply of space. External developments are not available, but the stock offers both spatial and functional potential, which was discussed in the second forum with the citizens.

Forum I – Darmstadt’s treasures

The idea of the “productive city” is to be put into the room as a new strategic approach and model of urban development and thus to be an impulse generator for an intensive discourse with experts, the administration and, above all, the public. Against this background, we asked the citizens of Darmstadt for the first forum the following key question: Where are the formative milieus of the thinkers and makers in Darmstadt and what are important lighthouse projects?