Prof. Rolf Westerheide
(Architect and urban planner)
Frauke Burgdorff, Commissioner of the Dept. of Building and Housing
(City of Aachen)
(Managing Director Baukultur NRW)
Innenstadtoffensive Aachen – Von der Notwendigkeit neue Wege zu gehen
(City center offensive Aachen – Forging new paths out of necessity)
What are the future prospects of our city centers and what does this mean for Aachen? That’s what “Förderverein aachen_fenster – raum für bauen und kultur e. V.” wants to discuss on June 8, 2021, at 6:00 p.m. in a videoconference.
The historically European model of vital and vibrant city centers is the central element of our shared social life. For many decades, retail was dominant in urban centers along with work, culture, and leisure. In recent years, however, the increased loss of functions and the abandonment of properties brought about by the pandemic are forcing all cities to rethink their city centers.
Sustainable urban and urban center development requires that a new mix of uses be negotiated and intertwined with an enhanced “quality of stay,” such as a reorganization of traffic. Good architecture and high-quality urban planning with attractive public spaces and stimulating uses contribute vital impetus to this process.
Even in Aachen, a city whose attractiveness has evolved throughout history, a future-ready inner city model can be successfully developed in a creative process – in a dialog in which politicians and administrators interact on an equal footing with creative makers of a committed urban society in general, and stakeholders from retail, gastronomy, art and culture, tourism, and the real estate industry in particular.
The way forward has to include a review and negotiation of many outdated planning, building, and land regulations in order, for example, to establish new start-up initiatives in empty stores and create spaces for innovative entrepreneurship in general.