"Urban areas" for the development of mixed-use neighbourhoods

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Positioning of landscape architects on new building area category in BauNVO

The new building area category "Urban Areas" was added to the Building Use Ordinance with effect from 13 May 2017. According to the model introductory decree of the Conference of Building Ministers, the new area category "allows a broader mix of uses (...) compared to the mixed-use area. This is also intended to avoid or reduce traffic and encourage the creation of a vibrant public space."

On 6 and 7 April 2018, the bdla working group on urban development and open space planning met in Munich. The meeting, which was chaired by Prof. Ulrike Böhm, bbzl böhm benfer zahiri - Büro für Landschaftsarchitektur und Städtebau, focused on the question of how and under what conditions high-density urban neighbourhoods are to be developed against the background of the new building area category "urban area" (MU).

In principle, the intention of the legislator to develop compact mixed-use neighbourhoods with the introduction of the new area category, which can be easily accessed by environmentally friendly means of transport such as bus, train and bicycle, is assessed positively. They enable short distances between living, working, local supply and leisure facilities. The bdla also welcomes the intention to strengthen the inner development, because: Additional living space is currently needed in many large cities. It should be created primarily within the city limits, instead of further encouraging suburbanization.

Urban areas with a maximum floor area ratio of 3.0 correspond to the building density of Wilhelminian residential quarters, which are generally very popular, but often have problematic residential qualities with dark apartments and insufficient open space. If past mistakes are not to be repeated, the bdla therefore demands that the development of Urban Areas be linked to quality criteria. To this end, the working group has developed a position paper with recommendations for action.

The essential requirement is planning and design across all building areas, always with the aim of creating high residential and open space qualities - also with regard to adaptation to climate change. An important instrument for this is the creation of integrated development concepts, both at the level of the neighbourhood and beyond. In order to achieve the highest possible diversity, liveliness and quality of life in the neighbourhood, not only (open) space issues need to be analysed, but also economic, social and demographic issues, among others. Qualified open space design plans are essential for implementation at the building site level.

Association of German Landscape Architects bdla
Wilhelmine-Gemberg-Weg 6, 10179 Berlin
Tel. 030 27 87 15-0, Fax 030 27 87 15-55
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