The semester is now over!

Students have designed the core of a thriving neighbourhood, around Lößniger Piazza. If you are looking for inspiration about how a thriving neighbourhood for all could look like, click on their images below.

Lößniger Piazza – Short distances for the neighbourhood

A neighbourhood around a square that invites you to linger? As short a distance as possible in the city? Basic services around the corner?

Our functional program: The various uses on the ground floor of the buildings on the square of the buildings adjacent to the square ensure basic services for the residents of the neighbourhood (map basis Dipl.-Ing Jan Fitzner, own edit).

The Lößniger Piazza is the pulsating heart of the entire neighbourhood, a meeting place for young and old. You can hear children playing around the central fountain instead of traffic noise disturbing conversations. Parents sit carefree on benches or on chairs in the restaurant and can eat without worry. Later, they relax and do their weekly shopping. Students arrive by bike via the long-awaited east-west connection across Taro Street and visit the bar. At the neighbourhood centre, you can hear young and old laughing and having fun together. Grandparents don’t have to walk long to get to the nearest bus or streetcar stop and take care of pharmacies and doctor’s appointments in peace. People at work watch the spectacle from co-working offices and look forward to their lunch break under the trees.

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Lößniger Piazza – a lively neighbourhood

Once a decaying brownfield drove a wedge into Leipzig’s otherwise densely built-up urban landscape, causing two adjacent neighbourhoods to develop increasingly sharp contrasts over decades of division. A new construction project for a lively neighbourhood in the Bayerischer Bahnhof urban area intends to build a bridge and reunite Südvorstadt and the new building blocks. The Lößniger Piazza plays a central and represents a place of encounter and gathering. We have developed our vision of a possible first-floor design for this project. In the future, among other things, a chess café, a pop-up restaurant or a sports store with a climbing wall could be a popular meeting place for residents of a reunited city.

own draft of the concept design of Lößniger Piazza
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Lößniger Piazza – space for community!

Conception of a mixed-use, participative & inclusive space

The planning of the new quarter wants a central town square. This offers great potential for public life and community in the neighbourhood. Commercial uses concentrates there as well.

Figure 1: Lößniger Piazza & planned distribution of uses in the Lößniger Straße urban quarter (source: BUWOG, 10/2020).

We now want to fill it with life through a utilization concept! To this purpose, we start with an analysis of the requirements that should be placed on the square. The guiding principle of a mixture of uses is essential for us, as well a participatory, connected and inclusive community. Based on the planned functions, you can then, in the second part, see the transfer of the concept into space on four sketches.

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Neighbourhood for Everyone – Conceptual Ideas

We have spent an entire semester working on the Bayerischer Bahnhof area. After we focused on the analysis of the already existing structures in the area of the Lößniger Piazza in our first and second post, we will now formulate concrete use and design ideas for a neighbourhood for all.

The following synergies and focal points have emerged for us in advance:

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Green living in the city

Concept for the development of a sustainable, livable and green quarter in the south-east of Leipzig

Übersicht EG-Nutzung Gewerbe

Overview of ground floor commercial use M 1:500, © self made

The right to the city as the right to a renewed green urban life.

Rapid population growth is often accompanied by a decline in the quality of the urbanization process. With our concept design, we aim to provide residents a balanced and sustainable green life. We encourage innovation through community and environmentally conscious living.

Sustainablility issues are particularly important to us. A key point is the coexistence of urban living and nature. Mixed uses of space are the most important aspects of successfully shaping public life in a piazza. In addition, many everyday uses are centrally located to make everyday life easier through short distances. The goal is to bring the community together and encourage social interactions.

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Site Analysis Dynamic Mapping

We, students, have synthesized our key findings into the following dynamic mapping. It will help us to develop a functional program to support a thriving Lößniger neighbourhood. Our site analysis of the existing environment and its challenges for the planned neighbourhood is available in full on previous Posts: on Nature, People, Streets and Public Spaces, the Built environment and the existing Activities.

Dynamic mapping of the Analysis Key findings made on © Mural
under the supervision of Vanessa Brandt, from RKW+

Rethinking neighbourhood: overcoming polarization through participation!

An analysis of the social components of the development project

In the near future, 1.600 apartments will spring up from the abandoned land at Bayerischer Bahnhof. A district park is to be created whereas a school campus, an elementary school, and a daycare center will emerge. Moreover, high-rise office buildings will fill the area in front of MDR. Ask the people in the neighbourhood about these plans: Yes, they had heard about it. But they don’t know any more details. If they could participate in designing their new neighborhood? They were not sure. The media discourse revolves around the new plans of the investors and the city – but what about the demands and the participation of the residents? And the future residents of the new quarter? After all, for whom is the planned urban space, if not for them?

In our previous article “Where are the people between Südvorstadt and Südost?” we reported of the low appropriation of space. As explanatory factors we suspected polarization and a lack of social networking in and between the adjacent neighbourhoods and of platforms for participation. To verify the theses we examined the city statistics and got in direct contact with the people who currently use the space – and we were able to confirm them.

So what does the neighbourhood expect from the project on its doorstep? And: who is the neighbourhood anyway?

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Quarter Lößniger Straße – outdated public infrastructure?

The Lößniger Straße neighbourhood near the former Bayerischer Bahnhof site is about to undergo fundamental change. The emergence of the modern district at Bayerischer Bahnhof will have a major impact on the adjacent Lößniger Straße neighbourhood.

While the infrastructure for bicycles is almost non-existent, the adjacent neighbourhoods of the brownfield site have been oriented only towards car-friendly mobility. Due to the high proportion of parking spaces and the sparse planting, the public space therefore only ensures a low quality of stay. People with limited mobility prefer to walk on the streets rather than on the sidewalks. Does this design of the current streets and public spaces fulfil tomorrow needs of the emergent neighbourhood or is the infrastructure outdated? 

This article is intended to show what developments await the Lößniger Straße neighbourhood, what the needs of residents are, and where there is a particular need for planning action.

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Nature – Here & Now

An analysis of the urban space Bayerischer Bahnhof with the focus on nature

© Stadtraum Bayerischer Bahnhof Leipzig

In our last post, we reported our impressions and perceptions of the nature of the abandoned land. We would now like to take a closer look at some aspects of the area and its surroundings. 

Nature in cities has many functions. It provides the basis of life for many plants and animals. In addition, it also has positive effects on people in the city. 

In this article, we examine the current state of the abandoned land and point out the natural importance of abandoned lands in various aspects.

Regarding the upcoming constructions, it is even more essential to recognize the current state of nature and its importance. It has to be incorporated into the planning processes. Urban abandoned lands offer the opportunity to experience nature in an unregulated way. They exist as a habitat for plants and animals without profound interference by humans, such as fertilization and pesticides. The free development of nature like this can hardly be found elsewhere in the city.

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