On a former undeveloped greenfield, the new district of Kronsberg has been developed for 15000 inhabitants. The EXPO 2000 World Exposition became the occasion to apply an entire city district in the spirit of Agenda 21. Particular attention has been paid to the necessity of using natural resources more carefully, but also setting high social and cultural expectations. The characteristic feature of the development is a high-density grid layout incorporating avenues, parks, squares and planted courtyards. The objectives are a mix use of functions as well as a social mix of residents.
Kronsberg is located in south east of the city, 9 km from the city centre.
The Kronsberg area was bought by the City of Hannover in 1974. The area was earmarked for urban development and has been subject of urban and landscape planning activities for many years. It has taken a long time to build on the area, which has until recently been used for growing cereal and sugar beet.
The EXPO 2000 World Exposition became the occasion to apply the city's planning approach to construct an entire city district in the spirit of Agenda 21 to present to an international public. Another major driving factor was the considerable housing shortage in Hannover in the early 1990s.
The main objectives are
- building a high density development respecting the principles of efficient land use
- minimizing traffic
- building a district with a mix use of functions
- building a green settlement with tenants' and allotment gardens, neighbourhood parks and green public spaces for sports and games.
- sustainable solutions concerning energy, construction, waste treatment, and water
- transforming the beet prairie into a unique landscape that emphasis its natural and historical character
- a social mix of residents
A new city district built on a former undeveloped greenfield.
1992 (starting date). Ongoing.
In 1992 Hannover City Council and the State of Lower Saxony announced an international urban and landscape planning competition. The aim was to devise a structural concept for the entire trade fair/Kronsberg area, in which the World Exposition could be incorporated for temporary use in 2000. Based on the result of the competition results, an urban construction competition for residential areas of Kronsberg was conducted. The results of that competition became the basis for the building plan and the project development. The open space planning for the district was essentially based on the 1987 Landscape Plan.
The prerequisite for implementation of planning was an alteration to the zoning plan due to a strong demand on the housing market and an increased need for accommodation during Expo 2000. Furthermore, the zoning plan took account of the spatial demands of the World Exposition. The revised zoning plan was based on the results of citizen's participation.
Planning for the new district was, in the light of Expo 2000, conducted simultaneously at all levels and involved investors and property developers, architects, civil engineers and construction companies. The Kronsberg Advisory Council (Kronsberg Beirat) was part of this cooperate project development. Their task was to formulate recommendations and targets that would lead to implementation of a homogeneous urban design according to the planning aims and advise the City Council on these issues.
In 1997 KUKA(Kronsberg-Umwelt-Kommunikations-Agentur) was set up jointly by its shareholders; the City of Hannover and a non-profit trust was responsible for guiding and applying the entire environmental communications concept. KUKA's tasks included information and public relations work and events, environmental education and counselling through skilling programmes, planning and implementation of exhibitions, guided tours, meeting and congresses, development and implementation of citizens' participation and project development, management and implementation. Client groups were people living and working in the area, planners and architects, property developers and project managers, manufacturers, craftspeople and other involved in the construction. Other target groups were visitors and the general public, journalists and representatives of the media. After Expo 200 KUKA continued its work a couple of years in a reduced form.
Kronsberg projects have been funded by a wide range of public and private institutions, including all levels of government, the State of Lower Saxony, and about 30 different investors. A great deal of support was received due to the close relationship with EXPO 2000. Energy Efficiency Optimisation at Kronsberg was funded by the European Union Thermie Project, associated with the European Commission Directorate General for Energy and Transport.
The investments sum up to approximately 2.2 billion euro.
City of Hannover
More than 40 architectural and open space planning offices, in many cases after design competitions.
The new district runs roughly north south along the western of Kronsberg hill beside the new tramline, linking the older district of Bemerode with the world Exposition grounds. Its eastern boundary to the countryside is defined for several kilometres by an avenue. The new development has rectangular blocks laid out in neighbourhoods grouped around a neighbourhood park. Each of the blocks has an own distinct identity.
The grid layout of the blocks, the avenue-like residential streets and open space planning unite many different construction forms and various architectural styles and design solutions. Most of the buildings are aligned to the contours of Kronsberg hill, which makes the best use of natural light from the east and west. Many buildings have stepped storeys with gently sloping single-pitch roofs, often combined with rooftop terraces. Façades are typically of light-coloured rendering or red brick.
The highest densities are achieved in the relatively compact four-to five storey blocks along the main access road at the bottom of the hill. The density is decreasing closer to the hilltop and the countryside with three-storey blocks and pavilion structures and further out along the border avenue terraced houses.
In 2004 around 6300 people lived in the first two developments, Kronsberg-Nord and Kronsberg-Mitte. The Kronsberg-Süd and further building land to the north are reserved for later development. Altogether there will be 15000 inhabitants.
There are built a mixture of apartment types and sizes to cope with different family sizes and lifestyles. The range of accommodation includes penthouse apartments with well-proportioned terraces, maisonette apartments and ground-floor apartments with tenants' gardens.
Various forms of finance and ownership as well as grants and subsidies are used as incentives to provide a social mix of inhabitants. The community development included both tradition facilities like children's day centres, and schools, and also community rooms to be used for different social, cultural and communal purposes. Also the green inner court was aimed to encourage the development of the neighbourhoods.
Along the tramline and the main access road, an attractive location for shops, offices, and other facilities had developed. There were for example a shopping centre, a farmer's market, an art and community centre, a health centre, and a church.
Across the main road, around 3000 office jobs had been located in the new buildings in banking and processing companies. In the immediate vicinity there were another 700 jobs on the Expo grounds.
The district has been planned according to the postulates of Agenda 21.
The proportion of open space was raised by 5-10% compared to conventional urban planning. A system of interconnected public, semi-public and private areas close to the homes offers numerous and differing green and open spaces. Green corridors and the hilltop woodland are linked to the adjacent countryside.
A new direct tram service links the settlement with the city centre. Three tram stops are located so that nobody has to walk more than 600 metres to catch a tram. The main traffic flow is concentrated along the edge of the development beside the tramline to minimise the noise. Residential streets permit no through traffic. The parking space ratio is 0,8 per apartment. The spaces are mainly arranged in small areas and around a third is underground. A cycle-friendly street layout with a cycle- street running along the length of the district offers, together with a dense network of rural and urban footpaths, an alternative to private motorised transport.
Two cogeneration plants are built for heating needs of the district. Energy efficiency measures were taken concerning both the construction and the management. Training courses on low energy buildings were organised for constructors. Washing machines, dishwashers, refrigerators were subsidized. KUKU distributed water saving devices and low energy light bulbs to the households. All precipitation on built-up and paved areas is absorbed, collected and gradually released. All apartments have equipment with water saving devices. Innovative collection systems have been set and recycling rates of approximately 80% have been achieved. During the construction phase building waste was sorted on sit. The excavated soil was reused in the district for landscaping and environmental enhancement.
Hannover Kronsberg Handbook. Planning and Realisation, City of Hannover, 2004
Brandevoort - De Veste
The objective of Brandevoort is a town with its own identity. “De Veste”, the central area of the new town has an urban character with a marketplace with shops and restaurants, a covered market, public buildings, a church and a school. The Einhoven-Düsseldorf rail transit corridor crosses the site and the new town has its own train station. The Veste neighbourhoods have a traditional Brabantian urban design. When finished the whole town of Brandevoort will have approximately 20000 inhabitants.
The new town of Brandevoort lies southeast of the city centre of Helmond, in the province of Brabant in southern Netherlands.
Brandevoort is part of an area that has been designated by the government as a growth area, a Vinex-location. To accommodate further increasing population in the Netherlands the government determined a number of main points in the Vinex-document for construction of new housing districts (1993). The most important was that new districts had to be placed near existing town centres. The Vinex-locations also wanted to solve the shortage of cheap housing by attracting richer households to more expensive Vinex-locations to make their cheap homes available for households with lower income.
The new town of Brandevoort is a Vinex-district built to attract wealthier citizens moving from Helmond into the rural environs outside the city.
The aim of the Vinex-districts is
o to support existing malls (increasing the potential number of customers)
o to protect open areas by concentrating the agglomerations round existing cities and
o attract citizens who want to leave the medium sized and big cities for rural locations
o to limit traffic between home, work and shopping
A new town built on greenfield farmland.
1997 (starting date) - 2018 (ending date).
Phase I (1998 - 2007) includes 3000 homes with a multifunctional centre including stores, schools and health services.
Phase II (2008 - 2018) includes 3000 more homes and more retail space and social facilities, a business park, and sport facilities.
Different architects worked on the individual buildings according to a set of binding guidelines to create a unified and homogeneous impression.
The City of Helmond
Paul van Beek landschappen BNT, Krier - Kohl Gesellschaft von Architecten mbH - Berlin, Wissing Stedebouw in collaboration with Grontmij (masterplans).
KOW Urban Development and Architecture, The Hague (multifunctional centre)
Bouwfonds Property Development
30 ha (De Veste) of totally 365 ha
De Veste, the Brandevoort centre is placed immediately south of the track of the Eindhoven - Dusseldorf railway line. The centre is running eastwards to a developed moat, underpinning the notion of a medieval town structure. An old country road sweeps through the site is used as the central axis of the new town centre, placing a long and narrow marketplace at right angles to it, and thus reviving the classical intersection. A church and a market hall will dominate the marketplace. Five differently designed city gates mark the entrance to De Veste. Four-storey apartment towers with bastions, giving the overall impression of a closed stronghold, interrupt the three storey buildings on the outer edge at intervals. The interior blocks are formed by two and three storey rows of gable-end houses with individualised facades, mainly in brick. The details are based on historic Dutch town houses of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
By 2018 6000 homes will be built in the Brandevoort town and about 20000 inhabitants will live there. The Veste will have about 500 homes by 2012.
The multifunctional centre includes a primary school, a day care and after school care centre, a sports hall, a social-cultural centre and about 30 homes, and a closed parking garage with over 2000 parking places.
The regeneration of Angel Town has physically improved the internal connectivity by redesign streets and footpaths so they are available for general public use and provided access to the surrounding vicinity. It promoted diversity of uses by replacing un-used garages on the ground floors with shops and community facilities. Diversity of housing types and green construction and technology were encouraged. The generation process encouraged community participation through apprenticeships, training schemes, employment and self-build eco-homes, and by involving residents in managing the estate.
Angell Town is a part of the inner London suburb Brixton in the London Borough of Lambeth.
Modern Brixton is home to six big housing estates. One of them is Angell Town.
Modern Brixton has long been associated with gun crime, poverty, drugs and violence and is often classed as one of the most dangerous places in the UK. Old Brixton with some of the nicest Victorian housing in London has a different story.
Brixton's "connectivity" has made it an attraction for middle-class families and 'City' commuters alike. Brixton's central location, good transport links (the Victoria Line and multiple bus and rail connections), and attractive Victorian houses have been contributing factors in the gentrification of the area. However, despite the influx of middle-class commuters, the gentrification is partial, and Brixton remains a diverse community; a mixture of different classes and cultures. Brixton is the unofficial capital of the Jamaican, African British and Caribbean community of London. People will also come from miles around to shop in the busy Brixton market, which features Halal meats and fresh West Indian vegetables and fruits.
The Angel Town estate was built in the early 1970's consisted of four storey deck access blocks linked with overhead walkways, linking high level bridges, garages at ground level, and vehicular and pedestrian separation. The garages were dark and unsupervised, and therefore never used. The estate lacked public spaces for social interaction. The derelict communal areas were unused. The estate was perceived as crime ridden as the multiplicity of bridges and walkways provided ideal escape routes for criminals. Energy saving was not a consideration at the time of the design of the buildings.
The regeneration of Angel Town has
- physically improved the internal connectivity by redesign streets and footpaths so they are available for general public use and provided access to the surrounding vicinity
- encouraged walkability within the neighbourhood and to the surrounding vicinity
- encouraged community participation in the regeneration process through apprenticeships, training schemes, employment and self-build eco-homes, and by involving residents in managing the estate.
- promoted diversity of uses by replacing un-used garages on the ground floors with shops and community facilities
- encouraged a diversity of housing types in an affordable rental housing area
- promoted green construction and technology
A regeneration of a social housing estate area.
1990 (starting date) - 2006 (ending date).
A first attempt at resolving the problems on the estate by Lambeth Borough Council resulted in greater social conflict between residents due to a lack of consultation.
As a result, a small group of residents initiated in 1987 the Angell Town Community Project Ltd. (ATCP), to try improving living conditions, their way.
ATCP commissioned Oxford Brookes Urban Regeneration Consultancy (URC) at Oxford Brookes University to set up and manage a tenant consultation process to decide what was fundamentally wrong with the estate in design terms and how matters could be improved.
A model of two sets of experts, a group of residents, as experts on life on the estate and URC experts was introduced. URC's consultancy contract was directly through ATCP. ATCP remained in an important position throughout the process and a group of residents were trained to take an active role in running it.
Consultation occurred through a multitude of public resident meetings. The process was to begin with a clean sheet, rather than proposals put forward by the URC for discussion. When proposals had been assimilated by the joint co-operation of residents and URC, an exhibition on the Estate was launched, and residents were asked to fill in questionnaires as to their thoughts on the ideas presented. The final scheme was agreeable to many of the residents.
Funding body was Government office for London, Lambeth Council, the Housing Corporation, and European Regional development funding.
London Borough of Lambeth
John Thompson Partners (masterplanners).
Burrell Foley Fischer Associates, Levitt Bernstein Associates Limited, Mode 1 Architects, Greenhill Jennert Architects, Anne Thorne Architects partnership
London Borough of Lambeth through the resident's organization the Angell Town Community Project Ltd. (ATCP) and the consultants Oxford Brookes Urban Regeneration Consultancy (URC) carried through the process.
The scheme has got direct and connected streets by opening up formerly fire access streets and by connected the north and south roads, and the east and west footpaths. The result is a scheme well connected to surrounding streets with six direct connections. Pedestrian are protected by bollards in narrow mews spaces, and flag paving or coloured tarmac defines main pedestrian routes and crossing points. Traffic calming is integrated into the layout of streets. Car parking spaces are arranged in small walled courts at the front of the buildings, and overlooked by front doors and windows. Some pavement parking also exists.
The aim of the masterplan has been to re-orientate the existing deck-access housing into a more "normal" street format, based on terraced dwellings which related to the street through individual entrances face directly onto the public streets and areas, giving surveillance of all public spaces. Dwarf walls and railings with approximately 1.5m setback (space for personalisation, gardening or storage) behind walls to buildings, define the public/private boundaries, and high brick walls enclose back gardens.
New central grassed areas are defined as focal points for the houses. These areas are separated from the new vehicular perimeter roads by railings, enabling children to play, away from the danger of traffic.
Most dwellings have been given an individual, recognized identity. Materials and façades echo neighbouring architecture of different periods without copying it.
The scheme comprises 632 dwellings for affordable rent; Lambeth Housing has 445 units including 68 leasehold and 4 freeholds, Presentation has 69 units and Family Mosaic and Ujima each have 59 units.
The dwelling types include 370 new and 262 refurbished houses and flats ranging from 1-bed flats to 5-bed houses plus circa 27 retail, business and community units.
The un-used garages on the ground floors were replaced with shops and community facilities, such as a bar, cafe, workshops, and even a recording studio in one area - to provide the previously, much lacked social amenities.
Residents have been involved in the regeneration through apprenticeships, training schemes, employment and self-build eco-homes. 20% of the development workers were from Lambeth, 30% were from black and ethnic minority communities, and 5% were women.
A major part of the design process of the EcoHomes was the close consultation with the residents, allowing them makes the major decisions, which would affect how their homes are designed. The resident 'Self Builders' appointed a design coordinator to bridge with Mode 1, ensuring that their ideas and views were taken into account. The contractor provided the residents with construction training, teaching them invaluable building techniques and learning new life skills. Therefore, as well as choosing their own internal fittings and finishes, they were carrying out on-site jobs, such as decorating, and fitting out their own kitchens and bathrooms.
The whole estate is managed by the Estate Management Board, financed by Lambeth Council but run by the residents, giving them continued ownership and control.
Buildings and public spaces are adaptable for future users. Provision has been included in layouts for lifts shafts, variations in individual units for choice between fitting an extra downstairs shower, or using for access to garden, and easy removal of internal walls. Front door access allows for easy conversion for wheelchairs or pushchairs.
The adaptable overall layout offers potential for multiple uses, for example the walled parking paces could be used for play and socialising.
There is a good range of transport choices to and from the scheme, with two bus routes within 80m, and mainline railway and tube ten minutes away on foot. This is within the 400m accepted distances, which people will walk, to reach amenities rather than driving, giving the scheme points for sustainability as well as ease and choice of transport. Good retail facilities are nearby.
Refurbished and new housing have very good insulation standards. 91% of the buildings are between 9 x 13m deep, maximising natural light, reducing energy consumption and improving solar gain. In Holes and Warwick Houses, independent testing has revealed nearly 50% reduction in energy costs by reducing fuel poverty and improving energy efficiency. The measures included cellulose insulation in roofs, insulated timber framed external cladding to solid walls, cavity insulation, external insulated render for cold bridging, low double glazed timber frame windows, intelligent condensing boilers respond to solar gain, low energy light fittings, and passive stack ventilation.
Timber was from a sustainable source.
Servicing, deliveries, refuse collection and storage are integral to the design of the development, with communal bin recesses integrated into the fronts of the buildings.
The ecological impact of the Angell Town self-build Ecohomes used the latest environmental technology, such as solar hot-water panels and rainwater harvesting, but also basic good design, such as high levels of insulation, a south-facing orientation and a glass sun-lounge in each property.
The use of traditional London stock brick references this traditional building method, whilst the use of timber cladding and terned steel for the roofing places are modern contributions building technology.
The homes have a generous number of good-sized windows, which allow plenty of natural light inside. Each unit also has a balcony on the first floor, as well as a small private garden, sheltered from the street.
Louvain-la-Neuve is a new town built for the new French-speaking Catholic University of Louvain. It is built on a former undeveloped greenfield land at the periphery of the small town Ottignies south of Brussels. The goal has been to achieve a mixed-use and walkable classical university town. The town, designed for pedestrians, is clustered around a centre area with new railway station. The university buildings are spread over the site. Shops, services, and community facilities are close to housing and academic buildings.
LouvaiLouvain-la-Neuve is located 30 km south of Brussels on the Brussels-Namur-Luxenbourg Motorway (E411).
The decision to build a new town in the French-speaking municipality of Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve was a result of student riots (Leuven Crisis) in the Wallon/French-speaking Catholic University of Leuven. Student demonstrations increased in violence throughout the mid-60s, and in 1968 following the elections to Parliament the separation of the University was approved. It resulted in the creation of the new French-speaking Catholic University of Louvain (UCL).
After examining several options the UCL accepted the invitation offered by the small town of Ottignies to buy a thousand hectares of agricultural land at the periphery of the town to host the University. As the owner of the ground the University was able to play an important role in the planning of the area and to create an urban university environment similar to that of classic university towns like Louvain.
The urban principles are:
- A human scale of the town concerning the size of buildings, squares, and streets.
- A clear border between the town and the surrounding agriculture areas.
- A University as the engine of the town collaborating with other facilities of the town.
- A great diversity of both jobs and inhabitants.
- A liveable centre, which avoids open spaces and overwhelming buildings, and encourage diversity of the functions including housing.
- A city designed for pedestrians and acceptable for walking.
- A flexible structure to withstand the changes and transformations of functions.
A new city district built on a former undeveloped greenfield.
1968 (starting date)
The UCL commissioned an architect office to work out the master plan and undertake the architectural coordination of the new town. The principles that included the structure of and the provision of various functions (academic, housing, science park, shops...) and various facilities (roads, sports, school, green areas...) were by the end of 1970 transformed to a plan. It was updated in 1992.
The development of the town has been done in stages, with self-contained units because all facilities that were not directly connected to the university needed to be privately financed.
In the early 1970s, major infrastructure (roads, rail) was performed and the residential areas began to fill. Despite the crisis experienced in real estate during the 1980s, the neighbourhoods slowly developed to be almost completed during the 1990s residential boom.
Indirectly the Roman Catholic Church in Belgium owns the land and rents it on long leases to homeowners, shopkeepers and companies. A law was passed that forbade the university from selling plots of land until 2020.
The Government financed university facilities.
The university financed the building of the railway station and the connected buildings. The overpass was, however, financed by private investors.