On March 30, a Round Table held by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) looked at the future of city districts and future residential concepts. The event - initiated by the ULI and Drees & Sommer and held at the Gerbermühle ('Tannery Mill' hotel) in Frankfurt - examined the topic 'Sustainable city districts - living in the future' from various points of view.
There was consensus that throughout Germany there is a development towards sustainable inner-city districts with mixed use. This trend is primarily driven by economic factors. As far as development in the city of Frankfurt is concerned, the participating architects, project developers and representatives of the city council believe that a turning point has been reached, and that the future will see greater residential development in the metropolis. This will not, however, be achieved by residential developments on the urban fringe, but rather through in-fill and redevelopment of the inner city. Overall, a paradigm shift can be seen in the area of urban development. During the round-table discussion facilitated by Claudia C. Gotz of ULI Germany it became clear that today the construction of housing attracts office and retail development, not vice versa.
Economic pressure results in sustainable city district development
The need to develop sustainable city districts is undisputed. Economic pressure is the primary driver for this. For project developers, energy conservation regulations and ideological reasons are secondary. There was consensus amongst the experts that the sustainability of city districts had to be holistic, taking the triple bottom line of economic, ecological and social aspects into account.