Karlsruhe wants more healthy mobility and easy access: public spaces and mobility in the city center

Karlsruhe wants more healthy mobility and easy access: public spaces and mobility in the city center

Karlsruhe. Space for more healthy mobility and good access, Space for more greenery and Space for more public life – these three basic principles were the focus of an online workshop, recently launched by the Office of City Planning as the end of public relations work. did. IQ Lead Project “Public Space and Mobility Inner City” (ÖRMI). There were, among other things, civil unions, various social groups, transport service providers and transport associations, as well as representatives of trade, the environment, culture and science.

Commissioned around the “Buro Gehl Architects” office community from Copenhagen presented the first difficult concept for public space and mobility in the city centre. It is based on the results of analysis and participatory models that have already been done. Then several initial recommendations and plans of the office community were discussed together based on three basic principles.

When it comes to space for more healthy mobility And good reach It was proposed to reorganize the parking space for the cars and make room for other uses. City logistics and delivery should be reconsidered and integrated. The degree of “freedom from cars” should be viewed differently depending on location. Conflicts between modes of transport are reduced by prioritizing transport networks.

space for more green Should there be, the inner city should be presented green and vibrant in the future instead of gray and sealed. For this purpose, green linkages with the environment are to be created for greater permeability and ventilation, improving the microclimate and making possible more biodiversity and greenery diversity. But it also means that living quarters do not become consistently fuller and fuller through subsequent structural densification – and residents, for example, no longer find any parking space for cars and motorcycles!

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In order to make room for more public life, the quarters have to be strengthened and rethought. The concepts of mobility and open space are to be anchored site-specifically in each quarter. Public spaces need to be upgraded, and every square meter counts here. This requires more opportunities, and a balance between commercial and non-commercial offers. Life should be made visible, for example through more culture in public spaces and the revitalization of ground floor areas. There is a special focus on children and young people who need more invitations to play.

Tailored to specific needs and wishes
During a lively discussion of these points in expert colloquial, participants formulate specific needs and desires for the city center, such as “an intelligent combination of logistics and public life” or “barrier-free meeting places” based on professional background. And to what extent they were affected. Major desires for a city center of the future, however, are oriented towards “quality of living and well-being, separation of bicycle and pedestrian traffic to avoid conflict”, as well as “improved cohesion and diversity”. Participants especially often wanted “more shadow and green”. One participant’s desire for “magical places and niches to wonder” touched on the theme of “the inner city as an experience space”, which will be of greater focus in the future.

Note the poor accessibility to the city center
An exchange of different perspectives and arguments on the topic of mobility revealed that there are different needs, perspectives and usage requests for the inner city, depending on how they are affected. The commonality in discussion was in the demand for good access to the city center for all. Nevertheless, there was also the desire for a priority network that prioritizes cycling and walking without banning motor vehicle traffic in many places in the city centre.

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Think Senior Citizens
The priority is to strike this balance – here too, the discussion group unanimously – was challenging. Nevertheless, a visionary rethinking in urban planning in favor of new uses and properties is worthwhile. But in many of these simulation games, the needs of the aging residents are not taken into account!

Space needed for more greenery
In the discussion about green spaces in the city centre, it became clear that the desire for more green and shade for the city center also goes hand in hand with the need for space. In addition to islands of habitat, important cycling and walking connections should also be made greener and more attractive. In this context, a desire was expressed for greater consideration and careful handling of public green spaces. The role of water and city fountains was also highlighted.

An important point in the subject area of ​​life was the collaboration between different actors in the center of the city. The challenge is to integrate gastronomy, trade, culture and living with each other and enable them to work together. One participant pointed out that re-evaluation and measures of individual areas should not lead to displacement. For example, by moving or redirecting motor vehicle traffic, other residential areas should not lose their quality. Others called for more space for experiments and culture and a simplified re-evaluation of parking areas to make them multifunctional if necessary. When seeking alternative uses, however, financial support for the culture also needs to be considered.

The information and suggestions of invited experts are now evaluated and checked to see if they can be incorporated into the concept and what are the requirements as a result of the contribution to the concept. In the spring and summer of 2022, there are to be two actual laboratories in public places to test the proposed measures. In autumn 2022, the concept of “Public Space and Mobility in the Inner City” will be discussed in the City Council.

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