Bonn as a case study

With app. 230.000 inhabitants, Bonn is a second-order city in the German federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia. It has been the capital of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) form 1949 to 1990. Today, urban conflicts linked to planning processes and projects preoccupy the public as in many German cities. Two of them, namely the conflict about the “Bahnhofsvorplatz” (surroundings of the railway station) and the conflicts about the inner-city quarter of the “Viktoriakarree” are analysed in the TRIPAR-research project.

The quarrelling about the “Bahnhofsvorplatz” can be considered as a long-term and finished pubic urban conflict. During the 1960s and 1970s Friedrich Spengelin designed and realised a new square as well as the adjacent building, the so-called ‘Südüberbauung’. The projects were disgraced soon. Since the 1970s, various attempts have been launched to re-develop the area and create a more attractive and welcoming ”entrance to the city” of Bonn. During the 1980s, for example, the architect Oswald Matthias Ungers proposed a glass architecture instead, and in the 1990s and 2000s, new ideas for redevelopment absorbed the local stakeholders again. These attempts failed all realization, but provoked extensive and harsh public debates. In the late 2000s finally, a new project triggered a public urban conflict that – however – is under realization today.

The Viktoriakarre in contrast presents an on-going conflict. Located in the inner-city of Bonn, the site of conflict comprises predominantly buildings from the 1960s and 1970s with fine-grain mixed-used functions, so far. It is intended to re-develop the area, and a first proposal in the late 2000s envisioned the construction of a new shopping mall: It triggered an intense public debates. Currently, a comprehensive participation process is carried

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