The New Green Centre

Ernst-May district: enclosure creates a green link between suburbs

Project Profile

Project Title: „Urban Integration Bornheim – Seckbach“

Subject Cluster: Planning and Construction

Project Objectives: Developing the „Ernst-May District“ on both sides of the A 661 motorway, reducing noise by enclosing the A 661, developing new residential areas close to the city centre, qualitative development of the open space structures, improving climatic conditions.

Planning Area: Northeast of the city centre, between Nordend, Bornheim and Seckbach; GPS Coordinates: 50.137388, 8.717228

Project Start: End of 2011

Project Participants: interdepartmental and interdisciplinary

Coordination: City Planning Department Frankfurt

Contact: Peter Habermann, 
City Planning Department Frankfurt

The planned enclosure of the A 661 is the nucleus of an urban concept which, through the creation of a connecting green area, will offer new perspectives for the neighbouring suburbs and provide urgently-needed housing areas– an example of „inward“ urban growth.

In the Northeast of Frankfurt, the A 661 is a gash dividing the suburbs of Nordend, Bornheim and Seckbach, slicing through the area between Huth Park in the North, Wasserpark, Seckbacher Landstraße and Günthersburg Park in the Southwest.

To enhance the urban and landscape planning situation of the 121 hectare area, Frankfurt has been undertaking preparatory work for an „Ernst-May District“ development project between Nordend, Bornheim and Seckbach since February 2011.

The strategic nature of the project can be gathered from three major planning intentions: the planned enclosure of the A 661 will reduce traffic noise, a new “green link” will connect Huth Park, Bornheim Cemetery and Günthersburg Park and areas will be created for urgently-needed housing.

A connecting green area creates development perspectives

An initial urban development study confirmed that covering the A 661 would lead to a marked improvement in the urban and landscape planning situation. The Magistrate agreed to an in-depth feasibility study for enclosing the A 661 between Friedberger Landstraße and Seckbacher Landstraße.

An urban and open-space planning concept for the area was developed in a cooperative process. An advisory board, consisting of representatives of the communities affected, the City Council, members of citizens’ initiatives and the expert public, accompanied the work of the three offices commissioned with the project and drafts were presented in Autumn 2012. The option favoured by the panel included a connecting green area which would create development perspectives for the adjacent city districts.

Realigning the existing district would enable new inner-city residential areas with a direct link to open spaces.

Creating room for new residential areas

The basic urban planning concept opens up potential for a total of eight districts for about 3,800 apartments. In the first stage, „Atterberry-Ost“, „Gärtnerei Friedrich“ and the „Innovationsquartier“ will be expanded (see aerial photograph) whilst generalised plans have been drawn up for the remaining sub-areas.

New “close-to-downtown” living

The „Innovationsquartier“, will create a new city district of about 1,500 residential units which capture the “Gründerzeit” atmosphere of the adjacent Nordend. To achieve this, new ground is being broken regarding sustainable mobility, the recreational value of public spaces and energy and water management issues.

Preserving the diversity of the open spaces

Networking the green spaces and creating a new green centre on the „lid“ of the enclosed motorway will greatly enhance its open-air recreational value for local residents and the population in general. The diversity of the open spaces and vegetation is to be preserved with extensive meadows creating multifunctional areas and meeting points for leisure activities. Besides public green spaces there will be a wide range of allotments, hobby gardens and public communal gardens for Urban Gardening projects.

Planning „inward“ urban growth

Besides providing urgently-needed residential building areas, the „Ernst-May District“ scheme will meet the demands of open and green space planning, which is shaping and implementing „inward“ urban growth. The use of land as a resource is a central theme in sustainable urban development; after all, urban land development prevents the utilisation of areas on the outskirts of the city („green meadow“).

It is a medium- to longer-term urban development project which must overcome extremely complex planning aspects and the expensive construction of the A 661 enclosure. One particular focus of the following work sequences will be to enhance open-space design.

Closing the gap

Closing the gap by enclosing the Autobahn A 661; reducing traffic noise; creating a new Centre and new connections between the city districts.

Housing construction

Creating areas for inner-city residential areas by re-aligning existing districts; potential for eight districts; preventing utilisation of areas on the outskirts of the city.

Green areas

Networking existing green areas; creating new green Centre on the enclosure; preserving diversity of open spaces; multifunctional spaces and meeting points; creating space for small, hobby and community gardens.

City Planning Department Frankfurt am Main

Peter Habermann

Tel +49 (0)69 212-36833