Housing and agriculture grow togetherCopyright: Meyer, Bilderbuch Köln
How can we interweave agriculture and housing? What new ideas can reduce land use through settlement growth and thus free up more space for agricultural production? In "Rheinisch Habitat", students design productive quarters in the surrounding area of Cologne and re-think the relationship between housing and agriculture.
The city of Cologne and its surrounding communities are growing continuously. On the left bank of the Rhine, the metropolitan region expects an increase of 170 000 people over the next few years. New living space is therefore urgently needed, but the communities grow into a 2,000-year-old cultural landscape and thus seal valuable fertile ground. The region has to address the question of how the country can be used more sustainably in the future and how a regional food supply can be shaped.
In recent decades, the municipalities have built many new housing estates modeled on the “garden city ideal”. In reality, these area-intensive development areas have little in common with the original concept of the "Garden City" designed by Ebenezer Howard. With ornamental garden, carport and a spacious organic road, they serve the dream of a home in the suburbs. A development that meanwhile
The urban sprawl is now recognized as a problem by both land users, as well as by politics and research. Thus, in 2016, the intercommunal city-hinterland network (S.U.N.), consisting of the city of Cologne, the Rhein-Erft-Kreis and 12 municipalities from the surrounding area of Cologne. "Grow together" is the guiding principle of the future concept. In collaboration with the S.U.N. region, the recently launched research project "Nachwuchs" is working on the design of innovative and sustainable urban settlement structures and landscapes.
The master project "Rheinisch Habitat" is closely linked to this research project, which creates advantages for both sides. While the student designs inspire the communities, the students gain insights into real planning processes and participatory processes and can make valuable contributions to regional development through their designs.