A German example of an innovative energy supply concept
More energy on the roof than on the ground
We don’t all have such a strong lobby and development force behind us. What sparked my interest was the more down to earth, step by step changes that seem to have taken place in the collective consciousness of Esslingen, beyond the project itself. For instance, the first block that was finished still had as many parking spaces in the basement, as there were flats in the building. In this car producing region, that is the kind of norm that gets established after heated discussions in the municipal council. These ideas are shifting now. The developer proved to the municipal council what parking is needed in an urban location near public transport. From now on there will be less built parking spots in the newly constructed blocks. In addition, after the nuisance of the construction is over, there will be no more free parking throughout the town center.
Thinking of social cohesion was not part of the planning process. Photo: Vis-à-Wien
Apparently the thinking about mobility has shifted as a result of the project, which originally did not have any climate ambitions. It is a process of learning and making steps for everybody, within their own possibilities. Ten years ago this was just a plain area development plan; the feeling of responsibility for climate objectives gradually came in. The awareness of social objectives however, was less prominent. Social housing is rather concentrated, because initially it was overlooked altogether. The housing development is financed by a bank who promises their investors a fixed percentage of returns. This business model resulted in the area being predominantly inhabited by what was described as ‘urban nomads’, professionals with little connection to the town and without children.
Excursion key data:
Klimaquartier – Neue Weststadt,