Quartier Wasserturm - Fit for the future Participation of children and young people as well as adults in the design of the open spaces

Ideensammlung © 2016 Yvonne Göckemeyer

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Rundgang © 2016 Yvonne Göckemeyer

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Verortung der Ideen mit den Kindern und Jugendlichen © 2016 Yvonne Göckemeyer

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Erwachsenenbeteiligung © 2016 Yvonne Göckemeyer

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Ideensammlung © 2016 Yvonne Göckemeyer

Rundgang © 2016 Yvonne Göckemeyer

Verortung der Ideen mit den Kindern und Jugendlichen © 2016 Yvonne Göckemeyer

Erwachsenenbeteiligung © 2016 Yvonne Göckemeyer

After an initial analysis of the open spaces in 2013 and the energy-efficient refurbishment and addition of carports and parking spaces that has been started in the meantime, there was an initial participation step in 2015 with children and young people and subsequently with adults on the design of the open spaces.

The housing estate Wasserturm of the SBV was built at the end of the 50s, beginning of the 60s. The approx. 700 residential units are divided into 2-, 3- and 4-room apartments. Accordingly, the tenants include single people, couples and families with one or two parents and child(ren).
Because of the age of the estate, the associated age structure of the existing first-time tenants and the positive experience at other locations, there are plans to demolish two buildings of the stock and to build barrier-free apartments as assisted living there. The integration of a new tenant meeting place is also planned. This major construction measure is scheduled to start in 2016/2017.

As part of the preliminary planning for this project, the responsible head of the Building Department, Mr. Rose, took a look at the entire estate. The condition of the facades and balconies made renovation necessary. This was combined with energetic optimisation. This work has already taken place in some areas. By 2020, they will be implemented in the entire settlement.
This, the new, in large parts now above-ground storm water drainage, the construction of carports and parking facilities and the general need for renovation in the outdoor facilities were and are the basis for the work that should result from the participation process.

How it went
After the general info about the upcoming measures and participation was given in the form of a power point presentation at the tenants' meeting in October 2015, the appointment at the end of January was about concrete 'action points'.

Children and young people
Unfortunately, due to bad weather, but certainly also due to the failure to post notices in the showcases, only 5 children/young people aged from about 4 to about 16 years were present at the 1st participation appointment at the end of January 2016. After a short introduction, we started collecting ideas - once under the question 'Wishes for outside' and then 'What is fun outside ?' The participants were immediately eager to participate. Even the little girl put her ideas on paper with the help of her mother.
When the ideas were made visible to the whole group, there were still questions and additions. It became clear that the 'quieter' participants need and want to be addressed in a targeted manner.
The group then went outside in the pouring rain. The walk through the neighbourhood concretized places and brought important information for the further design (fence at the football field, so that the ball does not fall down the embankment, etc.).
From this, the plan with the places for 'movement areas', 'snack stations' and more emerged. It was important to the children and young people that there should be plenty of places to sit at various points - one or two with a table for a picnic. And playhouses also appeared across the age.

In the afternoon, the appointment took place with about 15 adults aged between about 40 and over 70. Pleasingly, 2 children/young people from the morning appointment had also come along.
The 'grown-ups' were impressed by the wide range of ideas/imaginings from the 'little ones'. This showed the importance of a child's 'original sound' for the young 'experts' perception of on-the-spot competence. The information that, for example, the football pitch would be quite attractive with a slight modification was news to the adults.
In response to specific questions by Mr. Rose of SBC, there were additional aspects/points to the following areas:
safety (lighting, handrails on steps, sidewalks in need of renovation, lockable bike sheds, condition check of all paths and steps)
planting (flowering shrubs, columnar fruit, greenery at building entrances)
furnishings (benches with side/back rests, recliners, fitness equipment, (additional) path connections)

looking forward
at both meetings, the next steps were explained.
To this end, a plan for the whole neighbourhood is being drawn up in consultation with SBC (Mr Rose), showing the measures planned at the various locations. Also the time line of the conversion and the cost sizes are to be designated there if possible.
After appropriate announcement by personal advertisement and notices in the showcases there will be on a Saturday in the tenant meeting place all day an 'open day'. The planning will be presented, questions can be asked, the proposed points are open for discussion and of course there is room for further suggestions.
The results of this event will then be incorporated into the further work. From this, the tender for the work will be developed. The first implementation = construction phase should take place in the (late) summer / autumn 2016.

State of affairs - 19.09.2016
At the moment, the construction work is underway. There have been significant changes on site in that the additional pathways now 'meander' through the open spaces. This has already resulted in a significant enhancement of the open space in the areas.


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Planning offices

Landschaftsarchitektin Plan-Blatt - Göckemeyer

Project period
2013 - 2018

Construction amount
1. Bauabschnitt ca. 150.000 Euro

SBV Spar- und Bauverein Solingen eG
z.Hd. Herr Rose
Kölner Str. 47
42651 Solingen

Burgunder Str., Solingen

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Project type
Green concepts for residential, commercial and industrial areas
Public participation / moderation