Rehmplätze, Aachen-North Redesign of the Rehm squares (Rehmplatz, Wenzelplatz and Oberplatz) as part of the "Socially Integrative City of Aachen-North" project

Opening © 2015 planung.freiraum

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Opening © 2015 planung.freiraum

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Stock Rehmplatz © 2012 planung.freiraum

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Design Rehmplatz © 2012 planung.freiraum

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Stock Wenzelplatz © 2012 planung.freiraum

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Design Wenzelplatz © 2012 planung.freiraum

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Stock upper square © 2012 planung.freiraum

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Design upper square © 2012 planung.freiraum

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Participation © 2012 planung.freiraum

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Participation © 2012 planung.freiraum

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Participation © 2012 planung.freiraum

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Participation © 2012 planung.freiraum

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General plan © 2012 planung.freiraum

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Plan Rehmplatz © 2012 planung.freiraum

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spatial-structural concept Rehmplatz © 2012 planung.freiraum

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Dehmplatz © 2015 Andreas [FranzXaver] Süß

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Dehmplatz © 2015 Andreas [FranzXaver] Süß

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Dehmplatz © 2015 Andreas [FranzXaver] Süß

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Dehmplatz © 2015 Andreas [FranzXaver] Süß

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Dehmplatz © 2015 Andreas [FranzXaver] Süß

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Oberplatz © 2015 Andreas [FranzXaver] Süß

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Oberplatz © 2015 Andreas [FranzXaver] Süß

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Oberplatz © 2015 Andreas [FranzXaver] Süß

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Oberplatz © 2015 Andreas [FranzXaver] Süß

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Wenceslas Square © 2015 Andreas [FranzXaver] Süß

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Wenceslas Square © 2015 Andreas [FranzXaver] Süß

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Opening © 2015 planung.freiraum

Opening © 2015 planung.freiraum

Stock Rehmplatz © 2012 planung.freiraum

Design Rehmplatz © 2012 planung.freiraum

Stock Wenzelplatz © 2012 planung.freiraum

Design Wenzelplatz © 2012 planung.freiraum

Stock upper square © 2012 planung.freiraum

Design upper square © 2012 planung.freiraum

Participation © 2012 planung.freiraum

Participation © 2012 planung.freiraum

Participation © 2012 planung.freiraum

Participation © 2012 planung.freiraum

General plan © 2012 planung.freiraum

Plan Rehmplatz © 2012 planung.freiraum

spatial-structural concept Rehmplatz © 2012 planung.freiraum

Dehmplatz © 2015 Andreas [FranzXaver] Süß

Dehmplatz © 2015 Andreas [FranzXaver] Süß

Dehmplatz © 2015 Andreas [FranzXaver] Süß

Dehmplatz © 2015 Andreas [FranzXaver] Süß

Dehmplatz © 2015 Andreas [FranzXaver] Süß

Oberplatz © 2015 Andreas [FranzXaver] Süß

Oberplatz © 2015 Andreas [FranzXaver] Süß

Oberplatz © 2015 Andreas [FranzXaver] Süß

Oberplatz © 2015 Andreas [FranzXaver] Süß

Wenceslas Square © 2015 Andreas [FranzXaver] Süß

Wenceslas Square © 2015 Andreas [FranzXaver] Süß

"draußen zuhause": planung.freiraum was invited by the city of Aachen to participate in an expert procedure with a test design and proposal of a participation concept and was finally commissioned with the participation and planning. The participation methods and strategies described below were developed by planung.freiraum specifically for the Rehm-Plätze participation process and implemented by the landscape planning office with the support of the moderator Holger Scheibig.

Excursus
The ongoing social change has resulted in both new users and new / different usage requirements for open spaces. These arise from changing family and employment models, demographic change and the influence of diverse cultures. New guiding principles arise from the social coexistence of the most diverse life models, the desire for integration and interaction, which should and could be taken into account in the design of the Rehm squares.
Where do children chill, how do men play, what movement needs do older people have, how do women take a break - open spaces, planned according to the criteria of equal opportunities, diversity and inclusion, counteract age- and gender-specific, cultural and social stereotypes and are largely protected against vandalism. They support, starting with the participation process, democratic negotiation processes and especially those user groups that are otherwise less likely to get involved and spend time in public.

Participation process for the Rehm squares Aachen
In the participation process for the redesign of the Rehm squares, specific user groups were targeted and asked about their specific needs, for example girls and boys of different age groups, mothers, older people, people with diverse cultural backgrounds.

Methods
- the (potential) users in their diversity are included as experts of their everyday life and environment
- groups are involved differentiated by age, gender and cultural background to avoid competition and minimize conflicts
- use-oriented open planning processes

The low-threshold,

The low-threshold, outreach methods enabled the groups to engage with the space and their respective needs in a very differentiated way, taking into account not only their own needs but also those of other groups.

Play and walk-through
Play and walk-through were developed specifically for the Rehm squares in order to inquire about needs, potentials, what is beautiful and not so beautiful, desired moods and disadvantages. These instruments can be used across generations and also reach people who actually shy away from public statements. Since both in the game and during the walk-throughs mainly symbols and images were used, a lack of German language skills was not a hurdle.

Involvement of committed citizens
Committed citizens were involved in the participation process during the walk-throughs and citizens' meetings as well as through appointments with the district conference. The results of the participation as well as individual design steps were fed back with them.
In the district office there were process-accompanying notices, feedback was also possible there.

Results
In addition to the results on spatial structures and desired activities, an important finding was that the Oberplatz and Wenzelplatz could play a major role especially for the users who live around these squares, use public facilities or the Kurdish cultural café there. So far, these spaces have sometimes been deliberately avoided. However, there is a great need to use the open spaces of the three squares as a supplement to the often cramped living space. A wide variety of activity requests have been expressed for this, from resting to ball games, from toddler to adult play and sports.

The people involved, as representatives of their user groups, did not express any illusory or utopian expensive wishes. An economical use of all resources was always important to the groups visited as part of their engagement with the spaces. This corresponds to everyday life and the reality of life in this neighbourhood. For this reason, visibly expensive materials or a complete demolition of existing structures would not have been mediated and would not have been necessary. Instead, the thesis that an "outside at home", a supplement to the existing private living space, is urgently needed and desired as a communal open space is confirmed. Following these participation results, the designs for the three Rehm squares were conceived.

In operation
People of all ages, from all over the world, sand, water, pebbles, boulders, rustle of grasses, rustle of leaves, splash, laughter, scent of flowers, laughter of children, family outing, lunch break, a date, time out, briefly put down the groceries, sit on the bench and bike, swing and chat....
The structural plans for the three squares developed from the player rounds and inspections showed that a large spatial and functional density is possible and supported and desired by the majority of future users. In the meantime, spatial justice and integration have emerged from this. On the Rehm squares, a foundation stone for social peace and good coexistence was laid with comparatively little effort. These are based on the fact that everyone feels seen, considered and represented.

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Planning offices

planung.freiraum
Berlin

Employees
Tobias Glahn, Clara Jäkel, Ronny Kräft, Holger Scheibig

Project period
2012 - 2015

Size
4.100 qm

Construction amount
810.000 EUR

Client
Stadt Aachen

Address
Rehmplatz, Oberplatz, Wenzelplatz
52070 Aachen
Deutschland

Show project location on map

Project type
Squares, promenades, pedestrian areas
Playgrounds, e.g. at childcare centers and schools
Project and process management
Public participation / moderation