De-urban Spaces as Instruments of City Developments: Transformation Strategies

By Beate Niemann and Beate Niemann.

Published by Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In times of a continuous transformation of urban structures in terms of growth and shrinkage; sprawl and the compact city; and adaptation and individuality, a strategic design approach is the only possibility for planners to cope with it while integrating steadily changing parameters. Considering the increasing number of fallow sites, so-called de-urban spaces, there are numerous opportunities for them to become engines of city developments. Those former industrial sites—railroads, harbors, airports, or military spaces—are the heritage of the industrialization age. Along with the fact, that they are high-quality development areas, often located close to the city center, it is important to generate awareness of their potentials and, therefore, attract investors. In this context, the idea of “Zwischen- nutzungen” (intermediate uses) plays an important—and increasing—role. Large-scale projects are usually controlled by developers, but small scales do exist as well, initiated by individuals or smalls groups of society. Cities such as Berlin, London, and Paris are seeking for pioneers of unusual, innovative utilization concepts in order to revitalize entire quarters. It is a statement against the further growth of urban sprawls, helping to make life in the city more attractive.

Keywords: Strategic Approach, Transformation of Urban Structures, Fallow Sites, Revitalization, Conversion, Zwischennutzung

Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp.61-70. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 910.969KB).

Prof. Dr. Beate Niemann

Chief Executive Director, NIEMANN + STEEGE Ltd., Urban Development Institute, University Leipzig, Duesseldorf, Germany

Dr. Beate Niemann, born in 1964, is an architect and urban planner. She studied architecture at the PBSA Düsseldorf and received her doctorate degree at TU Berlin with Haptics Space Semantics, a study on architectural and urban effects of selected contemporary architecture. She was a partner with Professor Jürgen Pahl, Office for Urbanism in Düsseldorf. In 1998, she founded the NIEMANN + STEEGE in Düsseldorf with Claudio Steege. She taught as assistant professor with Kees Christiaanse at TU Berlin and at the PBSA Düsseldorf, and currently, she is a lecturer at Leipzig University.

Prof. Dr. Beate Niemann

Niemann + Steege Ltd., Niemann + Steege GmbH, Duesseldorf, Germany

Priscilla Schaedler, born in 1985, studied architecture and urban planning at KIT Karlsruhe and ETH Zurich. Her research interests include informal planning methods in a global context. Since 2010, she is based in Düsseldorf, collaborating with Dr. Beate Niemann.