Europan Germany

E15: Sites

E15: Bergische Kooperation

Site Description

Category: XL/L/S
Team Representative: Architects, urban planners, landscape architects
Location group: embedding - productive milieus
Location: Hilden, Ratingen, Solingen, and Wülfrath-Düssel
Population: ~ 58,000, ~ 92,300, ~ 159,000, ~ 21. 200
Scope areas: 16.7 ha, 91.9 ha, 42.5 ha, 48.42 ha
Project areas: 2.8 ha, 43 ha, 20.7 ha, 12 ha
Site proposal: Bergische Struktur- und Wirtschaftsförderungsgesellschaft mbH
Participating stakeholders: Hilden, Ratingen, Solingen and Wülfrath, Bergische Struktur- und Wirtschaftsförderungsgesellschaft mbH
Art of commission: Urban development framework plan

What can the location achieve in relation to the topic of productive cities?

Based on the joint future concept for the pilot project "Future Quarters between the Rhine and the Wupper," the cooperation area "Between the Rhine and the Wupper" wants to initiate exemplary quarter developments regionally and locally that constructively take up the opportunities and challenges of technological and social change. Within this framework, four cities from the cooperation area - Hilden, Ratingen, Solingen and Wülfrath - are submitting a joint task for the Europan 15 competition. The goal and task is to design concrete spatial strategies and images and to receive international impulses for neighborhood development in the region.

Strategic goals

The sites vary in terms of location, size and general conditions from the large city of Solingen to the small district of Düssel in the town of Wülfrath, from the transformation of former industrial sites to new development on a "greenfield" site. Common to all locations is the proximity to existing or yet to be expanded public transportation stops that connect the different scale levels. The common question is to be answered in the competition for all locations on the strategic level, in order to be able to derive from it not only concrete solution approaches for the individual location, but qualities and action approaches for the entire cooperation area.


1. City of Hilden - While respecting the Gründerzeit urban layout, a development concept is to be developed for a quarter between the city center and the train station, in which new forms of housing and commercial and freelance uses can be developed side by side.

2. City of Ratingen - The city of Ratingen wants to initiate a large-scale restructuring with a potential suburban train stop at the project site. The selected planning area is to function here in the future as a link both for the good integration of the stop and for the interconnection of the city areas west and the core city. Above all, however, the area is to be a prototype for exploring the coexistence of working and living. This is less about pure demolition and new construction, but rather about a processual change in the district. Not by replacing the area category, but by transformation, new interrelationships and conditions of work and living, open space and mobility are to be explored.

3. Solingen-Wald - Several scenarios are conceivable with regard to a subsequent use of the former industrial site - whereby the surrounding development must be taken into account, which is characterized by residential development, among other things. Due to the central location, the city can envision an urban quarter for living and working with a mix of innovative, non-disturbing commercial uses, housing with residential forms for young and old, services and other complementary uses, as well as an attractive public space with a high quality of stay and play opportunities for children. The result is expected to be an urban quarter with a high urban planning and architectural quality. The topics of "ecological resources," "new mobility," and "fairness" are also central themes of Solingen's sustainability strategy. Therefore, the neighborhood can and should become a showcase project for sustainable urban development in Solingen and the region!

4. Wülfrath - A new settlement area is to be developed in which the uniqueness and special, evolved social and architectural quality of the place is preserved. Düssel should be a lively place where living, working and leisure can take place together. A particular challenge is therefore to carefully combine the new residential areas with the existing, in part historic structures of the district. The new residential areas are not only intended to provide places to sleep for people who work in Düsseldorf, Wuppertal or Essen, but also to offer new forms of decentralized working, to create new mobility concepts for a livable, traffic-calmed street space and to exploit the high potential for energy-efficient construction of the residential buildings.

How can production be integrated into the programmatic diversity of the city?

The entire region is known for its industrial tradition (metal, blade production, textile, tools, machinery, automotive and chemical industries). In the current economic situation, there is a thematic shift of industries towards digitalization and artificial intelligence. The existing economic power is mainly characterized by small and medium-sized companies from the manufacturing sector. The service sector has been growing slowly in recent years.

All four locations have different framework conditions. In recent years, the city of Hilden has made the structural change from a textile and metal industry to a service and shopping city. The city of Ratingen is very close to the metropolis of Düsseldorf and has excellent transport links. With the high number of nature reserves, it offers a very good living environment. Solingen is known for blade production and Wülfrath is home to the largest limestone quarries in Europe.

All sites have or are located at planned light rail stops. This is why the opportunity is offered here to combine living, working, digital production and leisure activities with very good transport links. The goal should be to create settlements that are mixed and therefore busy throughout the day.

E15: Selb

Site Description

Category: L
Team representative: Architects, urban planners, landscape architects
Site group: Creating proximity - interfaces and short cycles
Site: Selb, railroad station area
Inhabitants: ~ 16,000
Scope: 65.7 ha
Project area: 6.6 ha
Site proposal: Selb
Participants: Selb
Type of commission: depending on the quality of the results, a commission for an urban design may be awarded

What can the site achieve in relation to the theme of productive cities?

To the southwest of the station area, a local medium-sized company is producing, which has been able to steadily expand its production capacities and the number of employees in recent years. At the station forecourt as well as on Bahnhofstrasse, there are already several businesses in the area with restaurants, retail companies and a gas station. However, the location currently still has the problem of considerable deficits with regard to the urban development situation and the product range. The goal is therefore to make the area around the train station, which is close to the city center, a more attractive place to live and work by implementing comprehensive urban development measures such as redevelopment of the public space and new development with high-quality building ensembles.

Strategic goals

By revitalizing the inner-city brownfield site and improving the urban development situation in the immediate vicinity of the train station, a contribution is to be made to inner-city development. Selb, like the entire region, has a structural shortage of good and individually designable housing, especially in the rental housing sector. In addition, there is only very limited inner-city land potential for new multi-family housing construction. Therefore, redevelopment of the area, at least in part, with multifamily housing or townhouses is particularly desirable. A mix of uses with non-disturbing commerce is expressly desired at this location, taking into account the small-town character of the site. The then newly designed station district should be optimally connected to the various city quarters in terms of transport.


The site is located about 400 meters north of the city center. In addition to the freight depot, the Gründerzeit station building is also largely vacant today and negatively affects the cityscape in a prominent location. The approx. 4.5 ha large, narrower station surroundings have largely lost their historical significance due to the drastic reduction of rail traffic in Selb, and there are considerable functional deficits. Large parts of the area lie fallow. In front of the station building are Goetheplatz and the adjoining Bahnhofstrasse, which are also characterized by considerable urban development and functional deficiencies. The adjoining Goethepark to the south is hardly accepted in its present form and thus needs to be completely rethought in terms of planning.

How can production be integrated into the programmatic diversity of the city?

The traditional porcelain industry in Selb had its numerous production sites in the middle of the city from the beginning. Also many of the again prospering medium-sized companies produce, research and manage on very well embedded, core-urban properties and shape the industrial image of the city until today. In contrast, outsourcing of production facilities to the outskirts of the city and the separation of living and working are phenomena of the recent past in Selb and are limited to a few case studies in the west of the city along the 93 freeway. The city of Selb would therefore like to continue the tradition of inner-city production by strengthening the central station area and its closer surroundings as a place for living and working. In Selb, there are currently hardly any integrated commercial areas for spatial expansions or new settlements. Attractive inner-city locations for small-scale service providers and creative people are also hard to find in Selb. The city of Selb therefore wants to leverage the previously unused potential of its fallow station district. Through a mix of residential, service and manufacturing uses, a modern and urban flair is to be breathed into this area, which at the same time picks up on the railroad tradition at the location, which is so significant for the industrial history of the city, through design elements. In the long term, the station area is to be linked with the city center and the new outlet center to form an attractive new center for Selb by means of urban development impulses.