Urbanism in Munich : Soon a creative neighborhood?

Urbanism in Munich : They want to be hip. They want to be creative. And they have a big housing shortage. Time for a change? With the project of a creative neighborhood, Bavaria’s capital is venturing into a new urbanism and setting the bar high for Germany. We tell you everything you need to know about the “Kreativquartier”

“Living, working and combining culture, art and knowledge”.

Has the time come for a new “urbanism” in the urban development of Munich?

A so-called creative neighborhood is being built on the site that houses Munich’s local art and culture scene. In terms of urban development, the aim is to link the history of the place with the present. And the 49 acre site promises a great deal of potential.

The idea of building a creative neighborhood on the former site of the Luitpold barracks and the surrounding area took 15 years to mature. Planned as a mixed use, it will combine living, work, art, culture and innovation. The creative quarter will consist of four different spatial subdivisions: creative field, creative laboratory, creative park and creative platform.

A further milestone was reached in May 2019: The development plan for the two southern quarters of a total of four subquarters was announced. The next stage is now underway for the areas of the future creative park and creative platform. A lot can be expected from the future creative quarter. But the site also has a lot to offer historically.

Urbanism in Munich : From the armament factories to a creative neighborhood

Bird view Urbanism Munich urban development 1900
Munich : View of the Schwerer-Reiter Strasse and the Prinz-Luitpold barracks in the north around 1900. (Wikipedia / Public Domain)

In 2018, the International Munich Art Lab has organized an exhibition “From Armory to Art Area”, in which you can trace the past of the future creative quarter.

Around 1900, part of the site was occupied by the artillery factories of Munich. More than 1000 armament workers produced war material during 12-hour shifts. Hence, the number of workers increased sixfold shortly before the First World War.

Between 1931 and 1944 transmissions for fighter-bombers were manufactured there. The companies Cyclo and Daimler-Benz exploited forced laborers. Large parts of the site were taken over in 1944 by Royal Air Force and bombed to the ground.

After being used as barracks by the American Allies, the site passed into the hands of the local cultural scene. Thus, in addition to the famous event location Import & Export, it also houses the Halle 6, as well as the MUCCA, Munich’s urban art museum. The culture on the site continues as before.

The website Kreativquartier im Prozess documents the process of this urban development in a participatory way. People can upload pictures of the site in an online archive. In addition to regular events, the Kreativquartier host a walk every 2nd Thursday on the site.

Urbanism in Munich. Culture. Innovation. Housing.

Halle 6 Urbanism Munich People walking into building alternative culture space bavaria
On a jump to hall 6 ? – Probably still possible for an indefinite period of time. (Urbanauth / 2019 / München)

The residential area on the creative platform is planned as a perimeter block development, so there will be space for commercial activities on the first floor, but also space for day-care centres. The existing listed buildings are to be renovated and harmonized with the new buildings of contemporary architecture.

The industrial monuments of the Jutier- und Tonnenhalle, two approximately 100-meter-long concrete structures dating from 1926, are to be completely repaired. In addition to the construction of an underground car park, the main aim is to create spaces for culture and for the creation of art.

The city council has also commissioned studies. The possibility of adding a tram stop is investigated, as well as the possibility of reorganizing the traffic flow.

Urban and innovative: What is the Munich Urban Colab ?

Developing clever solutions for the growing cities of the future. The creative quarter will have a start-up and innovation centre. With the Munich Urban Colab, the founders and start-up scene will have a valuable location. The “Munich Urban Colab” will be a start-up and innovation center for Smart City Solutions and will strengthen Munich as an IT location. According to the start-up portal “Munich Start-Up”, Munich Urban Colab should be able to open in 2021.

“The Munich Urban Colab is to enable new forms of interdisciplinary cooperation. The focus is on solutions for the city of the future. Technology-driven innovations in the fields of mobility, living and working, artificial intelligence or energy supply are to be developed and tested. This approach is unique and it holds the chance that Munich will thus take on an international pioneering role in the development of smart city solutions. “

Clemens Baumgärtner / City of Munich’s consultant for employment and business

According to the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the Munich Urban Colab will house over 250 start-ups and will be operated by the entrepreneur TUM. Unternehmer TUM is the start-up center of the Technical University of Munich.

Housing. Housing. And even more housing.

Bird view Munich urbanism creative neighborhood
Quite a lot of space for housing. A bird’s eye view of the area of the future creative neighbourhood. (Image: Stadt München / Public Domain)

The development plan for the north-eastern creative field has been in the making since 2017. It includes 385 apartments. The creative platform will accommodate additional living space.

On the nine-hectare site, 341 apartments are being built by and for Stadtwerke München Gmbh (SWM) and part of its “Ausbauoffensive Werkswohnungen“. Within this framework, the municipal utilities want to build a total of 2500 apartments for their own employees by 2030.

In May of this year, the city council followed suit once again. Green light for twelve building quarters and 370 apartments. This time in the area of the creative field. The Wochenanzeiger München reports that more than half of the apartments will be in the hands of the municipal housing company GEWOBAG. This should ensure affordable living space. Innovative: All buildings must be constructed in timber construction.

The article was updated on 14.07.2020.

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