Aiming high with a citizen's report?

01. October 2021 Uhr
A. Hert / CC BY-SA 3.0

Does Munich want to aim high with two high-rise buildings on the parcel post site? This and other topics are discussed by randomly selected residents of the city in so-called "planning cells" since 5 October 2021. 126 Munich residents have accepted the invitation to spend four days intensively discussing the future of the area around the parcel post hall.

The participants, aged 14 to 80, will go through a programme in four groups that includes a tour of the site and presentations by experts and interest groups. During the subsequent work in small groups, they develop ideas and concrete proposals for the further development of the area, which are presented, discussed and evaluated.

Discussion about high-rise buildings

With a currently planned height of about 155 metres, the high-rise buildings planned for the area would be the tallest buildings in Munich. As it is unclear how the towers will change the visual relationships on site and the cityscape of Munich in general, there is much discussion both among the population and among experts about the construction of the towers. Besides the height, the sustainable design of the skyscrapers is also an important issue. This includes, for example, climate-friendly construction and operation as well as the use of the towers.

In the planning cells there will be an in-depth discussion of the high-rise buildings. In the process, the citizen evaluators will also be given the opportunity to formulate recommendations for the height of the buildings.

Previous collection of topics

The topics to be dealt with by the planning cells had been collected at a kick-off and information evening and a round table in July. They range from building density, monument protection and sustainability of the site and the high-rise buildings to the use of the parcel post hall and the open spaces. To ensure that these topics are examined from different perspectives, presentations are planned by, among others, the German Sustainable Building Council, the Munich Forum, the Technical University of Munich as well as municipal departments and renowned architecture, landscape architecture and engineering firms.

The entire process and the results will be documented and published at the end of the work phase. The results of the citizens' report are an essential building block for the further planning process and will flow into the further development of urban planning.

Participants a reflection of the population

The participants in the planning cells were selected representatively from the population register. They must be at least 14 years old. They discuss various topics in working groups for several days. The random procedure ensures that all residents have equal opportunities to participate and that a broad spectrum of different people have their say.

The participatory procedure of citizens' reports through planning cells was developed in the 1970s by Wuppertal sociology professor Peter C. Dienel and has since been used around 80 times in Germany on various topics. The procedure is characterised by the random selection of participants, the division of the topic into work units, the communication of important information, the discussion in unmoderated small groups and the summary of recommendations in a citizens' report.

Read more

Image rights: CC BY-SA 3.0