Sennestadt Bielefeld: Cooperative quarter planning sets standards

Considered to be a city of the future, the large housing development by city planner Bernhard Reichow was built in the south of Bielefeld in 1954. In order to also live up to this credo today, the city of Bielefeld is now making the district, which can accommodate approximately 21,000 inhabitants, fit for the future again. The accompanying planning process sets standards for the redevelopment of city quarters with respect to climate protection and citizen participation.

The district of Sennestadt is facing some big challenges: Many buildings need to be renovated and the inhabitants are often elderly citizens on low incomes. This is being tackled by the city of Bielefeld along with its partners, and solutions are being developed for climate-friendly buildings and infrastructures with greater standards of living and quality of life. The Bielefelder Gemeinnützige Wohnungsgesellschaft (BGW) social housing association has already carried out energy-efficient renovations on 32 apartment blocks with 373 apartments, thus reducing the final energy consumption by about 50 per cent on the average.

Engine for progress:

  • attention to the quality of renovation
  • preservation of the cityscape is of central importance
  • conceptual integration of the citizens is exceptional
  • 35 houses renovated already

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Photo: Peter Wehowsky

The redevelopment managers for the Germany KFW programme 432 came to Sennestadt within the context of the corresponding research on 30/01/2015 in order to bring expert knowledge together. In this regard, Sennestadt, where numerous coordinated climate protection goals are being pursued, is of particular interest as one of the first and largest renovation quarters, said Beate Glöckner of the Federal Building Ministry.

Cooperative planning processes as the key to success

At the beginning of 2014, the Redevelopment Manager Thorsten Försterling started his work in Sennestadt. His position is partially financed by the KfW “Energetische Stadtsanierung” (Energy-Efficient Urban Redevelopment) programme. He holds discussions with the home-owners and the owners’ associations and directs new renovation projects, for example for terraced houses and high-rise buildings. Here, citizen participation is the key to success. The climate quarter relies on recognising and networking active citizens’ groups and municipal networks. In 2014, this commitment was awarded a special prize for conceptual integration by the North Rhine-Westphalia State Ministry of Building, Housing, Urban Development and Transport in the “City Redevelopment West” programme.

Residential quality-oriented real estate evaluation with sustainable indicators

The commitment to climate protection has also drawn in institutional circles. Since 2012, an interdepartmental project management team was established in stages in Bielefeld, which today controls the implementation process. Together with the financial industry, the team prepares indicators for sustainable, residential quality-oriented real estate valuation. The goal is to produce a quarter-based valuation tool, that takes into consideration the energetic and ecological as well as the architectural heritage and social parameters.

Sennestadt is making progress: Among other things, the establishment of a heating network on the basis of systems that simultaneously provide energy and heat (“combined heat and power generation”) as well as newly built climate protection settlement on an old industry site are planned.

climate quarters Sennestadt project video

Video: KlimaExpo.NRW

Photo: Peter Wehowsky

"The unique structure of the urban planning in Sennestadt has testimonial value; any renovation needs to consider the particular architecture of post-war modernism. The focus here is on communication between all the parties involved; this is the only way to achieve high quality." (Photo: Peter Wehowsky)

Thorsten Försterling, Redevelopment Manager of Sennestadt

Partners and sponsors

  • Stadt Bielefeld
  • Sennestadt GmbH
  • Stadtwerke Bielefeld GmbH
  • KfW-Bank
  • Ministerium für Klimaschutz, Umwelt, Landwirtschaft, Natur- und Verbraucherschutz (MKULNV)