Sustainable city Rostock NW 2035+
From September 26 to 29, 2021, Union of the Baltic Cities - Planning Cities Commission in cooperation with the city of Rostock held the annual Seminar in the district center "House 12" in Schmarl. The collaboration was done in small interdisciplinary working groups, a good mix of colleagues from Rostock and their guests, with over 20 urban development experts from 10 UBC Member Cities.
The topic of the Seminar was “From a model city of socialist urbanization to a sustainable city Rostock NW 2035+ : How to make 5 absolutely solid satellite towns even better?”
On Monday morning, Dr. Paulina Szewczyk, the chairperson of the UBC Planning Cities Commission from the city of Gdynia, welcomed the participants and expressed great satisfaction of meeting in person. She thanked resigning Christian Hegardt, Region Gotland and announced the new vice chairperson of the Commission Dr. Māra Liepa-Zemeša from the city of Riga and a new steering group.
Utilizing the UBC approach, the Rostock team led by Dr. Andreas Schubert have given a report of the implementation of UBC workshop’s recommendations in Rostock 2017. The Rostock team presented the current planning status of the national gardener exhibition 2025 as an essential step towards realizing the “Rostock Oval” strategy. Finally, the Rostock team introduced the workshop sites and all participants had an opportunity to visit and walk through them.
On Tuesday morning Dr. Berndt Hunger (Berlin), chairman of the Centre of Competence for Major Housing Estates gave the inspiring keynote lecture titled “Renewal of Large Housing Estates – German Experiences”.
During the workshop sessions, development options of the five districts of Rostock's northwest were investigated in details and recommendations for strategic and tactical action were formulated.
As a result, the experts came to the recommendation to keep the already high structural, spatial and social qualities of the large housing estates at a high level through close-knit offers for social revitalization, as well as to strengthen the local economy.
However, all thoughts about Rostock NW are about the everyday life of around 75 thousand residents and equalizing their living conditions to that of other city quarters (under development and transition).
There is a strong need for coordinating different fields of the settlements’ life – a kind of responsible contact person who could integrate urban planning with social, cultural and economic issues, to stimulate own development projects and implement them more in own responsibility. Rostock needs an interdisciplinary approach and long-term strategy for the NW.
In addition, modern public transport and pedestrian connections between the 5 settlements should be thought through and strengthened as, meanwhile, urban space has grown and interlinked community has already existed.
The Rostock Heritage conservators may begin with the preservation of individual monuments (e.g. facade decorations) as well as entire building ensembles, especially in Schmarl district.
The 5 settlements are developing into more than just large housing estates in prefabricated construction, this trend should be strengthened.
On Wednesday session, the results were presented a.o. to Claus Ruhe Madsen, the Mayor of Rostock, who expressed the satisfaction with the results of the workshops and thanked the participants for the successful Seminar.
Dr. Andreas Schubert,
Hanseatic and University City of Rostock
Dr. Paulina Szewczyk
City of Gdynia, Chairperson of the UBC Planning Cities Commission