Westside Story Presentation

Activating Urban Fringes


Countryside near to the city? In all larger German cities the urban expansion transformed fringe areas deeply. In Hannover, since suburbanisation has been directed along large infrastructure axes, 10 small villages near to the city persist until today. Maintaining only little of rural heritage and agriculture functions, they have already become parts of the city—almost hidden in the common perception. The aim of WESTSIDE STORY is to discover these places and to create narratives for their future. Current challenges urge to consider new roles for these places: we are aiming at decarbonisation and energy-independency and at using renewable resources, for example addressing Food Cycles but also in many other sectors. At the same time, the growth of urban populations causes demand in housing. The 15 villages can be seen as living places of the future, with new working models and entrepreneurial chances, strongly influenced by digitalisation and based on new forms of sustainable mobility. The hypothesis of WESTSIDE STORY foresees a considerable growth in population—in particular addressing younger groups—for the 10 villages. A sustainability perspective directs development towards intensification, densification and activation, without consuming further natural spaces. At the same time, the network of the 10 villages and its linkages with the city can initiate flows not only of materials and energy, but also of people, knowledge, ideas, finances, and investment and enhance them towards a circular vision.


Urban Design Project, BSc Architecture