Urban development

An issue in many cities – one that is turning into a crisis in some – is affordable housing. Against the background of urbanisation, housing prices have skyrocketed. The United Nations Population Fund estimates that five billion people will be living in urban areas by 2030, 60 per cent of humanity. In Germany, the urban share of total population is above the global average. While villages are dying, cities are prospering – but the supply of urban housing is insufficient.

Therefore, intelligent town planning is a key field of action for the future. This involves affordable housing in a stable infrastructure that caters to the needs of private and work life, social interaction and green/open space on the one side, and ecological aspects on the other. How can we sustain a good quality of life for future generations?


Creating something that will last

Urbanisation is progressing. Whilst the population is shrinking in many rural areas, space in the cities is getting tight. To continue providing current and future generations with high-quality living space, the Savings Banks are involved in regional planning and development. “Bahnstadt Heidelberg”, a large construction project, is a case in point for city development that is sustainable both economically and ecologically. Sparkasse Heidelberg is actively helping to shape the new city quarter – and not just in its role as a provider of finance.

The 116-hectare development situated on the site of a former rail shunting yard and freight depot is one of the biggest new inner-city construction projects in Germany and Europe – and also the biggest development of passive housing worldwide. With an aggregate investment volume of some two billion euros, the site is consistently geared toward energy efficiency. Once it is finished, it will be home to 5,000 people, with a further 7,000 workplaces located there. The core of the Bahnstadt campus is “SkyLabs”, which brings together offices and laboratories for science and high-tech companies. Creches and playgrounds are already in place; likewise a DIY store, health club, and a Savings Bank branch. An elementary school and shopping centres are set to follow. The project is scheduled for completion in 2017.

The Bahnstadt Heidelberg project is an example of inner-city development that is sustainable both economically and ecologically.