Speaker: Pieter van der Kooij (Municipality of Freiburg, Germany)

18 June 2019, 12:30-13:30

Room: BG West 290, Bouwkunde, TU Delft


It Takes At Least A Thousand To Tango: Urban Planning in Freiburg (Germany)


Freiburg is one of the fastest growing cities in Germany and ever rising prices characterise its housing market. With unemployment numbers at an all time low and job vacancies at an all time high, the green knowledge city is attractive for young migrants from everywhere in Germany and all over the world.


The municipal Urban Planning Department is taking this enormous societal challenge head on and is currently developing multiple dense urban neighbourhoods with more on the way. Because the surroundings of the city are (almost without exception) protected natural areas, the focus lies on inner-city developments. This has been standard practice in the last 30 years and has now forced the city to search for new innovative planning solutions and methods.


Planning in existing urban neighbourhoods, means dealing with many neighbours and many differing interests. This demands extensive participatory urban planning and design processes, that enable all people to be involved. Because of the great public interest, events with hundreds of participants or planning processes with a thousand or more people participating are no exception.


The main challenge is to organise societal support and acceptance for the densification of the city and the more intensive use of public space. Many unanimous votes of the city’s municipal council show the success of this planning approach and the accompanying multi-channel communication strategies.


Pieter van der Kooij graduated with honours from TU Delft, track Urbanism with the annotation Technology in Sustainable Development and was chosen as one the three best urbanism-graduates of his year. He is a registered urban planner in both the Netherlands and Germany.


In Freiburg Pieter van der Kooij has led multidisciplinary project teams for the strategic urban planning vision of Freiburg (230.000 inhabitants), multiple urban planning concepts and designs for neighbourhoods (4.000-8.000 residents) and currently is the project leader for the city’s new high rise vision.




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