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Development plans simplify city planning

A development plan is an informal planning tool to explore development potentials in a city or district, to present a rough outline for its potential future use. It is not legally binding, and is subject to a standardised procedure. The planning scale is arranged between the land use and development planning, and is thus usually used as an intermediary. The contents of the plan – both text and plan images – serve to simplify the representation of future urban planning and development possibilities.

Urban framework plans are often drawn up in order to achieve concrete usage results for competition procedures, or to protect certain urban areas (for example, protection of the property or its use). Public suggestions are particularly helpful.

The framework plan is mentioned, among other things, in the preparation of the restructuring under special urban planning law (140 BauGB). Under § 140, no. 4 of the German Civil Code (BauGB), the framework planning is mentioned as an instrument alongside land planning use.

The framework plans presented here focus particularly on the development of high-rise buildings in Frankfurt’s inner city.

The development phases of high-rise buildings

The development of high-rise planning in Frankfurt from the late 1950s to the present day can be characterised by several steps:

Running parallel to the economic growth of the 1950s and 1960s, urban planning development also grew rapidly in Frankfurt during this time. The investigations of the Stöber study and, with it, a guided discussion, formed the starting point of the subway network planning in 1962. This, and the formulation of urban development projects of the office van den Broek and Bakema, Rotterdam 1964-1966, led to an increasing enthusiasm for high-rise buildings around 1966, as seen in the article, ‘How high Frankfurt wants’ by Dr. H. Kampfmayer and Erhard Weiss, as well as the recommendation on greater private investment along the ‘Finger Plan’ of 1968.

From on-the-ground speculation and the resulting partial expulsion of the residential population in city supplementary areas, there is considerable resistance in the population against the excesses of growth. This is accompanied by the economic and oil crisis at the beginning of the 1970s, which culminated in the plans of the city council decided by the Magistrate in 1972 and other subsequently developed plans. These plans walk a fine line, with the aim of breaking the speculation that has begun, so as to calm the population and regain their trust in the city.

After a large percentage of former high-rise buildings were built in the banking district and the present face of Frankfurt determined, the metropolitan character and leadership demand of Frankfurt also became increasingly visible through its towers. This led to a mood change in the population regarding high-rise buildings, and instead of devaluing nicknames (“Krankfurt”), more fun-loving names (“Mainhattan”) came up.

Forecasts of office space requirements and market developments, all the framework plans from 1983 onwards and a new urban self-confidence, are now redefining the claims of Frankfurt as a metropolis. The history of urban development in terms of high-rise buildings can be seen in the respective framework and development plans:

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