Recommendations for Urban Development

In 1961, an economic-scientific analysis of Frankfurt city was carried out by Dr. Gerhard Stöber in order to secure future planning measures through insights into the structure of the city. It would be “an X-ray image of Frankfurt City”, working as an aid to the assessment of the city’s development and the starting point for future developments: “In the first place, a sober presentation of given facts from the point of view of economists, sociologists, and statisticians was intended…but not a closed urban planning concept.”

The study revealed a tendency to exacerbate pressure on the city, and urges to accelerate measures for traffic sanitation and urban steering. Without this, “the traffic shortage will grow into a catastrophe that might put the city in danger of economic death.” This is because “the progress of the soil bottleneck has always increased the economic value of the city location”, but “there is a risk of a downward trend, if not, a noticeable discharge of the city occurs ….”. Furthermore, “the lack of space would have two consequences. In both cases, however, other advantages of the location support the shifting process, but its rationally motivated spatial dynamics are influenced by the partly pronounced persistence of existing locations”.

The continuation of existing establishments and the additional pressure of new tertiary branches leads to a saturation of the location, and redefines the old boundaries of the city. “The perseverance, the unbroken urge to move to the central area – and the impossibility of extending the city space as desired – will inevitably lead to relocations. They are expressed not only in effective shifts, but even more in the relocation weight of the affected functions in the City. The result is changes in the urban structure of the city, while the abandonment of the city leads to a process of analysing the central structure itself.”

“Maintaining the economic importance of the city as a location and revitalising its social function requires the orderly management of its locational structure. We must try to influence it by freeing existing opposing forces and directing them to effective places.” The current tendency towards decentralisation and exceeding space costs suggests that the planned development of secondary centres should simultaneously promote the relief of the city from the outside. On the other hand, it is clear from the steep competition that the city is displacing such institutions (among the most economically weak ones) but radiate the most urban charm: “Replacement sites in the urban area could make the relocation more interesting for different functions that are unnecessary in the city.”

“It must be the political and social goal of a development plan aimed at urban renewal: to dissolve the desolate character of the suburbs and the partial still village structure of the border districts and upgrade the city as a whole.”

Frankfurt 1965

The Stöber study concluded: “It can therefore be predicted – and the conceptions developed so far by the city planning office assume – that the construction of high-rise buildings will be ordinary in all future urban renewal areas.”

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