27 million euros for lively inner cities

(Symbol photo: PublicDomainPictures on Pixabay)

Cities and municipalities receive funding from the state program to revitalize inner cities

The state program “Future Inner City” from funds from the New Hessen Plan obviously came at exactly the right time: “We received so many applications from Hessian cities and municipalities for our“ Future Inner City ”program that we decided to more than double the funds. A total of 27 million euros are now available instead of the originally planned 12 million euros, ”said Economics Minister Tarek Al-Wazir in Wiesbaden on Wednesday. “Funding for lively centers is flowing into each of the 21 rural districts and all five independent cities. We can now fund a total of 110 inner cities and town centers throughout Hesse from the program and support the municipalities in implementing their ideas for revitalizing the inner cities. “

Hessian municipalities were able to apply for up to 250,000 euros for a city center budget for particularly innovative and sustainable measures to revitalize city centers and town centers. In addition, a municipal award was announced for exemplary concepts that were particularly worthy of support. The response to the call was overwhelming: by the end of June, the Ministry of Economic Affairs had received 176 expressions of interest for the inner city budget, of which 73 municipalities also applied for the municipal award.

Jury made up of members of the “Alliance Inner City”

The projects in a total of 110 cities and municipalities and the three municipal prizes were selected together with representatives from the “Alliance Inner City”. This includes the municipal umbrella organizations, the Hesse trade association, the Hessian Chamber of Industry and Commerce as well as the Hessian Chambers of Crafts, the Hesse Chamber of Architects and Town Planners and the DEHOGA hotel and catering association.

“With the ‘New Hessen Plan’, Hessen is supposed to get out of the Corona crisis more than it got into it. This also applies to our inner cities, which were in trouble even before the pandemic due to changes in trade structures. Whether in large cities or small communities – creative and innovative ideas and the courage to experiment are essential to keep our inner cities and city centers as lively places or to make them again, ”says Al-Wazir. “We are delighted to be supporting more than 100 Hessian municipalities with the ‘Future Inner City’ program to implement their future-oriented ideas so that more people can come to Hessian inner cities again.”

Pop-up gallery, city garden or urban living room

For example, the city of Mörfelden-Walldorf was selected, which is pursuing a particularly innovative approach with the projects “urban living room”, “outdoor office”, “city garden” and “citizens’ dialogue”. Another exemplary funding location is the city of Homberg (Efze), which wants to use the city center budget to create a diaconal center, a pop-up gallery, the “Homberger” office and the market campus.

In addition, three cities were awarded the “Municipal Prize” for their unusual project ideas with an experimental character. The three award winners will receive funding amounts of 1 million euros, 750,000 euros and 500,000 euros. Offenbach received first prize for the “Station Mitte” project, the idea of ​​relocating and upgrading the city library in the city center as a so-called “third place”. The city of Rüsselsheim impresses with an innovative, playful participation process based on the motto “inner city experience through encounter” and was awarded the second prize. Eschwege received the third prize for the project to create a “real laboratory for social innovations” in the so-called Eschwege house.
“That was a really exciting and intensive jury meeting with many very good ideas for the sustainable strengthening of the Hessian inner cities”, said the managing director of the Hessian trade association, Silvio Zeizinger. “Now it is important to implement this quickly on site in order to create an inner city experience again. Thanks to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Hessen Agency team for the structured preparation of the jury documents. “
“The numerous applications for the prize are evidence of the great commitment shown by the Hessian cities and municipalities to revitalize their inner cities and make them attractive. The possibilities for this and the local creativity is not a question of the size of the city, as the winners of the competition show, ”commented Stephan Gieseler, the director of the Hessian Association of Cities.

“Future inner city”: By 2023, 40 million euros are available

Minister Al-Wazir emphasized: “I am looking forward to many good projects that will be implemented in the coming months. Inner cities are very important to people. We want them to be places of encounter, movement, trade, work and living and communication. Inner cities too have to adapt to climate change and address people in very different life situations through social institutions. This is a big task in which we help the municipalities with the money from the ‘New Hessen Plan’, support them in developing the concept and at the same time let them decide for themselves how they can get closer to this vision. “

The “Future City Center” program was launched in May 2021. All Hessian cities and municipalities could apply. The subsidies in the state program “Future Inner City” are the first investments of the “New Hessen Plan” to strengthen Hessian inner cities. Up to 40 million euros in funding are available until 2023.

1st prize: Offenbach – Station Mitte
The “Station Mitte” is intended to be a new central meeting point for urban society. It is intended as a public space for education and social interaction around books, digital media and culture. Since the Offenbach city library has an urgent need for digital modernization and expansion, a feasibility study is now to be examined as to whether it can be relocated to the city center and how the new city library can be further qualified as a “Central Station”.
It is exemplary that the city has decided on a future concept for the inner city. The key project proposed for the municipal award, a library as a third location, has great potential to become a model project for other cities. The hybrid usage concept contributes to a new mix of uses in the inner city and shows how inner cities can increase their attractiveness through new experience spaces.

2nd prize: Rüsselsheim – from lighthouse project to future concept: inner city experience through encounter
The municipal award finances a participatory process in which individual projects are planned and implemented in dialogue with the population, based on the motto “inner city experience through encounter”. The findings flow into the development of an overall strategy. The process that focuses on experimental implementation and dialogue is innovative and exemplary. The projects and the experiences made are reflected on and evaluated in order to enrich the development of the strategy for the sustainable development of the inner city.

3rd prize: Eschwege – Eschwege House: Real laboratory for social innovations
The planned “Eschwege House” is to become a “real laboratory for social innovations” and provide space for co-creation, cooperation and co-working. A new building with a roof garden and a “greened joint” is planned in order to make the green in the urban space tangible. Possible users would be B. urban start-ups, social enterprises, cultural institutions, the city library, social service providers, a youth café and a family office. The project is centrally located in the main pedestrian zone right next to the Schlossgalerie Eschwege – the former Karstadt department store, on a corresponding expansion area. Innovative and exemplary is the aim of the project to contribute to a mix of uses in the city center.
These cities and municipalities receive the funding:

Bergstrasse district
Abtsteinach 250,000 euros
Municipality of Biblis 250,000 euros
City of Bensheim 250,000 euros
City of Bürstadt 250,000 euros
Grasellenbach (Hammelbach) community of 215,000 euros
City of Heppenheim 250,000 euros
City of Lampertheim 55,000 euros
City of Lorsch 74,000 euros
City of Viernheim 250,000 euros

Darmstadt-Dieburg district
City of Babenhausen 250,000 euros
City of Dieburg 250,000 euros
Erzhausen community 225,000 euros
City of Pfungstadt 250,000 euros
Roßdorf community 125,000 euros

Groß-Gerau district
Municipality of Büttelborn (Worfelden) 250,000 euros
City of Kelsterbach 250,000 euros
City of Mörfelden-Walldorf 93,180 euros
City of Rüsselsheim 250,000 euros
Trebur municipality 250,000 euros

City of Bad Homburg 250,000 euros
City of Königsstein im Taunus 250,000 euros
City of Kronberg (Taunus) 248,000 euros
City of Neu-Anspach 250,000 euros
City of Oberursel (Taunus) 250,000 euros

Franconian-Crumbach community 250,000 euros
City of Michelstadt 250,000 euros

Offenbach district
City of Heusenstamm 180,000 euros
City of Dreieich 250,000 euros
City of Langen 250,000 euros
City of Mühlheim am Main 250,000 euros
City of Obertshausen 110,000 euros
City of Rödermark 30,000 euros
City of Rodgau 125,000 euros
City of Seligenstadt 250,000 euros

One district cities
Darmstadt 250,000 euros
Frankfurt am Main 250.000 Euro
Kassel 1 – downtown center 250,000 euros
Kassel 2 – Kirchditmold 220,000 euros
Offenbach am Main 250.000 Euro
Wiesbaden 250,000 euros

(Text: PM Hessian Ministry for Economic Affairs, Energy, Transport and Housing)


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