Town Planning Review

Social sustainability, residential design and demographic balance: neighbourhood planning strategies in Freiburg, Germany

Town Planning Review (2015), 86, (1), 29–52.

Abstract

Social sustainability remains a relatively underdeveloped and contested field. Recalling older notions of social mixing and ‘balanced neighbourhoods’ two concepts of ‘sustainability of community’ and ‘social equity’ have recently emerged as core social sustainability principles, but uncertainty remains over the spatial scale at which the principles should be applied. The aim of this paper is to broaden the existing literature by means of detailed case study research on neighbourhood development in the German city of Freiburg, where demographic concentration has led to ageing in place and the undermining of community infrastructure and services. Although new car-reduced neighbourhoods of Vauban and Rieselfeld look likely to replicate this pattern, the city has shifted policy towards smaller ‘fresh cell’ developments designed to inject younger residents into ageing neighbourhoods to create a more even social balance, viable services and community infrastructure.

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Hamiduddin, Iqbal