KKKA 6414 SUSTAINABLE URBAN PLANNING
TASK 4 : EU BEST PRACTICES
To build a district with a good mix of functions
(residences, leisure and cultural facilities, commerce
and agriculture) by taking into account environment
The local authority in the city of Hannover decided in the
1990s to develop the new district of Kronsberg, close to
the areas of the coming World Exposition Expo 2000.
Kronsberg is an eco-district in Hannover built on 1,200
hectares of mainly agricultural land on the city margins.
It is located in the south-east of the city and was the last
remaining area in Hannover suitable for a large-scale
Kronsberg is a settlement with exceptionally high
ecological standards, buildings offering above-average
quality of accommodation and semi-natural open space
It represents a comprehensive example of visionary
urban planning and construction where it enjoys all
the advantages offered by an urban neighbourhood,
yet it is in close vicinity to the countryside.
In the early 1990s, the issue of housing shortage was
one of the central topics on the political agenda. A
study predicted that by the year 2000, there is a need
for 20,000 apartments in Hannover.
Planned: To accommodate 6,000 dwellings for 15,000
people plus commercial areas with a clear ecological
ambition – “Ecological Optimization at Kronsberg”
The development of Kronsberg followed the regional planning
principle, according to which residential development should
expand along local rail public transport routes and be
concentrated at urban densities in the catchment areas of the
stops and stations.
The EXPO 2000 World Exposition was the occasion to apply
this planning approach to the Kronsberg area. Expo 2000 act as
the catalyst for the development of the Kronsberg area.
A concept was devised in 1994 for the entire area that covered
the EXPO grounds, the new settlement and the countryside.
Principal planning aim
To use space saving construction through high density.
The apartment blocks closest to the tram line have a floor space index relative to
the site area of 1:2. The density decreases gradually the farther away from the
tram line the buildings are located.
It is a priority to have close links between living and working.
2,000 jobs are located in the western section of the district. The district’s services
proposed were 3 daycare centres, a district art and community centre, health
centre, elderly care and shopping areas.
To secure a stable social of mix residents.
10% of the housing stock were densely placed single-family homes, built in the
uphill building zones. They were mostly terraced and owner occupied. Another
90% were apartments in multi storey buildings.
• Subsidies by the city and other sources, including the
EU, paid for the extra costs in both the larger systems
development and the building construction to allow
the project to function within the guidelines of the
• Publicly owned land was sold to private developers
to raise money for public amenities.
• Federal, state, and local officials created a housing
fund to ensure that a mix of persons from different
income levels would be able to afford to live in
Space saving construction through high density
Mixed use : Residential and commercial
Resource efficient construction
Environment would not be disturbed by reconstructions
Low energy house construction
Non toxic certified materials used
Traffic minimilisation concept
Water saving fixtures
Most buildings are alligned parallel to the contours,
enabling them to make use of natural light through
mainly west-east facing windows
Compact Structures & High Building
Aim : Low land take by means of high density
Principle : Decreasing density and building height as one
approaches the countryside.
The district is shaped by its wide meshed rectangular grid
layout – creates frames for very varied block structures.
The built up, urban quality of the town scape is the result
of design parameters that set the no of storeys, building
heights and lines along the streets.
The highest densities, with a floor space index of 1.2, were
achieved in the relatively compact 4 to 5-storey blocks
along the main access road. As one approaches the hilltop
the development becomes looser, with 3-storey blocks
and pavilion structures giving way to a terraced house
development beside the border avenue.
Low Energy House Standard
This was only possible when the design had a compact
building form with few projections and recessions.
Required space heating index – 55kWh/m² was made
Thicker insulation layer of walls.
Airtight and windproof building envelops.
Avoidance of thermal bridges.
Installation of very well insulating windows.
Passive energy houses were also introduced:
The grassed, ridged roofs were equipped with solar panels.
Walls were pre-fabricated and super insulated.
Houses were connected to district heating system.
Required 1/7 of the heating energy compared with
conventional new house.
A new direct light rail transit service links the settlement
with the city centre (17 minutes). 3 rail stops are located so
that nobody has to walk more than 600 metres to catch a
The main motorised traffic flow is channelled along the
edge of the development beside the tramline to minimise
nuisance to residents.
In the residential area the car access is forbidden, except for
Narrow sections on the roads, 30 kph zones, and priority to
the right at junctions, are effective traffic calming measures.
Car parking spaces are mainly arranged in small areas,
either set into the hill-side or at ground level.
To reduce the parking space needs in the inner courts, a
parking space ratio of 0.8 per apartment was set at
Kronsberg. This was compensated for by a 0.2 increase in
the ratio for parking spaces on the public streets, which
means that they are better used over the day, and the area
needed for motorised access in built-up areas is reduced.
Cycle priority layout:
A cycle-friendly street layout with a designated cycle street
running the length of the district offers, together with a
dense network of rural and urban footpaths, an attractive
alternative to private motorised transport.
Flexible accommodation to cope with changing housing
Mixture of large and small apartments, and apartments
suitable for families and for new lifestyles.
Giving different housing options, housing for disabled,
housing for different ethnic; etc.
Objective: Avoid social segregation. A good social mix is
the most important requirement for lively and successful
In addition to mixed use and large numbers of
workplaces, priority is given to children and the elderly
and to affordable housing.
Arts, community & advice center
Church & neighborhood center
‘Kinderhouse’ with community bakery
Middle / secondary school
‘FOKUS’ housing project
‘Habitat’ international housing project
Decentralized support for senior citizens
Space allocation for community use
Planning and construction emphasised on:
Environmentally friendly energy supply systems
Environmentally friendly building.
Preservation of natural resources.
This developed into the “Kronsberg-Standard”,
obligatory for all developers, and was applied across
It especially affected the areas of energy, rainwater,
building materials, and the ground.
The goal is to reduce CO2 emissions and household
Ecological standard energy:
Energy use optimisation.
District heating systems : Heating for all buildings is
supplied either through decentralised gas-fi red
cogeneration (CHP) plants, which are between 80-95%
efficient, or through alternative and renewable sources of
Low energy buildings.
Electricity saving measures.
Solar district heating system
Passive solar houses : Passive solar houses in the project use
heat exchangers to meet their heating needs. One of the
CHP plants is run by fuel cells, and was a demonstration
project for the Exposition.
Wind turbines : Two wind turbines provide 3,000 dwellings
Photovoltaic cell technology.
The Kronsberg Water Concept deals with the effects that a
large development can have on the local water table, the
necessity for water conservation, and raising awareness of
water issues through visible systems.
“The ‘Mulden-Rigolen’system for decentralized retention
and infiltration of rainwater” was used throughout
Kronsberg to create a system of retention and infiltration
that would not cause large changes to the local water
Drinking water economy measures.
All precipitation on bult up and paved areas is absorbed.,
collected and gradually released. Equiptment of all
apartments with water devices.
The Kronsberg Waste Management Concept includes
building waste, and domestic and commercial waste.
Developers are required to use materials for construction
that are non-toxic and recyclable, 80% of construction waste
was not landfilled.
Systems for pre-sorted waste collection, encouragement of
home composting, and encouragement for retailers to use
low-packaging retail goods were part of the domestic and
household waste plan, as well as a “dense network of repair
and alteration services” throughout the development that
encourage people to follow the motto ‘mend it, don’t dump
Each building plan complemented to have open space; the
space need to meet up with high design and ecological
standard set up by municipality.
Street lined with trees and front gardens. Several large
playground are laid out close to the apartments.
Open space is generally deived from the hillside location;
this is particularly apparent in the front garden with
terracing and retaining walls.