The Eltingviertel District in Essen: a Model Project

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The Eltingviertel district in northern Essen has optimal infrastructure connections and great potential to become a popular and well-situated urban neighborhood: attractive old stucco architecture, unused space for cafés, bars and shops, parks and spacious courtyards. But many of the buildings are in need of renovation. Many inhabitants only have limited financial resources at their disposal, and the neighborhood is home to a comparatively high proportion of people with migrant backgrounds and welfare recipients.

Together with the city of Essen and the residents, Vonovia is in the process of upgrading the neighborhood. It is focusing on issues such as a modern energy supply system with a low level of energy consumption, sustainable residential concepts, an improved infrastructure and the involvement of social projects. However, in undertaking all of this work it is important to us that the neighborhood remains affordable and the people there feel comfortable.

Following a development phase with InnovationCity Management GmbH, implementation of this project began in the spring of 2015. The model city of Bottrop represents the first InnovationCity by the project company InnovationCity Management GmbH and is a symbol of both environmentally friendly urban redevelopment as well as the holistic modernization of neighborhoods.

Our company has budgeted a financial contribution of € 29 million for the project. € 9.3 million of this has been earmarked for the 23 buildings and the green spaces of the Victoriahof complex. Most of the building upgrade work was performed in the period from August 2015 to November 2016: Generous balconies were added and facades and stairwells were restored, true to the style of the old buildings.

In particular, the changeover from storage heaters to biomethane-based district heating will have a very positive impact on the neighborhood’s carbon footprint, and tenants will also benefit through considerably reduced energy costs. This energy-saving measure was supplemented with basement and attic insulation as well as the replacement of windows. Around one third of this portfolio is now being publicly funded – a further contribution toward the creation of affordable housing.

Vonovia has initiated the rehabilitation of the green spaces through an open space planning competition and will complete this process in 2017.