Sustainability Report 2020

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Society and Contribution to Urban Development


SDG 11 (Icon)
SDG 15 (Icon)
SDG 17 (Icon)

Overview of the Action Area

At Vonovia, we offer people a home in our communities. We want them to find a pleasant neighborhood here. We want them to feel at home. Intergenerational living is encouraged. To this end, we are developing infrastructure tailored to the individual challenges faced by each community and geared to the needs of our tenants. Our social activities and approach to structural design, including aspects related to climate protection, are coordinated in line with this. We design our residential environments and green spaces to strengthen participation and urban community life and to be sustainable from an ecological perspective.

Terms such as “lively neighborhoods” or “neighborhoods worth living in” show that quality of living is increasingly being associated with life at a community level. As a result, the neighborhood is increasingly becoming the focus of the real estate industry and also of Vonovia. In our neighborhoods, people of all ages find not only a home but also a neighborhood in which they can feel comfortable and can live for a long time. That’s why our goal is to create housing that meets needs, is enjoyable to live in and is connected to society. This helps our housing contribute to sustainable urban development. Vonovia is creating new living space by means of vertical expansion, densification and building entirely new neighborhoods.

Highlights 2020

  • Innovative strategic approach B2Q (Business to Quartier [the German word for neighborhood]) introduced
  • Holistic orientation of future community development projects while taking into account our climate protection goals
  • 14 community development projects with around 8,000 residential units under implementation (investment volume of € 42.3 million)
  • Vonovia community academy brought to life
  • Vonovia endowed professorship established for community development
  • Bochum-Weitmar proclaimed as innovation community
  • Support measures expanded during the coronavirus pandemic

Throughout the Group, our approach to community development projects is to view the neighborhood as a whole and to take account of the many individual circumstances on the ground when planning and implementing measures. With the focus on neighborhoods and by considering them holistically, the business field can be developed and added value created for the tenants. To this end, we developed the innovative strategic approach B2Q (Business to Quartier [the German word for neighborhood]) in 2020. Ensuring our measures are socially compatible is always at the core of our neighborhood approach. This is in harmony with structural design and climate protection. It is particularly important for us to promote social infrastructure and what we offer our tenants, for example by cooperating with social institutions, providing medical care or by collaborating with local suppliers. We carry out modernization and energy optimization in line with the calculations taken from our climate plan (see section Carbon Reduction in the Property Portfolio/Energy-efficient Modernization). In doing so, we strive to distribute the costs in a socially responsible manner – a challenge we face for every project. Last but not least, we also make sure that infrastructure issues such as e-mobility and utilities are taken into account when planning our neighborhoods.

Furthermore, in addition to the actual living space, our measures focus on shared community spaces. In the process, Vonovia is shaping the residential environment, for example, by upgrading existing green spaces and planning recreational and meeting areas. Residents can come together here, which strengthens social cohesion within neighborhoods. Our promotion and support measures also play an important role in this context. Together with local partners, we promote harmonious coexistence in neighborhoods. In 2020, these measures were only possible to a limited extent due to the pandemic, but highlights included our courtyard and balcony concerts, with artists performing at various locations.

During the pandemic, residential environments and neighborhoods have become even more important. We see it as our role to promote and strengthen coexistence through a variety of measures and by cooperating with social institutions. Our stakeholders’ participation and the inclusion of their needs in our planning are also playing an increasingly important role. With this in mind, we are carrying out various participation measures in all community development projects – from pure information events to workshops and neighborhood walks. And as a company we are also actively involved in urban planning processes.

During our materiality analysis conducted in 2020, we defined the topic Community Development and Contribution to Infrastructure in the Action Area “Society and Contribution to Urban Development” as material to our activities. Other important topics are integration, diversity and social cohesion, involvement and participation, and co-creation of political dialogue.


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