Inner Development Strategy Selb

The inner development strategy for the North Bavarian town of Selb aims at strengthening the central core through a series of spatial interventions and the diversification of uses in the centre. The scheme was developed as part of the Europan 11 competition.

Changing demographics and the shift of the economic base have brought fundamental changes to the town of Selb and the region. As a consequence, the municipality is facing the effects of shrinking, an ageing population as well as decreasing investment- and spending capacities. We have identified a series of possible key interventions which can stimulate further development of the project including private initiatives along the perimeter of the project area. They relate to different scales and intervention types, such as public realm, traffic arrangements, parking, and residential and commercial activities.

The core of the scheme is the proposed shared yard. The yard serves the local neighbourhood as well as visitors and non-locals. It is conceived as a space which is open yet sheltered, a negotiated space for social interaction and public life. Large trees, community gardens, bee gardens, and water retention infrastructure and playgrounds are key landscape elements in the yards.  Special programs such as the playbarn and the neighbourhood house invite residents and users of different age groups to come together spend time, have a chat, or just relax. The proposed mixture of space and programme isconceived to reconcile centrality and social activity. On the building scale, the project responds to the challenges of the brief by providing a mix of dwelling units designed along the principles of accessibility, adaptability, low carbon and low energy. The dwellings are conceived of as spaces that can be inhabited in many different ways and arrangements. In addition, they have a series of features addressing the specific needs of the elderly and young families with children.