Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kunst Baden-Württemberg
2015 to 2017

Prof. Dr. Johannes Eurich (Diakoniewissenschaftliches Institut, Universität Heidelberg)

Prof. Dr. Andreas Kruse (Institut für Gerontologie, Universität Heidelberg)

Stefanie Wiloth

Zugehöriges Praxisprojekt
Heidelberg Village
Wolfgang Frey, Architekturbüro Frey

Urban Office

Urban Office Sub-project 1 Sub-project 2 Sub-project 3 Sub-project 4
Innovative Structures of Participation and Sustainable Living Concepts in the Context of Demographic Change

Urban Office - Sustainable Urban Development in a Knowledge Society ǀ RealLab at Heidelberg University

Innovative Structures of Participation and Sustainable Living Concepts in the Context of Demographic Change

A sub-project of:
Urban Office at the University of Heidelberg: Establishing an “Reallabor” Sustainable city/urban development in a knowledge-based society

The Institute for the Study of Christian Social Service (DWI) and the Institute of Gerontology (IfG) examine innovative living arrangements related to the concept of a caring community realized by the development of a multigenerational house Heidelberg Village in a modern urban district of Heidelberg called Bahnstadt.

The project tackles the problem of demographic change which will lead to an in­creased number of older adults that wish to remain in familiar environment as long as possible and to care for younger fellow human beings while family networks and assistance will decline considerably due to decreasing birth rates. Caring commun­ities in terms of a comprehensive welfare mix including broad networks of social support as well as solidary neighborhoods are becoming increasingly important to cope with these societal changes. Innovative and sustainable urban development processes, which also take place in Bahnstadt Heidelberg, may contribute to the realization of such a patient-oriented home and community care by evaluating and creating beneficial conditions within urban quarters.

Heidelberg Village as a specific living arrangement which is currently under con­struction headed by the architectural office Frey basically represents a separate urban quarter offering a variety of cultural, health, and so­cial services based on a specific concept of a caring community. However, Heidelberg Village should rather be seen as a central component of Bahnstadt linking the inside of the multigenerational house and the outside of the urban district to guarantee a social togetherness including different actors which will help to integrate especially older adults in participation processes.

First, the project aims to examine the conditions of Bahnstadt as well as Heidel­berg Village for creating a caring community, the existing (Bahnstadt) as well as future character (Heidelberg Village) of each community, and how they differenti­ate measuring the residents’ perceptions on the urban quarter using guided interviews. Second, we target to investigate the interplay of Bahnstadt and Heidelberg Village and how to combine the inside and outside during architectural pro­cesses using also inter­views and participating observation in addition. Third, the study will assess met and unmet needs of older adults living in Heidelberg Village using guided interviews based on a pre-post measurement.

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