Catalogue Raumortpraxis 2022
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Impulses for new life designs

Ideas for the Lower Rhine Bay
Hoidn Wang Partner

Foundation Insel Hombroich
Wasmuth Zohlen Publishing House

Design is a process. Processes require time and reflection. Reflections take place in a context. Contexts surround us directly as space; but they also exist in time, in the layering of events. Reflections in relation to space and time give rise to ideas, concepts and visions, all of which contribute to the future if they are realized.

Each person cherishes ideas, concepts and visions for himself and his fellow men. Some are modest about private happiness, others are more ambitious and influence the lifestyles of groups of people, communities, and even entire populations. These range from alternative farming to new forms of mobility. Living habits in the center of Europe have stabilized and stabilized over the last half century. In the Lower Rhine Bight, agriculture, industry and the energy sector ensured the region's prosperity, and the added value from this economic development is also expressed in the settlement structure: from large industrial plants to a multitude of manageable, medium-sized businesses complete with single-family homes on all city edges; connected to a dense network of highways, country roads, waterways and railroad tracks.

However, it has been clear for several years that previous lifestyles and their spatial realization are no longer sustainable in the long term. The exploitation of land, whether by open-pit lignite mining, intensive agriculture, land consumption by means of single-story commercial buildings and single-family homes, as well as CO2 emissions from industry and traffic and the increasing volume of waste, are regional contributions to global climate change.

In addition to the social dislocation caused by the dismantling and transfer of industries in Western industrialized countries in recent decades, the SARS-COV2 pandemic, the blockade of the Suez Canal, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine have highlighted the vulnerability of humanity. The globalization process is increasingly being questioned because of real supply chain disruptions and unacceptable dependencies. What needs to come, what could come - again - from the region in the future? The list of things is long, ranging from respirators to electronics, from food to energy. Renewals and revivals of manufacturing methods and products will be booming in the coming years and decades, and not only in the Lower Rhine Valley. In the long term, this process will give rise to new lifestyles, which in turn will be implemented in a new way spatially.
The considerations for shaping the future presented here discuss possible and necessary framework conditions.

How could an independent, regional circular economy contribute to strengthening the ecological-social resilience of a region?

What kind of relationship between people and nature do we want to develop for the future from the existing situation?

What space do future settlement developments need?

What do we want to produce, how do we want to work, how do we want to move in the region?

Can we obtain building material from construction waste? Could multi-purpose buildings combine living, working, production and community uses?

Can everyday items like furniture be made from renewable resources?

We provide illustrated answers to these questions in this book. They are intended to stimulate thought and provide a foundation for the process of shaping the future.