German-French Planning Seminar 2016

Group photo: Participants of the planning seminar. Group photo: Participants of the planning seminar. Group photo: Participants of the planning seminar.

Regional, urban and environmental planning in the Southern Upper Rhine region

Dr. Frank Scholles, Dipl.-Ing. Magrit Putschky, Dr. Eric Thomas, Gaetan Palka

The Franco-German Planning Seminar, sponsored by the Franco-German Youth Office, serves as an annual exchange between students and teachers from the Spatial and Environmental Planning Department of the Engineering School of the University of Tours and the Institute for Environmental Planning of Leibniz Universität Hannover. The seminars take place alternately in a German or a French region on current planning issues. Here, the participants not only get to know the peculiarities of the countries, but also learn a lot about the planning systems and policies.

This year, the exchange took place from 2 to 9 October in the Southern Upper Rhine region (Freiburg i.Br.) with a detour across the Rhine and the border into Alsace. A total of 40 students and four teachers took part. In addition, a number of LUH alumni, now working as planning practitioners in the region, participated as lecturers and leaders.

The groups from Tours and Hanover met on 2 October in the evening at Freiburg Youth Hostel and explored Freiburg's old town together after dinner. The next day, they went to Alsace to learn about urban planning in Colmar (Schéma de cohérence territorial, Plan local d'urbanisme). They visited the protected old town of Colmar, a section of the Alsace Wine Route and the garrison town of Neu-Breisach (Neuf Brisach).

On the second day, the first topic at the Regional Council was cross-border planning and cross-border agricultural policy, especially in viticulture and fisheries, followed by the newly established Black Forest biosphere area. After an introduction, the group travelled by bus to the House of the Biosphere in Schönau and to a farm in the Kleine Wiesental, where the importance of the protected area for community development was also highlighted.

The next day, the focus was on regional and urban planning in Freiburg. Alumnus Klaus- Dieter Schulz explained the regional and landscape framework planning of the Southern Upper Rhine Regional Association. The two alumni Babette Köhler and Ulrike Hammes presented land use and landscape planning of the city of Freiburg. The following day was dedicated to environmental planning and urban development in Freiburg. The Environmental Protection Office gave a guided tour of the renaturalised Dreisam and a small hydroelectric power plant and explained the species protection measures at the former freight station. In the afternoon, examples of sustainable urban planning and urban development in practice were visited in the new districts of Rieselfeld and Vauban.

Finally, on the last day, nature conservation-oriented regional development was the central topic. Alumnus Matthias Hollerbach led a tour of the Kaiserstuhl and explained the PLENUM project there. The day ended with tastings of regional products at the Kaiserstühl ice cream factory and the Oberrotweil winegrowers' cooperative. The excursion ended on Saturday and the participants returned to Hanover and Tours from Freiburg.