Conversion in Heidelberg
Following the departure of the US army, Heidelberg was presented with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: 180 hectares of land for redevelopment. The redevelopment areas comprise five sites in total, covering an area of around 180 hectares – roughly twice the size of the Old Town. All the sites lie south of the River Neckar, in the districts of Kirchheim, Südstadt and Rohrbach. In the years ahead, these sites will evolve into very diverse, vibrant quarters – with affordable housing, high-quality open and recreational spaces, attractive cultural and leisure offerings, and space for innovative companies and research and science institutes. The local citizens have been involved at all stages of planning.
Five redevelopment sites with very different structures
Given their specific usage by the Americans, the sites are very different in character. Patrick Henry Village, with some 1,500 housing units, and Mark Twain Village, with around 850 housing units, were established as residential areas. Institutions such as schools, kindergartens and sports facilities ensured the existence of good social infrastructure. Development of the almost 100-hectare Patrick Henry Village (PHV) is a special flagship project, in which the International Architecture Exhibition (IBA Heidelberg) is closely involved. In March 2017, a spectacular vision was created for PHV as the “Knowledge City of Tomorrow”.
Campbell Barracks, surrounded by Mark Twain Village, and Patton Barracks in the Kirchheim district mainly consist of functional military buildings – partly housed in historical buildings. The Heidelberg Innovation Park (HIP) is under development on the Patton Barracks site – creating a hotspot for companies with activities in IT, digital media, bioinformatics and design. Redevelopment of the former Mark Twain Village is already well advanced. The first homes to be completed here have been occupied by mainly young families since summer 2016. The site will have over 1,400 housing units – 70 per cent of them in the affordable segment. And living space is also being developed on the US Hospital site: About 600 units surrounding an 7,000-square-meter park. An other place of redevelopment is the former US Army airfield, situated in the Kirchheim district, to the south of the historic Kurpfalzachse cycle route.