ACademie for Collaborative Urban Development

  Quelle: Chair of Planning Theory and Urban Development


City centers are facing major challenges. Growing online trade and changes in the working environment and leisure behavior are causing profound structural change. The COVID 19 pandemic has intensified and accelerated these developments. The consequences are evident in Aachen's city center - among others as vacancies and related negative effects.

  Source: Chair of Planning Theory and Urban Development


As part of the project "ACademie for Collaborative Urban Development", the participating institutes of RWTH Aachen University, in collaboration with the city of Aachen, are exploring structural change in the city center of Aachen in a participatory and interdisciplinary process. According to the motto "Mix | Merge | Share", new connections of everyday uses, such as living, working, education, neighborhood and culture, are conceived and tested. As a basis, Aachen's city center is analysed by means of on-site inspections, surveys and participatory formats. The collected data will be summarized in a digital map, which visualises resources and needs and identifies interlinking potentials. Various participatory formats, such as workshops, walks and ateliers, involve inner-city stakeholders in the ACademy. Based on the problem analysis, the research partners develop models for new mixes, synergies and alliances. A participation center and test fields are set up in the city center in order to publicly communicate the concepts of the ACademie.

In the project "ACademie for Collaborative Urban Development", the ISB is exploring the space used for parking, the accessibility of Aachen's city center by various means of transport, and the influence of these aspects on commercial real estate offers. First, an analysis of the initial situation in the city center of Aachen is carried out by collecting and evaluating data on parking space supply, accessibility and commercial real estate. This data is combined with the findings of the other research partners and is used to conceive scenarios for the future development of Aachen's city center. The ISB will investigate the potentials and effects of these scenarios with regard to parking space and accessibility of the city center.



  • Development of specific transformation impulses and transferable methods for a collaborative and dynamic design of the future of the inner city.
  • Activation of a network of city-making actors and alliances between business, civil society, politics, administration, researchers and students
  • Activation of vacant properties for new uses and mixtures

Project consortium

  • Chair of Planning Theory and Urban Development
  • Chair of Building Typologies and Design Basics
  • Junior Professorship of Sustainable Housing Development
  • Teaching and Research Unit of Cultural Geography
  • Institute of Urban and Transport Planning
  • City of Aachen


Laura Föhrenbach, M. Sc.


Funding authority

Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community (BMI) and Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR) in the Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning, pilot project in the initiative National Urban Development Policy, call „Post-Corona-Stadt“


Project period

06.2021 - 12.2023



Project website of the Chair of Planning Theory and Urban Development
Project website of the National Urban Development Policy