Wolfsburg, Germany Better Together: Wolfsburg and Volkswagen - 23-28 September 2018 - NET (2023)

Wolfsburg, GermanyA ULI Advisory Services Panel Report Better Together: Wolfsburg and Volkswagen 23–28 September 2018 Germany

Wolfsburg, GermanyAbout ULIThe Urban Land Institute is a global, member-driven environment, including urbanisation, demographic andorganisation comprising more than 42,000 real estate population changes, new economic drivers, technologyand urban development professionals dedicated to advancements, and environmental concerns.advancing the Institute’s mission of providing leadershipin the responsible use of land and in creating and Peer-to-peer learning is achieved through the knowledgesustaining thriving communities worldwide. shared by members at thousands of convenings each year that reinforce ULI’s position as a global authority onULI’s interdisciplinary membership represents all aspects land use and real estate. In 2018 alone, more than 2,200of the industry, including developers, property owners, events were held in about 330 cities around the world.investors, architects, urban planners, public officials,real estate brokers, appraisers, attorneys, engineers, Drawing on the work of its members, the Institutefinanciers, and academics. Established in 1936, the recognises and shares best practices in urban designInstitute has a presence in the Americas, Europe, and and development for the benefit of communities aroundAsia Pacific regions, with members in 80 countries. the globe.The extraordinary impact that ULI makes on land use More information is available at uli.org. Follow ULI ondecision-making is based on its members sharing Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.expertise on a variety of factors affecting the built© 2019 by the Urban Land Institute. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of the whole or any part of the contents of this publicationwithout written permission of the copyright holder is prohibited. ULI has sought copyright permission for all images and tables.Front cover image: ULI.Urban Land Institute131 Finsbury Pavement Tel: +44 (0)20 7487 9570London Email: ulieurope@uli.orgEC2A 1NT Web: www.europe.uli.orgUnited KingdomULI Europe advisory services panel report i

Wolfsburg, GermanyAbout ULI Europe Advisory ServicesThe ULI Europe Advisory Services programme leverages such as downtown redevelopment, land managementthe land use expertise of ULI members and urban experts strategies, evaluation of development potential, growthto help communities solve complex land use challenges. management, community revitalisation, brownfieldAdvisory Services allows ULI to deliver our mission while redevelopment, military base reuse, provision ofalso providing an opportunity for our members to engage low-cost and affordable housing, and asset managementand serve. The Advisory Services programme also strategies. A wide variety of public, private, and nonprofitserves as a cross-cutting platform to explore new urban organisations have contracted for ULI’s advisory services.development ideas and strategic partnerships betweencities and countries. A major strength of the programme is ULI’s unique ability to draw on the knowledge and expertise of its members,The goal of the ULI Advisory Services programme is to including land developers and owners, public officials,bring the finest expertise in the real estate field to bear academics, representatives of financial institutions, andon complex land use planning and development projects, others. In fulfilment of the mission of the Urban Landprogrammes, and policies. Since 1947, this programme Institute, this Advisory Services report is intended tohas assembled well over 700 ULI-member teams to provide objective advice that will promote the responsiblehelp sponsors find creative, practical solutions for issues use of land to enhance the environment.ULI Europe advisory services panel report ii

Wolfsburg, GermanyAcknowledgementsOn behalf of the Urban Land Institute, the members of the panel would like to thank the sponsors – the City of Wolfsburg,Volkswagen AG and the Wolfsburg AG for inviting them to Wolfsburg. In particular, the panel extends its thanks to ManfredGünterberg and the City of Wolfsburg and the Wolfsburg AG staff involved in planning and executing the Advisory Servicespanel. In addition, a special thanks goes to Project Manager Michael Mueller, Nadine Geisler, Christine Freeman, AmanpritArnold, and Jan Fröhlich for their support, putting together the briefing materials and making the week a success.Finally, the panel would like to thank the more than 30 city officials, business and community leaders, and representativesfrom across Wolfsburg who shared their perspectives, experiences, and insights over the course of the week.ULI panellists and project staffChair Birgit Werner ULI Local Council Chair Zurich, SwitzerlandProfessor Jürgen Bruns-Berentelg Vice President, Property Development, Munich AirportCEO, HafenCity, Hamburg, Germany Munich, Germany Michaela Winter-TaylorPanellists Global Leader Urban Strategies and Design, Gensler London, United KingdomPaul BernardExecutive Vice President, Advisory ServicesUrban Land Institute, Washington, D.C., United States ULI project staffChristopher Choa Amanprit ArnoldVice President, AECOM, London, United Kingdom Senior Manager, Research and Advisory ServicesChris Igwe ULI EuropeFounder, Chris Igwe International, Paris, France Christine FreemanTom Murphy Manager, EventsULI Senior Fellow, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania / ULI GermanyWashington, D.C., United States Jan FröhlichProf. Christiane Thalgott Manager, Programmes and CommunicationsFormer City Planner and Urban Development Official ULI GermanyMunich, Germany Michael MuellerLisette van Doorn Senior Manager, Programmes and Community OutreachCEO, ULI Europe, London, United Kingdom; ULI GermanyAmsterdam, NetherlandsULI Europe advisory services panel report iii

Wolfsburg, GermanyContentsExecutive summary 11. Introduction and the panel’s assignment 42. The City of Wolfsburg and Volkswagen: the story of success 73. Competitiveness: sense of urgency 114. The recommendations: better together 16 A. VALUE THE GAP 17 B. DEVELOP THE CORE 21 C. ACTIVATE GREEN SPACES AND CATER TO RESIDENTS 26 D. ADVANCE MOBILITY 28 E. PIONEER WOLFSBURG 315. Next steps 366. Conclusion 37About the panel 38References 42ULI Europe advisory services panel report iv

Wolfsburg, GermanyExecutive summaryAs the headquarters for Volkswagen in Germany, The panel was asked to review extensive material,Wolfsburg is home to the second-largest car interview stakeholders, identify new opportunities, andmanufacturer in the world, and finds its urban and recommend a strategy to help the City of Wolfsburg andeconomic development inextricably linked with the Volkswagen move forward. Specifically, the panel wascar company. asked to consider the following key questions:Both the City of Wolfsburg and Volkswagen have takenstrong steps to make the city more attractive through 1. How can the City of Wolfsburg andinvestment and development for continuous improvement Volkswagen agree on a strategy to enhancein the quality of life. their economic vitality, competitiveness, and attractiveness to talent?In 1999, the City of Wolfsburg and Volkswagen createdWolfsburg AG, a 50/50 public/private partnership 2. How can Wolfsburg become a “Capital of(PPP). This form of collaboration where the city and a Mobility” and integrate e-mobility, digitisation,private-sector leader come together to actively shape multimodality, and autonomous driving intoand embrace change is unique compared to other urban development?cities. Its aim was to improve economic performance forboth parties, and it has implemented strategic projects 3. How can Wolfsburg create a vibrant andranging from improving the labour market to physical attractive city centre, and propose urbandevelopment projects. development strategies to prepare the city for future development?The actual rapid shift in the automotive industry towardselectro-mobility (e-mobility), and new ways of production 4. How can the city overcome the physicaland digitisation, leave the city and Volkswagen with barrier caused by the canal and rail, andsignificant challenges and opportunities. Building on bridge this urban divide between thethat, both the City of Wolfsburg and Volkswagen signed a Volkswagen factory and the city’s urban core?memorandum of understanding to start another strategicdevelopment initiative called #WolfsburgDigital.Recognising these changes and the impact they willhave on the city, the City of Wolfsburg approached ULIto convene a five-day ULI Advisory Services panel toaccompany the process of transforming Wolfsburg intoa vibrant “Capital of Mobility” in order to ensure the long-term economic success, competitiveness, andresilience of both the City and Volkswagen.ULI Europe advisory services panel report 1

Wolfsburg, GermanyFor Wolfsburg, the key competitive challenges are identified below: GOVERNANCE PLACEMAKING INNOVATION INCLUSION CRITICAL MASS • Vision not clear • Disconnected • One-company town • Lack of housing variety • Small city • Unclear authority • Dispersed core • No ecosystem • Lack of residential in • Weak regional collaboration • Diffused responsibilities • Car dependence • Poor idea exchange urban core • Weak institutional • Excessive parking • No financing • Deteriorating housing investment • Low waterfront access affordabilitySo, to further improve Wolfsburg’s competitiveness, the panel recommends focusing on the following elements: GOVERNANCE PLACEMAKING INNOVATION INCLUSION CRITICAL MASS • Vision • Mix land uses • Attract talent • Population mix • Regional collaboration • Common objectives • Public amenities • Academia, business, • Housing affordability • Complement strengths • Public/private collaboration • Accessible government • More choice • Institutional investment • Transparency • Central programming • Startups and incubators • SustainableWolfsburg’s competitivenessFor cities to be successful in today’s competitive climate, To answer how Wolfsburg and Volkswagen can bethey must focus on people. Building a great city requires “better together”, the panel recommends five coreattracting and retaining talent, especially one that focuses strategic guiding principles, which it believes will helpon the tech and creative sectors. This encourages a more Wolfsburg to achieve its vision:mobile workforce. Successfully attracting talent throughinnovation and creative industries can initiate a snowball VALUE THE GAPeffect on job creation for more secondary and tertiary To move Wolfsburg forward as a city,services. Talent is attracted to vibrant communities where it needs to use the canal as a source ofpeople want to live, work, and play. This then attracts the inspiration to close the gap between thebusiness and investment that allow cities to prosper. north and south of the city. An opportunity exists to transform the industrial canal into an inclusive development for the city, which could bridge technology and creativity and deliver wide-ranging social andThe panel’s key recommendations economic benefits for all. The panel recommends bringing Wolfsburg to the canal, realise its asset value,With the competitive challenges and opportunities in and better connect it with the city core.mind, the panel recommends the principle of “bettertogether.” Stand-alone entities create more aggregatevalue when they are concentrated and coordinated. Bybringing together these entities including independentcities, a dominant corporate industry, isolated residentialand commercial developments, and detachedenvironmental assets, Wolfsburg and its core partner,Volkswagen, will be better positioned for a more resilientand productive future.ULI Europe advisory services panel report 2

Wolfsburg, GermanyDEVELOP THE CORE ADVANCE MOBILITYA single core for Wolfsburg is very The panel recommends that the cityimportant in terms of attractiveness, accept that Wolfsburg has a privateidentity, and destination. The panel car–oriented culture. The City should focusrecommends that Wolfsburg rethink its existing on better collaboration with Volkswagen and usefragmented core and concentrate on its urban potential the entire territory of Wolfsburg as a real-world testthrough a clear master plan and vision. The panel environment for all cars. The panel believes that thesuggests developing a strong and vibrant mixed-use core City should make the testing of electric vehicles andin the Nordkopf area, and redevelop the pedestrian part private autonomous cars an immediately recognisableof Porschestrasse ending at the Südkopf area. The core theme in Wolfsburg. Both the City and Volkswagenshould focus on including a mix of uses, such as offices, should commit to becoming a full-city test course. Theretail, residential, and hotels. panel recommends building on its digital infrastructure, its e-mobility, and its living laboratory as shown in theACTIVATE GREEN SPACES AND #WolfsburgDigital initiative. Cooperation between the CityCATER TO RESIDENTS and the company is key.Wolfsburg is surrounded by healthygreen landscapes. It has several attractivevillages outside the core that are not well known to EMBRACE A PIONEER SPIRITthe wider public. The panel recommends that the city The panel believes that Wolfsburgreinforces its green nature as a key selling point for should be bold. It encourages WolfsburgWolfsburg that will attract the next generation of residents to reimagine its city through innovation,and visitors and retain its population who wish to settle especially in driverless technology. Volkswagenand have the best of both worlds – suburban and urban. should be seen as a global mobility leader and a placeThis would serve millennials who are demonstrating to which extraordinary talent will be attracted. Withthe same long-term interest in homeownership as past Volkswagen’s focus on a concentration of tech entities,generations as they grow their families and look to buy a laboratory of emerging technologies, an advancedhouses in the suburbs. There also is a growing elderly manufacturing culture, and emerging mobility, Wolfsburgpopulation in Wolfsburg and a clear need to cater to should be the great local partner of Volkswagen; thethis demographic. To better meet the needs of different test-bed of advanced mobility, with a focus ondemographic groups in the city, Wolfsburg should explore concentration of urban development, a laboratory ofdiverse affordable housing options that are close to real-world conditions, an emerging entrepreneur culture,amenities and transportation. While the supply of housing and emerging creativity. The City should approachneeds to be increased, it needs to be urban infill instead this with confidence, creativity, and openness toof greenfield development to protect the city’s green experimentation and playful risk. This will create alandscapes. new city dynamism.ULI Europe advisory services panel report 3

Wolfsburg, Germany1. Introduction and the panel’s assignmentIn September 2018, ULI Europe convened a five-day AdvisoryServices panel in Wolfsburg, Germany. The city is the headquartersfor Volkswagen and home to the largest car manufacturer in theworld, housing production, research, and development facilities.With such a dominant employer, the city’s development andeconomy are closely linked. Now, with the rapid shift in theautomotive industry towards electro-mobility (e-mobility), newways of production, and digitisation, Wolfsburg and Volkswagenface both significant challenges and opportunities. Volkswagen Factory in Wolfsburg, Germany. (istockphoto © typhoonski)ULI Europe advisory services panel report 4

Wolfsburg, GermanyRecognising the scale of these changes and the impact THE PANEL’S ASSIGNMENTthey could have on the city, Wolfsburg AG—a joint In addition to the City of Wolfsburg and Volkswagenventure between the City of Wolfsburg and Volkswagen— AG, Wolfsburg AG asked ULI to conduct an Advisoryinvited ULI and its panel to give recommendations on how Services panel to consider and respond to theto transform Wolfsburg into a vibrant “Capital of Mobility”. following questions:As part of this, the panel was asked to examine how tomake Wolfsburg an attractive place to live to ensure thelong-term economic well-being, competitiveness, and 1. How can the City of Wolfsburg andresilience for both the city and Volkswagen. It recognises Volkswagen agree on a strategy to enhancethe existing #WolfsburgDigital initiative and was asked to their economic vitality, competitiveness, andevaluate its current strategic activities. attractiveness to talent?Over the course of five days, the panel toured the city • What are inspirational international examples of andand interviewed more than 40 stakeholders involved in global benchmarks for best practices for bettercity development. This included a cross section of city liveability, vibrancy, and placemaking to enhanceofficials, business representatives, developers, investors, a city competitiveness?architects, and citizens. During their time in Wolfsburg, • How can the strategic partnership betweenthe panellists evaluated the existing plans for the city and Wolfsburg and Volkswagen drive city competitivenessgained a better understanding of the importance of its and improve Wolfsburg’s economic performance?regional context. It also identified potential existing and • What are the benefits of a university innovation hubfuture economic and placemaking opportunities. and the key requirements for those?The international experts on the panel came fromAmsterdam, Hamburg, London, Munich, Paris, Pittsburgh, 2. How can Wolfsburg become a “Capital ofand Washington, D.C., so they were able to share Mobility” and integrate e-mobility, digitisation,their expertise to inform the overall recommendations. multimodality, and autonomous driving intoSome of these important lessons from other cities are urban development?integrated throughout this report. • What interesting and unconventional examples fromThis report begins with an overview of the scope around the world can Wolfsburg learn from to improveof the study area, including successful examples on existing and future planned projects?of the partnership between the City of Wolfsburg • Drawing on international examples, how can the Cityand Volkswagen. It then presents the experts’ of Wolfsburg bring existing projects together in a moremain observations about the city’s challenges strategic way to build a mobility strategy and brand?and opportunities, and then sets out the panel’srecommendations in full.ULI Europe advisory services panel report 5
Wolfsburg, Germany 3. How can Wolfsburg create a vibrant and attractive city centre, and propose urban development strategies to prepare the city for future development?• What city centre regeneration strategies will be most successful in attracting more people to live in Wolfsburg rather than commute?• How can Wolfsburg’s and Volkswagen’s economic development and branding efforts be strategically aligned?• Which urban development strategies from successful global projects can Wolfsburg learn from, in combining urban quarters and creating a new city centre? 4. How can the city overcome the physical barrier caused by the canal and rail, and bridge this urban divide between the Volkswagen factory and the city’s urban core?• What strategies can the City of Wolfsburg and Volkswagen use to overcome the “natural barriers” in the city and which project approaches are useful to create a unique identity on both sides?• What tactics can the City use to position those ideas at a broader scale and publicise them? Volkswagen Plant Wolfsburg. (istockphoto © TBE)ULI Europe advisory services panel report 6
Wolfsburg, Germany2. The City of Wolfsburg and Volkswagen:the story of successAbout Wolfsburg Figure 1: Wolfsburg in Germany’s Lower Saxony region (Allianz fuer die Region)As one of the youngest towns in Europe with a populationof 125,000 people, Wolfsburg is located in the Germanstate of Lower Saxony. The city was founded in 1938along with the establishment of Volkswagen’s mainfactory and is considered one of Lower Saxony’sstrongest economic centres, the fifth-largest city ofthe nine that form the Metropolitan RegionHanover-Braunschweig-Göttingen-Wolfsburg. Thecity has two major motorway connections; fast trainconnections with Hanover (half hour), Berlin (onehour), and Hamburg (two hours); and access to bothBraunschweig-Wolfsburg Airport (28 km) and HanoverAirport (89 km). Also, 80,000 people commute intoWolfsburg every workday.Figure 2: Google map of Wolfsburg, GermanyULI Europe advisory services panel report 7
Wolfsburg, GermanyVolkswagenLocated and headquartered in Wolfsburg, VolkswagenGroup is one of the biggest European car manufacturers,with a worldwide production network of 123 factories in20 European countries and 11 countries in the Americas,Asia, and Africa. It has a wide product range frommass-market to luxury cars and covers 12 brands,including Volkswagen, Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Ducati,Lamborghini, MAN, Porsche, Scania, SEAT, Skoda, andVolkswagen Utility Vehicles. It has the largest productionfacility in the regional cluster of Lower Saxony where10.7 million cars are produced annually and subsequentlysold worldwide. It employs 60,000 people, of which44,000 are white-collar employees as well as asignificant proportion of blue-collar workers who are on The science centre, phaeno, on the south side of the canal.a temporary contract. Volkswagen has opened its factoryto customers and has drawn visitors to the city throughits Autostadt visitor attraction. Volkswagen has also On a regional basis, Wolfsburg has important regionalexpanded the number of service providers for collaborations with “Allianz für die Region GmbH”Volkswagen employees in its IT City establishment (Alliance for the Region GmbH), which sees broadoutside the city centre. educational, cultural, and leisure offerings coming together. This alliance consists of southeastern Lower Saxony with the cities of Braunschweig, Wolfsburg, andThe City of Wolfsburg Salzgitter and the counties of Gifhorn, Goslar, Helmstedt, Wolfenbüttel, and Peine. In general, Wolfsburg has strongWolfsburg is very much a car-dependent mono-industrial links to neighbouring cities and surrounding cities. Incity and relies on the economic success of Volkswagen recent years, a regional innovation milieu has evolvedand its business cycles. Despite today’s 125,000 with the educational institutions of Ostfalia Universitypopulation having grown from 27,000 in 1950, almost of Applied Sciences and the Technical University ofhalf live in the inner-city core. The City has started to Braunschweig.consider its culture-based strategy by introducing, forexample, the science centre, phaeno, and Allerpark. Itsretail offerings include the Designer Outlets Wolfsburg(DOW), the first inner-city factory outlet in Germany thatattracts 1.5 million visitors from within a 50-kilometreradius annually. The fourth and last building on the DOWproperty is under construction. There also is the ECECity Galleria in the middle of the city centre. For housing,an increasing number of residential developments areplanned, especially on larger greenfield developmentplots at the eastern periphery of the city.ULI Europe advisory services panel report 8
Wolfsburg, GermanyCollaboration between the City of #WolfsburgDigital and theWolfsburg and Volkswagen memorandum of understandingAs part of its research, the panel commended the Volkswagen AG has dedicated its strategy towards beingcollaboration between Volkswagen and the City of the leading provider of sustainable mobility and wants toWolfsburg, which has been an exceptional success proactively promote quality of life in shaping new forms ofstory in the last 20 years. transportation. Partnerships with municipalities are crucial components of this mobility strategy. Key aspects of thoseWhen the Volkswagen factory was created, it remained are digitisation, autonomous driving, e-mobility, and newseparate from the city until the 1990s. Then, in 1992, business segments in mobility services.a deep economic crisis shook Volkswagen and the carindustry in general, leading to high unemployment. The City of Wolfsburg focuses on the improvement ofThis difficult period in its history motivated the City of digital infrastructure, the implementation of innovativeWolfsburg to rethink and realign its urban development and sustainable mobility concepts, the structuralstrategy to ensure that it was resilient to the economic advancement of the residential location, and educationinstabilities of Volkswagen. and family-friendliness. The multidisciplinary field of digitisation will affect several key components of theSince then, both the City of Wolfsburg and Volkswagen urban development that is intended to ensure socialhave taken strong steps to make the city more attractive solidarity and economic performance.through investment and development, whether it beleisure, entertainment, or retail. Despite the small In 2016, due to the current challenges and opportunitiespopulation decline in Wolfsburg from 130,000, its such as digitisation, smart city, e-mobility, andresidents score its quality of life highly. autonomous driving, Volkswagen AG and the City of Wolfsburg did a memorandum of understanding (MOU)In 1999, the City of Wolfsburg and Volkswagen created and the #WolfsburgDigital initiative. This was an importantWolfsburg AG, a 50/50 public/private partnership next step in the development of the city and Volkswagen.(PPP). This form of collaboration in which the city and a It is intended to counteract these challenges and tieprivate-sector leader come together to actively shape and together their synergies to improve the attractivenessembrace change is unique compared with collaborative and liveability of Wolfsburg through innovation and digitalefforts seen in other cities. Its aim was to improve offerings. It aims to attract talent who will further createeconomic performance for both parties, and it has more education and jobs. Both partners agreed onimplemented strategic projects ranging from improving 10 fields of cooperation:the labour market by generating 45,000 jobs to physicaldevelopment projects. 1. Joint digitisation strategy – to establish a digital urban centre. 2. Open digital platform – for service providers to access relevant data (safe and controlled). 3. Digital infrastructure – area-wide fibre-optic cable network, free public wi-fi (expanding the network of existing freeWolfsburg hotspots). 4. Wolfsburg as a living lab – for digital services, technologies, and new business segments. 5. Wolfsburg as the hotspot of e-mobility – the European/global capital of mobility with over 50 per cent of electric vehicles by 2025.ULI Europe advisory services panel report 9
Wolfsburg, Germany6. Entrepreneurship and new jobs – creating a business environment to attract future industries. Volkswagen will find a service design and co-creation centre.7. Innovative urban planning and future-proof living – fusion of working and living, especially at Nordkopf and in the new urban development areas on the eastern periphery of the city (e.g. the smart living project at Steimker Gärten).8. Attractive work and living environment – flexible living with offerings such as daycare centres with flexible hours and mobility services for commuters.9. Residents’ experience – digitise administrative paperwork, establish digital communication channels The walkway bridge linking the north and south sides of the canal. and apps, and employ a chief digital officer at the City of Wolfsburg.10. Lifelong digital learning – digital education offerings and welcome international graduates.To date, the partnership has worked together toincrease the connectivity and reduce the spacebetween the factory and the city by building a walkwaybridge. However, attempts at building this connectioncontinue to face the natural barrier of the canal, theMittellandkanal. On the north side of the bridge, adjacentto the Volkswagen factory is the Autostadt (Germanfor “Automobile City”), a visitor attraction developed,owned, and operated by Volkswagen. On the south sideis phaeno, an interactive science and technology centreowned and operated by the City of Wolfsburg. Linkingthese two key visitor attractions would be seen as a The Autostadt Automobile City visitor attraction.strong symbol of the partnership.The city’s identity as an experience-based locationwith sports facilities such as Allerpark, including soccerarenas and green entertainment spaces has also beenstrengthened as result of the cooperation betweenWolgfburg and Volkswagen (notably by activities ofWolfsburg AG).ULI Europe advisory services panel report 10
Wolfsburg, Germany3. Competitiveness: sense of urgencyThe importance of cities is widely recognised. Already A. Establish a strong governance frameworkhome to a majority of the world’s population, cities The most competitive cities are ones that have agenerate 80 per cent of the world’s economic output long-term vision and strategy for the future. Cityand are increasingly seen as attractive places to live. leaders should evaluate a city’s key assets on a globalUnsurprisingly, businesses and investors are focusing scale; develop a clear and forward-looking plan foralmost exclusively on cities to find value and therefore infrastructure projects; identify opportunities for growth,competition between cities for businesses and including investment and emerging export markets; andinvestment can be fierce. mobilise different levels of government around a common set of objectives. Bold leadership, collaboration betweenFor cities to be successful in this competitive climate, the public and private sectors, and transparency are keythey must focus on people. Building a great city requires factors for a city to be competitive.attracting and retaining talent, especially one that isfocused on the tech and creative sectors to reflect a Panel’s thoughts: While Wolfsburg and Volkswagenworkforce that is generally more mobile. Successfully have always had, and will continue to have, a closeattracting talent through innovation and creative relationship, the City is seen to act in a very dependentindustries can initiate a snowball effect in regard to job way within the partnership. It lacks a long-term visioncreation for more secondary and tertiary services. Talent and strategy on what Wolfsburg wants to be and how itis attracted to vibrant communities where people want to can achieve its objectives.live, work, and play. This then attracts the businesses andinvestments that allow cities to prosper. One of the major achievements for city development has been the establishment of Wolfsburg AG. This jointSo how can cities best attract talent? There are several venture has realised many great projects in the city sincekey elements to consider, such as a strong governance its launch, but now it is time to revamp the partnership.framework, placemaking and “good” density, innovation, The initialisation of #WolfsburgDigital is a big step forsocial inclusion, and developing a critical mass. The panel working better together, but the panel thinks that thehas examined these different elements and assessed governance and division of responsibilities were felthow Wolfsburg scored on each: to be nontransparent and fragmented, and there is an unclear division of responsibilities between the City and Volkswagen. The #WolfsburgDigital initiative should be used as an opportunity to become transparent and to build a clear vision. www.wolfsburgdigital.orgULI Europe advisory services panel report 11
Wolfsburg, GermanyFigure 3: The #WolfsburgDigital partnership Steering Committee Mohrs (Mayor), Dr. Diess (CEO, Volkswagen AG), Weilmann (Councilor Economy, Culture & Digitalisation), Kilian (Director, HR), Dr. Kästner (CEO City Service Units) Osterloh (Head of Workers Council) City of Wolfsburg Volkswagen AG Core team PROGRAMME-MANAGEMENT OFFICE 10 Fields of Action with Driving Projects Wolfsburg as a hotspot Entrepreneurship Resident Experience Open Digital Platform for e-mobility and new jobs Wolfsburg as a real-world Attractive living and Digital infrastructure laboratory working environment Innovative town planning Lifelong digital learning and sustainable livingB. Develop placemaking and “good” density way—ensuring a mix of uses, green space, and goodPlacemaking and “good” density play a crucial role in connectivity—creates the business case and criticalthe creation of vibrant and dynamic communities. To be mass to provide sufficient public transport and services,competitive, cities should offer appealing, accessible, and cultural amenities that people can enjoy in theirand well-connected places that include a mix of uses, own neighbourhoods. This creates communities that areamenities, and public spaces used for a wide range of vibrant, liveable, innovative, productive, and sustainable,activities and events. If executed well, placemaking can while reducing energy consumption and emissions.be a means for developing an authentic urban identity Generally, density is the best way to accommodatethat sets a city apart from its peers. economic development and population growth. It makes cities more flexible and provides optimal returns forKey to successful placemaking is well-managed and society and the environment whilst also creating valuewell-serviced densification. Densifying cities in the right that can be captured and shared.ULI Europe advisory services panel report 12
Wolfsburg, GermanyPanel’s thoughts: Wolfsburg has not really developed Spatially, Wolfsburg is divided by the Mittellandkanal,a city centre. There are fragmented cultural institutions which separates the Volkswagen campus from the mainthat could act as anchors, such as phaeno, which is close parts of the city. In recent years, significant investmentto the train station; the Kunstmuseum and Alvar Aalto has been made to attract more people to the north sideCultural Centre more south, close to the city hall; and through the creation of Autostadt, the Allerpark, and theAutostadt on the opposite side of the canal. There also soccer stadium, which is supported by the Stadtbrücke,is an extensive retail offering, with DOW close to phaeno the pedestrian bridge across the canal connectingand the ECE City Galleria shopping centre to the south. phaeno with Autostadt. However, the waterfront does not yet feel part of the city.The Porschestrasse, which connects both “cores,” suffersfrom lower-end retail stores and its food offerings are C. Drive innovationdominated by fast-food chains. There are kiosks situated Many cities are transforming from a traditional – oftenin the middle of the public pedestrian realm that are industrial – economy, to a more innovation-led andseen as obstacles and reduce sight lines. At the same diversified one. Influenced by technology, innovation istime, the most central areas suffer from low density, very becoming a key driver for economic and job growth.wide and oversized public spaces, and a lack of local Successful implementation of placemaking and goodand authentic gastronomy and bars. With little mixed density provides the important fundamentals foruse, such as offices and residential, it has resulted in a the development of a stronger innovation economy.deteriorating quality of space and a lack of vibrancy. Innovation then will be an important job provider for the talent attracted to the city. Cities that can attract moreA significant part of the space in Wolfsburg is taken startups and creative, tech-powered industries and firmsup by cars and parking spaces. Car use is very high, will be better able to meet future challenges.not only for commuting but also for shopping. Publictransport, not only within the city, but also in connection Innovation clusters tend to emerge most strongly inwith the surrounding villages and towns with potential cities where there is a combination of well-establisheddevelopment, is lacking. As a result, the city faces a growth sectors, dynamic population growth, access tonumber of issues such as congestion on the roads to capital, connectivity to growth markets, knowledge-richthe city as well as within it. The parking lots are spread institutions, a conducive regulatory environment, and athroughout the city, both in the city centre and throughout collaborative and entrepreneurial working culture. Somethe residential areas. cities and regions have nurtured these factors over several decades. They cannot be constructed quickly.An important element of successful placemaking relatesto the quality of open and public spaces, and the use of These so-called ecosystems operate at a whole-city,those spaces for events and performances. While the city whole-region, or even larger geographic scale. Key to theis very clean, and effort and funding have gone into the successful development of a true innovation ecosystemmaintenance of the open space, its quality is generally is the collaboration and interaction among academia,outdated and lacking vibrancy. industry, and governments to foster economic and social development. This is often referred to as the “triple helix” model of innovation.ULI Europe advisory services panel report 13
Wolfsburg, GermanyPanel’s thoughts: Given the speed of technological Housing affordability is seen to be deteriorating.change and the importance of innovation as a key driver Wolfsburg is planning new development in the inner cityfor economic and job growth, the panel thinks that and in Wolfsburg east. A lot of development is also seenWolfsburg’s mono-industrial focus on car production in greenfield areas, leading to further sprawl emanatingand dependence on one company provide risks for its from the city and lacking the business case for theinnovation capacity. While partnerships and pilots have provision of amenities such as shops and leisure usesbeen set up involving business and academia based in and difficult public transport connections. Moreover, thethe region, a successful strategy for innovation requires needs of the younger generations have changed to aan institutional approach with full buy-in of all the preference for more urban living.different parties. The lack of a strong technical universitybased in Wolfsburg is a key element missing from the On the other hand, there also is a growing elderlysuccessful implementation of a triple-helix model of population reaching retirement age who remain in theinnovation. same homes as when they first arrived Wolfsburg in the early years of Volkswagen. This new demographic groupAnd, at the same time, the city has no real incentives in is not carefully considered in future city planning. Existingplace to support and reward entrepreneurship. homes for the elderly are not fit for purpose and do not cater to their current needs since these are likely to haveVolkswagen finds it difficult to attract talent and creativity changed.since members of this innovative young workforce areattracted to vibrant urban cities where they can work, E. Build critical masslive, and play. Wolfsburg lacks this desired vibrancy. In order to perform well in terms of economic diversification, workforce, and investible assets, it isD. Prioritise social inclusion important for cities to have sufficient critical mass.Social inclusion is vital for improving economic vibrancy Given the modest size of many cities, especially inand quality of life in cities. Prioritising inclusivity through Europe, it is important and beneficial for these cities tothe mixing of income and population groups can help collaborate with one another to increase their competitivefoster lively, diverse, and attractive communities. Cities edge. Lately, there has been a rise of “megacities,”can become more inclusive by creating sufficient clusters of cities collaborating formally or informallyaffordable housing and increasing efforts to integrate to create cohesive regions, following a polycentricmigrants into existing communities. urban development model. By building complementary strengths, the cities within these regions become morePanel’s thoughts: Wolfsburg has a population of appealing targets for businesses in different sectors and125,000 inhabitants and 120,000 employees in total, international investment. The success of the Hollandmore than 80,000 of whom commute to the city on a Metropole region exemplifies the potential of cooperationdaily basis. Feedback from the interviews has shown that between cities (see figure 5).many people who reside outside Wolfsburg commutebecause they were not able to find a suitable home Panel’s thoughts: So far, the development plans havecloser to the centre that fit their needs. For example, been almost exclusively focused on the developmentcomments included the lack of suitable housing available of the city. With a population of approximately 125,000for young families with higher disposable incomes, as inhabitants, Wolfsburg lacks the critical mass neededwell as low levels of residential space in the urban core to sustain and enhance further growth and resilience.to attract young graduates. As a result, it is hard to attract investors to invest in the city to make the necessary investments in infrastructure and other communal services. There is also a lack of businesses to diversify the economy.ULI Europe advisory services panel report 14
Wolfsburg, GermanyFigure 4: Key challenges for city competitiveness in Wolfsburg GOVERNANCE PLACEMAKING INNOVATION INCLUSION CRITICAL MASS • Vision not clear • Disconnected • One-company town • Lack of housing variety • Small city • Unclear authority • Dispersed core • No ecosystem • Lack of residential in • Weak regional collaboration • Diffused responsibilities • Car dependence • Poor idea exchange urban core • Weak institutional • Excessive parking • No financing • Deteriorating housing investment • Low waterfront access affordabilityFigure 5: Key success factors for city competitiveness in Wolfsburg GOVERNANCE PLACEMAKING INNOVATION INCLUSION CRITICAL MASS • Vision • Mix land uses • Attract talent • Population mix • Regional collaboration • Common objectives • Public amenities • Academia, business, • Housing affordability • Complement strengths • Public/private collaboration • Accessible government • More choice • Institutional investment • Transparency • Central programming • Startups and incubators • Sustainable Figure 6: Holland Metropole region From the perspective of real estate investors, well-performing cities that are clustered together with excellent transport and digital connectivity are economically attractive. Holland Metropole, for example, is an alliance of the following Dutch cities: Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht, and Eindhoven. Its gross domestic product (GDP) is €288 billion and its population of 7.57 million people is projected to grow. Because of its specific history, economic framework and geographical situation Holland Metropole region plays in another city development league. However, it demonstrates Source: Clark et al., 2017 1 best practices and shows how cities can link up to become a strong competitive region. All five cities are well known in their own right, but together they global indices and data sets on innovation. It spends €7.5 form one of the most successful city regions in the billion annually on research and development. The region world. As Europe’s best-connected region where it also benefits from stronger higher education offerings, is possible to reach large cities within 40 minutes’ with six of its universities holding places within the global journey time, it is also a globally competitive 200 best institutions. This makes Holland Metropole regional innovation system with high rankings in attractive to businesses and investors.ULI Europe advisory services panel report 15
Wolfsburg, Germany4. The recommendations: better togetherIn an increasingly challenging global environment, Figure 7: Better together: Wolfsburg and VolkswagenWolfsburg is at risk. As the world enters a highlycompetitive urban age, where the fortunes of cities Present conditions are relatively good for Wolfsburg . . .are becoming more important than those of nations, it • Strong economic anchor: Volkswagenis no longer enough for cities to be relatively stronger • Local job growth compared with the rest of Lower Saxonythan their immediate surroundings in order to attract • Comfortable lifestyleand maintain economic vitality. Cities are in a globalrace for talent and innovation. In this competitive age, . . . But the world is changingWolfsburg can gain resilience and benefit from the value • No longer enough to be relatively more prosperous thanof a coordinated system rather than profiting from the the immediate regionsmaller identities and revenues of stand-alone urban • Cities are in a global race for talent and investmentdevelopment projects. The panel recognises that theCity of Wolfsburg and Volkswagen are joining forces to Bigger and better-connected regions and cities winaddress current challenges through the #WolfsburgDigital • Larger economic unitsinitiative, but more can be done to strengthen this joint • Deeper and more diverse labour marketsvision and partnership. • Fewer barriers for movement and investmentWith this in mind, the panel recommends the principle How can Wolfsburg create:of “better together.” Stand-alone entities create more • The greatest value?aggregate value when they are concentrated and • For the greatest number of people?coordinated. By bringing together these entities, including • At the least cost?independent cities, a dominant corporate industry, • In the shortest amount of time?isolated residential and commercial developments, anddetached environmental assets, Wolfsburg and its core Greatest valuepartner, Volkswagen, will be better positioned for a more • Attract the next generation of innovators and wealth creatorsresilient and productive future. • Create diversity of new next-generation jobs for a wide range of people • Increase choices for where people may choose to work Most number of people • Specialised technical workforce • Cognitive workers • Service industry • Visitors • Cultural institutions • Research organisations Least cost/time • Not overly reliant on corporate fundingULI Europe advisory services panel report 16
Wolfsburg, GermanyTo answer how Wolfsburg and Volkswagen can be A. VALUE THE GAP“better together,” the panel recommends five corestrategic guiding principles that are explored further To strengthen the competitiveness ofin the rest of this report, which it believes will help Wolfsburg and demonstrate physicalWolfsburg to achieve its vision: integration, the panel believes it is time to eliminate the physical and psychological boundary that A. VALUE THE GAP the canal and railway create between the Volkswagen – Realise new asset value for Wolfsburg. site and the city core. B. DEVELOP THE CORE – Concentrate on Wolfsburg’s urban potential. The decision to place Volkswagen on the north side of C. ACTIVATE GREEN SPACES AND CATER TO the canal and the city with the railway to the south was RESIDENTS – Reinforce Wolfsburg’s environmental a key decision that contributed to an inherent divide in and residential themes. the city. This sense of division has been reinforced by D. ADVANCE MOBILITY the considerable setback of the factory buildings as – Commit city and company to full-city test-bed. well as the city turning its back to the canal. Historically, E. EMBRACE A PIONEER SPIRIT this separation might have made sense with the – Reposition Wolfsburg for the bold. predominance of the car, but today it is detrimental to the flow of the city and hinders mixed commercial and residential use. This section examines how the canal redevelopment can be used as a template for unleashing value in the gap, and possibly extending this understanding to other potential opportunities for change.Figure 8: Map of Wolfsburg’s centre (Google Maps)ULI Europe advisory services panel report 17
Wolfsburg, GermanyGranary Square, King’s Cross. (The Londonist)INTEGRATE AND TRANSFORM THE CANAL Mixed uses – Promote the layering of uses that createWolfsburg needs to recognise that changing its the conditions for modern living and working. The panelrelationship to the canal is crucial to the city’s future believes that the diversified jobs of the future should besuccess. Despite all the complexities that the panel near the canal area. These would be layered with modernheard about throughout the interviews, more thought and living and innovative retail and food and beverageeffort need to go into redeveloping the canal. Waterfronts offerings that would create the vibrancy needed in theare a very powerful attractor when it comes to creating city to attract the talent needed for those new jobs.public life in a city. Feeling connected to nature in a citycentre allows for a heightened quality of life for residents. Urban living – Provide housing that meets the needsThe transformation of industrial canals into high-quality of a growing population. Preferences of differentplaces has drawn people all over the world to their demographic groups are changing as they want morewaterways, strengthening the overall sense of community. amenities, better connections, and more vibrancy,A growing number of other cities and companies around wherever they live.the world have been ambitious and bold enough to takesteps to regenerate around a canal. The panel suggests Well-being – Programme high-quality open spacesthe following recommendations to enliven the canal area: that connect to nature. The panel suggests bringing the people of Wolfsburg closer to the canal to fully enjoy theVibrancy – Bring diversified economic activity into the connection with water through a programmed and activecity to allow for better integration. The panel has heard waterfront. This would immensely enrich the overallthat over the next eight to 10 years, Volkswagen will experience of residents and visitors alike.create 9,000 knowledge-based jobs, and these jobs candiversify Wolfsburg’s economy and inject vibrancy intothe city.ULI Europe advisory services panel report 18
Wolfsburg, GermanyUse the canal as inspirationThe panel also believes that residents of and visitors tothe city should experience the Volkswagen factory as aclose-up backdrop and astonishing piece of architecture,with the sun-filled north shore of the Mittellandkanal.It should open up parts of the factory site for visitors,carefully activate the edge of the canal with ancillary andrecreational uses, and allow for a curated open factoryexperience. This offers the opportunity to bridge thishistoric gap and bring the communities from both sidescloser together.Figure 9: The canal design VOLKSWAGEN AG WOLFSBURG RAIL LIVE ACTIVATE THE BOUNDARIES Terace WORK MINE THE ‘GAP’ PLAY Retail SOUTH SIDE NEW MIXED-USE OFFERINGS CHANGE PERCEPTIONNORTH SIDE DECK-OVER THE RAIL CREATE VIEWS CANAL EDGE ACTIVE CANAL EDGE ACTIVE CANAL EXPERIENCE ENHANCE Proposed recommendations: 1. Bring Wolfsburg closer to the canal. 2. Activate the waterfront through programming. 3. Bring functions of Volkswagen across the canal into Wolfsburg. 4. Incorporate new mixed-use offerings. 5. Open parts of the Volkswagen site up to the public.ULI Europe advisory services panel report 19
Wolfsburg, Germany The Canal Plan, Brussels GM World Headquarters at Renaissance Center, Detroit (Source: Canal Brussels, 2018)2 (Source: Motor 1) 3 The government of the Brussels–Capital Region recognised that Located on the International Riverfront, the 515,800 square- the regeneration of its canal system is crucial for the city’s future metre Renaissance Center was built in 1977 in downtown Detroit. success, and that its potential is currently underused and presents a Comprising five interconnected skyscrapers, the site was physically major fault line in the middle of the city. Although the city leadership separated from the city by a large 10-metre-high concrete utility sees the regeneration of the canal as an immense challenge that barrier, which housed the centre’s heating and cooling systems. requires intense collaboration on all sides, the outcome is seen as When General Motors purchased the building as its headquarters in worthwhile, delivering much-needed housing and open space as well 2004, it re-energised the city core by reimagining and connecting the as new forms of employment at the heart of the city where they are building to the rest of the city by: needed. It will also contribute to the city’s objective to become the successful and competitive Brussels of 2025. • Removing the concrete barrier; • Connecting the building to the river through a winter garden “The regeneration of the canal area will be emblematic of the atrium and recreational pathways; and regeneration of Brussels! It is by the canal that we will successfully • Hollowing out the centre of the development and increasing the create the Brussels of 2025!” – Minister-President number of entry points to promote better mobility.While this section focuses on land and physical • Build on past successes.redevelopment to address and close the gap, there are • Knit together opportunities and possibilities.key cross-cutting principles to the approach of seeking • Elevate emerging and productive concepts.value in the gap, which the panel believes translate into • Avoid isolated or counterproductive initiatives.other key areas for change. These principles include the • Be bold, experimental, and patient.following:ULI Europe advisory services panel report 20
Wolfsburg, Germany B. DEVELOP THE CORE Figure 10: The core in two subsections In Wolfsburg, the panel believes there is a clear need to create an attractive heart and destination – defined as asingle core – as a distinct meeting point that involvesthe city and its visitors and inhabitants. This core mustinclude offices, residential uses, retail space, and hotels.It is also essential to ensure a strong and vibrant mixed-use environment that will create density, drive footfall,and respond to the need for placemaking – a placewhere people can gather and meet throughout the dayand night. As a result, Wolfsburg will be able to createand profit from a stronger identity from the buildingsthemselves, from the spaces, and from the peopledwelling or working there.The panel recommends that the core be developed –essentially the Nordkopf (within the boundaries as seenin figure 10) – and that Porschestrasse be redevelopedalong its length, ending at the Südkopf and, specifically,close to the Arts Museum.Different solutions can be envisaged to develop this corein Wolfsburg, but the panel believes that changes shouldbe driven by these fundamental principles:• Provide unique offerings both in the core itself and also along Porschestrasse towards Südkopf that will pique curiosity and interest.• Create a destination for diversified food and beverage offerings to increase dwell time, encourage nightlife, and foster vibrancy.• Prototype new ideas and new concepts that will bring • Provide programming of the events, on an ongoing in a new consumer, attract businesses, and draw and regular basis, within the street (see the text box visitors. on Regent Street, London).• Create an environment for different groups and • Increase density through both the office and demographics to meet and mingle that will lead to art, residential offerings that will act as a magnet street art, and outdoor events. (see the text box on Porta Nuova, Milan).ULI Europe advisory services panel report 21


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: The Hon. Margery Christiansen

Last Updated: 11/05/2023

Views: 5725

Rating: 5 / 5 (50 voted)

Reviews: 89% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: The Hon. Margery Christiansen

Birthday: 2000-07-07

Address: 5050 Breitenberg Knoll, New Robert, MI 45409

Phone: +2556892639372

Job: Investor Mining Engineer

Hobby: Sketching, Cosplaying, Glassblowing, Genealogy, Crocheting, Archery, Skateboarding

Introduction: My name is The Hon. Margery Christiansen, I am a bright, adorable, precious, inexpensive, gorgeous, comfortable, happy person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.