#019 Agricultural park


We want to live in this landscape

An agricultural park is set to be established in Heidelberg on the basis of a cooperation network of farmers, residents and institutions in neighboring districts. The area has always served as farmland, and with the IBA it is intended to be jointly modeled as recreational space and an educational site – without pushing out existing landuse. For now the initiators are a group of local landscape architects and architects.

Food production, recreation, nature conservation

In the Heidelberg agricultural park, food production, recreation and nature conservation are to go hand in hand. At the same time, residents of the Bahnstadt district and other neighboring districts are to have access to the landscape. For example, the project is designed to acquaint young people with the production process of quality food. How does crop rotation work? How can we make material cycles more regionally based? How can productive agriculture and local recreation be brought into harmony? In addition, parcels of land could be leased to city residents for the cultivation of fruit and vegetables (self-sufficiency). The planned agriculture park will be a new kind of network-supported free space that ensures long-term agricultural usage and connects it more strongly with the city.

Central in the metropolitan region

The agricultural landscape is a centrally located green zone in the metropolitan region between the city districts of Bahnstadt, Kirchheim, Pfaffengrund and Eppelheim. The 420-hectares was designated as particularly deserving of funding in the context of an EU directive. In contrast to the city, the area offers a host of interesting sensory and educational impressions: Colorful plots of arable land, undeveloped landscape, open space as somewhere to live and work. The agriculture park can also serve as an alternative place of learning, with educational trails, a green classroom, pedagogical horticulture and diverse other offerings by those involved.


December 15, 2016 | Brochure published by the agricultural park action group

The action group working on the agricultural park project has translated the jointly produced position paper into a lavishly illustrated brochure. The magazine “STADT – LANDWISSEN”. “Preserving landscape and agriculture through urban educational programmes and spatial schemes” has now been published as a PDF file. It informs its readers about the idea of an agricultural park in Heidelberg and explains the first possible steps towards this development. In December, the brochure was submitted to the administration and the municipal council. Click here to download (PDF | German | 2,55 MB)

October 01, 2016 | Six work meetings from April to September 2016

Since the kick-off meeting in January 2016, another six work meetings, each attended by 20 participants, took place on a monthly basis to develop a cooperation network of farmers, residents, and educational institutions of adjacent districts. These meetings were managed by Katrin Bohn, expert for urban food production and participation processes. By summer 2016, the action group of farmers, residents and representatives of different institutions had approved the position paper on their collaboration.

January 21, 2016 | Successful first meeting: Farmers and IBA_CANDIDATE “Agricultural park”

Where does agriculture become tangible? Where are new methods of cultivation put to the test? Could the whole thing be close to a modern city, perhaps even take place in direct interaction with it? Where and how can citizens, children and students learn something about food production? How can we avoid conflicts of use regarding outdoor spaces close to the city and nevertheless exploit shared opportunities?

Through the gradual development of the Bahnstadt in Heidelberg and the future conversion of the Patrick Henry Village, as well as through new concepts for the former military airfield, the rural area between Kirchheim, Bahnstadt, Pfaffengrund and PHV will also change – even if this simply means that more people will live around the area in future.

The IBA Heidelberg and the IBA_KANDIDAT “Agricultural park” hosted an inaugural meeting on January 21, 2016. Alongside local farmers, the approximately 40 participants included architectural firms and landscape architects, the local food initiative Verein Eßbares Heidelberg, representatives of Heidelberg University of Education, and employees of nearby schools, nurseries and allotment organizations.

Participants divided off into small groups to discuss various themes such as the economy, education, nutrition, and the town and country – ably assisted by moderators. The whole event was moderated by Katrin Bohn of architectural company Bohn & Viljoen Architects, which has offices in London and Berlin. The firm specializes in urban agriculture and Katrin Bohn has spent many years researching and lecturing on the subject of food production in urban areas.

In the subsequent plenary session, there was general agreement that better networking of the various stakeholders is required so that they are more effective in exchanging ideas and benefitting from one another – both in terms of education and the exchange of products. The area of the airfield was also seen as an important area with great potential in the working groups: Here the IBA_CANDIDATE “Agricultural park” could be implemented in such a way as to be visible. Another matter that was important to all those involved was an increased appreciation among the city-dwellers for the agriculture in and around Heidelberg: Those present saw a great deal of potential here as regards improving the peaceful coexistence of farmers and city-dwellers. The day’s findings were recorded in the minutes to the meeting and will form the basis for further regular meetings between stakeholders, which are now to follow.

July 15, 2015 | Students of TU Berlin design concepts for the agriculture park

In summer semester 2015 the students of a Bachelor’s program at TU Berlin, headed by Prof. Undine Giseke with Lucas Hövelmann, came up with ideas and concepts for an agriculture park in Heidelberg. To this end, in June 2015 the aspiring landscape architects spent a number of days in Heidelberg, spoke with farmers, residents and passerby and explored the area. In July the students presented in small teams a total of five polished concepts for the development of an agriculture park to representatives of the IBA and IBA_CANDIDATE.

Key data

  • Location

    The agricultural landscape between the city districts of Bahnstadt, Kirchheim, Pfaffengrund and Eppelheim, including the conversion area around the military Airfield

  • Project organizer

    Wolfgang Roth, Steffen Becker, Erika Jurevičiūtė, Oskar Harbich, Jens in het Panhuis

  • Your contact at the IBA

    Franziska Bettac
    IBA Heidelberg GmbH


Would you like to support this project too?
Then become a partner!