Project Partner

City of Heidelberg

Contact Person

Carla Jung-König


Project development of Patrick-Henry-Village

Heidelberg is giving itself the second opportunity this century to rethink an entire district; the first was Bahnstadt. With the IBA, the largest conversion area in Heidelberg – the former US housing estate Patrick-Henry-Village (PHV) – is to be developed as a model district for the »knowledge city of tomorrow«: diverse and more sustainable ecologically and socially – and thus resistant to risks and changing conditions. Around 10,000 people will live and 5,000 will work here in the future. The basis for the development of Heidelberg's 16th district is the »Dynamic Master Plan«, which was created in a multi-stage planning process.

»The city of tomorrow will prove itself through the quality of urban development. PHVision offers a robust framework and will be able to react flexibly to changing user interests. There is room for mixing all areas of life and working environments. Synergistic effects between science, business and housing are a convincing leitmotif.«

IBA advisory board

The development of PHV is a challenging task: With almost 100 hectares, PHV is almost as large as Heidelberg's Old Town and larger than the city's other conversion areas. As an internationally oriented real-life laboratory, the Heidelberg model »PHVision« could soon provide important answers for urban development beyond the region. With a heterogeneous population structure, contemporary living and working environments, innovative open space and mobility concepts, climate-neutral energy provision and smart, socially responsible digital technology, the new, resilient urban district offers answers to many of tomorrow's pressing questions.

Among other aspects, the holistic approach foresees a central park with a lake in the middle for water management, diversity in terms of architecture and building usage, and locally produced food and energy. »District garages« on the periphery will ensure that public areas are pedestrian-friendly and parking-free. The former ring road will become a »Parkway« that takes traffic while doubling as a park.

The Dynamic Master Plan underpinning the development of PHV is a carefully balanced concept that deliberately remains open to future requirements. It was prepared in cooperation with international teams of experts, with experimental participation from city administrators and citizens. It sets out the main objectives, the principles for implementation and the measures for achieving them, and goes beyond urban development issues. The aim was to design a box of tools with which to develop a forward-looking urban district.


In a first phase, five internationally operating urban development offices initially worked for the IBA Heidelberg: MVRDV, Carlo Ratti Associati, ASTOC Architects and Planners, and Ramboll Liveable Cities (Herbert Dreiseitl and Katrin Bohn) developed four thematic scenarios, on the basis of which a first development vision of KCAP Architects&Planners for 2017 was developed. 


Together with an »agile team« from the city of Heidelberg, the IBA conceived tasks and questions for five thematic in-depth studies in 2018, which were worked on in 2019 by various specialist planning offices: »Urban Typologies and Architecture« by bogevischs buero, »Programmatic Profiling and Mixed Uses« by Initialdesign with Arup, »Productive Urban Landscape« by Ramboll Studio Dreiseitl with the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, »Multimobility« by Urban Standards with Buro Happold and »Digital City« by AIT - Austrian Institute of Technology. KCAP Architects&Planners developed the Dynamic Master Plan from the results of the in-depth studies which were further worked out in several workshops and colloquia with the specialist planners, the agile team and IBA Heidelberg.

Urban development and architecture

In the new district, there will be room for diverse lifestyles and uses and different social classes will live side by side. Five types of quarter were developed, each with its own identity. The process often involved a mix of new builds and existing buildings from the US-American housing estate. For example, the former officers' villas in the north of the area and many of the characteristic buildings in the centre have been preserved. In addition, there will be experiments with low-cost, energy-efficient, sustainable building materials and space-saving construction and living. 


More information on the approaches can be found in the Dynamic Master Plan under »Städtebauliche Struktur« and »Stadtbautypologien und Regelwerke« (in german).

Diverse district

In principle, the uses in PHV should be mixed. The main areas of housing are in the north and on the western edge of the district. There will be offers for all population groups at all stages of life. In the east - in the direction of the Autobahn 5 - there will be a concentration of different workplaces, ranging from science and crafts to urban manufacturing, including digitalised logistics. The PHV will concentrate its high innovation standards in clearly defined and deliberately set »innovation areas«. In the south of the area, the focus is on education, sport, culture, creative industries and start-ups. An open and experimental neighbourhood centre is planned in the heart of the area. So-called "innovation anchors" will be used as development motors for the individual quarters. These are buildings that are specifically designed as multi-functional locations and are positioned along the Parkway and at the neighbourhood squares.


More information on the approaches can be found in the Dynamic Master Plan under »Programmatische Profilierung« (in german).

Productive urban landscape

Open spaces and the cycles of different resources in PHV are rethought in the form of a productive urban landscape. This means that nature-oriented open spaces not only serve nature conservation or are used as play and leisure areas, but also in particular for the production of food and energy as well as for water management. The focus is on the direct relationship of people to natural processes and material cycles.

The energy concept of the new district fully meets the requirements of the declared climate emergency of the city of Heidelberg and pursues the ambitious goal of a CO2-neutral supply. The aim is to achieve a self-sufficiency level with renewable energies of more than 50%.

More information on the approaches can be found in the Dynamic Master Plan under »Freiräume« and »Stoffkreisläufe« (in german).


PHV is to become a model project for the turnaround in transport: The comprehensive development and mobility concept as a »city of short distances« aims at being able to move around in the neighbourhood without a car. In addition to ambitious regional integration, the focus within the district is on walking, cycling and local public transport. »District garages« on the periphery will ensure that public areas are pedestrian-friendly and parking-free. The former ring road (»Parkway«) is the main access route connecting the quarters. Throughout the entire district, rental bikes, load bikes and other sustainable mobility offers will be available in mobility stations.


More information on the approaches can be found in the Dynamic Master Plan under »Multi-Mobilität« (in german).

Digital City

The opportunities and risks of digitisation are taken into account from the outset in the development of PHV. It is not only a matter of continuous broadband coverage of the area. In the future, PHV should offer a wide range of services on topics such as energy supply, mobility and social coexistence. The services will be bundled in a joint operator-quarter company and provided primarily via digital channels. Organising the community digitally and in analogue form is also reflected in local contact points. 


More information on the approaches can be found in the Dynamic Master Plan under »Digitale Stadt« (in german).


May 2016

First public hearing

June 2016

Kick-Off Design- Thinking series

September 2016

Second public hearing

December 2016

Third public hearing

March 2017

Fourth public hearing

October 2017

CANDIDATE Status, PHVision as Augmented Reality

December 2017

PHVision becomes official planning guide

July 2018

Metropolink-Festival in the officer's villas

September 2018

Kick-off Project group PHV

April 2019

Kick-off Deepening studies for the PHVision

September 2019

IBA_LAB N°7 »Digitale Stadt?« in the former US-supermarket

December 2019

Start of the online citizen participation

January 2020

Festival and citizen participation at PHV

June 2020

Municipal council agrees on the dynamic master plan


Five years after the process began with an initial brainstorming session, Heidelberg City Council has now approved the Dynamic Master Plan for the implementation of its visionary project. Together with partners and IBA Heidelberg, the city will build a model district for tomorrow's »knowledge city« on Heidelberg's biggest conversion area, the Patrick-Henry-Village (PHV). Mehr Information