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Street Life: Munich (Germany)
The future takes (its) place in 2001 - Munich Circular Ring Road
Ingrid Breu, Anna Hogeback
With a length of only 28 km the circular ring road in Munich serves as the city's principal motorway. Due to its key function for the whole city and its economy the ring road is of exceptional importance.
1. The Utopian Circular Ring Road
2. The Circular Ring Road development hypothesis
3. The Urban Area Circular Ring Road
4. Emission Control at the Circular Ring Road
5. The modern version of the Circular Ring Road
6. The Location Circular Ring Road
Some 'concrete visions' were designed for a few special places on the circular ring road, e.g.:
• The so-called Munich City Balcony' (figure 1)
The "Donnersberger Brücke" (bridge) is a rare example of a place accessible to the public and offering an excellent view over the city of Munich. One can experience the open space and complex structure of the railway infrastructure as one of the highlights of an urban townscape. At this place - which used to be rather inhospitable - a kind of theatre loge is to be created in the form of a 'Munich City Balcony'. Everything which is on view from there constitutes the theatre hall.
• 'Open Space - Closed Space' (figure 2)
The crossing points between autobahns and circular ring road are important orientation points in the city area. Arriving at or leaving them means that one arrives at or leaves the central area. A further development of these places at the ring road is envisaged. This means that the entrances to the city such as the Luise-Kiesselbach-Platz (square) in the south eastern part of the city are to be redefined and redesigned as "portals of entry".
• 'The Chip' - An Action Forum for Entertainment and Fun (figure 3)
The building developments of both sides of Heckenstallerstrasse - a section of the circular ring road - have few relationships with each other. Here the circular ring road is not considered as an interruption in a unified structure, but rather as a structural demarcation. After the completion of the tunnel construction this road section will be turned into an open space to be redefined. As residential streets on the inside will provide access to the building development there will be no traffic in the open space area.
The open space area is to be shaped as 'chip' which follows in shape, design and orientation the former road space of Heckenstallerstrasse. The open space area is to be provided with district-oriented as well as residence-oriented uses such as playgrounds and facilities for children and adoles
The upgrading and improvement of the living and sojourn qualities as well as the image of the circular ring road will receive significant impulses by accompanying action programmes to be implemented within five years.
• Noise protection measures for existing residential buildings:
A 'modular unit system' consisting of single noise protection components is developed to improve the residential quality at the non-tunnelled sections of the circular ring road. These measures are meant to realize typological solutions such as for instance the construction of noise barriers, additional noise protection facades ('second skin'), glass fronts on balconies and loggias, etc.
• Grant Programme 'Living at the Ring Road'
Measures of noise protection are promoted by the grant programme entitled 'Living at the Ring Road'.
• Urban/traffic relief approaches in the south-east section of the circular ring road.
For this area different solutions are being developed, evaluated and finally implemented.
• Urban Renewal/Grant Programme 'Socially-minded City'
Within the framework 'Socially-minded City' a joint programme supported by the federal and state government is made available for the social urban renewal of the city - it is meant to upgrade individual urban districts, not only from an urban design point of view, but in a comprehensive way, e.g. for the improvement of all problem areas.
• Improving the Attractiveness of various places alongside the Circular Ring Road:
By organizing a competition for the best ideas restructuring, redesign, noise protection or upgrading of the above-mentioned special places, the city will make the public space and locations alongside the circular ring road more attractive.
All of these developments, measures and programmes are finally designed to strengthen the circular ring road as a major traffic hub and lively centre, meeting the great variety of demands it is confronted with.
The reconversion and path to a 'new circular ring road' are meant to consider and integrate the peculiarities of the space. At the same time it will help to shape a new sense of identity and 'urban culture' for the people of Munich.
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The Journal of Urbanism