Anpassungsflexibilität als nachhaltiger Planungsansatz : Eine empirische Untersuchung anpassungsflexibler Quartiere für eine ressourcenschonende Raumplanung

Rubarth, Antonia Victoria; Reicher, Christa (Thesis advisor); Hafner, Annette (Thesis advisor); Lohrberg, Frank (Thesis advisor)

Aachen : RWTH Aachen University (2023)
Dissertation / PhD Thesis

Dissertation, Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen, 2023


The design of our cities and neighbourhoods is shaped by the unpredictable changes in the environment and society. This is the basic problem of spatial planning, which aims to meet the needs of the environment and society through its planning. Competing uses and areas, resource conservation and the creation of liveable neighbourhoods are among the challenges of today. Adaptive flexible planning is an approach in spatial planning to meet the challenges in cities and neighbourhoods. Forecasts and scenarios about future uses and functions of neighbourhoods are accordingly imprecise. At the same time, spatial planning always aims to create planning that is adapted to the needs of people and the environment. Against this background, one solution is adaptive flexible planning. Although the relevance of the planning approach is increasing in theory and practice, a sound basic framework is still lacking. The challenge is to transform the adaptive flexible planning approach into a sustainable approach to planning. To date, there is no common understanding of adaptation flexibility in spatial planning. Therefore, the aim of this research project was to establish an adaptive flexible planning approach. Adaptive flexibility is understood as a means of achieving resource-conserving and socially acceptable spatial planning. Adaptive flexible planning creates spaces for new uses and functions - with low-threshold interventions and structural changes. Adaptive flexibility planning means spatial planning that is dynamic and fault-tolerant and addresses the needs of the three dimensions of sustainability (ecology, economy, sociology). These dimensions are condensed at the level of the neighbourhood, which functions not least as a link between the residents and a city. In this context, adaptive planning can respond to the changing demands of the environment and society. Sustainability means that goals of environmental protection, economic development and social justice are fulfilled simultaneously and equally for present and future generations. Specifically, this research project addresses the following two points of sustainability: saving the resource of land by using land already in use in the neighbourhood, and simultaneously providing land for the desired use of society. In order to approach the objective, a qualitative mix of methods was carried out. Qualitative content analysis, inter- views and case study research were conducted to create an understanding of adaptive flexible planning and to identify parameters needed for such planning. The research project has resulted in a basic understanding of theory and practice on the planning approach for adaptive flexible neighbourhoods. Eight parameters were identified that significantly promote adaptive flexibility. These are: Goal setting, urban design furniture, regulations, time, programmes and concepts, spatial planners, process and experimentation. The research project has filled the gap of understanding adaptive flexible neighbourhoods for resource-efficient spatial planning. Overall, it became clear that adaptive flexible planning designs neighbourhoods that can meet environmental and social challenges now and in the future. This dissertation thus contributes to the understanding of adaptive-flexible planning in neighbourhoods and helps to ensure that planning can be approached in a more resource-efficient way.


  • Chair of Urban Design and Institute for Urban Design and European Urbanism [212410]