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BELT events

One belt.

One region. 

Plenty of local potential.

BELT events take place in different formats and on different issues in the Belt region. The aim is to bring together different actors in the region and to facilitate exchange, knowledge transfer and synthesis of different topics. Examples of BELT events are workshops, discussions or open presentations.

Here is an overview of past events: scroll down or click on the arrow to learn more about the events...

The events


Development concept presentations

@ Neustadt in Holstein

On 25 April 2023, Master's students from the TH Lübeck - University of Applied Sciences highlighted various key topics under the event title Border Area & Small Town - from Europe to Neustadt in Holstein and discussed the issues with guests from the Lübeck Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the Wirtschaftsförderung Lübeck, the HanseBelt and representatives of the city of Neustadt in Holstein and Bad Schwartau.


The students had dealt with the following topics in the preparation of the discussion event and presented the main findings:


Discussion event

Europe! A common (spatial) identity?

The degree of identification with the European Union is similar in both Germany and Denmark. In addition to the generally positive attitude towards Europe, the European identity is rather weak and the multicollectivity of the individuals is in the foreground.


Active border areas in Europe: border area policy & joint initiatives

One of the challenges of European border areas is related to the fact that many developments take place in a national context. Different spatial planning systems, legal and fiscal frameworks, responsibilities and competences in the individual countries lead to separate approaches. To meet this challenge, planning that is appropriate to the situation and implementation-oriented can be pursued. Formats and instruments that support such a development are regional development concepts, regional conferences or city networks, which foster and promote communication and the willingness of local actors to cooperate. At the same time, informal cooperation is strengthened. Individual projects and regions such as the EUREGIO (Rhine Ems Region) or INTERREG A (Upper Rhine) can serve as models for overcoming borders.


The Eurotunnel & the Øresund Link: Presentation of their (spatial) effects

The comparison of the examples of the Eurotunnel and the Øresund link shows that large projects consisting of pure infrastructure without complementary secondary measures have only a limited impact on the region. When connecting two structurally weak regions, they can only complement each other to a limited extent, as a pull factor is necessary to bring about an effective exchange. The charisma of economically strong regions is also of supraregional importance, as the settlement of international companies in the Øresund region shows. The will for joint development must exist on both sides to enable a positive and sustainable joint development of such projects.


The small town: current strengths & challenges

Many current trends such as the mobility and energy transition, digitalisation or demographic change have an impact on small towns in Germany as challenges or opportunities. However, the extent of the challenges and opportunities varies depending on the small town and its structural characteristics such as location, spatial embedding or size. In order to meet the challenges, it is important to recognise trends at an early stage and to adapt existing structures for the future. One starting point for creating resilience across municipalities is, for example, inter-municipal cooperation within a region.


Urban-rural-rural: a triangular relationship.

An unbalanced interweaving of functional relationships results from the relationship structure of urban-fringe-rural. These dependencies are increasingly reinforced by current trends. They can be seen in the loss of attractiveness of the city due to vacancies and high housing costs, in the increasing peripheralisation as well as in the demographic change in the countryside. The challenge for small towns is not only to strengthen their own centre, but also to create a balanced relationship between town and country. In this context, planning should not only be short-term, but should be future-oriented and focused on the common good, reacting flexibly to changing societal demands. Sustainable planning can be focused on with various spatial planning instruments such as IEK, ILEK or area development plans.


Individuality & Living: Perspectives for the Urban Fringe.

In both Germany and Denmark, the discussion among planners is similar when it comes to the future viability of building typologies and the question of whether the single-family house on the outskirts of the city is still in keeping with the times. But on both sides of the Fehmarn Belt there is also an unchanged demand from the population for single-family houses, so that the proportion of building projects with single-family house areas remains high. At the same time, the countermovement is intensifying, as housing vacancies tend to increase in the rural regions, while the housing shortage persists in the cities. In order to achieve the climate goals, a move away from single-family homes is unavoidable; at the same time, from a building culture perspective, it is important to protect the urban fringe with its qualities worth preserving.


Well-being country: currents, tendencies & developments in tourism.

There are many challenges and opportunities in tourism: Among the challenges are strong seasonal fluctuations in infrastructure utilisation (over-tourism). In addition, there is a high number of secondary residences, especially in Ostholstein, which leads to housing shortages and displacement of the local population. Competition between Denmark and Germany (workers, tourists, etc.) could also increase, so that communication between the two countries becomes more important.

Opportunities, on the other hand, lie mainly in the investment and expansion of infrastructure, reaching higher numbers of visitors and at the same time focusing on the quality of regional value chains and sustainability in tourism. For Denmark and Germany, there is an opportunity for greater cultural exchange and coexistence.


Content was developed by students of the Masters in Urban Planning at the TH Lübeck: Aldogan, Belau, Boy, Brüns, Carbuhn, Fleischer, Fleischfresser, Flohr, Fritzemeier, Hoffmann, Huck, Knoche, Könnecker, Kruse, Kutschke, Kücüker, Lehstmann, Leicher, Meyer, Nicolaus, Nürnberger, Petersen, Rink, Schlüter, Schulze, Söhrnsen, Spitzer, Thiel, Westphal

On 20.06.23, students from the TH Lübeck presented their draft designs for the development of the Deepensoll area in Pelzerhaken, which they had developed as part of the BELT Studio workshop day. Guests of the presentation were, besides the team of the BELT Initiative, the Mayor of Neustadt Mirko Spieckermann, Antje Weise (head of the planning department), Conrad Rieger ( urban planner, deputy head of the planning department) and Marcus Priess (head of department for finances and general administration).


The students' work showed a broad spectrum of approaches for dealing with the Neustadt urban fringe:


Development concept presentation

On 5.10.23, the students had the opportunity to present their ideas for development to the building committee of the city of Neustadt in Holstein. The ideas and concept approaches were positively received and are to be incorporated into the further discussion and development of Deepensoll. In particular, questions of energy supply and sustainability were discussed.

Group 1: The concept of Green Belt Clusters is based on the existing mono-functional spaces that can be found on the urban fringe. These are opened up by new clusters that complement other uses and thus gradually become spaces with complementary uses. No development is planned for the Deepensoll test area, but rather a densification and diversification of the green structures.


Group 2: The E3 concept provides only measures that are affordable, experimental and, above all, easy to implement. Based on the existing strengths of Neustadt, complementary measures are to serve the improvement of accessibility, recreation and experience. Flexibility, adaptability and simple implementability are the main focus. Instead of using the Deepensoll area as an experimental space, three other areas are proposed that would be at least as suitable.

Group 3: Titled Reassembling Neustadt, the project defines the potentials and challenges that arise when two different uses - such as landscape and commerce - meet. Gaps are identified on the urban fringe of Neustadt for which new puzzle pieces are designed. Within the concept, the Deepensoll is a designated breaking point that is developed intentionally as a puzzle within a puzzle with diverse urban typologies and uses while at the same time being interconnected with the landscape space.

Group 4: Neustadt Resilienzia takes current megatrends such as new work or neo-ecology as its starting point and aims to implement resilient open spaces, resilient value creation and resilient living for Neustadt's urban fringe. Supplemented by mixed forms such as commercial housing or productive open spaces, adaptable and resilient urban structures will be designed. The three resilience areas - open space, value creation, housing - are planned for the Deepensoll test area in addition to mixed forms.

Group 5: Following the concept of the 15-minute city, which mainly applies to large cities, the Neustadt Newly Thought group is developing the guiding principle of the 5-minute city for small and medium-sized towns like Neustadt. Neustadt's fringe is complemented by other offers and thus becomes an attractive (residential) location, as all uses can be reached within 5 minutes. Deepensoll is experiencing a careful structural development, which has the task of supplying the surrounding area.


Content was developed by students of the Masters in Urban Planning at the TH Lübeck: Aldogan, Belau, Boy, Brüns, Carbuhn, Fleischer, Fleischfresser, Flohr, Fritzemeier, Hoffmann, Huck, Knoche, Könnecker, Kruse, Kutschke, Kücüker, Lehstmann, Leicher, Meyer, Nicolaus, Nürnberger, Petersen, Rink, Schlüter, Schulze, Söhrnsen, Spitzer, Thiel, Westphal


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