Professor Wulf Daseking
Dipl. Ing. Architekt
August-Ganther-Straße 4
D-79117 Freiburg in Breisgau

Tel. 0761 / 69 62 05

Portfolio of services
  • Consultations and developing sustainable town planning concepts
  • Developing urban visions
  • Award/competition judging
  • Acting as a moderator
  • Talks on aspects of urban planning and urban sociology

Curriculum vitae (PDF 0.2 MB)
Professional background (PDF 0.2 MB)


There is no clear definition of what makes a city. Cities may emerge as the result of specific planning – or sometimes through coincidence. There is no alternative to cities! In the past, cities served to protect their inhabitants, trade and divisions of labour, to secure territory and act as a meeting place. Today, urban systems are extremely complex structures – usually covering a very small area. Cities are not static entities – quite the contrary, they are the result of centuries of development, characterised by events and upheavals, which were always connected with social and/or technical innovations. The Industrial Revolution, which started at the beginning of the 19th century, brought with it the most drastic changes to urban systems experienced so far. Complete reorientation ensued. In the 20th century, the face of cities changed following the arrival of the motor car and the subsequent adaptations to increasing motorisation. Communication technologies – particularly those developed in the 21st century – will once again bring about deep-rooted transformations.Today, our cities mirror the complex social structure of urban societies. In the future, their design must become a model for all those who wish to treat their environment and its limited resources responsibly. This argument was poignantly made in the report on “Limits to Growth” published by the Club of Rome back in 1972, which recognised the limitations of our resources and called for responsibleresource management.

Anyone for whom the message was not yet clear was finally forced to recognise that things would not simply be able to continue as before when the oil crisis hit in 1973 and when the Chernobyl nuclear power station explodedin 1986. Countries, cities and their regions have to face up to these challenges and develop new strategies. More recent environmental disasters – which support such stipulations – occurred in 2010, when the oil platform Deepwater Horizon exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, and in 2011, when the tsunami and earthquake struck Japan. These events triggered explosions in four reactors of the Fukushima nuclear power plant, the consequences of which remain impossible to predict. The response from the German parliament was its decision, in 2011, to phase out nuclear energy by 2022. This means that new sources of much-needed energy must be found while cutting consumption at the same time. There is no doubt that urban development and planning play an important pioneering role in solving the issues before us. The areas of economy, ecology, social affairs and education as well as cultural diversity must be addressed through an integrated approach. Involving citizens at an early stage in the planning process and giving consideration to regional integration are basic preconditions for viable urban development.

Freiburg Charter (PDF 3.5 MB) 


Plans to construct the new district of Rieselfeld to house some 12,500 inhabitants were finally approved towards the end of the 1980s following intense debate among members of the municipal council. Factors which influenced the decision included the dramatic growth of the population in both the city and surrounding region, as well as the ensuing need for additional housing to accommodate average wage-earners and young families. The new district was generally intended to help stabilise the overheated housing market.
The 1973 oil crisis – and particularly the nuclear explosion in Chernobyl in 1986 – resulted in planning approaches that aimed to conserve and protect resources. (Soil, water, energy, traffic, climate…)

In addition, a pioneering social policy involving citizen participation was incorporated into the planning approach. Financing for the district was obtained exclusively by selling the plots.

Rieselfeld is a ground-breaking example of decentralised urban development which satisfies the guiding principles of the ‘city of short distances’ in a most impressive way.

Rieselfeld (Website of Freiburg) 


Following the closure of the military barracks in 1989, the City of Freiburg was able to buy the ‘Vauban site’, which occupied 38 hectares. With the shadow of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster still hanging over the world, the decision was made to construct a sustainable new district for 5,500 inhabitants on the former military site.
In particular, revolutionary approaches were to be taken to the management of soil, energy, water and traffic. The goal was to create a ‘colourful’ district with a wide range of different housing options – all with low energy consumption and virtually car-free infrastructure – by bringing together both private and public facilities and the green networks associated with this.

The planning approach represents a successful example of inner city development and innovation, and thus contributes to decentralised urban development and to the ‘city of short distances’ concept.
Across the world, Vauban is seen as a flagship district for pioneering urban development and planning, and was showcased at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai.

Vauban (Website of Freiburg) 


After sustaining considerable wartime destruction in 1944, Freiburg’s city centre was rebuilt chiefly during the 1950s and 60s using the old city plans – but incorporating innovative new ideas. During the rebuilding process, the plot structure – consisting of numerous small plots – was maintained to the greatest possible extent. It was important to also incorporate buildings that re-interpreted the Freiburg building tradition. (Preserve the old and dare to embrace the new!) This allowed both diversity and distinctive characteristics to coexist within a very small space. The decision made at the time to leave the university in the city centre pointed the way ahead. Rebuilding the old town in this conservative manner was also the subject of much debate.

The quality that this brought to the city was only discovered once the pedestrian zone was introduced in the 1970s. By tying the public spaces to the small adjoining plots of the buildings, a unique sequence of spaces and squares was created, providing a great deal of adventure and enjoyment.

During the 1980s and 90s, the idea was put forward of extending the historic old town, which by now had become too small, as far as the train station. In order to do this, it would be necessary to break away from the image of the Werderring/Rotteckring ring road junction and design a distinct area that could be experienced for itself.

The option of developing the square between the theatre and university into a ‘cultural centre’ represents a unique opportunity for urban development in Freiburg. Yet some 30 years have elapsed between when the idea was first mooted in 1984 and the commencement of redevelopment work.

Individual projects – such as the Konzerthaus conference centre, rebuilding the train station with the bus station, the Chamber of Commerce (IHK), renovating the theatre with new buildings on the lower part of Bertoldstraße, lengthening Bismarckallee and relaying the tram tracks – were important elements that increased motivation to develop the western end of the city centre and provided fresh inspiration. Quality designs were found by inviting tenders for specific projects. All developments must be pursued with a sense of proportion and great sensitivity to the surroundings.


When the railway was built in the mid-19th century, Stühlinger was erected directly behind the train station as a diverse, compact area with buildings for industry and infrastructure, primarily for people on low incomes. Owing to the modest, reserved building style and the demography of the area it was commonly known as the ‘Scherbenviertel’ (Fragmented Quarter). After the damage caused by World War II, the district was generally used to build social housing.
Because of its location ‘behind the train station’, Stühlinger had otherwise become largely forgotten. When consideration was given to rebuilding the train station and restructuring its urban surroundings in the mid-1980s, it was decided that this ‘area behind the station’ should first be stabilised and value added to its urban architecture by taking targeted measures to improve living spaces and punctuating the district with new buildings, all within a comprehensive planning approach.

Road areas were therefore minimised in favour of pedestrian zones, streets and squares were formed, open spaces and green areas were created, and access was improved by building a bridge for the public transport network. New buildings were also carefully added to create distinctive places to live. Today, Stühlinger is one of the best places to live in Freiburg. It boasts a good population density, proximity and distance, open areas, diversity, a range of different accommodation types, a structure of numerous small plots, a mix of building uses, colourfulness, design quality, accessibility and public services. A lively district was created that found widespread acceptance. The guiding principles of a ‘city of short distances’, ‘urban development along public transport routes’, ‘mixed uses’ and ‘quality of design’ were implemented here in an exemplary manner and the result has received many awards.


The provision of areas to build innovative accommodation has always been promoted in Freiburg and formed the basis for this planning project. During the second half of the 90s, an urban concept was developed for this site – which measured approximately 2 hectares and was owned by Deutsche Bahn AG and the City of Freiburg – and discussed with citizens.

The aim was to construct individual, multi-storey residential buildings as a model group of buildings. Consideration was to be given to the following points:

  • sparing use of land and soil
  • finding concepts for the resource water
  • reducing energy through low energy building design and cogeneration plants
  • minimising personal means of transport

In total, 185 residential units were constructed as complexes in 13 buildings by 9 architectural firms. Architectural diversity and individuality were the defining topics of this planning project. Small ‘building exhibits’ were created – that paid heed to ecological factors.


Streets and squares form ‘public spaces’ together with the buildings that border them, and make up the face of a town or city. Structures of numerous small plots, architectural variety, topography and location-specific features are important factors that have a large impact on this ‘face’. These are what give a place its distinctive character. In addition, the selection of materials, recognising the appropriate design for a particular area and reducing the number of fixed structures to the necessary minimum also contribute significantly to the successful design of impressive open areas.

The ‘assault’ on ‘public spaces’ is set to increase dramatically in the coming years. For this reason it is important to develop sophisticated, sensitive concepts at an early stage so that they can be implemented if necessary. For decades we have adopted this practice with great success in Freiburg and have received many awards which testify to our efforts.


Prof. Dipl. Ing. Architekt Wulf Daseking
August-Ganther Straße 4
79117 Freiburg /Br.
Telefon: +49 761 696205
Telefax: +49 761 6963307

Eintrag Architektenliste der Architektenkammer Baden Würtemberg
Prof. Dipl. Ing. Architekt Wulf Daseking
BW 34489 Freier Architekt

Inhaltlich Verantwortlicher gemäß § 10 Absatz 3 MDStV:
Prof. Dipl. Ing. Architekt Wulf Daseking

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