The site Am Alten Güterbahnhof in Duisburg, Germany, is an area of 30 hectares, formerly used as a freight yard, directly south of the main railway station. It is a prime inner-city location, close to other large urban development projects. So the question of how this brownfield should be transformed into a mixed-use urban quarter has become a central question for the city, experts and citizens alike. While the citizens can have their say thanks to online participation, launched by real estate firm GEBAG and the Municipality of Duisburg, the official procedure for the urban and open space planning competition for the site's development has started in summer 2020.

A total of 17 teams had submitted their designs in the first phase of the competition. The jury - which includes Lord Mayor Sören Link and Bernd Wortmeyer, Managing Director of GEBAG - has selected seven projects that have shown the most significant potential for further work. KCAP with Berlin based landscape architects Lützow 7 are among the selected teams.

The proposal with the title 'Perlenkette Duisburg' is based on the in-depth knowledge of urban development in recent decades: the future is not predictable and urban development is a broad social process. Only if a plan can anticipate these two factors, it can be successful.

So the plan by KCAP and Lützow 7 - developing in easily adjustable steps - fosters the connection of the three different spatial identities that characterise the area: in the North, the 'Duisburg Vestibule', the arrival space coming from the highway A59. In the centre, the 'Central Green', with the Loveparade Memorial and in the South the 'Duisburg Gardens', where the open space intertwines with the built area. Here we find a mixed-use neighbourhood combining work and life offering various housing types to create a dense, inclusive, and sustainable quarter with an innovative mobility concept and possibly a school.

The proximity to the railway station is an unique opportunity for the city of Duisburg to realize a connected, compact, mixed and low-carbon urban district that can become part of a pearl-chain of parks of Duisburg's green ring.

The seven selected teams will now revise their designs in the second phase of the competition while the citizens can share their ideas with the planners on the dedicated website.

In March, the jury will select the winner of the competition. The resulting design will be the basis for further planning regarding the development plan and the urban development framework plan. The project is expected to be completed in 2030.