New center of Passau
With Neue Mitte Passau an urban development project in the Lower Bavarian town will Passau circumscribed led the major to a controversial redesign of parts of the city.
After the knight-von-Scheuring barracks in the Kohlbruck district were dissolved by the German armed forces in 1993, the three-country hall and two other small halls and event space were able to replace the Nibelungen hall in the center and the small parade ground. In a referendum in 2000, the relocation was approved, freeing up this space for redesign.
Another factor was the dismantling of track systems at Passau's main train station , which freed up additional space to be built north of the parade ground.
After the Dreiländerhalle was put into operation at the turn of 2003/2004, the Nibelungenhalle was demolished in the spring of 2004 and construction of the new center began.
In a further referendum in July 2004 a decision was made about the design of the construction project. Here, the version of the city council, which provided for a built-up area of 23,000 m², prevailed against the version of a citizens' initiative that provided for a built-up area of only 15,000 m².
Description of the individual buildings in the Neue Mitte
On the site of the former Nibelungenhalle, the investor Kapfinger Vermögensverwaltung (KVV) created a central building with a multiplex cinema in the basement and various shops on the ground floor and first floor. In the north-west tower of the building there are offices and medical practices and a café on the top floor. This building was completed in early 2007. It is connected underground to the car park to the east, which was completed in 2006.
To the southeast, the so-called Sparda-Haus is directly adjacent to this green building. This was completed in 2008. A branch of the Sparda-Bank Ostbayern of the same name has its headquarters here. This building was also built by KVV. In addition to the bank branch, it mainly houses companies from the healthcare sector on 3,500 m² of rental space.
The central bus station (ZOB) for the city buses of the Passau transport company and some regional buses was built on the forecourt of the building . Initially, the plan was to build over the railway tunnel under the parade ground in order to create a central transfer hub between regional and city bus services. However, this failed due to railway law requirements, as the tunnel in this variant would have been assessed as a new construction and appropriate safety equipment would have had to be retrofitted. So the decision was made for a smaller bus station, which consists of two side bus platforms, an island bus platform and a triangular central bus platform with a service building. This is used by city buses of the Verkehrsbetriebsgesellschaft Passau (VBP) and by regional buses of the RBO, which go to the southwest.
ECE city gallery
The construction of a shopping center, the so-called Stadtgalerie of the investor ECE , began on the vacated railway area . The official opening ceremony was held on the evening of September 9, 2008. The next day the shopping center opened to customers.
Monastery garden and European house
Opposite the Nikola monastery, the monastery garden was a small park on the former site of the small parade ground. In the southeast of this park, the European House was to be a concert and event venue. This construction was rejected by the voters in a referendum in October 2007 due to the construction costs of around 25 million euros and the unconvincing usage concept.
How this free area should be designed is in the current political discussion. A lawn is currently being laid out here. A public toilet was built on the edge of the area at the end of 2008, which was politically controversial because of its cost of 95,000 euros and the fact that it would have to be demolished if the European House was to be built.
After the one-year binding period for the referendum had expired in autumn 2008, the European House Foundation - Passau Concert Hall announced a new concept with which it wanted to start a new attempt at a concert hall. There should also be flexibility in terms of the location here, as the original building site, as mentioned above, is already being built on.
Nibelungen Center "Nice"
Located in the immediate vicinity of the new buildings, the Nibelungen Center was fundamentally renovated by its new owner Merchant Place from July 2007 and reopened in July 2008.
In addition to these buildings, the traffic routing was also changed. The Bahnhofstrasse, on which the traffic in the direction of the Inn was moving, was calmed down and the Ludwigsplatz, which previously only served as traffic in the direction of the Danube, was made passable in both directions. A direct passage around the former parade ground was also blocked in order to keep transit traffic out of this area of the city. For bus traffic, a bus clamp was set up between the central bus station and Bahnhofsstraße so that they could get to and from the central bus station without detours.
Following an election promise made by the new mayor Dupper, the city council decided at the end of July 2008 to open the ring road to through traffic. The aim is to determine how much the traffic load is increasing. If through traffic continues to use the alternative routes offered and the additional load is limited, this opening should be set up permanently. For this purpose, negotiations with the government of Lower Bavaria on a change to the clean air plan based on this traffic management were necessary. After these concerns could be dispelled and the city council faction of the CSU also gave up their resistance, the city council decided on February 11, 2009 unanimously to open the Ringstrasse from February 18, 2009 on a trial basis in all directions for six months. Sensors at the traffic lights should determine the traffic figures in order to determine the effects of the new traffic routing.
In connection with the Neue Mitte project , the citizens of Passau have been asked to vote three times.
On November 12, 2000, a petition against the relocation of the folk festivals “May” and “Herbstdult” from the small parade ground in the Kohlbruck district to the area in front of the Dreiländerhalle was introduced. This was rejected with 65.75%.
Four years later, on July 18, 2004, a council petition and a citizens petition faced each other in a vote. The city council proposed a new center in its current form. The referendum wanted to limit the size and enforce significantly more green spaces. Both requests were accepted in the first round, in the casting vote the council request prevailed with 51.45%.
For the last time so far, the citizens of Passau were called on October 21, 2007 to vote on a project for the new center. This was the so-called "European House", a concert and event house in which, among other things, the European Weeks would have been held. The citizens of Passau, however, rejected the building with 55.07%.
Due to the major interference with the cityscape, critical voices about this project were not lacking. Among other things, the lack of parking spaces at the parade ground, the tariffs for replacement spaces in the multi-storey car park and the insufficient number of parking spaces in the city gallery were criticized. Since the approx. 500 employees require parking spaces, the 700 built parking spaces are not enough for customers and employees.
It was also criticized that the ring road, which connects the western and eastern parts of the New Center, has been closed for passage and therefore longer detours have to be accepted. The opening of the Ringstrasse thus became one of the central election campaign issues. After the election of the SPD candidate Dupper, the city council approved a trial opening (see “Traffic Management”). In addition, the deliveries by truck via the bus route, which is otherwise only permitted for buses, and the associated noise pollution for residents as well as the poorly located upper car park exit directly at the central bus station were criticized.
Another point of criticism was the investors ECE, Raiffeisenbank Oberösterreich and KVV, who allegedly were given too much leeway by the city administration. In this context, the city of Passau brought a lawsuit against a local newspaper that reported on the financial ties between an investor and the city. This process ended in a settlement.
After the tenants of the ECE Stadtgalerie were published in the local press, there were warnings that the companies that had branches in both the Stadtgalerie and the pedestrian zone were withdrawing from the pedestrian zone and concentrating on their branches in the Stadtgalerie, which would result in vacancies . However, City Marketing Passau , which is trying to recruit tenants in the city center, pointed out that there were quite a lot of interested parties for business premises in the pedestrian zone and that vacancy was not to be feared.
Over time, these fears have been confirmed. The negative effects of the shopping center, especially on the pedestrian zone and its vacant retail space, are regularly reported in the local press. The new center and its architecture are now rated as a "construction sin" in the radio and press. The area of the New Center is also regularly in the focus of negative reports, which characterize it as a "social hot spot" and a center of drug, alcohol and violent crimes that are difficult to contain.
- See Kuhnen, Benedikt: "Schöne Bescherung!", In: Pasta. The Passau city magazine. Double edition 12/16 // 1/17.
- See media agency Denk: "Neue Mitte: Kapfinger shows how it works better" press release from November 19, 2013, http://www.buergerblick.de/index.php?AID=0000028312
- Bayerischer Rundfunk / 'Capriccio': "Capriccio Deconstructions Bausünden # 3: Neue Mitte Passau" (August 2016), https://www.facebook.com/br.capriccio/videos/vl.882741285240977/1193354444040264/?type=1
- See e.g. B. http://www.wochenblatt.de/nachrichten/passau/regionales/Passau;art1173,362351 ; http://www.pnp.de/region_und_lokal/stadt_und_landkreis_passau/passau_stadt/2278056_99-Platzverweise-Klostergarten-und-ZOB-in-Passau-bleiben-Brennpunkt.html ; http://www.mediendenk.de/index.php?AID=0000008807