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Filderstudie: How is the region around the airport developing?

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4/9/2019

Experts predict an enormous boom for the region around Stuttgart Airport and the new long-distance railway station in the coming decades. More and more companies and people will be looking for a new home here. This is the result of the so-called Filder Study, which shows what is likely to happen and possible consequences.

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How will the Filder region develop in the coming decades? This was the question that the Frankfurt city planning office Albert Speer und Partner addressed intensively last year on behalf of the Verband Region Stuttgart and the “Kommunaler Arbeitskreis Filder (KAF)”. The experts compiled their results in the trend-setting Filder Study, an expert report that has meanwhile garnered much attention and been discussed not only in those communities concerned. Among other things, numerous suggestions from associations and institutions involved in the process at an early stage formed the basis of the study. "This study shows the chances of development beyond market boundaries", states Christoph Traub, Mayor of Filderstadt.

Even more attractive for companies

Among other things, the study examines what consequences there could be for the region if the new Filder station were to go into operation in a few years' time, thus creating a new mobility hub for long-distance and regional transport. As part of the expansion of the infrastructure, it will in future be possible to reach every location on the Filder within 20 minutes. From the Stuttgart basin, the journey to the airport will take only 8 minutes (currently 27 minutes), Tübingen is only half an hour away and cities such as Frankfurt and Munich will also move much closer to the Filder region. The study states: "This opens up a new location-time framework that offers accessibility and communication advantages for the increasingly knowledge-based economy".

In other words, the entire region will be much more accessible in the near future. As a direct consequence of this improved accessibility, the planners expect a noticeable population increase in the entire Filder region. At the same time, they assume that the booming region will then be even more attractive for companies that want to settle in the outstanding area of Stuttgart Airport and are looking for a location here. This requires space and the authors of the study recommend that the local character in the towns themselves should be preserved. The study forecasts increased competition for land in the future. On the one hand, there is a need for agricultural land with high-quality soil and protected countryside and on the other, a pressing demand for land for settlement and commercial use. Existing business parks such as Stuttgart Airport City in the heart of the Filder region will become even more attractive in view of these developments.

Scenarios for the future

From the results, the planners have developed three different possible scenarios. The first scenario envisages a concentration around the traffic hub airport A8 and B27, the second possibility considers decentralised transit hubs and the third looks at "uncoordinated development". The study, however, strongly advises against this third option as it is not effective. Instead, it is recommended to aim for a combination of the first two variants. For example, the planners suggest that a large business belt should be created around the airport, from which communities such as Leinfelden-Echterdingen, Filderstadt, Neuhausen or Ostfildern could particularly benefit. This is because the space available in the communities for their own business parks is becoming increasingly scarce. In addition, further growth along the development axes should be shared across the entire Filder area, especially near public transport stops.

According to the planners, the result of this approach would also preserve the diverse landscape. Since its publication, the study has been the subject of discussion, but city planners and politicians agree on one thing in spite of all the pros and cons: the Filder study offers the opportunity to jointly consider the development of the Filder future region beyond community boundaries and to plan beyond the boundaries of the district. The attractiveness of the region for companies and people is enormous. The earlier the course is set, the better.