The most important partner of the project developer is the citizen

08 SEP 2020
Ehret + Klein Greece_The most important partner of the project developer is the citizen

As a project developer and managing partner at ehret+klein, Michael Ehret accompanies new urban districts from the conception to the occupancy of the users. The graduate civil engineer, real estate economist (ebs) and Master of Science in European Construction Management therefore knows the city, its needs and the important levers in the design process very well. In the podcast Munich Next Level, he and Marco Eisenack talk about responsible project development that can pave the way for Munich’s urban future.

Listening and looking

"When I deal with neighborhoods or urban development today, it has a lot to do with the fact that we don't approach such properties through architecture, but first through listening and looking and understanding. By understanding the neighborhoods, here comes the understanding of the integration of such projects into an urban space," says Michael Ehret.

For a project developer, the open and dialogue-oriented approach to the redesign of a site by ehret+klein seems quite unusual. But only through an early and intensive dialogue with the citizens who live or work there, the needs and assets of a building can become clear and only in this way a tailor-made and successful use can be discovered.

Subsidized commercial construction

"But - and this is precisely our task, and that of all project developers and builders and property owners - we have to maintain this diversity," emphasizes Michael Ehret. The focus on diversity is particularly evident in the mixed-use neighborhoods developed by ehret+klein. They correspond to a coordinated mix of commercial, residential, commercial, and cultural uses. This vertical and horizontal mixed use supports a lively and diverse city. And it is important to promote this in view of the ecological challenges and the threat of gentrification in conurbations.

In his opinion, a regulation such as the SoBoN (Sozialgerechte Bodennutzung - Socially Responsible Land Use) could therefore be a sensible measure to preserve long-established and socially valuable commercial units. In this way, local jobs, the general quality of life and the identity of a neighborhood are preserved at the same time.

Project development is a responsible task

"I think urban, or neighborhood development is a very responsible task," says Michael Ehret. In addition to political measures such as a socially supported trade, he therefore pleads for variety and diversity and for framework conditions that also make experiments sensible and lucrative for project developers.

Creative interim use

An experiment probably also includes a creative interim use, which ehret+klein makes possible together with its project partners Bauwens & Büschl in Bayerstraße 25 at Munich's main railway station. As part of an interim use, the former bank branch will become the co-creation space BREAKOUT - a central place for creative workers - from February to December 2020. It will be run by the MUCBOOK team in cooperation with the competence team for cultural and creative industries of the City of Munich. Creative professionals and start-ups can rent affordable and central space here and exchange ideas across sectors.

Click here for the full podcast episode