Freising Waterscapes Team 6 2022

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Area Freising
Place Upper Bavaria
Country Germany
Topics water areas, landscape, society, public
Author(s) Anastasiia Puzeikina, Farhin Esmaeilian, Jaromir Janszen, Pasu Vascharaprakarn, Louisa Schleicher


Moosach, a 38 Kilometers long river, is a tributary of the Isar river near Munich, Bavaria, Germany.

Moosach, as a main water area of Freising, has played a significant role in characterizing Freising’s landscape for centuries.

Recently, urbanization, climate change, population growth, and construction have negatively affected water systems.

As a result, study and analysis of the Moosach waterscape would be vital for the river and its influenced area such as environment, nature, society, economy, land use, and settlement.

Location and scope

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Water as a natural system

Geomorphology, typologies and dynamics of water areas

The landscape of the Freising waterscape is defined by the hillside on the northern part of the area.

The southern part of the area is a valley. This in large part determines the way of waterflow in the area.

The Moosach is a part of the larger Danube watershed.

Flood risk is a rising threat in the waterscape of Freising. It is clearly visible the projections for a 100-year flood would risk a large part of build upon area.

This needs to be considered for the rest of the project.

The geomorphological story of the area is largely defined by the alps to the south and upstream to the Isar and Moosach.

The alps create sediments in the area of gravel and larger rocks. The direct influence of the Alps cannot be underestimated.

Water as a living space

All life on earth appeared from water, so it is not surprising that the river Moosach is home to a huge number of plants, animals and other species. And many of them are protected or even endangered.

For example, such as Hungarian gentian, Green shield-moss, Star Swertia for plants; Common Tern, Common Sandpiper, Little Ringed Plover for birds; Moor frog and Danube salmon.

All of them need habitats to live and protection. And this should be taken into account when planning the future landscape.

The number of the population is growing, as a result of which urbanization is expanding, which can negatively affect habitats and the quality of water.

Blue and Green Infrastructure

The blue and green infrastructure in the plan area is significant but fractured. The hillside to the north houses large forest areas with a great variety of species.

There are (extensive) grasslands in the valley and both are of significant proportions.

The Isar river is an extensive line in the landscape with large importance to other natural areas as a green corridor.

The Isar river was planted with alluvial forests for flood control and form a green infrastructure in the landscape.

The problem that arises is the fragmentation of these nature biotopes.

Large roads cut through ecological connections which makes both biotopes more prone to instability.

The grassland areas are located in the middle of intensive farmlands. As these two grasslands have a completely different need for nutrients, these two functions don’t work together.

Water as a cultural space

Land use and water

The most of the land of Freising region is covered by farmlands and fields. Munich airport also occupies a fairly large territory.

The forests are mainly concentrated along the Isar river and in the northwest of Freising. There is also a fairly well-developed transport network in the region, both with roads for cars and bicycles, as well as a railway.

Earlier in the past, Freising was a center of trade, but with the development of Munich, the city lost its central role.

Now the leading role in the region is occupied by farms and the food industry, and the presence of the Munich airport also plays a big role in the industrial load.

Water equals life, both for animals, plants, and for humans. It provides a huge amount of ecosystem services:

people use water in all areas of everyday life, for drinking, for washing, for cooking. People swim in the water, they go fishing, use water in enterprises and technologies.

With the development of industry, water was increasingly used in production. In order to plan a sustainable landscape in the future, it is necessary to develop ways to better purify water and limit pollution.

Even with increasing industrialization, it is necessary to maintain a balance between the desires and needs of man and nature.

Cultural and spatial typologies of water areas

From the study sections of Moosach, we can see that in the downtown area Moosach was shaped by retaining wall and hardscape. Including the existing of the building, road and plaza.

  • Section 1 show the hill side, forest and grass lawn beside Moosach. People use this pathway along Moosach for recreation activities. Especially, go for a walk and riding bicycle.
  • Section 2 show the section on the new development of Moosach. The riverbank become step for people to sit and enjoy. Café put table and chairs beside the river.
  • Section 3 show the limit area between building. Moosach in that area is about 3 m. wide. And on the right side the building was attached to the river.
  • Section 4 show a public park with step down to river. People can reach Moosach and enjoy the beauty of nature in the downtown area.
  • Section 5 show some pathway in the downtown which row of tree and nice atmosphere. Some part of Moosach was shaped by retaining wall and hardscape.

Sacred spaces and heritage

Since Freising is a very ancient city - 500 years older than Munich, there are quite a lot of protected places and architectural monuments in it, as well as in the surrounding area.

The leading role among them, of course, is occupied by churches and cathedrals.

The entire Freising center is also an object of historical heritage and protection.

There are also a lot protected forests in the area, for example Garchinger Heide and Oberdingermoos.

The following pictures show a time travel from the ice age to the present status.

The most important points were picked out, which show how the landscape around the Moosach has changed over time (by man) and which qualities we have lost in the process.

Visual appearance and landscape narrative

Most of the sketch show relationship between nature and urban area.

  • Sketch No 1 show the public park that close to a bridge. This bridge become focal point and view of the public park.
  • Sketch No 2 show the water gate. People try to control the river by some way.
  • Sketch No.3 show the Mooscach out of downtown area. The river surround by nature, tree and forest.

Water and People

Accessibility and usability

By using the cycling and hiking paths map and overlaying that with the existing river structure, we can draw conclusions to the accessibility of the river.

The Isar is especially well accessible for walking and cycling. People can get all the way up to the waterside.

The Moosach river, which is the most prominent part of this project is a completely different story, large parts of the river are not easily visible or accessible.

This is most prominent close to town. On the southwestern of side of Freising. Getting closer to Munich the cycling paths especially get denser and getting to see the Moosach river gets more probable.

The Amper, another river on the western side of the area is a very mixed result. Some parts are easily accessible but in the cut-out of this plan area the Amper is not easily usable or accessible.

Community Mapping

Stakeholders, meaning all people with some sort of stake in a particular landscape are an essential part of landscape analysis. Looking at individuals or groups of people can be a catalyst for future development.

For the waterscape of Freising we found the following stakeholders. These are internal and external users of this landscape.

For example, the ‘city dweller is a resident of Munich and visits the area sometimes for a day or two. This stakeholder had completely different needs and goals looking at this landscape then for example a ‘town dweller’ who would be permanently living in Freising. We as a group would also like to give a voice to ‘the unheard’ this group of stakeholders has a large part and dependency on this landscape but not a place at the table where decisions are made. These ‘unheard’ are ‘The river’ and ‘Flora and Fauna’. As a stakeholder we included the nature conservation and restoration groups. These can be a voice for ‘the unheard’. Some larger groups such as recreation can be split up in multiple stakeholders. A ‘nature dweller’ has completely different goals in recreation to a ‘path walker’

There is a discrepancy between the financial and physical power in this landscape. In addition, internally in financial or physical power there can be clashes occurring between stakeholders.

Farmers have a large portion of land use in the area. Therefore, they have a large part in the story and future of this landscape. All the while this group has not comparable financial means to make all these expectations from us as a society happen.

This in opposition to the airport who own six percent of land of the plan area and are highly overrepresented in the financial power over this landscape. ‘The unheard’ have a lot of area and therefore power in this waterscape but don’t have the financial power to keep the status quo or better their power position.

All these groups have some sort of relation to each other. Whether good or bad. The most important part of this map is in the center. Almost all stakeholders have a big dependency on the river and flora & fauna.

A lot of stakeholders have a positive one-sided relation with these two. This means they take a lot, and don’t give much back. This is an unsustainable position to be in for the long run. Commercial industry, in this case the airport has a neutral or negative impact on the landscape.

Possible Futures

The studied area of Freising contains a wide range of factors ranging from strengths to weaknesses. Freising as a context of the Moosach river has been assessed to define its potential and countering risks.  

Considering various aspects of Freising water spaces drivers, pressures, and possible responses led to four predictable scenarios. Based on two determining criteria of room for water and urbanization, future scenarios have been illustrated.  

Collaborative Goal Setting

From our analysis of Moosach river PESTLE and DPSIR-Framework lead to some direction on the landscape area. The strategic that we use for the landscape are No-regret measurement and Growth of Population. No-regret measures address current vulnerabilities and focus on increasing the ability of ecosystems and communities to cope with current environmental pressures and climate variability.

They provide a benefit now, a benefit in the future, and potentially provide a benefit whether or not the projected climate changes become reality. At the global level population growth is determined by the number of births and deaths. To understand the likely trajectory for population growth we need to examine how births and deaths are changing – and, one level deeper, what is happening to those factors which in turn affect them.

Increasing life expectancy and falling child mortality in every country are of course increasing population numbers. The countervailing trend are falling fertility rates – the trend of couples having fewer children is what brought rapid population growth to an end in many countries already, and what will bring an end to rapid population growth globally. We are looking at all of these drivers separately. Population growth is how births, deaths, and migration are driving population growth. There we are also discussing the demographic transition as the central concept that explains why rapid population growth is another strategy plan for us. These 2 strategies lead to some criteria measurement as below. In each criteria we have already list all the possibility aspect that can happen.

More extensive farming on a regional scale

  • extreme regional including all resources - The city that include all the infrastructure and can generate their own energy form existing resource.
  • only local growing conditions - The city that rely on their own resource.
  • technical solution - The city that use the new technology to create energy to utilize in the area.

Sustainable economic growth

  • Focus more on local food production

A need for mobility (technology)

  • Extremely connect with public transport (airport grow)
  • Extremely dense of road net work (airport stay the same)
  • Only local mobility (reduce airport area)

Climate change adaption of river

  • Giant green buffer - Green area become the buffer zone to make privacy for the city.
  • Remeandering - Green area is the part of the city.
  • Swamp / Marsh land - The flood protection area around Moosach become the recreation area.

A need for recreational open spaces

  • Green corridor network - Green area that merge to the city.
  • Stepping stone - Green area was fragmented into small area around the city.
  • Big central garden - One green area that become public space for all habitat.

Inclusive thinking between stakeholders (Farming and recreation)

  • Farm Park for recreation

Biodiversity restoration

  • Giant green buffer - Green area become the buffer zone to make privacy for the city.
  • Swamp / Marsh land - The flood protection area around Moosach become the recreation area.
  • National Park - Green area need to be preserve as a national park.

Increase of green energy (no nuclear)

  • Wind turbine in every house - All the house has their own energy generator.
  • Clustered - One center energy plant that generate energy for the whole city.
  • Import green energy - No space for energy plant then imported from outside.

A need for more communication (Community in a smaller scale)

  • Neighbor hood society ( 50-100 members) - Due to the slightly increase of population.
  • Vertical neighbor hood community ( 200-300 members) - Due to the soar of population
  • Public space for activities

From our process and analysis, we set up 5 goals

  1. Extensive Farming
  2. Biodiversity
  3. Mobility
  4. River adaptation
  5. Recreation


Spatial Strategy and Transect

From the measurements above we can specify 3 landscape scenarios which totally difference in term of landscape and geological aspect.

1.Densified City with compact blue - In this scenario, we believe that the population increase significantly then we have limited space to expand the city. While we still keep the green area, forest, landscape preserve area, and ecology system. We have to improve the capacity in the existing settlement area. The small individual house changes to hi-rise and row rise buildings with multi-story to increase capacity. The Road network become denser due to the development of the city. The road system will be categorized into main roads, avenues, streets, and alleys to meet the development of the city. The concept is to keep the existing green area such as forests, landscape protection areas, etc. as much as possible. So, we still keep swamps and marshlands and make a clear territory of the city away from the green and protection areas. Then turn all the green areas to be a big central garden which can be a national park as well were become the public space for all activities such as sport and recreation for all residents. While the city area is used for accommodation and the green area is protected. There is not enough space for the energy plant. The green energy needs to be imported from outside to preserve the green area and ecosystem.

2.Landscape City with coherent blue - In this scenario we believe that the population will grow stable then the house and accommodation will turn out to be more individual. All the house and building have their own energy generator. The whole city relies on an existing resource. Due to more space in the city, the landscape can merge into the city and combine to be one part of the habitat's daily life. All the roads covered by rows of trees then become green corridors that connect all the areas in the city together. The use of airports is decreasing due to the low transportation. People use more local mobility and most of the city relies on their own existing resources. So, the airport area will be reduced. In overall, the character of the city will be a neighborhood community with green areas farmland, and landscape protection areas.

3. Regio Pole with connected blue- This scenario is based on the hypothesis that the population grows moderately. Regio Pole category for smaller cities below the metropolis status within the centralized structure with an elevated status in the extended metropolitan areas of interdependence. The city is separated into major areas and minor areas which connect to each other by a transportation network. The airport expands to serve the growth of transportation as well. The house turns to be multi-story building to increase the capacity of the resident. Landscape protection area, forest, and green area are combined to be a big green buffer to buffer the accommodation area from the transportation network. The public park was fragmented to be pocket parks and small parks then scatter all over the city to serve the resident in their neighborhoods area. A specific area was preserved to be farmland with a solar farm and wind turbine for generating green energy to serve the city.

From Theory of Change to Implementation

To realize our vision, of course, interaction and partnership of many parties are necessary. Naturally, close interaction with representatives of the city and regional administration and government and relevant departments is necessary. It is also impossible to imagine the embodiment of a vision without the participation of stakeholders and consultations with specialists from various fields: architects, planners, environmentalists, engineers, and so on.

Volunteers can be a big help in the project, especially if you include an agreement on voluntary cooperation.

Everything always starts with an idea, but its implementation always requires resources and, not least, permission from the higher administration. If permission from higher authorities is received, then it is necessary to develop a project and plan with the involvement of various specialists, professionals, and stakeholders. As for resources, the rule of four M can be very well applied here: men (human recourses), money (grants and donations), materials, and management.










Process Reflection

In the process of working on a project in a team, we encountered various challenges. Starting with the departure of one member of our original team from the university and the practical collapse, and ending with the unification with members of another team. The second big challenge was the internationality of our team. Naturally, this was a big plus, we were able to learn a lot about different cultures and different approaches to work and skills, but we also had to take into account cultural differences in communication and perception of information. We have learned both to be more direct in expressing our own opinions and criticism (for some team members), and to be less harsh and direct and use slightly softer language (for other team members). Probably one of the key challenges for us was the different perceptions of the time needed to think and respond. For some team members, this is five to ten minutes while for others it takes a little more time to think everything over, understand and decide for themselves in which direction to move on.Also, in working on our project, it helped us a lot that we had different experiences in different disciplines. Combining the knowledge of architects, urbanists and landscape architects has been very successful. In any case, despite our differences, we managed to overcome all difficulties and successfully work as a team.

The living labs also helped us a lot, where we could get even more feedback, not only from professors and professionals, but also from students of various universities and areas of specialization. It also helped us to work on our project.