WAVE Team 4 Nuertingen 2021

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Area Baden-Württemberg
Place Nürtingen
Country Germany
Topics WAVE project
Author(s) Arash Najafi,Md Ekbal Hossaini,Mohadese Bagheri,Samira Shirzad,Yuga Tanaka
Nuertingen WAVE Team 4.jpg


  • Why do you think this case is relevant? What is your hypothesis considering the landscape challenges?

Overcoming the flooding is One of the biggest challenges of the Neckar River, especially one of its tributaries, Tiefenbach. Due to urban development and other factors, many parts of the river have changed and are out of their original form. This region has many cultural and social potentials that can be developed in the desired direction by planning.

Location and scope

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Water as a natural system

Geomorphology, typologies and dynamics of water areas

  • Describe the water areas of your area in the contxt of the wider water system

The River Neckar in Germany starts from the Black Forest the southwest of Baden-Württemberg at a height of 706m above sea level and it continues 362 kilometers long and it passes through Nürtingen city and reaches river Rhine at a height of 95m above the sea level.

  • How does water appear in the landscape of your living lab? What types of water areas are common?

Neckar River is one of the most significate river in Nurtingen living lab. The river Neckar flows north and northeast, along the northwestern edge of the Swabian Alb passing Nürtingen and other small cities and melt into the river Rhine. There are some small river namely Tiefenbnach Steinach, Aich, Marbach, Aischenbach formed from Neckar river in the Nurtingen area. There are three types of water area are common on this living lab. - Rivers water - Tributaries water - Lakes water (Standing Water)

  • Please identify the water bodies' catchment areas, tributaries and floodplains

The main sources of water in the living lab are rivers and their tributaries among them river Neckar is the most significant. Furthermore also some Lakes are contributes water they are oberer fischersee, unterer fischersee, Beutwangsee and tiefen-loch-see.

Basic catchment area of Nürtingen living lab river basin. Tiefenbnach and Rietbach river basin have 1,981 km2 catchment area. Neckar, steinach and tiefenbach river basin have 157 km2 catchment area. Neckar, seebach and steinach river basin have 473 km2 catchment area. Steinach and Humpfenbach river basin have 1,522 km2 catchment area. Steinach, Plaice tobel and Humpfenbach river basin have 999 km2 catchment area. Neckar, Tiefenbach and Aich river basin have 777 km2 catchment area.

Flooding is the most significant challenge/issue for the Nürtingen living lab. Municipality identifies some specific floodplains area and implements a plan for flood protection zone surrounding Neckar River. Also, there are some flood protection dams that partially save Nürtingen city from floods.

  • Which dynamics do these water areas have?
  • Have there been any flood events in the past?

There have been 4 floods in Neckar History: In 1926 The Saubach overflowed its banks, in 1978 Flood in Oberensingen and on the B313, in 1990 Flood in Neckarhausen, in 2013 Neckar flood, city center Nürtingen.

  • add 2-3 graphical representations to the image gallery, you can add more if you like

Water as a living space

  • Which habitats can be found in and along the water areas of your area?
  • How is the water quality in your water areas?

Unfortunately Water quality in this region is declining annually, based on samples taken in parts of the river, the average pH of water in 1995 was 8.2, in 2000 8.2, and in 2018 about 8.4. This indicates that factors have caused the water of this river to become acidic.

  • Which areas are still natural, which are urbanised/artificial?

Around the city centre, the river structures are "completely changed", the river goes under ground, and "very much changed" so to speak artificial river. However, along the land use of agricultural and forest is quite natural.

  • Are the rivers permeable for fish or blocked by artificial elements?(approx 200 signs)
  • add 1-2 graphical representations to the image gallery, you can add more if you like

Blue and Green Infrastructure

  • What are the major potential elements of a green/blue infrastructure network? Are these likely to change/disappear? Why is that?

In 2018 and 2019, the city of Nürtingen and BUND, together with other actors, will implement several biotope network measures. These serve as models for other municipalities and cities and have a pioneering role within Nürtingen for future biotope network measures. Renovate dry stone walls: Dry stone walls are not only useful for sand lizards and wild bees, which love sunny spots, as a habitat. Rather, they protect the ground from slipping on slopes and make up the unmistakable character of our cultural landscape. On the Grubberg in Nürtingen-Oberensingen, many dry stone walls have fallen into disrepair and are overgrown with nettles and grasses. As a result, they are shaded, damp, and no longer fulfill the functions mentioned above. In cooperation with the nature conservation associations BUND and NABU, the city of Nürtingen is promoting the renovation of the walls. Promote biodiversity in the field: The northwest of Nürtingen is known as an intensive arable area with special crops such as strawberries and asparagus. The aim here is to develop stepping stones rich in flowers and wild plants, which enable a higher number of species and individuals of insects such as butterflies and grasshoppers. Together with the plant seeds, these can serve as food for endangered fields bird species such as the skylark, the gray bunting, or the partridge. Farmers who want to give a piece back to nature provide their own areas for this purpose. Good to know: If you own or cultivate grassland or arable land, you can receive financial compensation under certain conditions, for example, if you leave fields and roadsides unsprayed or develop fallow land. Talk to us if you are interested in the natural design of your space! The Neckar bike path in Nürtingen and the surrounding area: One of the most important and valuable elements of Green Infrastructure in this region is The Neckar bike path in Nürtingen. This beautiful cycling route is about 370 km long and is one of the best and most attractive cycling routes in Germany. The main purpose of this route is to create a beautiful view along the river. Locals use this route to access different parts of the city. This Path connects the blue and green infrastructure near Neckar River.

  • You find my background material on green infrastructure in our reading list
  • add 1-2 graphical representations to the image gallery, you can add more if you like

Water as a cultural space

Land use and water

  • map the land uses along your water areas: settlements, infrastructure, agriculture, resource extraction, natural areas, energy production...
  • describe in particular the historical evolution of land use pattern, please make use of historical maps

The city of Nürtingen has undergone many changes in settlement areas over the past decades. The expansion of the industrial area through the destruction of gardens and farms is very significant. According to Nürtingen historical maps, there were many wine gardens, which over time gave way to various agricultural lands.

  • description evolution, status quo and driving forces, is the land use likely to change? Why is that? (approx 200 signs)

According to Natura 2000, many green areas are protected and changes are fully controlled. According to future plans to prevent floods, there is a possibility of changes in the residential and industrial parts of the city.

  • add 1-2 graphical representations to the image gallery, you can add more if you like

Cultural and spatial typologies of water areas

  • Which spatial patterns have evolved in relation to your water areas?

Referring to the old historical postcards and photos, the Neckar River was a very natural form in 1683. We can point out that river has a role to supply water energy and production. Until 1855, the riverside had been in a natural state and agricultural land use.

  • What is the role of water areas within the overall urban morphology? (approx 200 signs)

 In the course of the city's development, as depicted in the pictures and photographs, the urban landscape with its farms, churches, and historical buildings around the Neckar River was the core of Nürtingen. From the photographic material that we have been able to collect, we can see that in 1683 Nürtingen played a role in the supply of water and energy for agriculture, and in 1817 the first factory of the Baumwollspinnerei Otto (cotton mill) was established in Nürtingen, which marked the beginning of the development of the industrial city. From 1927 onwards, the city was partly transformed and a power station was built to harness the water power of the Neckar River. From the old maps that could be collected, it can be seen that in the 1980s, the Tiefenbach River, a tributary of the Neckar River, was partly covered by the ground in the city center and the northern part of the city center was developed. In 2013, the Neckar River was revisited as a sustainable waterfront space with the creation of a fish migration bypass and recreational spaces for people such as decks. sustainable waterfront space.

  • add 1-2 graphical representations to the image gallery, you can add more if you like

Sacred spaces and heritage

  • Which places/elements hold cultural value and to whom?

・Since Nürtingen is a very old city (dating back to the 6th and 7th centuries) there are places and elements of historical value in it, especially in the central part of the city, which are of great importance for both citizens and tourists. These historical places also have an important identity role for the city.

・Here are some of these historic sites: ・City Church of Saint Laurentius (Laurentiuskiche): Laurentius is located on a hill by the river Neckar. It is a landmark that dominates the town of Nürtingen. Dedicated to St. Laurentius (St. Lawrence),the original church was probably built in the 10th or11th century. ・Historic old town : The location of the old town centre of Nürtingen on the spur of a hill overlooking the Neckar Valley, with a far-reaching view over the surrounding countryside and a dominant position over the Neckar crossing, indicates that the original site was of strategic importance. ・The town hall ・The Block tower: The Block tower was built in 15 century.

  • You may add a map and some images, please also explain in your caption why these elements are valuable

Visual appearance and landscape narrative

  • Which elements are essential for the landscape character?

The water area like River Neckar and other river are the most significant natural element of the Nurtingen. Water area are actually shape the Nurtingen city and made it as unique landscape rather than other landscape. More extend, most importance influence of the rivers on the landscape is biodiversity of the river area. Also the river side used as a recreation space of the city people. The protected lands cape area, Agriculture and vegetation land, Parks, children playground, recreational space and trees play a big role to made this landscape to live able environment for the local community and other species like birds. The unique architecture of this area define this landscape differently from other. The most famous and historical structure of the city is Nurtingen Church and its tower. The tall tower of church used as a landmark of the landscape.

  • Has the landscape been painted or otherwise depicted, when and whom? Which elements are essential?

German Cartographer Andreas Kieser in 1683 made a cartography about Nurtingen for a book called forest inventory. The cartography represented the overall view of the Nurtingen city. In closely the landscape of Neckar river with its tributaries, Agriculture land beside the river, Architecture of the of the Nurtingen and the historical historical tower of Nurtingen church. A postcard made of 1945 about Nurtingen. The postcard represented the market, street, fountain, town hall, historic center of the nurtingen.

  • Which narratives exist? Who has written about this landscape or depicted it in some way?

On the one hand, there are several photographs and also hand drawings of the downtown building especially the Church of the Saint Laurentius Laurentıuskiche that published by Stadt Nürtingen. These paintings helped us to figure out the landscape structure of Nürtingen at that time since the details are shown more clear by exact scales and colors. Many of the gravures or paintings belong to Andreas Kieser who painted in the 1600s in terms of different aspects of landscape and topography. On the other hand, major scientific documents created by the Umwelt Baden Württemberg as statistics or different maps especially after the flood that happened in 1978.

Water and People

Accessibility and usability

  • Where are your water areas accessible, and where not? How strong are spatial obstacles preventing access?

 People can access and stay in places like calm and stable areas. Rocks, benches, and other places present comfortably to stay longer. An area with a mixture of inaccessible spaces and comfortable spaces, such as flat areas or slopes where people can sit, contributes to both ecology and people. On the other hand, like steep path and artificial river like a dike, will keep people away.

  • Who is using the spaces and how?

On the riverside path, people of diverse ages enjoy cycling, jogging, and walking. On the deck overhanging the river, runners and walkers stop for a short break to admire the scenery and enjoy small conversations. Most young people enjoy talking in the sand area and flat area as a group. Where the water is flowing at such a speed that it becomes a pool for fish, there are people fishing. If the riverside is farmland, there is no space for people to stop and the river is close to its natural state. At the gentle steep very close to the river, the family enjoys playing in the water with dogs. One to two people sit and gaze at the riverscape surrounded by green and calm areas.

Community Mapping

What is to be mapped here?

  • Social groups from within the community, for example the youth, kids, students, parents, the retired etc. Typically, these groups have specific needs, which you can also make explicit on the map. These people might not be organized in any way, but they are usually present in the context you are observing
  • Local stakeholder groups: these groups are organized in one or the other way. They only exist within the community context you are observing. For example: the local community center, local churches, local interest groups, the landowners, small businesses and retailers
  • External stakeholder groups are not necessarily present in the environment you are observing, but they may have strong stakes and interests. These can be local authorities, politicians, associations, care services etc.
  • For each group, you may identify their needs, objectives, power and capacities
  • You may also identify gaps and power conflicts
  • Please try to redepict these elements in an integrated way and in relation to your water landscape. What is the relationship between these groups? Are they close or distanced from each other? Who is more powerful? Which voices are hardly heard? Do they have any shared concerns?

Possible Futures

  • You can summarize your findings with a SWOT diagram and a DPSI(R) Model

We showed the SWOT and DPSIR model in the images below.

According to our problems and goals for this river some of Sustainable Development Goals are at more risk. For example because of high flood risk 3. Good Health and Well-being Goal is at risk. In other hand because of river that goes under ground we can say Goal number 14. Life Below Water is in danger. Also because of less accessibility to the river and no natural river side its clear that Goal number 15. Life on Land is at risk. So From Sustainable Development Goals these are at risk in this Area. 1. Good Health and Well-being 2. Life Below Water 3. Life on Land.

  • What is your worst case scenario for this landscape?

Our worst case scenario is a world with unsustainable agriculture, not planned urbanization and high flood risk due to global warming. In this world controlling natural river side and keep being healthy is not possible. because human and climate change controls the environment actions and everything would be dangerous. Not just for human, but for any other species around the river. This is the scenario number 3 with the name of : The War Between Man and Nature.

  • What is your best case scenario for this landscape?

Our best case scenario is a world with sustainable agriculture and planned urbanization. River is accessible, natural, with good quality of water and water level balance with high biodiversity. Also Risk of flood in so low and people enjoy the healthy and beautiful environment. Air and soil around the river are clean. This is the scenario number 1 with the name of : Human and Nature as Best Friend

  • Present your scenarios in the form of a collage or sketch
  • Add text and visuals

Collaborative Goal Setting

  • Define strategic planning objectives based on the evaluation findings from your analysis

After analyzing we found three main problem such as high flood risk, no accessibility to the river and river under ground. Base on these problems we defined some goals and prioritized them from the most important including : 1.Flood Protection, 2.Biodiversity,3.Sustainable Agriculture, 4.Natural River Side,5.River Accessibility,6.Sustainable Urbanization.

  • Ideally, involve the community of your living labs into this process
  • Link back to your original targets from section one and the Development Goals
  • 150 words text contribution

Spatial Strategy and Transect

  • translate your strategic goals into a vision

From goals and strategies that we have our vision is All living beings around the Tiefenbach river will live together in health, peace and love. for mission we tried to answer 4 question, What how why and for whom ? Our mission is (What?) We design to bring back the river more natural, more biodiverse and safe from flood, (How?) by making a good design (why?) for solving the environmental issues and have sustainable area (for whom?) for all the current and future generation and also for the nature.

  • develop a spatial translation of your vision

From the vision and Mission of our team, we developed some spatial strategic points like: Make River more wider, Water Restoration at upper stream, Make the place for water retention, Green spaces around the river, Prevent pollution of groundwater by agricultural wastewater, Protection of forest cover and natural pastures, Making a Buffer , Control amount of pesticides in the water, Extensive agriculture, Renovation Covered water, Move some artificial far from riverside, Green riparian, Create continuous routes for pedestrians, Creating recreational area, green belt around river, Green architecture, Planning based on sustainable development approach

  • exemplify your vision in the form of a transect with concrete interventions
  • add map(s) and visualizations

From Theory of Change to Implementation

  • For implementing your vision: Which partnerships are needed? Which governance model is required?
  • Who needs to act and how? Draw and explain a change/process model/timeline
  • Which resources are needed? On which assets can you build?
  • add 150 words text and visuals


Process Reflection

  • Reflect in your intercultural and interdisciplinary team on the outcomes of your study
  • Which limitations were you facing?

Due to the current and pandemic situation, we faced many limitations. For example, it was very difficult to reach a collective agreement on the online meetings, because the team members were far from each other and not together, and time management was difficult. Also, due to the absence of most members of the group on the site, analysis and review was the responsibility of only one member of the group.

  • What have you learnt from each other?

We have learned to adapt despite differences of opinion and to do our best despite the current difficult situation and lack of time.

  • What did you learn in the Living Labs?

From the different presentation and lectures, We got some idea about the water landscape design, also we found out that some criteria in waterscape are important mostly and we now we see the water landscape more technically. We learned how to work in a team. Also the lectures and the subjects were very interesting.

  • What would you do differently next time?

We try to apply the topics we learned in this living lab and also look at the problems in a more professional way. We also want to get more people involved in the designs.

  • You can also use diagrams/visuals
  • 250 words text