Ideas for public space in Amorbach

The city floor concept aims to provide assistance in designing an attractive core city

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Bumpy pavement with lots of gaps, uneven surfaces and parked cars: Amorbacher Schlossplatz should land at the top of the urban flooring concept’s priority list.

Photo: Winfred Zhang

Amorbach. What should the main city of Amorbach look like in the medium and long term? How should the surfaces be designed, how can accessibility be implemented and how can the public space be enhanced as a lounge and space for communications? The urban floor concept aims to answer these questions.

Sylvia Haines (Haines-Leger’s office) submitted an interim report to City Council Thursday night at its classroom meeting at the firefighting equipment store. It is based on a comprehensive recording of the core city of Amorbach and the results of a sightseeing tour with the city council and experts. The impressions form the basis of a workshop planned for the fall.

Discuss and set priorities

City councils should discuss the findings extensively with office representatives with a view to discussing and prioritizing the ideas presented by the office. Later, citizens must also get involved, because, according to Mayor Peter Schmidt (CSU), “This is your city after all.” The city council will have to face a huge task in the near future: on the one hand, it must work through long lists of proposals from the office, on the other it set priorities, and last but not least, everything must be financed. “Such plans also arouse greed among the citizens,” the mayor tempered very high expectations given the still tense financial situation of the city.

Sylvia Haines has already shown what you can do in the city – but in the end it must be decided by the city council. The commission led through the many alleys and streets in the center of the city and showed in pictures the number of road surfaces: concrete, natural stone and asphalt in many groups – on each street in different forms. Another question is: How do you create accessibility?

Pay attention to the sides

The architect and urban planner explained that furniture is also important, but not only the floor covering is important. What seats are used, bike racks, and which lampposts? Given the historical importance of the old town of Amorbach with its amazing buildings, a sensitive approach is necessary, Haines explained and provided a list of all the streets and alleys with their assessment of the urgency of the renovation.

Several streets appeared, such as Bädersweg, Debonstraße am Konvent, Kalte Gasse and above all Schlossplatz. For the image of this city, Haines presented two variants that can give the plaza an attractive place to stay – along with a lot of effort.

The floor covering must be completely replaced, as many potholes make it difficult to walk, especially elderly people who use a walker. For example, Haines can imagine removing the fence to the lake garden, creating steps that lead into the garden and creating barrier-free access to the lake garden. However, all this is elusive, because in planning, not only the city council and citizenship play a decisive role in planning.

So there are enough ideas – the city council now has to discuss the concept in an internal workshop and decide how to move forward. No matter what priorities you set, one thing is clear: the city needs to stay in power and it should think in decades rather than years.

City Councilman Clemens Bayer (CSU) saw this as realistic: “Maybe, given the backlog of investment, we should first look at small projects like benches and bike racks.” For Bernd Schötterl (Free Voters), it is important to first identify the uses that should be used before planning – pedestrians, vehicular traffic, parking – desirable in the future.

Winfred Zhang

Advice in brief

Amorbach. Amorbach City Council addressed these other points on Thursday.

Annual accounts: According to the mayor, the annual accounts for 2020 include target income and expenditures adjusted for the administrative budget in the amount of €10,720,508 and in the asset budget of €8567,951. The projected budget was not used to borrow 1 557 640 euros. The actual deficit for the year of €585,442 was covered by the target surplus for previous years. The records are now sent to the Audit Committee for local audit.

Im Bruch: After early public participation in the decision to draw up the development plan related to the project ‘IM Bruch’ with the 17th Amendment of the Amorbach zoning plan in the parallel process, the public, authorities and other sponsors, according to Mayor Peter Schmidt (CSU), received further of suggestions and tips. Architect Bernd Eilbacher provided the information that was handled and approved by the city council. This included, for example, erecting a fence on the site, planting trees to screen the lake garden, using regional seeds when planting a meadow, and reducing the height of covered parking spaces from 3.95 to 3.30 metres. The plans are now presented to the public in abbreviated form. From August 25 to September 8, further statements can only be made based on the information recently provided.

No Exception: The city council unanimously approved the management’s recommendation to reject a request for a secluded exemption from the “Amorhof Home Weekend Special Zone” zoning plan for a private building project. This may exceed the allowable space by about 1.50 metres. Since, according to the administration, there are always violations and illegal construction projects in the weekend area, there should be no more exemptions in the context of equality. With its current decision, the city council wants to prevent a precedent that could lead to a domino effect. In the opinion of management, every issue in the area of ​​the weekend home should be examined with respect to current development, proportionality and the interests of the neighborhood. Wiz

Amorbach’s “tense” house

Amorbach. At Thursday’s city council meeting, Mayor Peter Schmidt spoke of “no objections” to the regulatory review of the 2021 budget. According to the State Audit Office, the debt per inhabitant will be around 551 euros at the end of the year – just below the national average of 566 euros. However, the debt burden on the individual would rise to around €1,190 in the financial planning period – without proportionate debts from school associations and the local authority company in respect of the said financial planning period. According to the authority, the addition to the budget is not enough to fund regular repayment. It therefore remains questionable whether the planned loans can be approved in the following planning years, as debt service financing is not permanently secured. In the opinion of the supervisory authority, it will be important to limit investments to necessary and mandatory tasks. Mayor Peter Schmidt (CSU) commented on the letter from the district office: “For ten years, we have done nothing but limit ourselves to our obligatory tasks.” If the city had made voluntary contributions, then only through refinancing by third parties, Schmidt said he would have wanted “a little acknowledgment of the difficult and difficult path to budget consolidation.”

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