What will towns need in the future? What is special about a particular place? Is there potential that has been overlooked or underused? No one has more experience of a particular place than the people that use it every day and actually live there. And yet it seems that this local knowledge plays no role in the usual planning process. As things stand at the moment, just a very few people determine how our towns and cities evolve. The Schöpflin Foundation wants to show that there is another way to do town planning. And that is why we have commissioned the artist, Christoph Schäfer, to design and implement a planning process for our site opposite the Villa Schöpflin.
Our neighbours and all other interested parties are invited to become designers of their own environment. Some 13,500m2 of land is now awaiting the implementation of ideas, suggestions and projects. For the past year we have been using the site as a ‘test zone’ where invited artists have been using art and other activities to make people think about how they might change their awareness of the site and how they might want to get involved with the planning process. 2018 will see the beginning of the coming together of this grand plan in the form of a platform that should make us all smarter; sharpen up our ideas; encourage the exchange of different people’s ideas; and help us to work together on the planning process. In order for everyone to be able to take part, the FABRIC team is building what they are calling a Planning Kiosk filled with playful tools which enable participants to venture beyond the boundaries of the familiar and step into new territory. Similarly, the intension for later project implementation phases is to devise participation formats and interim-usage and trial-usage projects for the site.
By coming up with an innovative new planning model, this project gives the town of Lörrach the chance to compete with the impressive cosmopolitan architecture in the nearby cities of Weil and Basle. It also enables the people of Lörrach to create a town filled with possibilities. Through this pioneering project, FABRIC could demonstrate how local knowledge could completely change the way future town planning is done.