In the search for solutions, efforts to change views relied primarily on producing good examples and less on hard facts.
The subject of land consumption was not really a new one when work began. Examples already existed to show that attractive living accommodation can function on a small site and that this kind of housing is both popular and can reduce running costs.
After their experience with these examples, the working group drew conclusions from them from which they developed criteria for space-saving housing and the kind of quality standards that are needed.
The outcome of this first phase of work was presented at several “future workshops” in Lauenburg, Seevetal and Hamburg.
Three projects in Hamburg Metropolitan Region are being subsidised out of the federal ministry for education and research “Reduction of land consumption“ research programme (REFINA). The results of the REFINA project are now being transformed into actual instruments and strategies, which are to be made available through the www.mittendrin-ist-in.de website.
This includes media such as the short film “Interesting facts from Bad Neubau”, PowerPoint presentations and workshop documentation, which present lots of good examples and are designed to make people familiar with space-saving building.
From autumn 2008 there is also an Internet cost calculator which will present information not available before now. The cost calculator should give local authorities and local politicians the opportunity of making more accurate estimates of the follow-up costs of new-build areas. As well as a pure calculation model, brief explanations will show, for example, the connection between site utilisation and follow-on infrastructure expenses.