BETTER Cologne THAN Düsseldorf?
Thursday, September 1st, 2011
I love Düsseldorf, I really do. It’s my hometown and the place where I grew up and lived for 23 years. But there was always one thing what I don’t like about this city: the snobbish way of living and how Düsseldorf presents itself by this. There is always a big fight between Düsseldorf and Cologne. I think it all started through sports, especially ice hockey and soccer.
Düsseldorf is famous for fashion, the Kö and the “Altstadt” – it is called the longest bar in the world. Because the bars and pubs are so close together that it could be seen as one big pub. Cologne was always famous for being more open (especially when it comes to homosexuality), it is cooler (better parties) and Cologne has the cathedral. They even fight for who has the better beer: Kölsch or Alt-Bier.
In most cases I stick to Düsseldorf and would totally defeat it against any comparisons to Cologne. But when it comes to new uses of city space and constructing new buildings, you loose Düsseldorf, badly!
Picture of koebogen.info
But now I got really pissed off. Düsseldorf was always the snobbish, arrogant city and once more the city proofs it with a new building which is supposed to be finished next year at the end of the Königsallee. The name: Kö-Bogen (translated “the Kö-arch”), designed by Daniel Libeskind. It is a mixture of retail space and offices. Or how they call it themselves: “a lifestyle-placemaker for flagship stores, fancy gastronomy concepts and exclusive offices”, yeah right! Just take a look at the words: fancy, exclusive – that’s exactly what I dislike about it.
The Kö-Bogen has many critics. The building was completely planned without any participation of the public. And it was also criticized that there was almost no real call for bids. But that’s not enough. There is also a huge fight with parts of Düsseldorf’s citizens, because the new Kö-Bogen will oust the traditional “Tausendfüssler”, a short inner-city high-line.
Picture of metrobox
Cologne proofed it could be done differently. They always has been “a problem” with skaters at the Roncalliplace with skaters. The public square infront of the cathedral was a long time the only place to skate in Cologne. But the city came together with the skaters, sat down and planned something with the architects metrobox and designed a modern urban skatepark which could also be attractive to the local residents. The project is amazing. You should definitely jump over to mocoloco and read about the whole project. And the best thing: it all worked out.
“When the site was opened, it was clear what a great success this collaboration of different parties was going to be. The skaters took possession of the square right from the outset and it has been full of people every day ever since. However, it’s not just for skaters that the facility has paid off.
The Rheinpromenade, too, has since been full of pedestrians who watch the skaters performing their feats. The previously lifeless area of the new construction quarter, Rheinauhafen, has suddenly become full of life. The square has activated and urbanised an extensively planned and constructed quarter that was not yet part of the city.
A hybrid space has been created which is both a sports facility and an urban square.” (via mocoloco.com)
Picture of metrobox
It is amazing to see what can be done if you work properly together with all involved groups. This project made everyone happy, great!