For years, the pressure on urban housing markets has been increasing, mainly due to people moving into the cities. In addition to new construction and densification in the core cities, housing construction in the surrounding areas can also contribute to easing the situation. 

The German Institute of Urban Affairs (Difu) has investigated how housing in the surrounding areas of large cities can relieve the urban housing markets. The aim of relief housing is not so much single-family and two-family houses that set suburbanisation processes in motion. Instead, new housing construction should contribute to creating lively neighbourhoods that also provide benefits for the already resident population. 

New construction in the surrounding areas makes sense in terms of housing policy and urban development, especially if the planning also takes into account the infrastructures of public services, i.e. schools, social facilities and cultural offerings. 

In addition, the increase in motorised individual transport due to commuting should be avoided. The scarcity of road space is also a permanently topical issue. Motorists demand more affordable parking spaces, cyclists more and above all unrestricted cycle paths. Pedestrians want more space to stroll. The expansion of public transport and other environmentally compatible forms of transport can relieve the strain on heavily used transport networks. 

According to a recent study by the Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR), the density of new urban districts in cities has increased. Most urban development projects have been realised in large and medium-sized cities since 1990. In the last ten years, new settlements on the outskirts of cities have gained in importance, especially near large cities. 

In the wake of the corona pandemic, more and more people are deciding to live on the outskirts of cities or in the countryside.

(Photo: © Gerd Altmann, Pixabay)

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