cityförster x studiomauer
ecovillage Hannover
Hannover, Germany
Ways of living, ways of sharing
Naturehood – wilder and greener
Rethinking processes and governance
Image: cityförster x studiomauer
ecovillage Hannover is a future-oriented urban development which is guided by sufficiency and highest ecological standards

With the development of the ecovillage in Hanover, there is a great chance to make an important contribution to future-oriented urban development. One of the most specific features of the ecovillage, and its guiding principle, is sufficiency. To possess more by sharing more: a highly flexible approach that, here, is not only preached but also practiced. In addition to a co-working space and several workshops, ecovillage also offers common rooms in the buildings and gardens that belong to and can be used by everyone, and there is even a special guest house for visitors to stay the night.

The nucleus of the urban design is the lively village square, that is surrounded and framed by the commons. This is the green heart of ecovillage; where water is being managed, food is being produced and the spirit of community is being lived.

One of the drivers for the development was the ambition to become a CO2-neutral settlement. Everything is built from wood, and the sealing of the surfaces is being minimized as well. Biodiversity is promoted and gray- and rainwater are treated and cleaned with the help of a plant-based sewage treatment system. After being directed into a biotope-like lake, it seeps away and evaporates, or serves the residents to water their gardens.

The mobility concept also sets high goals with regard to future viability: it focuses entirely on local mobility. (local public transport, as well as pedestrian and bike path traffic). In concrete terms, this means only 0.2 parking spaces per residential unit are provided. In return, however, there are generous areas for bicycles, rental stations, handcarts, etc. A direct connection to the light rail system rounds off this concept.

The neighbourhoods, which are connected to each other and to the centre by the commons, consist of differently sized clusters. These clusters comprise various building typologies, which in turn provide space for a wide range of apartment forms. This 'democratic' housing mix promotes social integration and creates strong neighbourhoods.

ecovillage can be regarded as a pioneer in a long-overdue discussion of principles in which frugality is pursued as a philosophy.


The project and its content topics were initiated by a cooperative and accompanied and moderated professionally.
The bottom up process formulates goals and desires of the residents, which initially focuses on social and environmental issues.
Unlike large investors, these goals remain paramount throughout the planning process, while returns are calculated over longer periods of time.
Within the neighborhood, many issues are interrelated. Mobility is radically designed for pedestrians and cyclists, car-sharing offers alternatives to private ownership, nature and urbanity are closely related and allow for urban density and low sealing, diverse typologies are evenly distributed throughout the neighborhood and allow for a diverse social mix, small-scale courtyards allow for communicative, almost village-like structures, energy is generated on-site and water is purified locally.

Diverse neighborhoods are linked to each other and to the lively center by the green commons

The commons as living green belt connecting neighborhoods and the center and are used for water management and gardening

Every neighborhood is made up of diverse forms of living

In the center people work, shop, swap, live and meet

Neighborhoods are oriented towards the common use of the village and open up to the landscape

cityförster x studiomauer

CITYFÖRSTER is an internationally active and interdisciplinary partnership of architects, engineers and urban planners with employees from over ten countries. We design, plan and realize buildings, urban structures and public realm for the compact, socially and functionally mixed, multimodally networked, productive, circularly organized and climate-adaptive city. Our services cover the entire spectrum from the idea to the execution and project management.

STUDIOMAUER is a collective of like-minded friends from university. since 2019 we work as idealistic office in the field of architecture, urbanism and design. Inspired by friends, young makers, fine details and complex spatial contexts in the city, architecture and society
we participate in shaping our common future. As a young collective we are enthusiastic problem solvers, researchers of more unconventional
ideas and good cooperative partners in the project. Everything could be different!

Cross-disciplinary practice