District Association Vauban
The District Association Vauban is really into Freiburgs sustainable pilot district

• Association

The District Association Vauban – an overview

In numerous meetings of the district association, the citizens can participate in discussing the realization of projects in the neighborhood.

Farmers market in Vauban.
Without the working group „AK Marktplatz“ and the involvement of the residents this place would not exist today!

„Public relations“ with the neighbours… on the road with the „Vaumobil“.

well-attended meetings on current subjects:
presented by the „Stadtteilverein“ in the neighborhood center (House 037).

Aktion im Rathaus
Residents of Vauban demanded to be heard in the City council meetings on the planning of the entrance area, Paula-Modersohn-Platz 5-7.

Stephan Doblin
Opening of the market place: Stephan Doblin signs the golden book of Vauban.

Opening of the little drinking water fountain with the mayor of the building department, Haag, and the member of the board, Schubert. Now the market place is completed!
The association was founded in March 2005 and called the „Stadtteilverein Vauban e.V. “. During the months before the actual foundation, residents had discussed ideas in a participation workshop. They looked for a concept that would get more people involved in the neighborhood’s political process and for a structure that would serve as the district´s representation vis-à-vis the city´s administration. The concept of an elected „District Council“ was included in the articles of the association, so that later the communal structures could be created. (More information under „Background“).Due to this Concept and other efforts of the association, the Quartier Vauban now has the official status of a district.

Goals and Tasks:
  • The district association is a partner of the residents, it can focus on their interests through neighborhood meetings and workshops.
  • It cooperates with other local structures and social institutions.
  • It is responsible for the community work and receives a small subsidy from the city for this purpose.
  • It supports working groups and resident’s initiatives with an effective network, common events and activities.
  • There is a constant exchange with the city (city council and administration) and with all the others district organizations of Freiburg.
  • It cooperates with the town of Endingen in a urban-rural partnership.
  • The residents are informed about the activities in the Neighborhood through „info vauban“ which can be ordered by e-mail , or through the neighborhood’s magazine „Vauban actual“ which is distributed to each household in the neighborhood (more information under „neighbourhood media“)
The association is accepted as a charitable organization and is registered with the City´s administration as a citizen´s association. It is also a member in the federation of 18 citizen´s associations in Freiburg (AFB).

Community Work Vauban

The professional worker in the district office:
  • links social institutions and initiatives, supports working groups,
  • functions as a contact person for problems and conflicts within the neighborhood
  • encourages involvement in local projects,
  • assists in the integration of different groups of residents and in the development of the neighborhood in the course of demographic change.
District office and Council
Since 2006 the „Stadtteilverein“ is responsible for the community work in Vauban and receives, in two-year intervals, subsidies from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Senior Citizens that cover a half-time position, material costs and a small project fund. The so-called „Community Work´s Council Vauban“ consists of social institutions, interested residents and a guest representative from the Ministry. It meets three times a year in a public gathering and decides about 50% of the small project funds. The board of the district association decides about the other 50%.

Current activities at a glance
Beside the regular duties like consultation hours and meetings, organizing events, and supporting the established network of initiatives and institutions in the neighborhood, the district office supports and advises more recent initiatives like „LeNa“ ( which means lively neighborhood) which focuses on „Growing old in Vauban”, the Repair Café and -since 2015- the refugees initiative St.Georgen-Vauban (figeva).
On urgent occasions, like recently with vandalism issues, round tables are held with the people concerned or workshops on conflict matters or conflict training are organized.
This manifold work is supported by volunteer workers who put out the event calendar, organize the „cinema for kids“ , etc.

The District association/ Community cooperates (among others) with:
  • a three-year long project „Inclusion Alliance – local, active“ (BILA) which is supported by the „Aktion Mensch“ until the end of 2017,
  • the „KOKO“ office for constructive conflict solutions,
  • „JuKS“ (open child and youth work),
  • the children´s adventure farm (Kinderabenteuerhof e.V.) near the little stream that borders on the Vauban,
  • the primary school,
  • the 5 day care facilities for children,
  • the centre for the deaf,
  • the autism association Autismus Südbaden e.V.,
  • a group for urban gardening (WandelGarten) on the land which belongs to the association „car-free-living“,
  • the committee for the visual arts,
  • „SUSI“ which means : self-organized independent settlement initiative in 4 of the former military buildings, as well as
  • the committees for safer traffic control and for reduction of railway noise in Vauban.
More information is available under

Board, Media, Membership

The board of the association
The „Stadtteilverein“ association has a board of five members with equal rights. They meet monthly. The most important functions of these 5 persons are divided into the following areas:
  • community work, education, seniors
  • culture, urban-rural partnership
  • mobility, the committee involving all the district associations in Freiburg
  • open spaces, kids and teenagers, (international) guests
  • finances, legal rights
„info vauban“ : if you would like regular information about the activities of the neighborhood association, you can subscribe to the free newsletter ( members of the association receive the newsletter automatically). One can order it online on the homepage of „info-vauban“. Information about the neighborhood and its activities is available via e-mail about 5 times a year. Up till now it is prepared by volunteers and has therefore no commercial ads. „Vauban actuel“, the neighborhood magazine, appears on a quarterly basis and is distributed to all households in the neighborhood. It is also published by the district association (from 2017) and is financed by advertisement. Certain pages are reserved for information from the social institutions and organizations. Also a calendar with the cultural activities is delivered 10 times a year to each household.

Strengthening citizen participation by membership…
The district association „Stadtteilverein“ is committed to the interests of the residents and those of the neighborhood. With an increasing number of members, the influence of the association grows and the interests of the Vauban can be represented more forcefully to the public, the city government and the city council. More activities within and for the neighborhood can thus be developed. One problem facing the Association is a reluctance of people to get involved ( „why become active in an association when everything is already achieved in Vauban?“) and another problem is the situation where the former supporters of the „model“ Vauban in the neighborhood and in politics are retired or have turned to new tasks.

…and helping create further development in the neighborhood
New challenges for the citizen’s association emerge:
  • commitment for the continuation of the community work,
  • demographic change, inclusive cooperation projects,
  • support of refugees,
  • consequences of a possible increase in the number of cars,
  • open spaces for families in spite of a high building density,
  • teenagers, sports etc.
Members of the association and other committed residents have already created committees to work on many of these challenges. Since the beginning of Vauban, the „AK Verkehr“ (committee for mobility) has been looking for good solutions for old and new traffic situations that could cause accidents involving pedestrians or the great number of bikers – always in cooperation with the „Stadtteilverein“ and the city administration. For all these important reasons, it makes sense to support the district association Vauban and the interests of the Vauban through financial and/ or- even better- active participation.
Becoming a member through Internet is simple:
In 3 short steps one can acquire the membership on our website.

Background information for new residents and guests

During the main period of planning and construction (building section I and II) from 1994 as well as 1998 until 2004 the „Forum Vauban e.V.“ was able to include many of the resident’s ideas - especially through the EU-subsidized project „ realization of the sustainable model district“, as well as through cooperation with the „City Council Working Group Vauban „ (GRAG) and the concept of „Learning Development“ (more information see publications and background – in german – ).

Academic study on the model character of Vauban
„Learning from Vauban“ is the title of a study done by the RWTH (Technical University) Aachen at the request of the Stadtteilverein Vauban and with financial support from the city of Freiburg ( see citizen’s particiation / retrospective). During the presentation of the study´s results in 2013 in Freiburg, Prof. Dr. Selle, head of the project, asked the administration and city council to include the mainly positive experiences connected with the „Model project Vauban „ for the planning of future building areas in order to set even higher standardsfor future projekts. As a result, the board of the „Stadtteilverein“ and its members and were able to bring their ideas and experiences to the public meetings of 2015/16 for the planning of a new neighborhood called „Dietenbach“.
(Download of the study RWTH Aachen – in german – ).

Brochure Vauban
Increasing national and international interest in the development of the model district and the experiences of its residents enabled the board of the „Stadtteilverein“ to produce a brochure „Vauban - a vision of a sustainable district becomes reality“ . They were even able to publish it in a german/ french version. An Update followed in 2014 and an english / chinese version was published for the Expo in Shanghai 2010 in cooperation with the Freiburg Economy, Tourism and Exhibitions (FWTM) . In 2016 the brochure was translated into Japanese. These can be downloaded as a pdf for free. Order - and more versions - see publications.

Documentary film
Between 2010 and 2012 a film „Vauban – perspective of an urban district (with english subtitles) was made with the help of the board of the „Stadtteilverein“ and many of its residents.

Two exhibitions
Two exhibitions can be found in the conference room of the citizen’s center, house 037. One is about the history of the market place and one about the transformation of the military area to a model district. Altogether 11 large panels are on exhibit during public meetings or guided tours.

More information about the development of Vauban and the district assocation here (only in german)!
Alle Rechte bei Stadtteilverein Vauban e.V. – www.stadtteilverein-vauban.de
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