A new era for the neighbourhood

Sahlkamp is an area of Hanover with lots of different corners – and plenty of edge. For many years, it’s been known as a social flashpoint. The skyline is marked by 1970s tower blocks. The area is home to residents with roots in around 80 different countries, many of whom rely on financial support. Deutsche Wohnen has set out to make the neighbourhood a more appealing place to live, with a better quality of life.

With around 840 apartments, the Plattenbau-style housing estate in Sahlkamp is being “brought up to date” by 2024. The modernisation and maintenance work involved is extensive. It includes measures to reduce energy consumption, such as heat insulation for façades and roofs and replacing windows, as well as measures to beautify the neighbourhood. This will see balconies repaired, stairwells and corridors refurbished and entrances and outdoor spaces redesigned. The inner courtyards will be made more attractive for children, families and seniors. Plans include the creation of new meeting places and play areas.

Deutsche Wohnen is in contact with the city of Hanover regarding all of the work. Sahlkamp-Mitte district was made part of the “Districts with Special Development Needs – the Social City” initiative of the federal and state governments back in 2009. Deutsche Wohnen supports the programme’s approach, actively involving residents in the measures planned for the area. This allowed tenants to help choose the colour scheme selected for the façades.

 

A refurbished building in Sahlkamp, Hanover

A refurbished building in Sahlkamp, Hanover

Modernisation and maintenance: no magic solution

The construction works can help contribute to the the neighbourhood’s positive social development. But it’s also clear that this alone is not enough to make Sahlkamp more appealing. That’s why Deutsche Wohnen has also been supporting local social organisations and neighbourhood projects that benefit our tenants since 2012.

Someone who’s involved on the ground is landlord Jessika Lauer. “We support small individual projects and initiatives from local associations such as SPATS e.V. or Internationale StadtteilGärten Hannover e. V., who we’re in regular contact with, where the need arises. We also work closely with the Stadtteiltreff Sahlkamp institution,” she says. “For instance, we worked together to set up a container there for a Covid testing site in two weeks.” Deutsche Wohnen has also been supporting the NaDu children’s centre, an important port of call for kids and young people in Sahlkamp, for many years now. At the centre, children can play, dance, do arts and crafts and get involved in gardening. The centre offers a lunch club, homework support, holiday initiatives and much more. As well as financing a project placement for a social worker each year, Deutsche Wohnen also regularly supports individual creative and craft projects. This doesn’t just give the children practical abilities – it also helps boost their social skills and teaches them to treat their surroundings and materials with care.

The planned redesign of the inner area outside the NaDu children’s centre – the Spessarthof courtyard – will also give the kids a more pleasant place to play. And they’ll even be involved in designing the play areas themselves. The Spessarthof courtyard will also be a welcoming place for neighbouring residents to meet.

 

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Safety is key

For quality of life in the neighbourhood to improve, residents need to feel safe. Accordingly, getting rid of “trouble spots” and promoting “social control” measures such as improved lighting is at the top of the list for the modernisation works. To improve the safety situation, Deutsche Wohnen has already employed its own security team on site for some time now. The team are on site around the clock and are available to accompany women walking home alone in the dark to their doorsteps. “There are clear positive trends in the neighbourhood thanks to our security team,” says Daniel Stark, Service Point Manager for Deutsche Wohnen in Hanover. “The area is quieter and cleaner, and there’s less disturbance.”

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