3Land-Tour – Station 7: Neighborhood upgrading in Weil am Rhein

With input from its citizens, Friedlingen is transforming itself from a sealed-off business quarter to an attractive place to live and work next to the Rhine and a 3Land powerhouse.

The transformation of the district

Friedlingen, a quarter of Weil am Rhein, is the most south-westerly point in Germany. Borders surround it: the Rhine, the state borders, the highway and the railway tracks.

Friedlingen had been cautiously changing for decades. After the opening of the bridge to Huningue and not least the extension of the tram line to and from Basel, the Weil am Rhein local authority began to discuss the future and opportunities of 3Land with its citizens. The Friedlinger Dialog kicked off in 2014, and it became clear that the inhabitants of Weil am Rhein would welcome the opening-up of their neighborhood to the Rhine. By shifting and concentrating the use of the port northwards and out of the town, the Rheinpark could be expanded.

Friedlingen has now developed from a sealed-off district with port and business facilities into a 3Land powerhouse – an attractive place to live and work on the Rhine.

Development goals for Friedlingen by 2025

  • Create a more family-friendly environment by establishing more open spaces, green areas and meeting places.
  • Enable access to the water by extending and redesigning the Rheinpark.
  • Establish a "cultural axis": make art and culture more visible from the ‘Kesselhaus’ cultural center to the Rhine.
  • Upgrade public and private buildings to current standards by means of state-subsidized energy-saving renovation.

The first buildings concerned include the new sports facility with grass and artificial turf pitches, as well as the open-air McArena hall, which are enthusiastically used by children and young people. The construction of the children's and youth center with a daycare center complements the family facilities.

From 1880 to 1982, everyday life in Friedlingen was shaped by the Schusterinsel dyeing and finishing company, the Schetty dyeing company and last but not least the Robert Schwarzenbach & Co. silk weaving company. Friedlingen was a major international textile hub on the Franco-Swiss border. After the textile industry failed, the land and buildings were converted. The sheds and boiler house (‘Kesselhaus’) of the Schwarzenbach area now houses businesses, restaurants, artist’s workshops and cultural facilities.