Award set up by the Foundation

The “Lebendige Stadt” Foundation presents a Foundation Award each year in recognition of innovative civic projects such as particularly outstanding cultural and civic marketing events, successful city displays comprising elements such as light, sound and water (as temporary or permanent installations), and projects in the field of building conservation and tourism, especially if these are of cultural or artistic value.

Fondation Award 2008

Europe's Most Attractive Weekly Market

Europe's Most Attractive Weekly Market

  • „Lebendige Stadt” names the "Grünmarkt" in Nienburg Europe's most attractive weekly market
  • Special mentions for Bremen, Münster, Freiburg, Frankenberg and Wuppertal
Hamburg/Dortmund, 28.11.2008 – The nonprofit „Lebendige Stadt” Foundation has named the “Grünmarkt” market in Nienburg an der Weser the most attractive weekly market in Europe. The Foundation Award carrying a cash prize of 15,000 euros was presented to Nienburg Mayor Henning Onkes by Dr. Andreas Mattner, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Foundation, in Dortmund City Hall on Thursday evening in the presence of Dortmund Lord Mayor Dr. Gerhard Langemeyer. An expert jury chaired by Düsseldorf-based architect Hermann Henkel chose the “Grünmarkt” in Nienburg from more than 100 submitted entries. Special mentions went to the weekly markets in Bremen, Münster and Freiburg im Breisgau. The expert jury presented the Ölbergmarkt market in Wuppertal with a special award in recognition of the outstanding commitment of the local people. The jury also gave a special mention to the “Landfrauenmarkt” market in the small town of Frankenberg (Eder) in Hessen as an "ingenious idea".

The competition was open to innovative and vibrant weekly market concepts characterized by high quality and a wide and attractively presented range of goods and produce. "It goes without saying that ecological and financial aspects were also especially important – as the award-winning weekly market concepts should not only be mold-breaking but also serve as best practice models for other towns and cities", said Dr. Andreas Mattner, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the „Lebendige Stadt” Foundation.


The winner, the Grünmarkt market in Nienburg, is part and parcel of weekly life in the town on the Weser river in Lower Saxony. Forging a link with a history going back almost 200 years, the town has continued to develop the traditional weekly market since 1998 into what is today the "Grünmarkt". At the heart of the historic old city quarter, around 60 local and regional traders offer self-grown and produced goods - fruit and vegetables, meat, sausage, cheese and other tasty foods, along with the "Nienburg asparagus", one of the regional specialties. The number of visitors has more than doubled since the "Grünmarkt" concept was launched: from around 100,000 to approximately 250,000 a year – most visitors to the market come on foot, by bike or on public transport. The stand traders are responsible for disposing of their own waste and leftover produce. This saves the cost of time-intensive road cleaning after the market has closed. The jury praised the success of Nienburg in developing the economic, ecological and cultural aspects of the weekly market into an open, dynamic and popular concept and said that all the various actors - the local administration, the traders and the local people - all played a part in this process.


The jury made special mention of the weekly market in the historic center ofBremen, saying that the market is characterized by an attractive and varied range of regional and ecologically sound produce of high quality, and describing the market as a vibrant trading location that is integrated in the old town quarter in an exemplary way.


There was also a special mention for the weekly market on the Domplatz square in Münster in the region of Westphalia. The jury said that this concept is characterized by a “high level of integration between the city, the retail trade, the university and the weekly market” - and that it is therefore also of interest as a best practice model for other municipalities. 

A further special mention went to the weekly market on the Münsterplatz square in Freiburg im Breisgau, where the jury was particularly impressed by the way in which the attractive stands were designed and laid out to blend in with their urban surroundings and the city’s historic ambience. The "weekly market" experience around Freiburg Cathedral is of a high quality for both the local people and visiting tourists, said the expert jury.


The Ölbergmarkt market in Wuppertal received a special award for outstanding commitment on the part of the local inhabitants. This market was called into being by the people themselves as part of the sustainable development of their district. The jury said that this level of commitment extends far beyond the mere existence of a weekly market.


The 2008 Jury

Hermann Henkel Jury chairman, Managing Director of HPP Architects

Hella Dunger-Löper Jury vice chairman, State Secretary for Construction and Housing, Berlin , Senate Administration for Urban Development

Torsten Berens Managing Director of the Hamburg Central Market for Fruit, Vegetables and Flowers

Dr. Rolf Böhme Former Lord Mayor of Freiburg

Dr. Albrecht Buttolo Ministry of the Interior, Saxony

Raimund Ellrott  Managing Director, GfK GeoMarketing GmbH

Jens Friedemann Editor Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Felix Henkel Managing Director, Gemeinsam Handeln e.V.

Rolf von der Horst Publisher of the special-interest magazine "STADT und RAUM"

Friedel Kellermann Partner in the architects' firm RKW

Stephan Kugel Managing Director Centre-Management, ECE

Dirk Marx President of the Hamburg Association of Stallholders and Fairground Operators (LAGS)

Dr. Hans-Georg Moldenhauer Vice-President Qualification, German Football Association (DFB)

Klaus Müller Chairman of the North Rhine-Westphalia Consumer Protection Agency

Otto Neideck First Lord Mayor of Freiburg im Breisgau

Rolf Pangels Executive Director of the German Federation of Medium and Large-Sized Companies of the Retail Trade (BAG)

Manfred Ruge Managing Director of Stadtwerke Erfurt GmbH

Dr. Herbert Schmalstieg  Former Lord Mayor of Hanover

Hartwig Schultheiß Civic Director of Münster

Dr. Michael Vesper Executive Director German Olympic Sports Federation