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.

Foundation Award 2013

The most attractive civic festival:

The most attractive civic festival: innovative – people-friendly – popular

2013 Foundation Award

The “Lebendige Stadt” Foundation presented this year’s Foundation Award for the “most attractive civic festival” to the City of Karlsruhe. The cities of Berlin Treptow-Köpenick, Budapest, Neustadt i. H. and Nuremberg also received a price for their civic festivals. 631 applications from cities in Germany and abroad were submitted.


The following cities received acknowledgments for their civic festivals: Demmin (“Peenefest”), Elmshorn (“NACHHALTICA”), Esslingen (“Kulturfest Stadt im Fluss”), Großenhain/Saxony (“Erlebnisfest der Sinne”), Haselünne/Lower Saxony (“Historischer Korn- und Hansemarkt”), Hitzacker/Elbe (“Japanisches Lampionfest”), Kecskemet/Hungary (“Internationales Kinder- und Jugendtreffen”), Mindelheim/Bavaria (“Frundsbergfest”), Mülheim a. d. R. (“Stadtfest in Realversion”), Norderstedt (“Autofreies Straßenfest”), Osnabrück (“Fest der Kulturen”), Rzeszów/Poland (“Urban Space Festival”), Wittenberg/Saxony-Anhalt (“Luthers Hochzeit”) and Witzenhausen/Hessen (“Treppen Keller Hinterhöfe”).


In a European competition, the foundation called for applications of civic festivals which contribute to the identity of the city as well as the identification of the citizens with their city or their city quarter. This specifically included the participation of the people by contributing ideas and personal engagement. The civic festivals were to stand out in terms of creativity in the planning process and the design as well as regarding the support of the people. The Foundation Award was funded by Deutsche Bahn AG.


“The competition has showed that civic festivals contribute a great deal to the identity and the identification of citizens with their city. The commitment and the creativity of the festivals' design were outstanding, especially the many private initiatives, which not only take the burden off the city treasuries, but also facilitate social cohesion,” said Alexander Otto, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the “Lebendige Stadt” Foundation.


The Foundation Award ceremony took place on (June 11, 2013) with 600 guests at Berlin's Tempelhof Airport. Laudators were Heinz Buschkowsky (Mayor of Berlin-Neukölln), Dr. Hanspeter Georgi (Former Minister for Economic Affairs, Saarland), Niclas Karoff (CEO of TLG Immobilien), Kaspar Kraemer (Dipl. Architect BDA), Prof. Dr. Dittmar Machule (Professor em. for Urban Development at Hafen City University, Hamburg) and Bernd Wölfel (Division Manager DB Regio).


Winner of the Foundation Award 2013: Karlsruhe (prize money: 15,000 Euros)

The city of Karlsruhe received the Foundation Award 2013 for its “Stadtgeburtstag” (“City Birthday”). Since 2001, approximately 200.000 people from Karlsruhe and the surrounding area have been taking part in the three-day birthday celebration of the city. Every year, a special guiding theme is chosen and the strengths of the city are centered. The festival is organized by Stadtmarketing Karlsruhe.


In 2011, the guiding theme of the festival was “Karlsruhe nimmt Fahrt auf” (“Karlsruhe takes up speed”), thus mobility was the focal point of the festival. The repositioning of Karlsruhe as an innovative city was supported by activities such as exercise courses by sports associations, a “young researchers’ festival” for school students with experiment workshops, an ecumenical worship walk, a philosophic walk, and moving light installations. Even a sustainability concept was prepared for the festival.


The citizens of Karlsruhe were involved in the planning as well as in the realization of the festival. They were organized in workshops which were started 18 months before the festival. The Karlsruhe “Stadtgeburtstag” contributes to the identification of the citizens with the city and serves the integration of different ethnic groups. The festive activities promote topics and subjects regarding the city and bring out the strengths of the city.


Prize winner: Berlin Treptow-Köpenick (prize money: 1,250 Euros)

In the context of the community project “KAiAK – Kunst + Architektur in Alt Köpenick” (“Art and Architecture in Alt Köpenick”) five deserted areas of the historic city of Köpenick were redesigned by international artists and architects. The local Schlossplatztheater was determined to use the newly developed areas to stage their performances. Thus a cooperation of the Bezirksamt Treptow-Köpenick and the Schlossplatztheater emerged. In its course, an event was organized which drew the public attention to the areas and the city art projects, long after the refurbishment measures were completed.


The Schlossplatztheater developed an appropriate performance concept in which residents, owners and the local businesses were involved right from the start. The first event took place in June 2009. The theme was “Oper im Netz – Tag der Stadtkunst” (“Opera in the Net – Day of City Art”). The title “Oper in the ´Net” was chosen because it provoked curiosity and because the opera was performed in the sculpture entitled “Netz” (“Net”) which is the most spectacular KAiAK project by NL Architects. The festival will take place for the fifth time in 2013.


The visitors enjoy the vibrant and open-minded atmosphere. The public places will become a stage for art, literature, music, and theater for one day. The residents have contributed to the revitalization which brought to life a new and distinct identity. At the same time the festival contributes to the identification of the citizens with their quarter.


Prize winner: Budapest (prize money: 1,250 Euros)

The Foundation’s jury received more than 50 applications from outside Germany. With Budapest, a city from Eastern Europe received a prize. The Hungarian Center for Contemporary Architecture organized the “program 100” commemorating the 100thanniversary of the Goldberger Haus. “Program 1000” is an annual festival weekend which allows the public to access to buildings which celebrate their 100th anniversary in the respective year. The festival revives historical places in the entire city and shows their importance for the residents and promotes the architectural diversity of Budapest.


Volunteers comb through the city archives to find which buildings which celebrate their 100thanniversary. Among them are houses, theaters, factories, and schools. Usually, the volunteers come up with 150 to 250 buildings. Then the residents, institutions, or companies are contacted and invited to develop an individual festival program with the support of the organizers.


In 2012, 60 buildings were opened on the festival weekend and in 2013, 18,000 people visited to the festival. The tenderly organized program is full of diversity and creativity. It comprises small historic exhibitions, private archives, theater performances, concerts, or multicultural picnics. Very often, the occupants tell the story of the house and its former residents.


Prize winner: Neustadt in Holstein (prize money: 1,250 Euro)

In the years after World War II, the immigrating fugitives from Baltic Sea countries made the culture in Neustadt in Holstein become more diverse. In 1951, this was the suitable occasion for the first “Deutsche Trachtenwoche” (“German Traditional Costume Week”); today it is called the “Europäisches Folklore Festival” (“European Folklore Festival”).


About 50,000 people visit the 10-day festival which takes place on the historic market which then turns into the “Europäischer Markt” (“European Market”) and a “Tanzparkett” (“Dance Floor”).


The festival is organized by “Verein EuropäischerTrachtenwoche an der Ostsee e.V.” which was also founded in 1951. The association invites national and international Folklore groups which are popular in their own country. More than 400 dancers stay with the people of Neustadt i. H. during the time of the festival. An intercultural exchange takes place even outside the official festival activities. Besides groups from Europe, for some time also Folklore groups from outside Europe have been invited to join the festival. Already in 1969, the city of Neustadt i. H. was awarded the title “City of Europe” to savor the efforts regarding the intercultural exchange.


Apart from the intercultural exchange, the “Europäisches Folklore Festival” supports the identification of the citizens of Neustadt i. H. with their city and gives the city a distinctive identity.


Prize winner: Nuremberg (prize money 1,250 Euro)

The city of Nuremberg received a prize for the “Nürnberger Volksfeste” (Nuremberg Folk Festivals) which is organized by the “Süddeutscher Verband reisender Schausteller und Handelsleute”. Already in 1826, the Volksfest was celebrated on King Ludwig I. of Bavaria’s birthday. Since 1953, the festival is celebrated twice per year at the “Festplatz am Dutzendteich”: In spring it is named “Spring Festival” and in fall it is called the “Fall Festival”. With approximately 2 million visitors the Nürnberger Volksfeste is the second biggest folk festival in Bavaria.


After the number of visitors had decreased considerably, a campaign to boost the festival and a marketing survey helped to design a new concept for the Nürnberger Volksfeste: With a mix of modern fun rides, traditional elements such as a guild pole, a local costume day, and a nostalgia park in connection with an innovative cultural program, the Nürnberger Volksfeste have the cutting edge among German folk festivals.


The Volksfeste comprise activities where school children can explore physics or regional companies offer information on their training and job opportunities. On a special day dedicated to physically challenged people, a number of activities for handicapped persons are offered, and on one evening a partner city of Nuremberg introduces itself.


The Jury

Chairman: Dipl.-Ing. BDA Kaspar Kraemer Architect BDA

Dr. Georg Allendorf CEO, RREEF Investment

Dr. Michael Bigdon Head of the Department Wirtschaft, Bauen und Umwelt, Bezirksamt Hamburg-Nord

Frank Hakelberg CEO, Deutscher Schaustellerbund e.V.

Hermann Henkel Architect BDA, HPP Architects

Lars Klatte Architect BDA, RKW Architektur + Städtebau

Dr. Heike Kaster-Meurer Mayor, Bad Kreuznach

Dirk Marx Former President of Landesverband d. Ambulanten Gewerbes u. Schausteller Hamburg e.V.

Erdtrud Mühlens CEO, AMG Hamburg

Reinhard Müller Chairman,EUREF AG

Timo Munzinger Department for Stadtentwicklung, Bauen, Wohnen, Verkehr; Deutscher Städtetag

Dr. Herbert Schmalstieg Former Mayor of Hannover

Hans-Josef Vogel Mayor, Arnsberg

Dr. Marc Weinstock Spokesman of the Management Board, DSK

Dr. Joachim Wüst Vice President, Festkomitee Kölner Karneval