Development of innovative strategies for the optimized use of living space

Demand-driven living in resource-optimized urban districts

Many municipalities are trying to resolve housing shortages by constructing new residential buildings. The construction of new houses, however, requires significant amounts of land and high resource consumption. Much of the housing demand can be covered by existing residential buildings if, after changes in their living situation (e.g. when their children move out), people opt for smaller living spaces and alternative housing concepts.

Objectives and procedure
The project is investigating how to actively encourage an optimized use of living spaces. The core of the project is the development and establishment of municipal housing agencies. These will identify housing needs in the district, offer advice to those looking for accommodation, arrange alternative housing or initiate offers to exchange houses.

Expected results and transfer
In addition to offering advice and support for optimizing the use of living space in the cities of Cologne, Göttingen and Tübingen, the results will be translated into recommendations for municipal action, which are intended to appeal not only to cities and municipalities but also to other stakeholders. In addition, a nationwide funding program for area-efficient living is being developed.

Project title
OptiWohn –
District-specific exploration and development of innovative strategies for the optimized use of living space

Project website


Funding code

1.575.185 €

Anja Bierwirth
Wuppertal Institut für Klima, Umwelt, Energie
0202 2492-164

Project partners
Carl-von-Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg
werk.um Architekten
Stadt Köln
Stadt Göttingen
Universitätsstadt Tübingen

Version of
Mai 2019

Contributions at the kick-off event in June 2019