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GA English on Sunday: News in Brief from Bonn and the region

GA English on Sunday : News in Brief from Bonn and the region

Citizens present their ideas for revamping the Rhine promenade, Bonn mayor Katja Dörner outlines her digital agenda, Bad Godesberg train station entrance reopened, and Independent Bonn International School’s Virtual Open Week in March - here is our news in brief on Sunday.

Ideas for revamping the Rhine promenade

BONN. One of the city’s major infrastructure projects in the next few years is the redesign of the Rhine promenade on the left bank of the river. On Friday evening, citizens again had the opportunity to be involved and present their ideas for the approximately two-kilometre-long section between Zweiter Fährgasse and Rosental.

Around 60 people took part digitally and contributed plenty of ideas in the chat room. The main tenor was that the promenade should be free of traffic as far as possible. One contribution stated: "The Rhine bank is too good for parking and through traffic". Or: "Trees instead of parking spaces!" A place "for diverse cycling culture”. Another wanted a café/workshop/starting point for tours. Other suggestions included a cabaret stage, more restaurants, an art forum, a beach volleyball court and a climbing wall at the Alter Zoll. And with all these leisure activities, public toilets should not be forgotten.

One participant sees a shortcoming in the fact that the Rhine bank is not accessible by public transport and suggested that a bus should run there. The idea of water taxis was also mentioned. The proposal of a one-way street regulation and the opening of one half of the street for cycle traffic had already been reflected on the city’s participation platform (www-bonn-macht-mit.de), as well as access for the disabled.

The redesign is to take place in three construction phases. The city submitted a funding application to the Cologne district government in 2020 for the first phase (between Kennedybrücke and Alter Zoll) and the second phase (between Kennedybrücke and Rosental). According to city planning officer Helmut Wiesner, there is a good chance that the federal and state governments will cover 70 per cent of the 17-million-euro investment. The remaining share would have to be shouldered by the city.

Considering comparable projects, the timetable is quite ambitious. Following public involvement, a Europe-wide competition for the planning is to be decided by the council in May and around 15 planning offices are to submit their ideas. Then a jury of experts and politicians will evaluate the winning design this autumn. The municipal authorities want to start the first construction phase below the opera house as early as 2023 and tackle the second construction phase north of the bridge from 2025. According to current plans, the third construction phase between Alter Zoll and Zweiter Fährgasse would begin in 2027.

Interested parties can leave their ideas on the city's participation platform up to Sunday 7 March: www.bonn-macht-mit.de.

(Original text: Philipp Königs)

Mayor Katja Dörner presents digital agenda

BONN. Mayor Katja Dörner presented her digital agenda at an online event in the “Digital Academy” series for the Volkshochschule (adult education centre) in Bonn. “I see digitalisation as an opportunity and not as an end in itself,” Dörner stressed at the beginning of her talk. Digitalisation, she said, was one of the four core topics she had identified for her term in office and should above all be “an enabler” for her three other goals: climate neutrality, changes in transport policy and social justice.

In the mobility sector, Dörner spoke of possible digital aids such as a mobility app or car-sharing services. She stated that cooperation with other municipalities is important so that commuters can also use the apps past the borders of the city. Digital systems also help the city to work more efficiently in public spaces, Dörner explained, citing examples such as street lights that only come on when people are there, or sensors that control the watering of green spaces.

The pandemic has brought the need for digitalisation in education into focus, Dörner said. The infrastructure for this would have to be created by expanding fibre optics, for example, and also by providing equipment, especially in schools.

(Original text: lmc)

Station entrance reopened

BAD GODESBERG. Good news for rail passengers in Bad Godesberg – access to the station from Von-Groote-Platz was reopened on Friday afternoon, following months of closure due to renovation work at the station. As previously reported, a new staircase has been constructed which now leads from Von-Groote-Platz into the station building. "The work was completed today to the extent that we can reopen the entrance," said a spokesperson for Deutsche Bahn. However, the staircase is still not completely finished: wooden structures are being used as railings on the staircase.

The next step is to build a ramp so that access to the subway is barrier-free. According to Deutsche Bahn, however, this will be built by the city. The railway spokesperson confirmed to the GA that all work would be completed by the end of the second quarter of 2021.

(Original text: GA)

Virtual Open Week at Independent Bonn International School (I.B.I.S.)

BONN. From 22.03.2021 to 26.03.21, I.B.I.S. will hold a Virtual Open Week, which will allow potential families to visit the school from the comfort and safety of their own home

Although, with all hygiene rules in place, the school continues to welcome guests and interested families to the school, the Virtual Open Week will allow those who are unable to visit in-person to explore the school; to meet key teachers and members of staff, see things from the perspective of an I.B.I.S. student and to attend a special virtual concert.

Teaching is slowly returning to normal at school, but lessons have been learned from the period of ‘remote learning’, that can continue to be of use for post-pandemic times, according to Headteacher Mr. Philip Wharton: “Through adapted timetables, Zoom lessons and our own Cloud platform, our school worked hard to ensure that our students didn’t miss out during the various lockdowns we’ve had, and although we are very happy to see students slowly return to school, we are equally keen to use our new found virtual experience and expertise in other areas of school life.”

(Translations: Caroline Kusch)