Smart City & Urban Development

Urban Development

Handelsblatt Top Beratung 2023

Urban populations are growing fast. We help local and regional authorities define bold urban growth strategies.

Accommodating the scale of urban population growth demands major efforts in new and affordable housing delivery. New commercial development concepts are also required. Obstacles come in the form of high costs for land to build on that is accessible by public transportation, coupled with time-consuming planning and environmental procedures, accessibility of sustainable financing and lack of capacity in the construction industry. Moreover, accommodating population growth also creates increasing demand for more and better public transportation, parks, schools, and other amenities that improve quality of life in urban settings.

RITTERWALD supports local and regional authorities in defining bold urban growth strategies with our competencies in urban housing, planning and placemaking, alongside urban design. We can help arrange financing and public-private partnerships that suit residential investments.


Population growth creates an increasing demand for improvements in urban living.

This includes more and better public transportation, parks, schools and other amenities.

RITTERWALD offers clients the benefit of its know-how on the latest trends in urban living throughout Europe.

RITTERWALD supports the establishment and maintenance of public-private partnerships to implement bold urban growth strategies.

Market feasibility studies

The success of urban (re)development projects is often determined by the proper mix of housing tenures (social, mid rent and owner-occupancy) and building types in combination with a high-quality living environment: public space and proximity to retail and community services.

RITTERWALD clients benefit from our knowledge of the latest trends in urban living across Europe. Moreover, we work with multiple detailed sources of quantitative and qualitative data, enabling us to benchmark best practices.

Urban design

Quality of urban design is key in residents’ satisfaction ratings. In high-density metropolitan areas human scale is gaining importance: placemaking aligns with how residents experience outdoor urban daily life. This results in amenities on ground floors or rooftops, and mixed-use communities also create better work-life balance. Planners, urban designers and architects are increasingly taking residents’ individual preferences into account.

RITTERWALD has longstanding experience in managing multidisciplinary development teams. We work with award winning urban design and architectural firms across Europe that understand today’s challenges and are aware that design is part of a comprehensive development approach.

Sorry no alt-Tag

Particularly in densely populated urban centers, there is an increasing focus on how residents experience everyday urban living outdoors.

Building partnerships

Brownfield developments normally involve substantial costs (location, accessibility and remediation of the land) and entail a considerable alignment effort due to the variety of stakeholders involved. Time-consuming rezoning procedures and the process of getting local stakeholders (residents, businesses and environmental interest groups) on board make progress slow. Successful brownfield development projects, often with high degree of mixed use, often rely on public-private partnerships, which in turn necessitate the management of mutual expectations, timelines, absorption rates and financial capacities.

RITTERWALD knows how to develop and sustain public-private partnerships. We advise clients not only on structuring the legal entity for the partnership, but also on addressing sustainable goals, accessing public-private equity and debt financing, handling stakeholders, managing governance issues and addressing cultural biases.

Community building

Most metropolitan areas still feature monotonous large-scale multi-family residential neighborhoods built in the 1950s–1970s and now home to multi-ethnic households with limited economic prospects. As a consequence, social problems are persistent and accumulating: overburdened tenants who face energy poverty, low-quality schools and a lack of empowerment to improve their individual situations. Affordable housing companies acknowledge this challenge and are contributing to finding solutions.

RITTERWALD works with affordable housing companies across Europe to identify feasible ways to renovate their properties, implement sustainable maintenance measures and simultaneously introduce tool kits to empower individual households.