DIFA-AWARD to recognise Europe's best quarters (DE)

Which quarter offers the best quality of life in Europe and where can users find the most favourable life/work conditions? The 2006 DIFA-AWARD organised by DIFA Deutsche Immobilien Fonds AG is now open for entries from urban quarters across Europe that offer outstanding quality of life and thereby make a sustainable contribution to the attractiveness of our towns and cities.

Being held for the fourth time, this urban real estate competition will explore quality of life within completed quarters in terms of architecture, planning and social aspects. The evaluation process will also include criteria such as the mix of uses within the quarter, cooperation between the private and public sectors and the level of participation by users in designing their district, with cultural and social diversity also being factors that help determine the quality of a location.

Prizes for the 2006 DIFA-AWARD total €30,000, and the competition is aimed at all European towns and cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants. The closing date for entries is 30 November 2005, with the awards ceremony taking place at the EXPO REAL commercial property show in Munich in October 2006.

"Sustaining and enhancing quality of life in urban spaces is of immense social and political importance. As a catalyst for integration, urban quarters can make an major contribution to improving everyday life and the well-being of city dwellers," says Professor Christiane Thalgott, urban planning official for the City of Munich and member of the DIFA-AWARD's jury of experts. Enhancing public spaces is just one example of how quarter developments are successfully benefiting towns and cities in many parts of Europe. The theme of this year's DIFA-AWARD is designed to highlight the conditions that help an urban location become popular while at the same time satisfying a wide range of requirements in terms of life/work balance.

City planning and building departments, economic development agencies and other municipal institutions are invited to submit completed quarter projects to the 2006 DIFA-AWARD, as are investors, project developers and architects.

First launched by Hamburg-based DIFA Deutsche Immobilien Fonds AG in 2001, the DIFA-AWARD is presented on a bi-annual basis to real estate projects which make a significant contribution to boosting the attractiveness of towns and cities. Through a high-profile awards ceremony at EXPO REAL, the DIFA-AWARD has quickly established itself as an internationally recognised forum for dialogue on the future of the city.

Source: DIFA

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