My hometown

Feature photo: View of Heilbronn in October 2018

I am a native of Heilbronn, who was actually born in Heilbronn and not in Sontheim like many people nowadays. I also grew up in Heilbronn and only had to leave Heilbronn for work-related reasons. I was neither able to study there — which is still only possible to a very limited extent today, nor were my subsequent employers able to find me a job in Heilbronn.

For years I had attempted commuting out of Heilbronn, only to repeatedly find that this was not possible outside of Baden-Württemberg, or even to its more southern areas. Heilbronn is too far away from all airports for that and the connection to today's ICE train stations in Mannheim, Würzburg, Nuremberg, Karlsruhe, Heidelberg or Stuttgart has been more than modest for decades.

But without any question, Heilbronn is and will remain my hometown. And since I returned to Heilbronn with my better half after my professional life - which cannot be said of many of my former classmates - I can even call myself a Heilbronner by choice, which all in all makes me a genuine Heilbronner without any ifs or buts power.

That's why I don't give a damn about what's happening in Heilbronn, on the contrary, I can still get really and terribly upset about a lot of things that have been going completely wrong for decades.

That doesn't mean I don't like my hometown! I still like it very much, especially when you consider that we are a very tranquil but also extremely livable "medium-sized town" and could actually also be the flourishing center of the lowlands if we only wanted to.

Heilbronn has many advantages, for example you are just far away from the beaten path that you can settle down comfortably here, but also, if you want to and do not use the rush hours, you can get to the metropolises fairly quickly — my personal favorite is Strasbourg .

Heilbronn certainly has its charm, one can take the municipal council meetings as an example: elsewhere, even the most conflict-prone meetings are still passed as seminars for deep relaxation. Urban problems are only halfway recognized as such after decades and intended solutions tend to be thought of in the category of the coming century. It's not for nothing that we used to call ourselves Germany's cosiest wine village, but at least we all still know where to find the best Lemberger in the world.

In the meantime, however, many of us probably no longer find this quite lovable tranquility quite so desirable, and so we humans pay for the fact that they suggest to us that we are not only a university city and the center of global science, but also a space city at the same time.

Without a doubt, Heilbronn is for me personally the most beautiful city in the world, the city in which I really like living, but please, let's be a bit realistic and don't constantly lie to our own pockets. We are a city with many advantages, some of which may not be immediately apparent to everyone. However, we are not a cosmopolitan city and also not a global center for democracy, research, development or industry.

If we really wanted to become all of this one day, then we would have to change quite a few things in Heilbronn, and we would have to change this very quickly — halfway renovating Turmstrasse in just under 100 years is not the right speed for this!

keyword democracy

More than 50% of us Heilbronners have a migration background, so it would only be logical and desirable if this is not only reflected in the city administration, but also in the municipal council.

keyword energy

Originally there were not only two nuclear power plants around Heilbronn, but also one of the larger energy producers in Baden-Württemberg with the coal-fired power plant. We no longer want nuclear power and coal, so we would have to quickly ensure that we get a gas power plant, which not only can later be used as a hydrogen power plant, but also ensures that local electricity and heat production at least meets the capacities from the reached in the 1970s.

That's why we also have to think about a larger battery buffer and also about a waste incineration plant, which will significantly reduce the waste that still accumulates before it is finally stored in the Heilbronn salt mine.

Keyword Neckar

If we want to remain a port city, then not only the locks have to be expanded, but also our port railway with all the roads connected to it, including the approach roads, and this must be combined with the expansion of the port facilities, storage and transshipment areas.

These port facilities would then become a symbol of Heilbronn and also very visible. But if we don't want that, then all ships will pass Heilbronn in the future.

keyword train

If we really want to have real trains in Heilbronn again, then we have to take the biggest urban planning measures. The tram has to be relocated to the rails in the station, whose platforms will not only be extended to 400 meters, but all platforms will be reactivated.

Buildings around the train station have to be demolished in order to build a bus station next to it and to widen the access and exit roads to the station. Not only will Paula-Fuchs-Allee flow into Kanalstrasse, but Bahnhofstrasse will also be extended to Kanalstrasse, which will also be expanded accordingly. And in the direction of the city center, traffic must be able to flow away via the new Kranenstrasse. The whole thing is then crowned with an IC hotel at the train station and the bus station also has its own infrastructure with shops and sanitary facilities.

keyword car

Individual transport will continue to play a major role in the future, especially when drives become more environmentally friendly and automation ensures completely different traffic frequencies. And as long as individual traffic remains ground-bound - in our case well into the 23rd century - we have to remember that the originally planned western bypass on a freeway around Heilbronn will still be realized. That's why we should think about it as soon as possible.

keyword air transport

If we don't want everyone flying through the city as they please in the future, we have to think about setting up a take-off and landing site in Heilbronn (not an airport!), which will also be connected to public transport. The faster we find a place for this, the easier it will be for later generations to realize it.

Keyword tram

Reactivating old routes is not a bad idea. And since the southern station was abandoned far too quickly, it should now be ensured that a tram arriving in Sontheim is also connected to the avenue. Ending this in Sontheim and then taking the rest with buses is neither fish nor flesh.

Some of the points I have raised here should not only be discussed in general as soon as possible, but also be sought for appropriate solutions. Because if we have to realize once again that we simply didn't want to have seen things more than 50 years ago, then it will no longer be possible for future Heilbronners to repair it.

Certain things, and above all jobs, will settle faster and faster in places where the appropriate infrastructure and, above all, the communication channels can be provided or implemented very easily.

Therefore, if we in Baden-Württemberg continue to have a say and do not want to see ourselves only as an "ideal commuter location between Stuttgart and Sinsheim", according to Wirtschaftswoche a few years ago, we have to start getting down to business.

And anyone who speaks of a University of Heilbronn or even a space city of Heilbronn must also ensure that one can study in Heilbronn: e.g. B. mathematics, physics, chemistry, mechanical engineering, aerospace engineering.

Tourism and wineology are not bad, especially if you stay a wine village, but not enough if you want to claim Heilbronn as a big city or even a knowledge city and certainly not as a major industrial city (4.0).

Again, I like being from Heilbronn and I'm comfortable here, but I don't run around all day telling everyone that I live here in the technological center of the galaxy.

That's why I don't feel like constantly having to explain the actual advantages of Heilbronn to visitors, just because they mistakenly think they have landed in a "European metropolis" and are therefore looking in vain for an opera house or a functioning swimming pool.


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3 thoughts on "My hometown"

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  • Thomas Michl 🇪🇺

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