There are 40,000 people living in Ostfildern, which lies in the middle of the Stuttgart region. Known as a "Large County Town," Ostfildern is located on the eastern end of the Filder Plateau . The city was incorporated in 1975 in the course of a municipal reform, in which five hitherto independent communities were joined together: Nellingen - including Parksiedlung  -, Ruit, Kemnat, and Scharnhausen. Since then, another neighborhood has been developed: Scharnhauser Park, a family-friendly place to live and work, with a model approach to environmental protection and a pleasant 21st-century atmosphere.

Osfildern has developed a distinctive identity in the years since its founding. Today, Ostfildern is a self-assured, modern city with a high standard of living. This is due to city's well-structured residential areas, its green landscapes between the Körsch and Neckar Valleys, and its excellent infrastructure with up-to-date amenities for all areas of life. Residents appreciate  living in their city in the countryside.

The administration and the City Council are cognizant of their responsibility to maintain the quality of life for the people living here, and to oversee the city's further development with care. The basis for all municipal government decisions is provided by the city's guiding principles.

The city boasts excellent access to public transportation. The downtown area of the state capital city, Stuttgart, is reachable in 20 minutes via light rail, and the largest convention center in the state - the Messe Stuttgart - is directly accessible via the 122 bus line. Also reachable within minutes from Ostfildern are the autobahn connecting Munich and Karlsruhe; the Stuttgart Airport; and in the future, the Filder long-distance train station.  Several universities are located within a half-hour's drive: Hohenheim, Stuttgart, and  Tübingen, and the Esslingen University of Applied Sciences.

Among the economically significant activities in Ostfildern are: printing and publishing, mechanical engineering, and professional development. The city is also a popular location for congresses and conventions.

With regionally-oriented sports facilities, in particular, the State Sports School in Ruit, and a well developed network of sports facilities in the city's neighborhoods, Ostfildern is also a "sports city."


Stadtbahn der Linie U7

The largest district

With about 10,500 inhabitants, Nellingen is the largest neighborhood. It is shaped by its main thoroughfare, Hindenburg Street, which is both a major city-planning axis and the most important business street.

In Nellingen, one finds on the one hand the medieval town center near the monastery courtyard, together with Riegel Street on the neighborhood's southern end, and on the other, a modern school and sports center, an indoor swimming pool, and the KuBinO, a multi-use building offering space for education, child care and a meeting hall, along with the main branch of the municipal library. The light-rail line that was opened in 2000 ends in the northern part of the neighborhood. Nearby, on the site of the former streetcar terminus, a lively cultural center has arisen, including the municipal adult education center ("Volkshochschule") and music school.

Formerly a town oriented toward agriculture, Nellingen developed increasingly into a community of factory workers toward the end of the 19th century. With the entry into service of the END streetcar line to Esslingen in 1926, it became easier to reach factories in the Neckar Valley.

Compared with Kemnat, Ruit and Scharnhausen, Nellingen was always a large village. The former village boundaries, encompassing about 900 hectares, cover about half of the area of Ostfildern.

The neighborhood development process "Aging Well in Nellingen" was launched in the neighborhood in the summer of 2018. The aim is to develop concepts, with the help of residents' roundtables and input from many parties, that will ensure a good quality of life for older residents.  The pilot project is meant to be a model for other districts in the city.

Administrative center at the monastery

The name of the village was first referred to in a document in the year 1120. At that time, the local nobleman Anselm von Nellingen donated his property to the Monastery of St. Blaise, in the southern Black Forest.  A short time later, the Benedictine monks built a priory in Nellingen, to manage their properties in the region. The buildings that were constructed -- the Romanesque church tower, the Old Parsonage, the granary, and the priory building -- together make up the largest historic building complex in the city.

A new home after the war

Parksiedlung is a relatively young district. The area was first developed after the end of World War II. Philipp Albrecht von Württemberg had, at a time when  there was a shortage of housing, offered a stretch of land on the former grounds of the Royal Private Stud Farm in Weil for use as a housing development. He made possible the construction of housing, in return for 99-year lease contracts with a low yearly interest rate. People moved into the first blocks of apartment buildings in 1957. Many people who had been driven out of former German territories, or whose homes were destroyed in  bombing raids in Stuttgart, found new homes in the Parksiedlung district.

In 1959, construction was completed on the first section  of the Linden School in the western part of Parksiedlung. New sections were added on in 1966  and in 1993. In 1968, the Protestant Dietrich-Bonhoeffer Church opened its doors, and the Catholic St. Dominikus Church was consecrated.

Generational change

Due to the nearly contemporaneous settlement of the area, the Parksiedlung neighborhood for a number of years faced the challenge of a one-sided population structure: The children grew up and moved away, and the older people stayed behind. In the meantime, Parksiedlung has once again attracted a number of young families, who have found it to be a very livable neighborhood. Nearly 3,000 people live there today.

With the neighborhood planning process entitled "We in Parksiedlung" (Wips), new ideas for the area are being discussed and implemented  with the participation of residents in general, those involved in volunteer work, and members of the city administration.

Scharnhauser Park
From horse paddocks to a new neighborhood

Scharnhauser Park may be the the most recently developed district in the city, but its history goes back a long way: Its name comes from the former Royal Private Stud Farm in Scharnhausen, whose horse  paddocks were located here from 1817 to 1928. After that, the area was used for military activities, first as a Wehrmacht air base, and then under the U.S. military as the "Nellingen Barracks." After the Americans pulled ou in 1992, the municipal government made plans for civilian use of the 140-hectare parcel in the middle of the city.

With the adoption of an urban city-planning concept, a city neighborhood was brought into the countryside. In addition to a townhouse section, Scharnhauser Park features sections with apartment houses , retail businesses, a market square, and on the southern end, a commercial zone. The remaining buildings from the former air base have been granted landmark protection status, and are also an integral part of the neighborhood. In 2006, Scharnhauser Park received the German Urban Development Prize. The City Hall and and the School in the Park have likewise been recognized with architecture prizes.

As a counterpoint to the urban architectural language, one also finds extensive open spaces. The "Landscape Steps" comprise an impressive open-space axis with a view of the Swabian Alb hills . The nearby "Bürgergärten," or  "residents' gardens," and the chestnut-tree lane together make up a separate city park. The western edge of Scharnhauser Park has been designated a protected landscape area.

Environmentally oriented

In the planning for the new neighborhood, environmental sustainability was a key concern. The light-rail line to Stuttgart is the linchpin of the local transportation network. A wood-burning power plant provides heat and electricity. Rainwater drains into the earth through open channels, thus offsetting the effect of sealing the earth's surface with built structures.


Scharnhauser Park was planned as a child- and family-friendly district. With an elementary school and a number of pre-school and child care facilities, with manifold facilities devoted to play and recreation, from the "L-Quadrat" youth center to the trend-sport field and the children's workshop space ("Kinderaktivwerkstatt"), the neighborhood is a vibrant district -- not only for young people. Today, 8,500 people live there.

From a "street-centered" village to the green central square 

With its 7,900 inhabitants, Ruit is the third-largest district. On account of the axis defining its urban architecture -- Kirchheimer Street, which turns into Stuttgarter Street -- Ruit tends to be perceived as a "street-centered" village. This image has been counteracted in recent years through the upgrading of the central area -- from the Kronenplatz Square to the green central square  - in the course of a neighborhood renewal process.

Key elements of municipal infrastructure in Ruit are the city planning department, the Ruit municipal building, and the community center in Otto-Vatter  Street.

The most well-known institution in Ruit is the Ruit State Sports School, in the Zinsholz area.  On the edge of the green central square,  a facility run by the Samaritan Foundation is an important institution for older residents. The Zinsholz Center is a meeting place for young people, and also where the city offers social services geared toward children and young people.  Another institution that is of importance to the whole city is located here: the Ruit Medius Klinik, one of the hospitals in the Esslingen County network.

From a farming village to a community of factory workers

The first documentary reference to Ruit as a village was under the name "Rutte," in a papal document from 1173. One school of thought holds that the name was derived from the meaning of the words "gerodetes Land" or "cleared land." According to another theory, the name of the village comes from the word "Ried," meaning "wet meadows."

The number of residents in the farming village of Ruit grew from about 500 in the year 1800 to about 1,200 in the year 1900. The industrialization of the nearby Neckar Valley had a major impact on the history of the village. Not least due to the limited land area in the village, more and more farmers went to work in factories, and ran their farms only as a side business. Ruit increasingly became a community of factory workers.

With the arrival of refugees and people driven from their homes in former German territories, and due to population pressure in the neighboring state capital city of Stuttgart, and finally and importantly, due to successful initiatives to attract  business and industry, Ruit has developed into a modern, up-and-coming community.

A hub for the printing and publishing industries

Since the 1960s, Kemnat has developed into a prosperous community of residents and businesses on the periphery of the state capital city. A number of companies have set up shop in the commercial zone. The neighborhood is known today as an important center for the publishing and printing industries in Baden-Württemberg, above all due to the presence of the largest German travel-publishing group, MairDumont, and the headquarters of the Baden-Württemberg Print and Media Association.

Although Kemnat had traditionally been oriented more toward Stuttgart, the village was incorporated into the "East Filder City" in the course of the municipal reform process. And so  today, Kemnat, which has about 5,400 inhabitants, is part of the city of Ostfildern.

Site of the Württemberg Sheep Farm

The first documentary reference to Kemnat is found in a papal document from 1229. The name of the village is derived from the word "Kemenate" and it is thought to have originally meant "at the stone house with a heated chamber ("Kammer"). This indicates the existence at one time of a local noble family, about which no information is available today.

The Sheep Farm of the Dominion of  Württemberg, whose existence has been documented to the year 1451, and which was in operation until 1824, lent to the village of Kemnat a certain degree of regional prominence.  As with many other settlements in the surrounding area, the village was small: In the year 1600, about 300 people lived here. By the turn of the 20th century, the population had risen to about 1,000.

In addition to engaging in economic activities for which the town was known, such as as agriculture and traditional craft trades, townspeople increasingly began to work in local industries, once the German industrial expansion had taken off.  Also, many people went to work in the construction industry in Stuttgart.

The village in the picturesque Körsch Valley

Whereas the other parts of Ostfildern are located on the Filder Plateau, Scharnhausen lies in the picturesque Körsch Valley. The beauty of this landscape beckoned to Duke Carl Eugen in the days of yore, and so the village is closely connected to the history of the House of  Württemberg.  The Duke had a small "pleasure palace" built, and the park surrounding it was later developed into by the kings of  Württemberg into their Private Stud Farm. The small palace and a "temple of love" still bear witness today to that era.

The oldest known evidence for the existence of the village of Scharnhausen is a document from the year 1242, which mentions a knight named Konrad von Husen. The full name of the village was first recorded in 1283, and was derived from the name of the knight: Walther Scharre von Husen.

Birthplace of Philipp Matthäus Hahn

Scharnhausen earned a place in state and cultural history in the 18th century: This is where the pastor and inventor Philipp Matthäus Hahn was born. Nevertheless, Scharnhausen remained a poor farming village. Privation and an economy characterized by shortages dominated everyday life. This was due above all to the village's small land area, the rather high taxes, and the unfavorable location of the town on the slopes above the brook called  the Körsch, where the soil was difficult to cultivate. 

The 19th century saw industrial  development come to the Neckar Valley. Many residents of Scharhausen joined people from nearby towns  on their long daily commutes on foot to the factories. For aside from work in agriculture and the traditional craft trades, there were no other  jobs to be had in Scharnhausen itself.

The extension of the END streetcar line to Neuhausen in 1929 finally provided Scharnhausen, too, with a rail connection to the industries in Esslingen. It was not until the 1960s that a rapid economic upturn led to the growth of industrial areas in Scharnhausen. Whereas at the end of the 19th century, the village still had only about 1,100 inhabitants, today about 4,600 people live there.

The Scharnhausen Volcano

In earlier times, the Swabian Alb line of hills extended all the way to Stuttgart, or at least to  Scharnhausen. A natural landmark of a special type provides the evidence for this statement: The Scharnhausen Volcano, or rather, the remains of the volcanic vent -- a depression in the shape of a half-circle with a diameter of about 60 meters, on the north slope of the Körsch Valley between Ruit and Scharnhausen. White Jurassic rocks -- similar to those found on the Swabian Alb -- were found there. Evidently, these limestone rocks fell into the deep vent after the volcano erupted. They prove that at that time, the Swabian Alb reached as far as Scharnhausen.