Joanes Foundation

Living as a basic need

The apartment is living space and shelter at the same time. In addition to its function as a residential space, it is a place of security and serves as a basis for one’s own personal development. It therefore forms an essential component of a self-determined life. We believe that a place of residence receives its true value through a heterogeneous environment. Living in an urban center should not be reserved for certain social classes of the population.

The support and promotion of affordable housing is an essential component of the foundation’s work in order to create the conditions for an equal and free self-development throughout all social classes. The principle of cross-financing is intended to create long-term housing and financial security for all. Housing and living space, as property or for rent, must be accessible to everyone.

Living in a sustainable neighborhood

Since the individual property should not be thought of and operated without its social, ecological and economic context, we focus on an efficient, user-oriented and cost-optimizing planning within the district development. Thus, the requirements of the energy transition and the protection of the environment have to be taken into account as well as the demographic change, the digitalization and the changing lifestyles of the urban population.

Planning that takes people’s needs into consideration and at the same time realizes sustainable equipment is already having a positive effect on our future today.

Creating living space together

We want to create neighborhoods characterized by innovative forms of living and flexible utilization concepts. The residential areas consist of affordable rental and condominium apartments and communal areas, which offer the individual more space to interact, create and share.

In order to counteract processes of gentrification, we establish neighbourly structures that enable a mixture of generations and social classes. We want to promote a sense of solidarity and security, which then should combat loneliness, social exclusion and poverty.


We are committed to a timeless concept. We take this belief from the concept of the Fuggerei in Augsburg, which has been in operation since the sixteenth century and is still in use today. As the oldest existing social settlement in the world, economically disadvantaged people live at low rents and work for the common good of the residents with small services (e.g. garden maintenance). Our common faith: Public welfare is promoted with community. In the sense of giving and taking, of helping and being helped.

Board of Directors

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Eckart Hertzsch

Prof. Dr. Eckhart Hertzsch

Prof. Dr. Eckhart Hertzsch has more than 20 years of professional experience in the field of energy efficiency and has worked in various fields of architecture, energy consulting, industry, teaching and research in various countries.

After his appointment as professor at the University of Melbourne in 2006, Mr. Hertzsch headed the business unit ‘Morgenstadt’ at the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics, co-constructed the Morgenstadt-City Insights project and managed the three institutes of the ‘National Platform Future City’.

Today, he is board member of the Joanes Foundation based in Berlin. In addition, Mr. Hertzsch coordinates the content of the EU program ‘European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities’. Since October 2015 he is an honorary professor at the Technical University of Berlin in the field of ‘Technical Infrastructures at the Interface of Buildings and Quarter’.

Board of Foundation


Prof. Dr. Elke Pahl-Weber

Professor for Urban Development and Renewal of Settlement Units at the Institute for Urban and Regional Planning at the Technical University of Berlin. Active in the development of the ´Smart City` Competence Center, Berlin Start-Up Incubators, integrated urban planning processes and interactive model laboratories in times of climate change.


Prof. Dr. Ingrid Breckner

Prof. Dr. Ingrid Breckner heads the Department of Urban and Regional Sociology and the Doctoral Committee at HafenCity University Hamburg. She teaches on sociological questions of urban development and scientific research methods and conducts research on social inequality, (sub)urban living, demographic change, mobility and migration, (in)security, energy efficiency and consumer behaviour as well as regional food production and food culture.


Hiltrud Sprungala


Former Managing Director of BFW Landesverband Berlin/Brandenburg e.V. and Member of the Board of the BBA Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wohnungswirtschaft e.V.

Mrs. Sprungala takes over various advisory activities.

Board of Trustees

Dr. Otto Schily

Dr. Otto Schily

Lawyer and German politician of the SPD, former Federal Minister of the Interior and co-founder of the Green Party.


Nikolaus Ziegert

Managing Director of ZIEGERT – Bank- und Immobilienconsulting GmbH and founder of the Joanes Foundation.

Thomas Matussek

Thomas Matussek

Lawyer and former German Ambassador to Great Britain and India.


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The Foundations´s bodies

“The constituent organs of the foundation are the Executive Board, the Foundation Board and the Board of Trustees.


The Executive Board represents the foundation and implements the foundation goals. Besides, the Board manages a network of experts, stakeholders, research institutions and other foundations.


The Foundation Board counsels the Executive Board.


The Board of Trustees is the supervisory body of the foundation. This board controls the fulfillment of the foundation charter and represents the foundation in public“.