City types

Cities with ever-decreasing populations must adapt existing structures to ensure their continued ability to function. Shrinkage is accompanied by harsh economic conditions. Planners can often merely intervene on a small scale, rather than taking sweeping measures to improve standards.

Councils must also cooperate with residents, local political agents, and the business community. This requires an attractive common vision. If the increasing amount of available space and vacant property can be successfully transformed, quantitative shrinkage can yield qualitative growth. There will not be an ideal city of the future. Every place will have to devise its own development solutions. Aschersleben, for instance, engages in functional and structural concentration at the centre, Bitterfeld-Wolfen is becoming a polycentric urban network, whilst Sangerhausen is fostering specific profiles of each individual area. Stendal is cooperating in a city triangle with Tangermuende and Arneburg. Halberstadt is building on its disused inner-city properties, and Strassfurt’s central area is being landscaped.

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Aschersleben is to become the prototype of a town which has systematically planned reducing its dimensions by pulling things down on the outskirts of the town, while at the same time improving its architecturally valuable town centre.

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In Bitterfeld-Wolfen regional amalgamation has raised the potential of a new organisational and spatial concept: functions have been concentrated, parallel structures disbanded.