Schönebeck is the City of Campaigns

Interview with Antje Müller

"The citizens‘ interest and cooperation is urgently necessary for the city’s development."
Antje Müller, City IBA Coordinator


Schönebeck has only taken part in the IBA process since 2008. Where did you get the courage to join up on such short notice?

Antje Müller: Schönebeck applied to be an IBA city as early as 2003; in 2007, we renewed the application as correspondence city for Magdeburg with reference to the Elbe or for Dessau with reference to the scenic landscapes. In 2008, the Steering Committee then decided that Schönebeck should be an independent site with the topic of “Seventeen Hundred and Seventy-Four”. We see IBA as an opportunity to develop Schönebeck in a way that would otherwise not be possible without IBA.

The topic “Seventeen Hundred and Seventy-Four” is not derived from its location on the Elbe or from landscape design considerations …

Antje Müller: … rather from the urban structure and the three colonial roads that connect the three town centres and that everyone notices when they take a look at the city plan. This structure is the basic framework for the image of a “breathing city” that to this day has coped with the ups and downs of its development. We want to strengthen the town centres through IBA, renaturate the industrial and commercial brownfields, rendering them useful once more, and also draft a concept for dealing with gradually derelict allotment parks.

What have you got to show in 2010?

Antje Müller: Schönebeck is the city of campaigns. Spring rambles and autumn discussions have taken place. With this, we wanted to raise the awareness for the Old Town among Schönebeck’s inhabitants. It is also a question of new identification. In 2010, the IBA exhibition is set to open in the IBA Shop on Steinstraße. Steinstraße itself, situated in the Old Town, is among the IBA projects. We want to design its large gaps as a plot park by planting hedges to mark the historical plots and by upgrading the derelict lots through planting flowerbeds, fruit trees and installing benches. Employing this intermediate use, we want to attract interest for this district and for the Old Town in general among investors. In this context, we are planning a City Run for April 18, among other things.

What does a city run have to do with urban development?

Antje Müller: The run, which we want to be an annual carnival, will be along the three colonial roads and connect the three town centres of Bad Salzelmen, Frohse and Schönenbeck. We hope that will get the inhabitants of the local centres more interested in the overall city – interest and participation among the citizens are of indispensable importance for the city’s development.

The run alone will hardly be enough to motivate the Schönebeck inhabitants to get involved. Who are your partners?

Antje Müller: In addition to dedicated citizens who form their own interest groups – such as am Elbtor –, we also have the municipal housing construction company and the local association of garden enthusiasts, as well as the schools and sports clubs for the run itself. Schönebeck has the initiative “Save the Old Town” that is also represented on the City Council. The presentations in the IBA Shop included in the IBA process and the urban development, especially through the spring rambles and the autumn discussions.

How will IBA influence the city’s development beyond 2010?

Antje Müller: IBA will be with us for a long time. From 2011, we intend to renaturate and gentrify the Saline Islands as areas for recuperation. The Turnip Loading Site will be in the focus of attention from 2013 onwards. Restructuring of the allotment areas is a process that will take decades, parallel to the population development.

And the topic-defining colonial roads?

Antje Müller: There is less to do in the Friedrich and the Wilhelm-Hellge- Straße, but the Geschwister-Scholl-Straße is our problem child. It connects Frohse and Schönebeck and has to deal with a lot of traffic, especially heavy-duty traffic. But we can only change things here once the bypass road is finished. If the city repairs the road and plants greenery around it, residents will hopefully follow and will restore the houses.

Info: Schönebeck (Elbe)

(Municipal Area of 2010)
1989: 46.589
2009: 34.504
2025: 26.419 (Future Prospect)

Municipal Area: 85,77 qkm