In various regions of east and west Germany, the changes in economic and demographic structures are becoming ever more obvious. Among other things, contracting populations spell new urban planning issues for municipalities. Solutions must be found to how municipalities can deal with high quantities of vacant real estate and how it can be guaranteed that inner cities will continue to function.
This is where urban redevelopment programmes come to bear: two programmes have been launched, the urban redevelopment programme in the east in 2002 and the urban redevelopment programme in the west in 2004. On the basis of holistic urban concepts, double strategies comprising measures for demolition and upgrading are being put in place. In east German municipalities the quantity of vacant real estate is being reduced in order to stabilize urban structures and to consolidate the market; the urban infrastructure is being adapted accordingly. At the same time, inner cities, districts worth preserving and valuable old buildings are being upgraded.
In municipalities in west Germany the focus of activities is on the inner cities, on residential districts with building from different eras and on industrial, social and military wastelands. What they all have in common is the fact that successful urban restructuring requires an integrated strategic approach. Accordingly, integrative urban planning development concepts need to be devised and/or updated for regions participating in the program.
The urban redevelopment programmes contribute to an enhanced culture of cooperation between local authorities and the real estate sector. At the current stage of urban restructuring what is of outstanding importance is to offer support to inner-city districts and to preserve their old buildings. Recent years have seen consistently higher- quality urban design, a visible enhancement of districts, and the preservation of old buildings.