Research Area.
Sustainability transitions in cities and regions

StadtumMig

From urban restructuring quarters to immigration neighbourhoods? New perspectives for peripheral industrial housing estates; Part: Planning and Infrastructure

Urban restructuring in Halle-Neustadt - opportunities for urban green space development (Photo: S. Rößler)
Houses in the background, large meadow in front of them

Problem

During the past 15 years, nearly all municipalities in Eastern Germany conducted urban restructuring mainly in industrial prefabricated housing estates, in terms of adapting the housing stock and the infrastructure to a decreasing population. This resulted in quarters at the fringe of these cities, where flats and infrastructure facilities and amenities have been demolished and reduced. In view of immigration of refugees, new perspectives for the development of these areas are revealing. Particularly in the former areas of urban restructuring, relevant in-migration can be observed. Thus, both the general population, but also the ratio of migrants is growing in short time. Following, new demands for the supply of residential housing, the provision of infrastructure and green spaces as well new requirements for the integration and participation of the new inhabitants occur. Parallel, also ecological needs, as climate mitigation and adaptation, resource efficiency, biodiversity or environmental justice should be increasingly addressed in urban development. Thus, affected municipalities face the challenge to develop feasible and sustainable urban development strategies and measures for these neighbourhoods.

Objectives

The project investigates potentials and problems connected to the immigration of refugees into former urban restructuring areas. The research aims at the potentials and obstacles for sustainable urban development, resulting from these processes.

Within the project part, conducted by IOER, the urban and green space planning framework and the status of housing stock, open and green spaces and the infrastructure facilities and amenities will be analyzed in selected neighbourhoods in the cities of Schwerin, Halle/Saale and Cottbus.

Based on this analysis and the results of surveys and participatory processes being conducted in the other project parts, the potentials for adaptation will be evaluated. Recommendations for sustainable urban development will be formulated both specifically for the case cities and generally for cities facing similar challenges.

Research Questions

Which physical perspectives do former urban restructuring quarters have in the context of changing demands?

Which measures are necessary to adapt the housing stock, the infrastructure facilities and the green spaces to the changing demands and to contribute to sustainable urban development?

Methods

The situation of housing stock, infrastructure facilities and green spaces is analysed based on geographical and statistical data, plans, documents, and site-visits. The urban and green space development framework is evaluated by document analysis and expert interviews. Additionally, findings of the socio-scientific surveys and experiences from the participatory elements will be reflected in the recommendations.

Planned Results

The project aims to develop strategies for the integration of refugees on a neighbourhood scale and recommendations for a sustainable urban development, which are both scientifically grounded and practically oriented.  

Practice directly can benefit from the project and its results, as the scientific findings will be reflected with local stakeholders and tailored recommendations for the focused cities and neighbourhoods will be developed. 

Beyond that, findings from the project will be introduced in the international scientific debate of sustainability transition. Additionally, also the national field of urban restructuring and urban regeneration will be addressed.