Many great potentials are lying dormant in historical towns and small cities along the Saxon-Polish border. Their cultural heritage could be exploited to raise the attractiveness of these locations and their quality of life of. How to achieve this was the objective of the EU project "REVIVAL! – Revitalization of historic towns in Lower Silesia and Saxony", led by the Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development (IOER). Strategy recommendations are now on hand for the region as well as the four Saxon and six Polish towns involved in the project.
Developing joint and individual strategies
Topics that concern all four German partner towns are, for example, the balancing act between preserving historical buildings and the need to modernize in order to ensure their continued use, or the question of how to get young people excited about their local cultural heritage and how the architecture of the past can also be used to stop demographic change and migration from the towns. Robert Knippschild: "In general, we can say that each municipality has to find its own effective pathway. Our strategy recommendations are intended to give them many important pointers. At the same time, the recommendations also apply to regional and state planning on both sides of the Saxon-Polish border." Clearly, the project did not operate in a vacuum: The various project documents, the strategy recommendations as well as a summarizing final brochure contain references to previous strategy papers and planning documents. This means that the region and the participating towns already have a foundation to build on.
REVIVAL! strategy recommendations for the region and individual partner towns of the project
The REVIVAL! strategy recommendations (in German) for Bautzen, Görlitz, Reichenbach/O.L. and Zittau on German side as well as for the Polish partner towns (in Polish) Bolesławiec, Gryfów Śląski, Kamienna Góra, Lubawka, Lubomierz und Żary can be found on the project website. The individual recommendations are preceded in each set of documents by the recommendations for the entire region.
Contact at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Ecological and Revitalizing Urban Transformation (IZS)
Prof. Dr. Robert Knippschild (IOER), e-mail: R.Knippschild@ioer.de
Bettina Knoop (IHI Zittau of the TU Dresden), e-mail: B.Knoop@ioer.de
In project "REVIVAL! – The revitalization of historical towns in Lower Silesia and Saxony", which ran from October 2018 to December 2020, three scientific institutions and ten towns in south-western Poland and eastern Saxony addressed the question of how settlements in rural areas can make better use of their cultural heritage and thus increase the attractiveness of their centres.
The scientific partners were the Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development (IOER, project management), the International Institute (IHI) Zittau of the Technische Universität Dresden and the Instytut Rozwoju Terytorialnego (IRT, Institute for Territorial Development) of the Lower Silesian voivodeship in Poland. Four German and six Polish towns/cities took part in the project as practice partners. On the German side, these were Bautzen, Görlitz, Reichenbach and Zittau; on the Polish side, the practice partners were Bolesławiec, Gryfów Śląski, Kamienna Góra, Lubawka, Lubomierz and Żary.
A scientific study was conducted within the project, which resulted in the drafting of strategy recommendations for the participating towns/cities and the region as a whole. In addition, the settlements also implemented pilot measures to revitalize their centres and organized a series of joint events. Information on the project is provided by a touring exhibition and an