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Leinefelde: Town rebuilding and Town prizes - worldwide well known urban redevelopment got awards such as the World Habitat Award
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Situation at the beginning

A situation were 1989/1990. The picture at that time was stamped by big prefabricated building settlements and renovation to destitute city centres as well as a starting decline in the birthrate and a massive drift in the population. To oppose these problems, different immediate measures were initiated. Besides, modernisations and repairs of flats and also measures were in the foreground for the residential sphere improvement. Moreover, complementary measures were taken up to the empty trinkets fight.

By the turning time a state of affairs which required an adaptation also from the politics had arisen. The town third world aid policy sste free themselves from the old situation of the growth in population and adapt themselves to the new circumstances of the shrivelling processes.

Situation in Leinefelde (south town)

For many years the town to Leinefelde - Worbis, situated in the northwest edge of Thuringia, is known for architecture full of quality with the rebuilding by prefabricated buildings.

­Many new jobs were created in Leinefelde by the settlement of big­ cotton spinning mills after the 2nd world war­. This led from the 60´s years to a relatively big town enlargement, the­ south town, with nearly 4000 modern apartments­ and complementary facilities as for example to a shopping centre, sports facilities, day-care centres and schools. Only in 1969 got Leinefelde the status of town and this after a very short, but the more intensive development stage. In 1989 the existing prefabricated building settlement already counted 14,000 inhabitants and even other sections were planned. With it the portion of the so-called prefabricated building flats had risen in the whole flat continuance of Leinefelde on approx. 90%. With the turn in 1989 the carefully planned balance of living and work was destroyed  suddenly. The town vision broke in the competition of the world markets and in the susceptible economic mono structure. From this moment the job of the town rebuilding, less than reaction to demographic movements, but rather positioned itself in Leinefelde as a necessary reorientation for a failed town planning, economic and social experiment.

Town rebuilding to Leinefelde-Worbis

Town rebuilding must be an executive function to be able to be successful in the narrow teamwork of management, politics and the varied actors. However, the process of the town rebuilding in Leinfelde was also marked by the fact that one has become more courageous of measure to measure, the borders of the feasibility were expanded gradually. The citizens were incorporated from the outset in the planned considerations and there were varied offers to the co-operation. Still dominated with the first demolitions lack of understanding and the presence of angry. But the quality of life recreated thereby was obviously: more green, more parking- and play possibilities. This has caused a mood change in the course of the time, the scepticism has given way to the curiosity and the refusal to the wish to be able to profit also of the new qualities. Today these aspects are an essential part of the successful history of Leinefelde.

Beside these results must argue to Leinefelde, however, also furthermore with certain problems. One are of it the falling population figures. To position itself to this conflict and to protect the balance between country and town united Leinefelde. In 2003 coalescence with the neighbouring town Worbis. Together the urban functions and also the care duties could be secured for the surrounding rural space better.

The municipality Leinefelde -Worbis, formerly Eastern Germany, has consciously argued with the help of an integrative and partially beginning with the challenges of depopulation, shrinking economy and dilapidated building empty states. New possibilities of employment were created, the urban infrastructure and the residential sphere were revalued significantly, and more than 2,500 flats were altered with a high ecological standard.  

The project “ZukunftsWerkStadt ("FutureWorkTown") is designed to reach a lasting urban development in connection with the dramatic changes in the east of Germany after the reunion.

It insists of measures like:

- To contribute considerably to the improvement of the living conditions, the urban infrastructure and

- To achieve creation of new possibilities of employment

- To get support of payable and attractive living space in a diverse and well-balanced flat market

- To give priority to modernisations/repairs of flats and also measures for the residential sphere

- To take up complementary measures to the empty trinkets fight.

- To reach improvement of the social and economic stability and the support of the active life

In the first years after the turn, at one time when in the new and in the old federal states hardly somebody was ready to think in the great housing developments with sinking numbers of inhabitants about the subject, demolition or partial demolition this possibility was discussed in the group with other measures in Leinefelde already constructively: On basis of the frame plan adopted by the town council as well as the revaluation investments, the public hand as well as the house building society on the town were able to planning relevant areas – they could be steered since 1995. Under the direction of the mayor and his team a persuasive draught could be developed in continuous cooperation with a planning office for the Redevelopment of the town Leinefelde. Beside the conceptual considerations to the rebuilding of the great housing development "south town" the subject of the revaluation of the historical city centre was worked on at the same time: This was an important condition for the fact that in the population for the other concentration of public investments in the south town a wide support could be found.

At the same time big strains were started fetching back new jobs in the town. In contrast to many other East German towns on this occasion, Leinefelde did not execute the demolition of the available structures, but decided "to leave" blank falling trade surfaces first of all. This decision was right, the politics of the long breath has paid off: Under skilful use of contacts with tradition-conscious economics from the west 2000 new jobs could be created till this day.

Beside the conceptual bases of the planning, the built result is also convincing, particularly in the architecture quality of the realised projects – also with the rebuilding of the floor house buildings like with the most different new buildings. In this conversion process of the long term invested planning, experience were gained and new perspectives were opened which one may call all over the country as a pointing the way: Partial back constructions from 1.5 to 2 floors are in Leinefelde in the meantime a standard. The back construction of a more than 200-m-long construction block to eight separate town villas, also the variety of the forms in the transformation of ground floor zones is especially innovative.

Under the direction of the engaged mayor, who understands the urban development as a central job, a forerunner function has been developed for Leinefelde not only at land level and national level meanwhile, in addition, separate worldwide. As a proof of it the town got the prize World Habitat Award of the United Nations in 2007. Since the presentation on the Expo in 2000 delegations come from all over the world to utilise the experiences from Leinefelde to themselves. Also the inhabitants have thereby developed a good self-confidence and strong sense of belonging to her town.

Finally one can say that the positive development of the town is based on the basis of a relentless analysis. She served as a basis for a draught capable of consensus which was cut on the situation and was pursued afterwards with all compulsory flexibility and consequence. Standing property is constantly important and absolutely also the necessary little quantity luck, then miracles become feasible.

Today the town stands for: succesful participation to Expo 2000 and Expo 2010 in Shanghai, town prizes, arcitecture prize, World Habitat Award, Sir Acombie Prize, city reconstruction, urban developement...