Research on Public participation in urban development


Jean-Claude Grazia zamour

During the years following the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989 the city of Leipzig in the former East Germany was facing considerable urban challenges. Vacant housing and derelict lots could be found everywhere. The population was shrinking and Leipzig became known as a perforated city. In the early 2000s, city officials obtained federal government funding for a research project entitled “Leipzig 2030” to help them develop planning and urban policies. Members of the project were urban planners, architects, sociologists, and anthropologists from Germany, Great Britain, and the United States. One of the purposes of the project was to develop a master plan that would reposition a city with a surfeit of buildings and space in such a way as to preserve the qualities  of that city, seize the opportunities presented by the transformation, and ensure that the city remains exciting, safe, and attractive for its inhabitants. The participants in the project used various scenarios of urban development in Leipzig up to the year 2030 to examine various questions that might affect the future growth of the city. In addition to scenarios of economic and spatial development, they focused on creating a family-friendly city where families would have all the advantages of suburban life in an urban setting. The paper examines “Leipzig 2030” and four other key projects with two important civic initiatives that were initiated and also analyzes the successful incorporation of the community stakeholders’ vision into them.


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