Solution for Shrinking Cities: Art and Parks

After unification, many East German towns began losing jobs and population. In 2003, the government formed a group to study how these cities could best recover. The results are in.

The town of Dessau-Rosslau is one of the more extreme cases; it was formerly two separate towns, but population loss became so bad they were forced to merge to keep city services going.

One of the IBA [International Building Exhibition, the group studying the problem]'s more radical ideas is that of "city islands" in Dessau-Rosslau. The planners have "kind of disassembled the city into pixels and put it back together again using a cut-and-paste method," as Brückner explains. According to the concept, Dessau-Rosslau would abandon the model of a more compact central city, leaving only islands of houses. "Buildings will be cut out and in the empty spaces we will insert countryside," Brückner explains.

It's an idea that originates from a poll of the city's inhabitants."

Other cities are filling the gaps left by demolished buildings with giant art pieces.

Full Story: Eastern German Project Provides Hope for Shrinking Cities

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