- Networking - A Plea for the Extended Mind - Future Needs Origin but how much Origin Needs Future?    click here to open paper content1890 kb
by    Fritz-Haendeler, Renate | fritz-haendeler@t-online.de   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
Urban dynamics-federal state of Brandenburg-a networking process of 31 small towns with distinctive historical centers 20 years after the German reunification:self perception,creative cooperation and disillusion.
1.Political background
Turning points of national political systems, regulation and finance like the German reunification in 1990 – from a planned economy in East Germany to a democratic federal state – compel both partners to rethink the old performances and top-down modes of town planning. The new authorization for local self-government provided the municipalities in the eastern parts of Germany with more power to decide on urban development bottom up.
The settlement structure of Brandenburg is characterized by small-sized towns mostly within rural landscapes. Their population varies between 1,000 and 10,000 inhabitants. In the year 1991 a new national programme to subsidize urban structure rehabilitation proved positive for the situation in the state of Brandenburg; in particular for small medieval towns with distinctive historical sites. A synergy between strengthening of urban functions, preservation of cultural heritage and promotion of private initiatives was intended.

In the year 1992 – animated by the state of Brandenburg – 19 mayors founded a consortium of Cities with Historical Centers (www.ag-historische-stadtkerne.de).
They were interested in networking and joint activities to exchange ideas and experiences for a common purpose: the maintenance and renewal of their historic central sites. To invest in ‘building culture’ of the past was regarded as sustainable investment in the future of the towns.

PHASE 1: hopeful beginning – good prospects.

- Rediscovering local urban history together with a public process of
self perception in regional history,
- working out a set of criteria for membership and newcomers
- Developing an organizational structure and rules for mutual

PHASE 2 (about 1998): structural economic breaks - shrinking processes.
- forcing to adopt a more comprehensive understanding of urban dynamics
within a global market,
- necessity for more joint integrated actions and lobbying on a
wider scale,
- growing up to 31 members

CONTEMPORARY STATE: in the lee of capital interest > aging > brain drain; fundamental resetting of the State Development Plan(2009)“strengthening the strengths” - political concentration on 15 regional growth nodes.

- new integrated governance strategies of the network,
Real estate market place online, infrastructure and housing policies
for an aging society, marketing networks for tourism, growing
awareness of the surrounding cultural regions, new energy plants;

Questions: “driving on local visibility”? – The power of local logics?
shrinking processes, spatial planning, networking of small towns, cultural heritage preservation
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