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The City Has a Future

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Harald Bodenschatz

Published on the site of the Goethe Institute.

The city is back on the agenda of the chattering classes - not just in science and culture, but also in the press. There is talk of an 'urban renaissance', of a 'triumph of the city' even.

There are also unmistakable signs of well-heeled social groups returning to the city centres as workers, shoppers, residents and visitors. New pedestrian-friendly, attractive public spaces are becoming adventure zones, offering a stage to 'creative types'.

The urban cultural scene is proliferating. New museums are being built, and old ones extended and spectacularly remodelled. Exhibitions, concerts, drama festivals and uncounted pop culture events are drawing expectant audiences into the city. Conversely, the prophets of the 'dying city' paint quite a different picture - one of shrinking spaces, unemployment, poverty, marginalisation, vandalism, crime, an ageing population, and empty and decrepit buildings. The urban plague seems to be spreading. In fact, the nature of German cities' development varies widely, with prospering cities such as Munich and Stuttgart contrasting with shrinking towns like Chemnitz. Even within cities, blossoming areas and zones of decay often lie close together.

The full lenght article has been published on the site of the Goethe Institute.
Dieser Beitrag ist auch auf deutsch erschienen.