Eisenhüttenstadt – Brandenburg’s province and Berlin – the contrasts make some despair. Others write songs of mockery. By far the best known is the “Brandenburg Hymn” by Rainald Grebe. He sings of sadness, especially for young people, and against it: “Hallelujah! Berlin! Everyone wants to go there. ”But is that still the case – 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall? “No and yes,” says Florentine Nadolni.
“On the one hand, in view of the rampant land and rental prices, not everyone can and wants to go to Berlin. On the other hand, Berlin’s conurbation, which is still booming, is contrasted with shrinking cities on the outskirts of Brandenburg – unfortunately often with the associated social and cultural deficits. “
“Our city is increasingly being noticed”
Florentine Nadolni is the director of the “Utopia and Everyday Life” museum in Eisenhüttenstadt, which has been hosting the special exhibition “Beginning without an end. On the transformation of the socialist city ”shows. In this context, she invited to a panel discussion on Sunday, which is primarily intended to deal with the question of whether, in addition to places close to Berlin, those on the periphery of the country will also be able to benefit from the growing capital in the future.
The Eisenhüttenstadt administration is quite optimistic about this. “Our city is being noticed more and more,” says Christina Chvosta: “On the one hand, this affects the increasing numbers of tourists, but also the increased interest of young, creative people or families with many children who simply want to escape the increased cost pressure in Berlin and in the suburbs . ”
The city has a lot to offer this target group, to whom the new image campaign “Hütte hat was!”, Says Christina Chvosta, who looks after potential new residents or returnees: “There is enough inexpensive living space here, regardless of whether Rental apartments or houses. ”In addition, there are sufficient gardens, garages and day-care centers. When asked by many, “What can you do after work in Eisenhüttenstadt?”, Chvosta refers to the cultural offers and sports clubs – from dancers to sailors, but also to the Schlaubetal or the nearby Neuzelle monastery.
The population in Eisenhüttenstadt has halved since the fall of the Wall
She is currently advising and looking after six prospective immigrants. Although they do not receive a financial contribution like in other cities, they do receive a welcome folder from the residents’ registration office. More than 80 folders have already been awarded this year. They also include a ticket for a city tour. The newcomers should know that their new home was built more than 70 years ago as a residential area for the workers of the Eisenhüttenkombinat Ost. In 1988 about 53,000 people lived in Eisenhüttenstadt. Today there are 24,000. “We have now moved back in, but since most of the residents are older, that doesn’t make up for the death rate,” says Christina Chvosta.
Many cities are still shrinking in Brandenburg, says museum director Florentine Nadolni, but none as much as Eisenhüttenstadt: “It doesn’t have to stay that way.” This is another reason why she invited two scientists from the Potsdam University of Applied Sciences to the panel discussion on yesterday’s Sunday the Berlin-Brandenburg interdependent area won 1st prize in the Berlin-Brandenburg 2070 International Urban Design Ideas Competition.
The architects Bernd Albers and Silvia Malcovati examined the sub-area “Tempelhof-Südkreuz” and “Bernau” as well as “Schwedt an der Oder”. “Since Schwedt grew as fast as Eisenhüttenstadt because of the petrochemical combine, you can compare a lot,” says Silvia Malcovati. First of all, the residential buildings were built and only later or not at all public facilities: “There is no real center, or there are gaps that have to be built on in such a way that they lead to the revitalization of the city center.”
A city’s image is a so-called soft location factor
After all, the image of a city is also considered a so-called soft location factor. Eisenhüttenstadt can score points with Tom Hanks, who is interested in urban planning, who has already visited the city twice and raved about it in front of millions of American TV viewers.
Schwedt, on the other hand, was already considered by Rainald Grebe, alongside the Cottbus entertainer Achim Menzel, to be the epitome of Brandenburg provinciality. “Hillary Clinton is at the Adlon tonight! Achim Menzel can’t find the dealership in Schwedt! ”Perhaps not bad – because dealerships will play a less important role in the future, the Potsdam architects agree.
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“Future mobility will be created by rail transport,” says Albers. The state development plan for Berlin and Brandenburg also foresees something similar. Bad luck for Schwedt that it is not connected to the Berlin-Stettin railway line. Lucky for Eisenhüttenstadt that the regional express 1 runs there from Magdeburg via Potsdam, Berlin to Cottbus.
In fact, Brandenburg’s Infrastructure Minister Guido Beermann (CDU) presented the new strategy for urban development and housing a few days ago. It assumes that the “spatial polarization between the increasingly dense area close to Berlin and the wider metropolitan area for Brandenburg continues to shape the structure”. In this way, the cities located on the axes of rail traffic approaching Berlin could take on relief functions “in the second row” and benefit from settlements. Florentine Nadolni believes that the surrounding area of the capital region will continue to expand. And so that cities become interesting that, like Eisenhüttenstadt, were jottwede in the past: Janz far out.