The Revival of Large Housing Estates

Authors: Sigrun Kabisch*, Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research-UFZ
Topics: Urban Geography, Social Geography, Field Methods
Keywords: long-term study, integration efforts, affordable housing
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/7/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Maryland B, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Although large housing estates are no longer the top market segment in many cities, they play an important role in providing affordable housing. Combined with acceptable infrastructure facilities and green surroundings they are attractive for households with children. In addition, those residents who moved to the estates at an early stage remained and became elderly. Thus, renovation of the built environment including upgrading efforts and tailored adaptation of infrastructure facilities are indispensable. It is most noticeable that these estates have to fulfil immense integration efforts, concerning integration of low income groups as well as immigrants. In this regard, the provision with high quality schools for the residents is of highest priority.
Based on results of a unique long-term study over the last 35 years, in a large housing estate in the city of Leipzig, Eastern Germany, we can describe the non-linear development. Originally 85,000 residents lived in the estate in 1987. After the German reunification this number dropped down dramatically to 45,000. This process was accompanied by housing vacancy, demolition of blocks and schools going along with a negative image. At the same time and nonetheless, investments in the estate started to keep and to differentiate the apartment offers. The major strategy was to develop a diverse landscape consisting of different small-scale residential areas with specific characteristics. This diversification in socioeconomic, built and environmental terms within the estate is the key for a mainly successful development trajectory of the estate nowadays. Ongoing efforts remain concerning social cohabitation and integrati

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