Multicentral Shrinkage - Dessau-Rosslau - Germany
Dessau-Rosslau is one of the fastest shrinking regions in Europe.
The city is now far too large for the number of people currently living there. As part of the IBA International Building Exhibition Urban Redevelopment Saxony-Anhalt in 2010, a radical concept of urban shrinkage was developed.
Through selective reduction of inner city buildings, garden zones were created in the middle of the city, while the so-called urban cores were compacted and strengthened as city islands.
The expansive English gardens of the historic Garden Realm surrounding Dessau-Rosslau thus finds an echo in the city. In the last seven years, more than two-thirds of the planned ninety acres of the city’s new natural landscape have been created.
The green corridor extends from the central train station to the Südstadt.
Local residents maintain parts of the area (referred to as “claims”), while larger parcels are used as BMX courses, for example.
The aim is to increase the quality of both the gardens as well as the urban islands in the “green sea.”
Whether or not this ambitious attempt to increase the city’s appeal to current and future residents will succeed in the long run, remains to be seen.