Former DDR cities in Germany have experienced a tremendous population decline since the unification of the country in 1990. This phenomenon was seen in most cities of former DDR, but more manifested in planned industrial cities during socialist era. The loss of population in these planned industrial cities has created not only the loss of economic vitality and social cohesion but also the increase of vacant housing. The vacant housings were more prominent in Plattenbauten (prefabricated large apartment complex that was constructed in DDR era) built in fringes of the cities. To mitigate the problems associated with vacant housings, some former DDR cities of Germany have begun to dismantle the Plattenbauten. This action has been supported by federal government of Germany with its affluent subsidy program called Stadtumbau Ost enacted in 2002.
This paper tries to clarify how the dismantling procedure was executed, especially the selection process of the dismantling buildings, and the idea behind it from an urban planning context. The paper focused on city of Hoyerswerda, one of the above mentioned planned industrial cities as a case study. Hoyerswerda is the city in State Saxony who has experienced a loss of population after reunification that resulted in an abundance of vacancy housing in Plattenbauten. The city dismantled 8291 housing from 1990 to 2011 to remedy the situation. To achieve the research objective mentioned above, the author has conducted a series of literature surveys and interview surveys to whom engaged in the actual policy along with a field study of the site to observe how the policy has executed.
The research found out that the selection of building to dismantle was decided from two perspectives: city-wide scale and neighborhood scale. The objective of dismantling plan for city wide scale was to save the urban core by demolishing Plattenbauten in fringe of the city. Its idea was articulated in city documented reports: Urban Design Concept Plan (1999); InSEK I (2003); and InSEK II (2008). The research found that this objective was accomplished according to the plan. The objective of dismantling plan for neighborhood scale was more case specific. Urban Design Concept Plan suggested detailed criteria, such as putting emphasis on whether the vacant land after demolition would create new benefits to the surrounding area or not. The new benefits that the report suggested were lower density, quality of landscape, scale of buildings. However, the later published InSEKs do not articulate specific criteria since stakeholders such as bank have begun to influence the decision. The research provided the selection of demolition building procedure in diagram as its result.