Vol. 8, No. 2 (March 2004)    


___Andrea Haase
Aachen / Dessau
  Culture of Establishing and Using Space



This contribution introduces into the subject of a “culture of establishing and using space” by opening the view onto the various dimensions of the culture of settling in terms of “establishing, working on, caring for, developing and carrying responsibility for throughout the processes of development” [1]. It raises the question, what building-culture can be today in the meaning of a culture of designing and using spaces relative to the background of industrial history. In order to follow this question, it sketches a framework under the aspect “standards of living – quality of life” which is based on the late industrial awareness about innovation theory [2], modernization theory [3] and systems theory [4]. These theories are led together and confronted to the present by the following thesis: “Throughout the processes of enfolding industrial conditions of society and of the economy, the innovative values of products (such as also space) decrease in total; this realizes their conditions for selling, becoming more and more obsolete, on the markets. The differentiation of conditions (such as also of space) goes along with the exhaustion of innovative forces as long and as wide as there is no introduction of new values to be reasoned by comprehensive structural changes of social conditions and demands for new ways of thinking. This new thinking needs comprehensive guidance through regionally effective co-operations of the economy, of society and of policies.”  

This thesis is related to “urban-restructuring-East (Stadtumbau-Ost)”, as in East-Germany new demands for a culture of settling have become massively obvious for late industrial development in Europe. Regarding theoretical perspectives relative to needs for action in East-Germany under the aspects of urban development, spatial planning, design and arts as well as sociology provides for positions towards this thesis within the individual fields. A critical-creative criticism about tendencies of differentiations in society and space is subject of the conclusions: Herewith the perspective is directed on the lost possibilities of the Moderne to redefine values of use and form in terms of their “value for use” contemporarily. On this basis, evolutionary changes are set into relationship to innovations.


1. „Standards of living“ – „Quality of life“
2. About the essence of a culture of space
3. Questions about a culture of space
3.1.      Perspective of urban development
3.2.      Perspective of spatial planning
3.3.      Perspective of form and arts
3.4.      Perspective of social and sociological aspects
4. Perspectives for late industrial processes – East-Germany


1. „Standards of living“ - „Quality of life“

Life within the settled areas of Europe has increasingly become determined by markets of “standards of living” which are carried by modernizing towns and cities and which are fulfilled by consuming the products of built form and urban space. The thinking of consumers in terms of demands, - building the motor for the success of the involved branches of the economy -, finds reasons on various levels, mostly reasoned by technological progress, needs of technical and social security and optimising land use.

Advertisements, individual lack of being content, social fragmentation and related demands for social representation … cause the demand of these products. The wider consumption becomes spread out, the more intensively an idea about the finality of “luck-bringing” processes of the markets becomes distributed. Consequently, on the same level, - i. e. on the level of the market conditions -, new offers appear confronting the “standards of living” seemingly to symbols for a “quality of life”. One example for this is the slogan of the firm of IKEAAre you still housing or are you living already?

Late industrial heritage of real-socialistic and late capitalistic influences in East-Germany have shown that industrial development has reached a final stage of creating economic values there. The
dramatical appearance of this final stage in East-German towns expresses the gap in between “standards of living” and “quality of life” in a very specific way.

The following theories about late industrial processes of a loss of values are basic to the considerations about a culture of space: Late industrial processes until the turn after the industrial crisis have been critically regarded under western aspects of view. Gerhard Mensch has enfolded the thesis about the diminishing innovative values for the logic of industrial processes of production and consumption. Johannes Berger refers to the increasing differentiation of material conditions and ways of thinking and of the lack of comprehensive renewal. Niklas Luhmann discovers the limits of social and economic resources within their exhaustion and pleads for collective definitions of setting limits to it for the benefit of maintaining and renewing resources. 

The thesis of the decreasing innovative values of renewals has been investigated for the history of the town of Duisburg during the time 1830-1995 [5], relative to the perception and diffusion of innovations in the fields of urban development and transport systems. Basic to this was a survey about transformation of transport systems [6]. These investigations set up a double framework for evaluating the influences of technological and social innovations on spaces and functions. Results have been identified in terms of a deep loss of innovative values of urban development around the industrial crisis [7] with a turn since 1989: From final processes of differentiating spaces through the integration of individual pieces of “Technique-Art-Architecture [8] towards the arising idea of strengthening individual urban areas as relevant parts of the wider urban agglomeration – under the regional guidance of IBA Emscher Park. Concerning transport systems, it has been confirmed that the three classical stages of establishing, structuring and expanding/ specializing transport networks have been implemented evolutionarily, whereas the 4th and current stage of restructuring the systems, needs the guidance of social policies.


What does this mean for the culture of built form and urban space? Have we reached the limits of evolutionary possibilities for reasonable changes? Are we ready for innovations? What would have to be changed in which way?


The culture of built form and urban change have, - in the sense of the enfolded thesis -, an essential importance for guiding processes of restructuring socio-spatial conditions and related identities in East-Germany, once the time after 1989 has, above all, been an expression of the exhaustion of the innovative value of urban development: additive lay out of settlements of single-family-houses, filling former ‘central places’ by shopping centres, completion and foundation of “new towns”/ “market-places” and service industry in no-man’s land, like the settlement of Großkugel near Leipzig.

2. About the essence of a culture of space

The general question about the meaning of a culture of space leads to the verb “to cultivate”. Here we find a major key to an understanding which has been derived directly from the basic understanding of settling. Respectively, the term “culture” implies a continuation of economically successful processes of establishing, working on and caring for goods, originally in agriculture (agri-cultura). Including all activities to be related to settling, it refers to establishing and caring for “inner” and “outer” spaces, their small- and large-spatial connections and their changes over time. Concerning small- and large-spatial connections, the cultures of built form, urbanity and life ideally build syntheses and can found
and carry a regionally and locally specific culture of establishing and using space. In order to guarantee the economy of invested means and energies, essential qualities for a long-term lasting of the construction and for a continued renewal of the uses are to be implemented contemporarily.

This understanding of economy is a simple one. It does not correspond to the complicated conditions of late industrial global influences in big cities, where decay and emptiness have systematically become integrated parts of processes of maximizing profit, like in Houston/Texas. However, it corresponds furthermore, also in big cities and their “inner” and “outer” edges, to late industrial demands for “reembedding” global functions into locally specific conditions. This need for “reembedding” arises in consequence of the late industrial weakness of global mechanisms to counter-balance non-equal conditions for life and work, relative to the global decrease of social securities. It arises all over the world, but finds very specific expression currently in East-Germany, relative to the urgent need of stabilizing the remaining population there.


3. Current questions about a culture of space

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Fig. 1-2
Inhabited timber houses of originally mixed use in Zgierz
/ Region Łódz, Poland

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Fig. 3
Derelict multi-storey housin
 in Halle-S

The question about the meanings of a culture of built form happens to raise questions about a culture of urbanity and life, when – relative to a shortage of public money – decisions have to be made about whether and how heritages of history have to be maintained or renewed, especially concerning cases which do not fulfil demands for transformation any more:

-          The run down but densely inhabited timber houses on deep, open plots within a classical colony, founded for early industrial textile home-industry  - with a traditional mixture of living and working in house and on back-side open spaces -, having extended the medieval core of the small Polish town of Zgierz near to the big, industrially founded city of Łódz before industrial development started to flourish there (s. fig. 1-2).

-          The modernized, late industrially founded big settlements in East-Germany at the edges of cities, - showing first signs of emptiness because of the emigration of mostly young people -, having originally been established in order to cover supposed massive needs for housing still in times of final processes of industrial development, like Berlin-Marzahn, Halle-South (s. fig. 3).

The two cases represent very different sides of the heritage of early - to late industrial development of space. Spatial changes are in both the cases only in a very limited way possible relative to the need for giving respect to the inhabitants and their socio-spatial conditions of being “imbedded”. Also, changes are not “affordable” by them. Questions about the kind of needed changes do not find any responses by ruling market conditions.


Questions about changes of areas or living conditions which would be reasonable and also “affordable” for the users are not at all raised. Do cultures of built form and space not exactly demand to raise such questions due to the increasing importance of social and economical needs for the spatial “im-bedding” of people and functions ? –

This may counter-balance the increase of - mostly economically enforced - socio-spatial mobility and contribute to a new understanding of the “value of use” for local conditions of a “quality of life”.


3.1.      Perspective of urban development

A culture of space in terms of the construction of conditions, the providing for a continuity of uses and for the caring for space implies the understanding of space of the Moderne until around 1930 having led individual space-building elements towards definite socio-spatial contexts and having kept them open for renewal of different “values of use” on this basis. Urban lay out and construction provide already for a range of spatial differentiations (of artistic urban design beside the rationality of Neues Bauen) for public and private spaces. Herewith essential possibilities for urbanizing former sub-urban spaces by subsequent renewal of uses have become prepared for until today. The limits towards another, exclusively functional determination of built form and open spaces – restricting renewal to only very specific “values of use” – had been reached by 1930:

Martin Wagner, director of urban development in the city of Berlin, had distinguished the “value of being” and the “value of use” for buildings, streets etc. around 1930. His interest had been dedicated above all to the “value of use”; his understanding of this, however, expressed already the separation of functions in consequence of the beginning of serial production and the increasing large-spatial interconnections of transport and other functions causing the impression of ongoing economic “dynamics”. The “city as a machine” - by Sant´Elia already considered in terms of small-spatial concepts for transport nodes and complex urban situations since 1914 - was the idea behind this new understanding and became the basis for the “functional city”.


The resulting importance of functionality during the 1930ies made those ones emigrate to America who had created and implemented the concept of integrating functions into space by giving respect to a multi-disciplinary balance: the representatives of Neues Bauen. As far as the establishment of functions demanded, the “value of being” of the artificial traditions of building culture (e. g. “Heimat”) became revitalized for fulfilling functions. The innovative power of the industrial Moderne, around 1930 still in harmony with socio-spatial values, lost importance and became minor to the suction of serial production, not lastly for the purpose of war. These influences created guidelines for architecture and urban development (“flowing space”) estimating the separation of functions higher than the local contexts of individual occupation and private use of space and ignoring and replacing the comprehensive importance of architecture for communication in between individuals (Le Corbusier, Wagner).


A spatial differentiation of interconnected urban areas became, this way, interrupted. Towns became subdivided into functions and socially defined districts of different “standards of living”. In western Europe, this relates – subsequently to the late capitalistic development of the lay out, construction and use of spaces - to the postmodern and neomodern period in transition to neotraditionalism. In East-Germany, the separation of functions caused, above all, the separation of “built and lived spaces” in consequence of the production of big housing settlements.


Question: Is it not time, to rediscover – especially in East-Germany - the lost multi-level, structural conditions of connections between “built and lived spaces” for the benefit of an occupation of space, created by people, under new premises of socio-spatial interconnections which stand for their contemporary character of private uses and new public spaces and to combine them with a local redefinition of the “value of use” of spaces? The existing “values of being” of spaces (e. g. the ‘central place’ in East-Germany) could, this way, become integrated on a comprehensive spatial level and serve as a basis for processes of change without restricting the redefinition of a “value of use” hereby. The communal idea of Neues Bauen could be considered for the benefit of (re-)creating old/ new small-spatial connections and could be confronted to additive forms of individualization in single-family-housing-areas or to their communally expressed, elitist form of “gated communities”.


3.2.      Perspective of spatial planning

The perspective about spatial planning is regarded here as a major dimension of a culture of space. Viewing back into the history of industrialization within the area of the Federal Republic of Germany of today, this perspective also shows that essential qualities of guiding spatial development have become implemented until 1930.

Spatial quality within the lay out and construction of individual areas with relevance for later renewal has, above all, been created by the influence of individual financers, mostly factory owners or bankers, later on “terrain agencies”, during times of liberalism in the 19th century. Planning had purely been the implementation of needs for settlement, adopting to the very specific local circumstances. At the beginning of the 20th century, within the framework of increasing interconnections of production and transport, these individual initiatives became more and more rare. Relative to the growing complexity of the tasks of spatial planning in times of fordism, employees took over the task of preparing processes of settlement for the benefit of social welfare, mainly by flight-planning, within the Prussian communities. Carrying out these tasks served for catching up communal and regional demands for developing and subdividing land for building activities and providing for technical and social infrastructure. Around 1911, in the Ruhr-area, – where industrialization had a major focus -, the regional frame-work-concept of Robert Schmidt became established protecting important green belts and tracing the main routes of transport networks, mainly streets; this can truly be called a forerunner of current cooperative discourses about harmonizing interests among communities. This type of planning, supporting quantitative urban growth and specialization of functions, became confirmed around 1960 by the enacting of the main Federal Planning Law (Bundesbaugesetz) and became bound to the premises of the Federal Aims of Spatial Order (Bundesraumordnung) under the conditions of the “principle of counter-acting streams of power (Gegenstromprinzip)”. The included and still relevant option of combining top-down and bottom-up-processes of democratic decision-making offers in general a high potential for fulfilling the tasks of the planning autonomy of local authorities, - as the smallest and strongest unit within the planning system -, for guaranteeing continuity in between establishing settlement and caring for uses at individual locations within regional and local contexts.


Under the influence of the power of industrial development, however, the importance of individual locations became more and more subordinate to the convergence of quantitative urban growth. This included the destruction of socio-spatial contexts which provided best conditions for the renewal of uses:

-          The firm Thyssen in Duisburg-Marxloh “over-rolled” pre-industrially and industrially founded settlements because of an expansion of industrial uses from around 1960; in the core of the town of Duisburg, settlements and green parks from around 1930 became subdivided by the elevated motorway through the city around 1955.

-          In Halle-Neustadt, the establishment of a big settlement providing massive housing for the expansion of the chemical industry south of the town of Halle caused a partial replacement of the village of “Passendorf” and subdivided the core of the old town of Halle by an elevated, motorway-like road (“Magistrale”).

The reestablishment of industrial development after World-War-II had reached an utmost dimension of “dynamics” in both the parts of Germany around 1965 which became “administrated” by planning for the benefit of optimising the demands of driving economic forces, but was not guided in terms of protecting and renewing existing “values of use”.

At this time, an understanding of the need to provide for a substantially and spatially comprehensive “development planning” in terms of a wider welfare for nature and people had already been thought of (definition of Lenort, 1960). This understanding became restricted in its possible ways of implementation by the beginning industrial crisis already during the 1960ies; it did not become implemented at all in those towns where industry used to dominate traditionally land uses and transport systems, - like e. g. in the Ruhr area. In those cities, which had less directly been influenced by industrialization because of mixed economic forces, like Cologne and Munich, since then comprehensive analyses have been set up for evaluating and protecting disadvantaged socio-spatial situations. Although these contributions have not been implemented immediately, they have left substantial structures of goals for holistically guiding urban changes. These structures have supported decentral renewal on the basis of appropriate small-spatial potentials and have channelled concentrated replacement of urban conditions.

Almost ten years after the industrial crisis – with its deepest stage in the Ruhr area around 1979 -, the idea of “perspective-planning” became established in the Ruhr-area by IBA Emscher Park around 1989. This idea was distinguished from the comprehensive ideas of “development planning” and caused, in a post-fordistic manner, successfully impulses at those individual locations within the region which promised an own economic and cultural development subsequent to the impulses. This position towards planning meets the concept of locally specific strategies and measurements and their beginning processes, further leading than the concepts of measurements, accompanying their implementation. Relative to the preceding positions of regional and communal spatial planning, this means a differentiation of planning contents for the benefit of strengthening local specifics.


Translating the idea of „perspective-planning“ relative to the needs of guidance within the field of “urban-restructuring-East (Stadtumbau-Ost)” is not immediately possible, as here not “only” one region has to be dealt with but a bigger part of the Federal Republic of Germany. This part has experienced mono-functional concentrations in consequence of late industrial influences until 1990 under real-socialistic conditions, i.e. without the comprehensive option of property development over time, and has been marked by the drifts of making up relative to late capitalistic industrial development since 1990. A recommended “do not touch” of big settlements at the town edges as an alternative to demolition [9] is generally reasonable, - as far as the population is supported to set up self-organized contributions to transforming their living conditions relative to structural changes by “non-investive” measurements [10].


A tendentious loss of innovative substance of present spatial planning can be stated in relationship with the small-spatial planning of settlements during Liberalism, however, this type of planning had an essentially smaller amount of social and economic complexity to respond to, because of smaller influences of international interconnections during this period. Also, under the influence of proceeded globalisation, a loss of innovative substance can be stated for all periods of planning after the industrial crisis relative to the idea of “development planning”, - however, this is not relevant in relationship to any thoughts about different quality of practice. Losses are, above all, related to the reduction of dimensions of regulations in terms of a range of contents and spatial levels. The current amendments of the federal planning laws (BauGB and ROG) correct this tendency via law.

The implementation of legally guaranteed demands for multi-disciplinary planning, for building culture and for a counter-balance of socio-spatial interests of urban restructuring remains to be realized, especially in East-Germany, - where the biggest demands for comprehensive guidance had been responded by an almost complete absence of guidance since 1990. Here, after almost 40 years of centralistic planning, the “principle of counter-acting-streams of power (Gegenstromprinzip)” has not yet become a routine of thinking and acting. Here, the experiences of de-economisation and of de-socialization still give all rights to the investor, prior to a socially reasoned weighing and securing of public and private interests within the framework of autonomy of the community. A culture of space is still subordinate to these routines which are traditionally ruled by the dominance of functions.


Question: Would an outstanding innovation of communal and regional spatial planning for socio-spatial changes, - relative to the specific problem and challenge of unequal living conditions in East-Germany -, not have to be ensuring a factual welfare for people and nature? This would have to be confronted to the obsolete practices of ensuring economic efficiency through exhausting existing markets by dialogue-like initiations of images and processes for a new democracy. Approaches into such a direction are already existing in Saxonia-Anhalt [11]. The mentioned approaches start from the profiles of individual communities and give respect to their local specifics. The strategy of the state of Saxonia-Anhalt for implementing major items of guidance refers to a priority of smaller communities with smaller parts of needs for restructuring in a first stage and to a bundling of means concentrating on bigger communities with bigger need for restructuring in a second stage. It has become obvious that smaller units of spatial contexts build the structure of regional dimensions of re-structuring, also in bigger cities. Such spatial differentiation enforces a differentiation of planning items.


3.3.      Perspective of form and arts

The sketched position for a perspective of urban development is closely connected to the roots and to the flourishing of the Moderne in all the branches of arts and architecture until 1930. As well the relationship with nature in painting and photography - forerunners of the early, sculptural Moderne of the period until 1920 - as the following abstract contributions - within the work of Ernst Kandinsky and Paul Klee etc. have been included in this understanding of form-building values. The heritage of the Bauhaus is herewith fully considered as a basis. A continuity of space-building form is seen for the time before and after World-War-II in between Peter Behrens, Mart Stam, Rudolf Schwarz und Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Representatives of a late rationalistic Moderne, like Norman Foster or also Luis Barragan, are also seen within this row. The this way expressed grammar is definite in terms of their innovative value, - relating to surface and also to sculpture.

Not included into this understanding are postmodern art and architecture of the period 1965 to 2000, -
e. g. Frank Gehry -, as they show a lack of transparency in basic principles of structure and please the market principle of attracting “attention”. The setting into scene of many “events” in art and architecture are looked at in the same way. Such contributions differentiate the offer for perception, but do not enrich it in a long-term perspective. Leaving the representational in painting, like Jackson Pollock, or in the work of Joseph Beuys, has a different quality with a high innovative value, reasoned by the selection of subjects. The interconnection of individualizations, - Pollock -, or the simulation of changes of awareness, - Beuys -, are subjects which reflect on social relationships and, this way, differentiate existing conditions critically-creatively and bridge towards a different, possibly holistically new quality of conditions.

In East-Germany, the understanding of art had been concentrated on the representational for a long time. However, an overcoming of the representational has also here its own tradition. A common language of western and eastern shaping can be created locally by alienating spatial situations in form of “events”, film and theatre. The resulting differentiation may lie in a reflection on the perception of space. It may contribute to a growing awareness about socio-spatial conditions and actions and may visualize phenomena, feelings, lacks or places in a new way. Art carries herewith, in terms of its importance for the “value of use” of spaces, a meaning for the still outstanding innovation within the position of many individuals: The aim is to protect the very specific way of East-Germany from a dominance of one-dimensional values of the market-led development of western Europe and to make a new together in terms of the East-German tradition of a sense of community possible.


Question: Should not, in terms of defining “values of use”, be given more importance to the fact that simple, local specifics binding the senses, - like smells, good food, fresh bread, wine, etc. – or sunshine and shelter against wind and rain -, contribute to a holistic perception of space? Especially those offers for a perception of spaces by the senses which have been mentioned at last become only in a very restricted way visible as values within the reality of spaces, however, they contribute tremendously to supporting self-organized social processes of occupying, making secure and changing spaces. They could be the side-effect of a wider distribution of offers for supply, could enrich the existing hierarchies of public spaces in their existing structure temporarily or in a long-term perspective by completing uses and, this way, differentiate them by small investment of means towards a higher “quality of life”.


3.4.      Perspective of social and sociological aspects

The integration of a culture of space into a continued proceeding and step-wise renewal of socio-spatial traditions had been broken by the Third German Regime and afterwards by the establishment of two German nations in the history of Post-World-War-II in a triple way. The distinction of social levels with different furthering through state (east) or middle-class way of life (west) became essential for setting up values and perceiving cultures of urban life. Whereas in West-Germany the industrial demand for workers established foreign, e. g. Turkish cultures, within the towns because of economic reasons, cultures of different origins have not comprehensively been met in East-Germany before 1989.

The increasing coming-together of different cultures of origin in cities, characteristic for western Europe, is a multi-level meeting on one side and a socio-spatial differentiation in order to protect traditional values of origin on the other side. Herewith, the small-spatial differentiation of urban spaces into different cultures corresponds to the holistic synthesis of traditional values at individual locations and guarantees, this way, the fulfilling of basic demands for appropriate conditions for communication in groups. Important for the continuity, renewal and legibility of the individual profiles of towns is that the small-spatial differentiation will be counter-balanced holistically by town-public spaces for meeting everybody.


In the sense of the introductory thoughts about a culture of built form and space, social perspectives of a socio-spatial differentiation in East-Germany are, above all, seen in setting up and accompanying initiatives which “carry the processes of re-structuring by themselves in a non-planned way” [12]. Such initiatives carry the renewal of spaces, if their interest into the space has economic reasons. This includes the interest in setting up local economies and leads ideally to “local cultures” which are defined by their common economic interests and can, therefore, live peacefully in co-existence with each other. Basic spatial conditions for this are available in inner and outer edges of towns where there is space open for changes in various ways [13]. Basic social conditions for such initiatives are, above all, familiar to foreign cultures, whereas the native cultures in East-Germany are still very much determined by processes of social exclusion and segregation and only gradually, in consequence of a beginning economic self-organisation, start to become more open for economically reasoned coexistences and their different “local cultures”.

For current processes of the creation of relationships in between people and places, the following socio-spatial situations have been distinguished and localized for the town of Dessau [14]:

-          Enforced self-organisation through market and retreat into private life (centre, sub-centre at the periphery)

-          Life in a reduced form of self-determination within a self-selected circle of friends (near to inner urban areas, structures closed to the outside, partially single-family-house)

-          Self-management, work as the centre of life connected to the situation of living (old building near to inner urban areas, single-family-house)

-          Reduced forms of individualization, demands of self-realization and forms of mobility towards “job-nomads” (inner urban areas, peripheral locations).

The illustrated conditions are increasingly open for change, mostly relative to the employment-market. Resulting processes of establishing locally bound identities may firstly be regarded as continuation and differentiation of obsolete values; in the future, they may make arise a new understanding of the occupation of space, its new “values of use” and their renewal at individual locations as “local cultures”, rather in competition towards each other.


Question: Are not even those social forces which have experienced privacy “only” within the socially elitist situation of big settlements, i. e. in the minimization of space and in the reduction of possibilities for occupying space to allotments, the strongest forces for a transformation of East-German towns? This is confirmed by the expression of an inhabitant of the big settlement Berlin-Marzahn, that he, together with neighbours, would like to become a “village”, however the Senat of Berlin would not provide for the necessary finances for that …[15]. It is well known that the inhabitants of villages in East-Germany have a strong tradition of successfully setting up and running local economies and “local cultures” , despite the influences of the German Democratic Republic on rationalizing agriculture. The problem is the waiting for central guidance of financial support


4. Perspectives for late industrial processes – East-Germany

The introductory thesis leads, - with specific respect to the theories of Berger and Mensch -, to the question, whether and under which conditions evolutionary differentiations can create innovative values. Luhmann helps looking for a more precise definition of innovative value by starting from the point of view that the social acceptance of limits of the exhaustion of resources is a major condition for ensuring their renewal; this is related here to the need for a continued renewal of the “value of use”. As considering the four aspects of a culture of space has shown, the “value of use” we are looking for is, above all, defined by the spatial integration of opportunities for arranging “every-day-life” in a comfortable way within the area of living. This means, relative to the changes in society and in the economy, to provide for opportunities for integrating uses of work. The therefore necessary social acceptance of limits has to be related to the reintegration of uses of work into urban areas.
This has to be aimed to collectively through impulses of making aware of historical and present processes of destruction against the forces of the economy and against the lethargy of the society, in order to achieve innovations instead of evolutionary differentiations for the existing system through parts of the system.

The image of the introduced understanding of a culture of built form and space
has been contradicted to throughout industrial development by

-          the principle of the exhausting continuation of using resources of various type without basic reinvestment into their maintenance or changeability for the benefit of a renewing the “value of use” (case of timber houses in Poland),

-          the principle of ignorance towards the values of small-spatially renewable resources in existing urban areas for the benefit of keeping a “flourishing” building economy artificially alive on the basis of mainly rationalistic principles of the construction of big settlements (case of big settlements in East-Germany).

Both principles have meanwhile reached the boundaries of a possible realization of economic values in Europe, if not final processes of quantitative urban growth are abused to justify them. In both the cases the principle of sustainability for the benefit of a structural renewal of spaces has not been taken into account. Lay out of and caring for built form and open spaces have exclusively been evaluated under aspects of maximizing profit. The high quality urban values of small-spatially structured areas for renewal to be continued by individual forces have not been acknowledged. The space-building values from the period of the early Moderne and from the flourishing of the Moderne have been ignored concerning their timeless synthesis of individual units and de-central small-spatial contexts and their potential importance for the regional demands of creating comprehensively high quality areas for living, locations of the economy and services of supply (energy, water, sewage, health, education …).


The professional discussion about a culture of space can provide for an essential contribution to overcoming these “cul de sacs” by giving emphasis to the criterion of “appropriateness for transformation”, also for uses of working, as a general basis for evaluating the lay out and construction of spaces and by determining the necessary material and immaterial conditions for a renewal of small-spatial contexts locally in terms of the “values of use” for existing spaces.

On this basis, the preceding consideration of the four aspects of historical contributions to a culture of space enfolds the following meanings for the influence of evolutionary processes and phenomena:

-          Differentiations of use and built form arrangement can replace obsolete concentrations of mono-functions; they can integrate small-spatially “values of use”, appropriate for the development of “local cultures”.

-          The “imbedding” of functions in urban situations can be strengthened by processes of differentiating uses and built form arrangements; such processes can be initiated and accompanied by local planning.

-          The differentiation of architecture and art can induce new “values of use”. It is necessary to control their quality for awakening a perception of space by the senses and to use new values for making qualities of space in a holistic social sense “affordable”.

-          Spatial hierarchies can become differentiated by “local cultures”; the coexistence of “local cultures” in towns and villages can become perceivable by regionally interconnected spaces of public places.



-          Differentiations are not valid for the future, if they harden existing obsolete structures through modernization, modification or make-up of conditions which are not appropriate for transformation.


This shows: The principle of evolution does especially not work as a maxim for acting during economic crises and has to be guided and counter-balanced by policies for establishing and ensuring long-term aims in terms of welfare. The perspectives of welfare are especially in late capitalism bound to individual processes of self-organisation. This refers primarily to the spatial integration of uses of work.

Appropriate material conditions for this are related to the construction of separation
/ connection of public and private spaces as well as to the opportunity, to combine a variety of work-uses with uses of living by close connections between built form and open spaces. Good conditions for this are provided by deep plots and by an immediate coordination of open spaces to built form as well as by opportunities for subdividing built form in individual elements changeable for built form arrangement and energy-technology.

This means for East-Germany: The period of restructuring demands locally specific answers to global progress for the benefit of the integration of changed conditions for living and working as well as for the benefit of an integration of people of different origins. This needs the knowledge of and the breaking through traditions and ruling market principles for the benefit of concepts for a “quality of life” under “affordable” conditions.


This again is important for the non-restricted occupation of spaces by users: Only where people are allowed to trust themselves [16] the quality of an authentic „imbedding“ into spaces will arise.


In the sense of a basic respect towards spatial qualities, of which the lay out and construction allow individual or communal initiatives of such kind, major focus is given to the renewal of small-spatial contexts, especially of the relationship between inner and outer edges of urban spaces and of their relationship towards de-central cores [17]. The establishment of spaces from the period of the industrial flourishing until 1930 allows a variety of measurements of restructuring with results of urbanization by integrating uses of working. A new “value of use” of spaces could also be established and cared for in East-Germany by small-spatial renewal of small towns and villages giving respect to their very specific built form arrangements, existing circumstances of ownership as well as communal uses of resources. The strategies of the state of Saxonia-Anhalt and of IBA-Saxonia-Anhalt comply already with the priority to be given to small towns and villages.



Differently from the speech, that was held on the conference preparing this issue, the amount of illustrations has been reduced from around 50 to three. These examples characterize the beginning and the end of the series of leading urban concepts before the industrial crisis; source: Haase, Andrea, 2003.




  • Berger, Johannes (1986). Einleitung, in: Berger, Johannes (Hrsg.), Die Moderne - Kon­tinuitäten und Zäsuren, Soziale Welt, Sonder­band 4, Göttingen
  • Haase, Andrea (1999), Entwicklung der Stadt Duisburg – Der Einfluss von Innovationen auf Räume und Funktionen, Dortmund
  • Haase, Andrea (2003), Gegenwart und Zukunft der Stadtentwicklung in Sachsen-Anhalt. Magdeburg-Halle-Dessau. Perspektiven und strukturelle Rahmenbedingungen zukünftiger Entwicklung, Dessau
  • Kill, Heinrich (1991), Erfolgsstrategien von Verkehrssystemen. Eine evolutionsorientierte Analyse der europäischen Verkehrsentwicklung, Berlin
  • Luhmann, Niklas (1988), Die Wirtschaft der Gesellschaft,  Suhrkamp, Frankfurt a. M.
  • Mensch, Gerhard (1975), Das technologische Patt, Innovationen überwinden die Depression, Frankfurt a. M.



[1] lat. “cultivare”

[2] Mensch, G., 1975

[3] Berger, J., 1986

[4] Luhmann, N., 1988

[5] Haase, A., 1999

[6] Kill, H., 1991

[7] almost no control of built form arrangement following § 34 Baugesetzbuch, pre-fabricated single-family houses

[8] s. Norman Foster: Technologie-Zentrum, Duisburg, South of Mühlheimerstraße

[9] s. Ganser, K., quoted in: Die Welt, 4. September 2003

[10] s. Haase, A., „Transformation spätindustrieller Grossiedlungen an den Stadträndern“, Vortrag in Berlin-Hellersdorf/ Marzahn am 23.10.2003

[11] s. contribution of Sonnabend, R., IBA-Sachsen-Anhalt at Bauhaus Dessau, to the conference about the cooperation of Hochschule Anhalt and Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau about the subject “Learning re-structuring”/ „Stadtumbau lernen“ on 13.11.2003, Dessau, and: s. Daehre, R., Minister of urban development and transport of the state of Saxonia-Anhalt, at the 4th meeting of the Chamber of Architects in Saxonia-Anhalt on 22.11.2003, Halle

[12] s. Rettich, St., Leserbriefe, Bauwelt 34, 2003, Wochenschau S. 6

[13] s. Haase, A., 2003, Verflechtungsräume, Beitrag zu der Tagung “Der öffentliche Raum zu Zeiten der Schrumpfung”, BTU Cottbus, 21. Juni

[14] s. Kremer, E., 2003, Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau, Manuskript zur Vorbereitung der Tagung „Stadtumbau lernen“, Dessau 13.11.

[15] Reaction towards a lecture within the framework of a series of public lectures of Plattform Marzahn in cooperation with Alice-Salomon Fachhochschule, in Berlin-Hellersdorf, on 23.10.2003

[16] s. Prof. Niebergall, 2003, 4th meeting of the Chambers of Architects in Saxonia-Anhalt on 22.11., Halle

[17] s. Haase, A., 2003




Vol. 8, No. 2 (March 2004)