Eastern Germany 

Head: Prof. Jürgen Breuste

Carried out: 2002, 2007, 2011

Duration: 7 days and a blocked course in Salzburg



2011: 6-21th February 2011

The excursion dealt with concepts, plannnings and elements of sustainable city- and landscape-development using the example of Saxony-Anhalt and Saxony. Topics were environmental protection and tourism in the former mining regions (example Geilseltal near Merseburg), nature in the city, urban forests, allotment gardens, environmental protection (Halle/Saale, Leipzig, Dresden), city renewals, re-usage of former industrial areas (Leipzig, Dresden), urban ecological research (Leipzig, Dresden), landscape development (river valley of the Elbe in Dresden), National park Sächsische Schweiz, City development and mining (Freiburg)

Topic: regional development in change – Middle Germany and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

Central topic was:

How are regions under high transforming pressure developing? Who and which are the winners and who and which are the losers and why? Within this topic changes in the regional structures and the development of planning prognoses and gonvernance are to be examined.

As such changes are usually a matter of long time, it is useful to work on an area with a high dynamic of changes in the last 20 years in Middle Europe. East Germany is such a region.


How the excursion should be prepared:

The topics were our „search topics“. Working on them, countrysides have been seeked, conversations with stakeholders have been planned, there have been personal conversations with people from the administration and research faculties and administrative records have been examined.

There was a daily evalutation in the accomodations. Alle group members identified the main aspects of the regional development, the conflict points and their reasons together and made proposals for the perspective development. (development quality goals).

The participants worked on their chosen topic, thus were the „experts“ that introduced the topic of the day (2 people per topic). They continued working on the topic and held a presentation of 15 minutes. With the information gathered they worked out a 10 pages paper that was – together with the presentation and protocol – the basis for grading.


What we wanted to examine and understand:


  • What has changed?
  • How has the change taken place?
  • Has it been governed or spontaneous?
  • How has the governance taken place or why has it developed spontaneous?
  • Has an improvement taken place?
  • Have there been development goals?
  • How have the citizens participated on the change?
  • Which positions do the responsible planners have concerning the development?
  • Which conflicts have been occured and why and how did people try to solve them?
  • Which are the further perspectives?


No recreation at sightseeing, a lot of work and hopefully a lot of knowledge! Bu of course there is the possibility of getting known to the regional gastronomic structures of the region in the evenings. („Test the East“)


  • Problems due to the structural change in Halle(Saale)
  • „Platte ohne Chance?“ – change in large housing estates
  • Living in the green – new living areas in the suburban area
  • Boom of the shopping center – commercial areas in the suburban region