C 2 – Contentious Urban Order: Contemporary Reconstruction Processes
Baroque staging at the Dresden Neumarkt, Photo: Leonie Plänkers.

SECTION C – Order as Design

C 2 – Contentious Urban Order: Contemporary Reconstruction Processes

Nina Gribat , Leonie Plänkers

Department of Urban Planning at the Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus – Senftenberg, Department of Architecture at the Technical University of Darmstadt

The topic of this subproject is the analysis of urban planning approaches to order in contemporary reconstruction processes. Since the early 1980s, the concept of “critical reconstruction” in urban planning has been the subject of a lively debate in the context of the International Building Exhibition in Berlin about the relationship with historical forms and urban layouts (Burg 1994, Hoffmann-Axthelm 1994, Klein/Sigel 2006). However, previous discourses since the end of the 1960s (Berndt et al. 1969, Helms/Janssen 1971) and more recent debates in the 2010s (Hassler/Nerdinger 2010, BMVBS 2010, von Buttlar et al. 2010) also take a look at this issue, which ultimately concerns the relationship between architecture and society. In contrast to designs that develop a new urban configuration, reconstructions historically refer to earlier ideas of urban order. Building ensembles or districts are reconstructed according to historical urban ground plans that were either demolished in the course of an earlier urban reorganization or destroyed in a war – often with substantial changes.

The focus of Leonie Plänkers’ dissertation project is to investigate the effects that urban planning reconstruction projects of the so-called “postmodern reconstruction wave” have on the city and urban society during their utilization phase. The heated debates leading up to realization, in which multifaceted expectations of the effects of reconstruction projects became clear, are countered by an empirical survey. It asks about which of the assumptions can be confirmed today and which new everyday practices, orders, and narratives the reconstruction projects produce. The development of an adapted methodological approach is intended to achieve interdisciplinary methodological progress in researching these effects. The dissertation project aims not only to contribute to qualifying the debates on reconstructive and historical planning, but also to gain insights into the effects of architecture in urban space in general.