038 City Islands

A Radical redevelopment concept in Dessau, Germany, 2002-2010

Planungswerkstatt Stadtumbau Dessau + Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau


In consequence of the industrialisation and following wartime the city of Dessau has turned to a cleft city with several core areas with no strong town center. In relation to its population the city has now become too big and dissipated for its inhabitants. As a result the initiators of City Islands have embarked on a radical redevelopment concept whereby stable districts will be built up as urban core areas – urban “islands”. A pedestrian pathway network called “The Red Thread” will bind the islands and enhance interconnectivity. Local businesses and individuals are being encouraged to civic appropriation and involvement in the urban redevelopment of the city.

The IBA Urban Redevelopment 2010 sees itself as a “laboratory”, where different urban redevelopment “tools” are exemplarily tested and applied. The objective of the International Building Exhibition (IBA) Urban Redevelopment Saxony-Anhalt 2010 is to build up practical urban redevelopment expertise at the state and local level, and to devise pilot schemes that will set standards for international urban research and design under the conditions of demographic, economic and social change.