Wohnen in der Stadt : Wege zur Stärkung des Wohnens in der Stadt zwischen Stadtumlandwanderung und sozialer Segregation mit Projektbeispielen aus den Städten Hannover, Kiel und Göttingen

Habermann-Nieße, Klaus; Selle, Klaus (Thesis advisor)

Aachen : Publikationsserver der RWTH Aachen University (2004)
Dissertation / PhD Thesis

Aachen, Techn. Hochsch., Diss., 2004


For years the population of Germany has been increasing. For the housing market this always meant the need to take an active role in providing flats. Now arises a completely new task: There have recently occured economic and socio-cultural changes in consequence of which Germany is facing a perspective of stagnation or decline in population. While the proportionate share of childless households, singles and professional newcomers in the cities increase, there is a continuous exodus of young families to the suburbs. This exodus of households with medium and higher income will aggravate the problems in underprivileged neighborhoods. Stronger than before, segregation and polarization are taking place. As an answer to the exodus and social polarization, the demand goes up for a housing supply that increases quality of life, new forms of cooperation and communication. The new demands ask for reliable agreements, which have socially stabilizing effects. This dissertation shows an analysis of the possibilities of strengthening housing in the cities. The basis is an analysis of trends in the society and of spatial tendencies in urban development. Diverse perspectives on housing in the city are giving good examples. It concludes that chances for strengthening housing in cities lie in the enforcement of urbanity as a social quality, the decline of social/spatial polarization through dissolving foreignness in the urban society and more attractiveness of semiotic values of a city. Instead of leading the discussion further to the borders of polarization, the city should start to live with a socially diversified fragmentation. Also in future, the cities must assure social distance and transparency. Social distance serves the "foreign" or nonnative to socially stabilize and the old-established to protect their attitude towards life. The social exclusion cannot develop to be an element of separation, but has to serve as a base for advancement. The necessary change of urban development politics needs an intensive analysis of potential "urban refugees" and their intentions for migrating out of the city. The analysis has to show which elements of the social space "city" keep being attractive and which parts starting with "social foreignness" until "urban desolation" cannot be accepted. Even if only part of the criticizing is due to their need of social distance, it is important to set an end to the spiral downward of low-income neighborhoods. A field-study in selected urban housing projects gives plenty of evidences on how to compensate deficits on the involved operational action levels with measures for social stabilization, measures for the improvement of communicative and cooperative structures in different networks, others for establishing cooperative and durable responsible bodies and others for an improvement of the aesthetic representation in many diverse steps to an integrated urban renewal. Facing the demographic and social change, the city will gain diversity concerning its social, functional and spatial/aesthetic dimensions but this new diversity will not be perceptible without also noticing its contradictions. If no new elements of common interest can be developed as to be a part of a social and cultural network, the separation will be setting the tone. These networks don't always have to be visible to everybody but contribute to the whole. Only with thoroughly accepted, but socio-structural differentiated housing neighborhoods, which represent the complex urban lifestyles, will the city be sustainable.