City repair

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Urban repair is a term from urban planning , urban renewal and planning theory . Following on from the term repair , it refers to urban development and architectural measures that aim to "carefully" supplement or "critically" restore damaged or submerged urban structures in terms of their functional structure, figuration, proportion, spatial effect and external appearance ( cityscape ). As a rule, the aim is not the identical reproduction , but the replication of significant features of the historical urban structure, often using modern techniques, shapes and materials, as well as the addition and development of the urban structure with critical appreciation of the historical findings and current requirements. Following on from the term reconstruction , critical reconstruction is often used synonymously , and sometimes urban reconstruction .


Residential development Vinetaplatz, Bernauer Straße, 1971–1978, Josef Paul Kleihues, Manfred Schonlau, Berlin-Wedding - restoration of the figure of an earlier building block in perimeter block development as a prototype of the critical reconstruction of the city

The term originated in the 1970s in connection with the policy of urban development in West Berlin . It signified a paradigm shift - away from the urban development models of the car-friendly city , the renovation and construction of large housing estates in the sense of the Athens Charter and towards the concepts of “ critical reconstruction ” and “ careful urban renewal ”. These concepts were coined at the beginning of the 1970s by Josef Paul Kleihues and Hardt-Waltherr Hämer . As exemplary models of the preservation, renewal and further development of the historic " tenement city ", they implemented or supplemented building blocks on Vinetaplatz (redevelopment area Wedding-Brunnenstrasse) and Klausenerplatz (Charlottenburg) from the mid-1970s . The projects have been widely published and discussed. Due to their urbanity and their considerate handling of the historical urban structure, they were groundbreaking, especially for the urban renewal of Berlin .

In 1977 Josef Paul Kleihues and the publicist Wolf Jobst Siedler intervened directly in the discussion about the design of a future international building exhibition in Berlin and in the Berliner Morgenpost called for “an integrated exhibition that should deal with the existing urban structure in order to restore it , to repair and to supplement ”. Using the term “urban repair”, the architecture critic Manfred Sack praised this approach in an article that appeared in the weekly newspaper Die Zeit on March 11, 1977 , and made it accessible to a wider audience.


  • Dieter Hoffmann-Axthelm : How does history come into design? Essays on architecture and the city . (= Bauwelt Foundations. 78). Friedr. Vieweg & Sohn, Braunschweig 1987, ISBN 3-528-08778-1 , p. 22 f., 139.
  • Julius Posener : What architecture can be. New essays . Birkhäuser Verlag, Berlin 1995, ISBN 3-7643-5160-8 , p. 111.
  • Hans-Rudolf Meier : city ​​repairs and preservation of monuments. In: The preservation of monuments . 66/2, 2008, pp. 105-117.
  • Hans-Rudolf Meier: cityscape - city monument - city repair. In: Preservation of monuments in Bremen. Issue 9, 2011, pp. 340-348. (PDF)
  • Bernd Streich : Urban planning in the knowledge society: A manual. 2nd Edition. VS Verlag, Wiesbaden 2011, ISBN 978-3-531-17709-0 , p. 491.
  • Lukas Fink, Tobias Fink, Ruben Bernegger: Berlin portraits - narratives on the architecture of the city . Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Cologne 2019, ISBN 978-3-96098-654-6 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Hanno-Walter Kruft: History of the architecture theory. From antiquity to the present . 3rd edition. Verlag CH Beck, Munich 1985, ISBN 3-406-30767-1 , p. 518.
  2. Harald Bodenschatz , Cordelia Polinna and others: Learning from IBA - the IBA 1987 in Berlin . Expert opinion, Berlin 2010, p. 24. (PDF)
  3. ^ Manfred Sack : Urban planning as fine art . In: The time . March 11, 1977.