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 City & Time > Vol. 5, No. 1 (2011) open journal systems 

Heritage conservation and the renaissance of the living in the inner city in Rermany: Research results of the German Institute of Urban Affairs (Difu)

Claus-Peter Echter, Heritage Consultant

In recent decades, settlement development in Germany has been determined by suburbanisation, particularly residential suburbanisation. The consequences have been urban sprawl, a growing traffic load, and partial segregation by income, age, and ethnic background. For some years now, there have been signs of a far-reaching trend towards strengthening the residential function in the inner city. This aspect was the focus of a study published by the German Institute of Urban Affairs (Difu) in 2005. The purpose of a follow-up study published in 2010 was to develop the key results of the 2005 study by extending investigation to a large number of cities and to explore causes, effects and the development potential that can influence the shift in the importance of inner urban living. Historic city centres and conservation areas and a high portion of historic buildings are among the location factors, besides a favourable economic development, a high proportion of services, a good infrastructure endowment, appropriate building- and housing forms and a scenic urban topography that play a decisive role for the living in the inner city. Cultural heritage ensures the sustainable development of the city. Qualities of squares and streets in historic areas, important sacred and secular buildings, a high frequency of monuments and historic green spaces are adjuvant for the attractiveness of the residential function of the inner city. Heritage conservation benefits from the renaissance of the inner cities.

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City & Time  ISSN: 1807-7544