From Demolition to Immigration? New Perspectives for Peripheral Housing Estates

The joint research project „From Demolition to Immigration? New Perspectives for Peripheral Housing Estates” (StadtUmMig) investigates potentials and obstacles in the context of sustainable urban development in three former East-German large-scale residential housing estates. The project is designed as a comparative case study. For a duration of three years, the neighbourhoods Mueßer Holz in Schwerin, Sandow in Cottbus and Südliche Neustadt in Halle (Saale) will be the subject of empirical inquiry.

Following a long period of urban reconstruction and population decline, these neighbourhoods have seen an increased influx of refugee residents over the last years. This influx generates new urban development perspectives for these residential areas, which are now majorly shaped by migration.

Using Meußer Holz, Sandow and Südliche Neustadt as examples, the explorative project aims to analyse which major challenges and considerations arise for urban redevelopment efforts in the context of refugee immigration; to explore mutual connections between urban and societal conflicts; and to develop potential solutions for new urban planning. Emphasis is put on the interdependence of governance-structures, planning-strategies and perspectives on integration in order to understand how they factor into establishing sustainable forms of urban development. Research goals include assessing prospects of remaining in the country and permanent residency, as well as identifying new requirements for infrastructures, housing accommodations and the design of public spaces while considering the conditions that make urban society open and accessible to refugees.

As part of this research program, BIM will foreground tenants' perspectives on the transformation of these neighbourhoods. Different resident groups are taken into account, among them long term residents without migration histories, immigrant residents from the former Soviet Union who have lived in the neighbourhoods since the 1990s, and recent residents with refugee status. Our research approach includes focus groups as well as a survey.

The joint research project is led by the Leibniz Institute for Research on Society and Space (IRS), partnering with the Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development (IOER), Brandenburgische Beratungsgesellschaft für Stadterneuerung und Modernisierung mbH (B.B.S.M.), the state capital of Schwerin and the BIM. The collaboration depends on close cooperation with the city of Schwerin as a joint partner as well as the cities of Cottbus and Halle (Saale) as partners from the field.

Funding institution: German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF)

Principal investigators
El-Kayed, Nihad Dr. (Details) (Department of Social Sciences)
Hamann, Ulrike Dr. (Details) (Berlin Institute for Integration and Migration Research)

Participating organisational units of HU Berlin


Duration of project
Start date: 05/2019
End date: 09/2022

Research Areas
Social Sciences, Urbanism, Spatial Planning, Transportation and Infrastructure Planning, Landscape Planning

Research Areas
Integration, Migration, Integrationspolitik, Migration, Migrationspolitik, Nachhaltige Stadtentwicklung

Last updated on 2023-25-02 at 05:30