Schwarzatal, Resilient Region

Schwarzatal, Resilient Region

New Sommerfrische: Stakeholders from the town and country shape the landscape

With the opening of the border in 1989, tourism in the once booming summer destination of the Schwarzatal declined abruptly. Many jobs were lost, infrastructure deteriorated, residents moved away and buildings were left empty. The area is now one of the regions in Thuringia with the worst demographic forecasts (-30 percent from 2014 to 2035).

Local initiatives and projects committed to the development of the region and tourism have been building a strong network of civic partners to jointly shape the cultural landscape. As part of the Federal model project ‘Sustainable Landscape for the Schwarzatal’, the Zukunftswerkstatt Schwarzatal association together with the Saalfeld-Rudolstadt LEADER action group and the IBA Thüringen are working together to develop the outstanding qualities of the landscape as a uniting element that fosters local identity and shapes the image of the region to attract new guests from further a eld to the Schwarzatal.

In 2018 four landscape architecture offices were invited to the Schwarzatal to develop sustainable visions for the future of the cultural landscape. The chosen concept by ‘MAN MADE LAND’ and ‘fabulism’ envisages the 140-kilometre-long Schwarzatal Panoramic Trail as a connecting element. The team proposed a range of smaller and larger interventions — entitled ‘Waldfrische’, ‘Wasserfrische’, ‘Wiesenfrische’ and ‘Dorffrische’ — to highlight the qualities of the woodland, water, meadows and villages so typical of the landscape, and to strengthen the local economy.