Special Fund StadtLand Thüringen
Saving vacant properties: Securing land for the long term
Hannes Langguth from the Haus Döschnitz association: “Heritable building rights enable all parties to work on an equal footing towards a long-term communal purpose. It is a great opportunity for Thuringian municipalities to use ground leases as an effective instrument for sustainably managing their public assets in the medium term.”
Built in the 18th century as a residence for a brewery owner, and previously a refuge for displaced persons, the local mayor’s office, a hunting lodge and most recently the local history museum, Haus Döschnitz has had a rich and varied past. Together with local protagonists, the Haus Döschnitz Association is developing the building into a place for education and research, culture and history, and living and working that bridges the urban and the rural and aims to create new impulses for the region and beyond. Photo: Dörthe Hagenguth
As Marta Doehler-Behzadi, managing director of the IBA Thuringia, explains: “land and property is a finite resource, and we must work with it responsibly. Together with trias Foundation, we have established a formal structure through which land can be secured for the community and the common good rather than having to survive as a ‘going concern’ in the marketplace. This model has been successful in many large cities where civic initiatives would not be able to survive in the context of inflated property markets. In the rural areas of Thuringia, however, demographic growth and conventional investment models do not drive development and we therefore need new models of ownership, new operating concepts and new development structures that can enable committed citizens and initiatives to realise their ideas and to help develop the StadtLand sustainably.”
The trias Foundation was founded in 2002 to support and promote people and projects that seek answers to the social questions of land speculation, ecological ways of living and social cohabitation. It is a civic foundation with a specific purpose that draws its assets from a broad range of citizens.
Since 2014, the IBA Thüringen has worked intensively with numerous project initiatives and stakeholders to find alternative ways to salvage and develop vacant properties in the region. A regional area of focus in the Schwarzatal valley, which has many abandoned old buildings. Together with the ‘Zukunftswerkstatt Schwarzatal’ association, the IBA has been exploring ways to sustainably reactivate the region, both architecturally and socially. The annual ‘Sommerfrische Open Day’, the recently completed Rottenbach Railway station project, the revitalised Schwarzburg Castle and the two examples of ‘Sommerfrische’ architecture, Haus Bräutigam and Haus Döschnitz, have helped raised the profile of the region. The challenge now is to transition this initial interest into a sustainable process and to enable alternative use concepts as a motor for long-term social and economic development in the region and for the community.
Momentan keine Termine