The Legitimation of Urban Development Projects through References to the Past - an Investigation into the Case of the Dispute over the Historical Design of Potsdam's City Centre

Autor/innen

  • Kaspar Metzkow

Schlagworte:

Urban planning, legitimation, collective memory

Abstract

The article examines the legitimising function of references to the past in debates on inner-city building projects. The focus is on the different notions of the past of a place that civil society initiatives generate in the conflict over its future design. The work combines sociological theories of memory with conceptual considerations of place and legitimation. The case chosen to empirically investigate the question is a public debate in Potsdam (Germany), where until 2018, two citizens' initiatives were fighting over the demolition of modern post-war architecture in the city centre and the construction of a new district modelled after the former old town. The analysis, preceded by a media research, is done based on eight guideline-supported interviews with representatives of both initiatives and draws on the Grounded Theory methodology developed by Glaser and Strauss. From the material, three different legitimation mechanisms are identified, which demonstrate the selectivity and adaptability of memory. The past is remembered in such a way that the desired development a) acts as a continuation of the historical identity of the site, b) forms a memorable part of the local history, or c) appears as compensation for historical injustice. The exemplary mechanisms must be refined and expanded in future studies.

 

Please cite this contribution as follows:

Metzkow, K. (2021). The Legitimation of Urban Development Projects through References to the Past - an Investigation into the Case of the Dispute over the Historical Design of Potsdam's City Centre, "forsch!" - Studentisches Online-Journal der Universität Oldenburg, 1, 94 -101.

https://nbn-resolving.org/urn:nbn:de:101:1-2022012409495162023815

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Veröffentlicht

2021-12-30

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Wissenschaftlicher Artikel