Urban Revitalization Strategies and
Public-Private Partnerships in
As in all highly industrialized countries, cities in Germany have been severely hit by deindustrialization. Indications of this process were first apparent in some regions in the mid-1960s; however, they were interpreted more as a temporary rather than as a structural crisis in the old industrialized regions and industries. Certainly, they were not seen as the beginning of a severe restructuring of the economic base from goodsprocessing to services and information industries in all cities.
It took nearly twenty years more to recognize the full extent of this fundamental transformation that is still underway. By the end of the 1970s, cities—to differing degrees—started to rethink their policies, and those hit hardest established revitalization programs in order to stop urban decline. It is the latter process that is addressed by this chapter. First, data is presented briefly on the process of urban decline. In the next section, revitalization strategies implemented by German cities are discussed, followed by public-private partnership efforts. The final section is devoted to a tentative evaluation of the revitalization and publicprivate partnership projects. The analysis covers 1970 to 1995 and predominantly examines cities in the Ruhr area.
The initial impact of what has later been termed “deindustrialization” and “globalization” initially affected only the mining-steel complex in the Ruhr area and the Saar region during the 1960s. These early indi-