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Bowling for CommunismUrban Ingenuity at the End of East Germany$
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Andrew Demshuk

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501751660

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501751660.001.0001

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date: 04 December 2021

The City as Stage in Revolution

The City as Stage in Revolution

(p.149) Chapter 5 The City as Stage in Revolution
Bowling for Communism

Andrew Demshuk

Cornell University Press

This chapter reviews the apocalyptic state of Leipzig's streetscapes that set the stage for marches in which residents demanded change. It also talks about Leipzigers who rebelled against Berlin, which was loathed as a parasite whose corrupt authorities had sucked the life out of their once-great city. It also elaborates how Leipzigers demanded autonomy from centralized planning, public participation in urban development, and an end to demolitions and mass-produced prefab housing. The chapter discusses the peaceful unrest that transitioned from the streets and forums of fall 1989 into a local conference in January 1990, in which officials and engaged citizens synergized ideas for saving the city. It cites the miraculous restoration of Alte Nikolaischule that bespoke both continuities with earlier planning and new possibilities after the Wende of 1989.

Keywords:   Leipzigers, Berlin, centralized planning, public participation, prefab housing, Alte Nikolaischule, urban development, mass-produced housing

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