Qualification project

The Transformation of Planning Cultures in East and West Germany between 1959 and 1989

Research department: Contemporary History and Archive

IRS Research Topic: Spatial Path Development and Institutional Change New Social Practices

Funding Organization: Leibniz Association

Duration: 12/2018 - 12/2021

The thesis addresses the changes of East- and West-German planning cultures between 1959 and 1989 along analysing public communication of cases in urban planning. By focussing on historic cases of planning projects on a micro/local level in East and West Berlin, the arenas of public planning communication will be reconstructed. Therein, the arenas will be analysed regarding the categories of actor groups configurations, ways of communication and interaction as well as the significance of visuality as an essential element/instrument of communication. The project is given a special significance in urban history research due to its interface/crossings of communication, planning, social and visual history. Here the analysis of public communication will concentrate on the meta level of public sphere, which means the level of public meetings and assemblages. By illustrating the ambivalence and coexistence of government planning actors and civic groups power relations, hierarchies and public negotiations processes can be traced. Therein, visuality plays an essential role/part as a communicative instrument. The PhD projects takes up the current discourses in the academic field regarding correlations of planning culture and the understanding of public and civic engagement. Finally the project arranges the results of the long-term transformation of planning cultures in East and West in a juxtaposition to each other.


Meißner, K. (2018, Mar 28). Medien, Stadtplanung und städtische Öffentlichkeit in Berlin im 20. Jahrhundert: Der Stellenwert von Visualisierungen in der öffentlichen Planungskommunikation. Visual History.