This workshop series has been held for over twenty years and provides a forum for interdisciplinary debate among junior researchers and established scholars on manifold issues relating to the history of urban planning in the German Democratic Republic (GDR). The series provides a space for academic discussion on the legacy of Eastern European and GDR urban planning within the history of modernist European urban development. It brings together not just academics but also former urban planners and architects from the GDR as historical witnesses. Facilitating debate among researchers and (former) practitioners helps stimulate a lively and inspirational exchange of ideas.
The workshop series provides ample opportunities for academics and practitioners to network and initiate cooperative projects among one another. It also allows the IRS' Scientific Collections for the History of Building and Planning in the GDR to acquire historical planning documents from former practitioners by way of pre-mortem bequests. These documents are then processed by the Scientific Collections and made available for academic analysis. It is this combination of archiving historical documents and simultaneously encouraging historical research that makes the IRS Department for Historical Research so unique.