The radical change in the cities of Saxony-Anhalt also leads to the creation of new urban identities and profiles. Particularly affected are the cities which during the GDR era derived their profiles largely from their industries. Here, the closure of factories destroyed both the job market and the communal identity. While the regional histories seldom played an official role as a point of reference in the GDR, since 1990 many cities and regions have again been drawing strongly on the identity-forming and promising aspects of their urban history.
These historic references are publicised in the cities through events, through architecture or in the form of educational provisions. The updated historic urban identity is meant to strengthen the inhabitants’ sense of identification and engagement, and also to attract people and businesses from elsewhere.
Köthen takes up the tradition of homeopathy in the town, making the health-care industry the driving force of its economic, cultural and scientific development. Lutherstadt Eisleben structures its inner-city development with the new Luther Trail, and Merseburg aims to attract new residents by raising its profile as a cathedral and university town rich in tradition.