Saxony-Anhalt has a wealth of listed buildings and historic towns of great merit. While the cities increasingly draw on their historic periods of prosperity to shape their urban identities, population decline presents an acute threat to their structural legacy. There is a lack of funding for often complex renovation or conservation projects, and a shortage of users. Inner-city disuse and neglect therefore often affect those historic buildings which collectively characterise the overall historic picture of the city.
The cities must attract new interested parties as protagonists, and stimulate or foster their citizens’ interest. In order to renovate old towns cooperatively in a manner befitting their historic (and protected) status, the redevelopment process must be moderated in a focused way, with the inclusion of all the participants. The whole of Quedlinburg’s historic town has been a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site since 1994, yet it is still under-populated. Unconventional methods are now being deployed to protect the listed historic buildings from further deterioration until a new interested party is found. Halle on the other hand consists of two contradictory towns: a historic old town (Altstadt) and a modern new town (Neustadt). This raises a more basic question: Which building stock is so important for the city’s identity that it must be preserved as a structural legacy, even when demolition prevails?