Landesamt für Denkmalpflege und Archäologie Sachsen-Anhalt
Landesmuseum für Vorgeschichte
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Conservation in Civic Planning

Landkreis Saalekreis, Wettin, aerial photograph
Landkreis Saalekreis, Wettin, aerial photograph (© LDA Sachsen-Anhalt, Photo: B. Rüdiger)
The Conservation Area of the Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz
The Conservation Area of the Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz (© LDA Sachsen-Anhalt)

The traditional understanding of conservation of historic monuments views it as primarily concerned with individual buildings of art-historical importance, such as churches, castles or townhouses. However, these buildings stand in a very specific context, in a city or cultural landscape, and this setting itself may be of special historic importance. The section for Conservation in Civic Planning is responsible for the conservation of large areas of distinctive historic character, with the goal of preserving town and village structures, town centres and cultural landscapes.

The work of Conservation in Civic Planning is focused firstly on the whole complex of local government and state planning. This ranges from the regular local-government Building Plan (Bauleitplan), which consists of a preliminary development plan (Flächennutzungsplan) and a binding set of zoning regulations (Bebauungspläne), but it also engages with regional and state-level planning. It is concerned not only with set areas, for example new building zones, but also with linear projects, such as traffic and transport planning.

The section for Conservation in Civic Planning always takes a position when cultural monuments are affected by these types of planning decisions. The range of relevant aspects can run from proposals for excessively large new building that would endanger the historic lines of a city, to the negative effect that new high-rise buildings would have on a protected historic view of a town. Accordingly, the historic districts of older towns, which are more often listed as protected historic areas, form a central field of activity for the section for Conservation in Civic Planning.

In addition, Saxony-Anhalt has the unusual feature of an extensive historic cultural landscape which is listed as a conservation area - the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz. In this case, the section for Conservation in Civic Planning does not just submit opinions on current planning concepts, but actively supervises planning proposals specific to this conservation area. For example, the Conservation Office took the lead in the development of the concept of a conservation management plan (Denkmalrahmenplan). In this, for the first time in Germany, a large historic landscape was recorded and assessed in its three aspects - Landscape, Civic planning, Parks and gardens - and proposals for historically appropriate maintenance and development were sounded out.