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Cultivation of useful plants on derelict sites


Detailed description of the Good Practice

In 2003/2004, a residential area with 1.045 housing units was demolished at the southern edge of the large housing estate “Cottbus - Sachsendorf Madlow”. A resident-friendly industrial use is planned for the site in the long term. The intervening use of the area until it is required again for a new construction consists of simple landscaping and planting measures.

The project provides neighbourhood residents with an opportunity to actively design and improve their extended environment. The option of a subsequent structural use is kept open for the future at the same time. The planning and realization involved an intensive cooperation between residents, environmental organizations and community workers.

Useful plants were temporarily grown on a derelict building site.

Objectives of the Good Practice


  • Apartment demolition and planned rearrangement for the plots
  • Option of structural follow-up use by resident-friendlyindustry
  • Intervening use via simple landscaping with Jerusalem artichoke plants, herbs and lawn, also ground modelling, if required
  • Demand-driven activation of building land

Participants of the Good Practice

In order to prepare the interim use, an international workshop procedure was first of all organised in the framework of „Internationale Bauausstellung Fürst-Pückler-Land“, a building exhibition. A planting plan was then drawn up. The plants were grown by volunteers of the „Flüchtlingsverein“ (an aid organisation for immigrants), of an environmental bureau, of the „Freiwillenagentur“ (organisation informing about opportunities of voluntary committment) and of a learning workshop. The land owners and the City of Cottbus concluded an authorisation agreement for the measure. Residents, environmental organisations and community actors cooperate intensively with regard to planning and implementation.

Target group of the Good Practice

Residents and land owners

Funding of the Good Practice

The workshop procedure could be financed under the EU project REKULA (Restructuring Cultural Landscapes), which is funded under the EU INTERREG III B programme.

More Details of the Good Practice

The project enables neighbours to participate in planning their environment. At the same time, the option of using the land for other construction purposes is left open for the future.

Documentation and documents

Available files

Contact details

Stadtverwaltung Cottbus, Amt für Stadtentwicklung und Stadtplanung
Dr. Sabine Kühne

Data sources and references

http://www.eukn.org/binaries/germany/bulk/practice/2007/05/cottbus_sachsendorf-madlow_eng_14-10-2005.pdf consulted on 19.04.2009