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The Promotion of Building Culture in Rural Germany

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Xiaoping Xie* and Tobias Krüger

Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development (IOER), Dresden, Germany
* Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT  Over the past two decades, building culture has increasingly caught the attention of the architectural and planning profession. The building culture is to be understood in the broadest sense as the sum of all cultural, economic, technological, social and ecological factors influencing the quality and process of planning and construction. While the revitalisation and promotion of building culture is central to discussions on urban areas, these are generally ignored in regard to rural areas. This article aims to provide an overview of how building culture has been promoted in Germany’s rural areas, thereby contributing to international research on this topic. The paper adopts a general descriptive approach in examining the promotion of building culture in rural Germany. It provides background knowledge on institutional promotion and demonstrates the diverse approaches implemented in representative villages as best practices examples. The German experience confirms that the promotion of building culture is a meaningful and effective measure to help revitalise rural areas. Moreover, the three selected rural municipalities show how stakeholders from civil society are increasingly involved in measures to implement and promote building culture in the local context.

KEYWORDS  building culture, Baukultur, rural Germany, institutional promotion, rural revitalization, civil society initiative

Received April 15, 2019; accepted June 17, 2019.

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