Capitalist Futures and Socialist Legacies: Urban Development in East Germany Since 1990

in German Politics and Society
Hartmut HäußermannHumboldt University

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Since unification, the political, economic, and institutional structures

in the new federal states have been patterned in accordance with the

West German model. This is due in part to the extension of the

Western legal framework to the eastern Länder. The fact that the

political and economic actors of the once-socialist country are now

subject to the institutional conditions of the West encourages convergence

towards the western model. But questions have been raised as

to whether the cities in the new federal states are also adapting

rapidly to the western model of urban development. Their layout

and architecture resulted, after all, from the investment decisions

made by several generations and cannot be shifted or transformed as

rapidly as legal or institutional frameworks.

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