Regional awareness

Talks with the local population of the IBA project area reveal that at the beginning of the 1990s the industrial remnants were seen as “abandoned polluted areas” and (superfluous) symbols of the economic decline. By the end of the IBA project in 1999, however, this negative image had changed to a positive one. The industrial remnants have increasingly become relics of culture, the fallow lands converted to open spaces shaped by nature. For this change of awareness, a “maturing” time of several years was neces­sary in order for a certain distance from the previous era to be gained. Only then could the residents of the region open themselves to the new poten­tials of the area. Quite often they were stimulated by people from outside who had seen the potential before.

Conclusions

This study reveals a generally positive perception of the studied post­industrial areas by different groups of the local population. The results pre­sented have shown that these areas can meet the functions described at the beginning of this text (introduction) for the residents of the region. The post-industrial areas have been used in many ways as additional inner – urban open space that offers the possibility of an active participation with an environment formed by nature in the vicinity of the users’ homes. This leads to the following conclusions for further management of post­industrial urban landscapes. Spontaneous development of nature should not be suppressed. Maintenance activities can be reduced to the greatest possible extent. Industrial remnants should be preserved. Their aesthetic – emotional functions are especially high if they can be entered and reused. However, their “conquest” by nature should not be suppressed because this process is especially aesthetically attractive.