This document is part of ten Keystone Papers looking at current emerging topics in the building and city sector, focusing on energy efficiency and resilience. The Keystone Papers were developed within the framework of the Sino-German Urbanisation Partnership as a basis for its working topics.
Policy for urban renewal in Germany underwent significant changes since the 1950s. Destruction of World War II led to massive rebuilding of housing and infrastructure. Planning principles guided by functionalism encouraged radical deconstruction of historic urban centers, aiming to separate urban functions such as housing, working, and motorized transport. From the 1970s onwards, a paradigm focusing on so-called cautious urban renewal emerged, supporting urban development through inclusion of local citizens and affected population in the planning process, respecting their needs and objections. Today, German cities and their neighborhoods are experiencing urban change in a variety of ways.