Schkreutz City Map – Halle/Leipzig, Germany

Schkreutz. City Map. 1st Edition focuses on the new urban development between Halle and Leipzig, nicknamed Schkreutz after the Schkeuditzer freeway interchange at its centre. The project places the periphery at the centre (effecting a comprehensive realignment of urban organization) and draws on the traditional linguistic terms and ciphers of city maps. The global context and one-dimensional economic structure of Schkreutz give rise to conflict and fractures that are articulated by its fragmented appearance, and are particularly apparent in local opinion and practice. The ‘Tunnel Arcade’ is elaborated in the Schkreutz City Map as a spatial articulation of the confluence of interest groups, i.e. state and regional administrations, retailers, and residents.

“Schkreutz City Map, 1st Edition” takes us into the context of German post-reunification sprawl. Built fast and cheap, on no pre-conceived grid, a city evolves without the involvement of an overall plan. Walks became our reading device to explore the coincidental fabric made along new infrastructures, administrative borders and the spatial preferences of market forces. In this emerging city, where there is no order of zones, even investors adopt the spatial constitutions of “walkers”. For commercial development “Nearby…”- advertisement signs serve to identify location. In the case of residential development, the phrase “Here is where I want to live!” attempts to articulate a notion of place in a peripheral context without traditional urbanistic orientation.

With the proposed city map the scattered specifics of spatial articulations assembled into larger whole, or one could better say the local instances and actors are gathered onto the vast canvas of a map. The “Heres and Nears” turn into city quarters, while the old cities become landmark symbols. City Map does what the producers of that very city do: it extracts, pulls-out, gives importance through naming, it is “an imaginative drawing-out of relational structures”(J.Corner) and thus the mental image of a new—but still unseen—city.

Project Type: Urban Research and Publication
Commissioned by: Bauhaus Foundation Dessau in the context of the Shrinking Cities Project
Team: Sabine Müller, Andreas Quednau, Petr Baletka

research, urbanism
01/01/2004