TLN - transitory landscape niederlausitz
Sebastian Stiess & Michael Grzesiak, 1999


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the following work is a planing strategy to a sustainable transformation process through the aspects of environmental design to oppose the civilisational crisis caused by the german reunification in the open-cast mining region niederlausitz .

focal points are to find uses for industrial wasteland on a basis of growth and to use landscape design as a mediator of civilisational processes regarding history as a future resource.

based on analysis this work develops planing criteria. three projects show prototypically their realization at specific locations and how environmental design might generate civilisational solutions. visions 2030 demonstrate a feasble positive future.

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the impact of civilizational change

Southeast of Berlin where east germany meets poland and the tchek republic the niederlausitz unfolds itself in the "black triangle" named by its ecological doubtful importance as an eastern block industrial capital. Due to its enormous wide-spread brown-coal resources the niederlausitz area served as the energy producing center of communist germany.

The coal fields were consistently and expansively exploited over many square kilometers and decades. Reaching these subterranean resources means moving and mixing up to100 meter thick layers of the earth's crust and leaving vast desertlike landscapes behind.

With the reunification eastgerman civilization had to metamorphose and cope with the consequences. the mining acitivity as the only economical motor shrank due to its competitive disability to a tenth. The employer monopoly vanished.

the compelling heritage

The resulting consequences of these large-scale exploitations force to immediate action. laws compel to renew the mining areas within shortest time. government expenses are the highest within the national budget but still insufficient to cope only with the ecological difficulties.

the unconcious identity

landscape, infrastructure and economy were significantly influenced through the brown-coal exploitation. thus culture and identity of the locals. the open-cast mining areas are left over as waste-lands. there´s no more and not yet any use for them. these wholes in the landscape cause an identificational vacuity.

the meaning of man-made-environment

due to the negative image of brown-coal history the ideal of the commissioned landscape planers is the pre-mining state. all traces of the mining culture are to be replaced by its non-mining predecessors pretending nothing ever hapened. we see qualities in this period and its present state trying to build the future out of and onto it.

the better tomorrow starts today

whereas men could benefit of environmental resources in the past today he is compelled to invest in replanishing and renewing before he can profit of any qualities. this concept is a strategy to integrate the search for qualities in the existing, the rebuilding process and the growth of a sustainable future determining today what might arise tomorrow.

michael grzasiak & sebastian stiess © 1999