Urban Development by Protecting Historic Buildings? An Analysis of Incentives and Regulations in Heritage Conservation
Regulations in heritage conservation play an important role in the redevelopment processes of East German cities. Numerous cities dispose of built cultural heritage still lending the cityscapes its character. As a reaction to the neglect of this cultural heritage during the GDR regime the East German Länder have enacted relatively restrictive heritage conservation laws. In addition to this the federal program “Städtebaulicher Denkmalschutz” was started in 1991 especially for the East German cities. In many cities activities for and investment in historic buildings have led to attractive urban centers. On the other side indicators become visible that an exaggerated heritage protection policy can turn out to be an obstacle for urban development. This paper takes an economic perspective on the topic of built heritage protection. In addition to this it contains a systematic overview over the policy arena, involving national and sub-national levels, actors and regulations. The financing of built heritage protection and recognizable intended and not intended effects of its measures are further topics of the paper. The results show that in East Germany a higher proportion of buildings is listed as in West Germany. The same is true when the public expenditures per head for heritage protection are compared. The analysis suffers from difficulties in assessing an optimal state of built heritage protection; a fact that signals further need in specific research.